Adventure Is Out There: 13 New Reads for the Young & Young at Heart

If there’s a theme to be found among this month’s staff picks for the young and young at heart, it’s adventure. From embarking on eerie magical quests, to stepping outside comfort zones, to discovering their true selves, these characters are daring to explore themselves and the world around them. Join them on their journeys!

Recommended by Chelsea

Don't Worry, Murray Cover ImageDon’t Worry, Murray

Murray is scared of much of the world, but he learns that a little step can make him brave. Murray is an adorable, relatable character that will inspire readers to take a look at their own fears and the small actions we can take against them.

Recommended by Aly

The Queen in the Cave Cover ImageThe Queen in the Cave

In this gorgeously illustrated book, three sisters journey into the forest to search for the witch queen of their dreams. What they end up finding is quite surprising!

Recommended by Rae Ann

Building Cover ImageBuilding

A beautiful non-fiction picture book about beavers adapting to nature’s challenges.

Recommended by Aly

I Want to Be a Vase Cover ImageI Want to Be a Vase

By Julio TorresJulian Glander (Illustrator)

This plunger wants to be a vase. Soon everyone in the house is figuring out what they truly want to be! Hilarious and heartwarming, I love this beautiful book.

Recommended by Madeline

Lark and the Wild Hunt Cover ImageLark and the Wild Hunt

A refreshing take on traditional mythology, Lark and the Wild Hunt is an exhilarating adventure story about family, loyalty, and bravery. Oh, and fairies and lots of dangerous creatures! And these aren’t your pretty fairies with wings. They’re the classic, sinister creatures of mischief. Perfect for lovers of Oddmire.

Recommended by Ashby

A Secret Princess Cover ImageA Secret Princess

A Little Princess + The Secret Garden = A Secret Princess. Best friends Mary, Cedric, and Sara leave their boarding school and run away to Cedric’s estate after Sara is left orphaned and penniless. A getaway. A garden. Classic characters and stories collide!

Recommended by Jennifer

The Darkening (The Darkening Duology #1) Cover ImageThe Darkening (The Darkening Duology #1)

Vesper is the daughter of failed revolutionaries, intent on finishing what they started. Working her way into the Prince’s inner circle with a false identity, Vesper seeks to understand the Storm–a nightmare that is taking over the city, rim by rim. Soon, Vesper learns there is more to this dark entity than she ever thought. If you are looking for a gripping fantasy with a lot of heart, this is the perfect choice.

Recommended by Ashby

My Name Is Jason. Mine Too.: Our Story. Our Way. Cover ImageMy Name Is Jason. Mine Too.: Our Story. Our Way.

Poetry by Jason (Reynolds) and art by Jason (Griffin). The two best friends explore their connections – connections that take the two to Brooklyn to pursue their dreams. The words and accompanying art tell their story and explore the meaning of friendship while having readers think about form, process, and relationships.

Recommended by Sarah

Not My Problem Cover ImageNot My Problem

Calling all fans of Netflix’s Sex Education and Derry Girls! I missed this one when it first came out last year, but I’m SO glad I picked up the paperback. Not My Problem explores themes of friendship and growing up, anxiety and doubt, parental alcoholism and family dynamics, all while being laugh-out-loud funny. The queer representation was the cherry on top. This is one of the best YA books I’ve read.

Recommended by Ashby

Love & Other Great Expectations Cover ImageLove & Other Great Expectations

An American girl. A British boy. A scavenger hunt. Three smart competitors that don’t play fair. Running around the English countryside, Britt, the American girl, has to decide whether to follow the map or toss it aside. Maybe she will win the prize and the boy.

Sprout Book Club: July Selection

If You Find a Leaf Cover ImageIf You Find a Leaf

By Aimee Sicuro

The July 2022 Sprout Book Club selection is If You Find a Leaf by Aimee Sicuro.

Author/illustrator Aimee Sicuro uses real leaves in the artwork of this delightful story about a young artist inspired to create something new with the fall of each leaf. A detailed list of leaves along with tips for creating your own leafy artwork are an added bonus.

Early praise for the book:

“A sweet, poetic ode to autumn.” – Kirkus

Sprout Book Club is the book subscription box for picture book lovers. Every month members will receive a first edition picture book. Set up a subscription for yourself or buy a gift membership for your favorite picture book lover for 3, 6, or 12 months. 

Spark Book Club: July Selection

The Star That Always Stays Cover ImageThe Star That Always Stays

By Anna Rose Johnson

The July 2022 Spark Book Club selection is The Star That Always Stays by Anna Rose Johnson. Norvia, her mom, and siblings move from Beaver Island to the city in 1914. Norvia is instructed not to tell her new step-father about their Ojibwe heritage. Life in the city is great with a school down the street and a movie theater, but some classmates shun Norvia because her mom is divorced. This coming-of-age story with a strong heroine is perfect for fans of Anne of Green Gables.

Early Sparks for the novel:

“A coming-of-age story with a kind heart and strong spirit.” – Kirkus

Spark Book Club is the first editions club for middle grade readersEvery month members will receive a first edition middle grade novel — plus a letter written by the author especially for club members. Makes a great gift for the independent reader! Sign ups are available for 3, 6, or 12 months.

ParnassusNext: July Selection

Our Crooked Hearts: A Novel Cover ImageOur Crooked Hearts: A Novel

By Melissa Albert

The July 2022 ParnassusNext selection is Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert. Ivy and her ex-boyfriend narrowly avoid running over a woman standing in the middle of the street in present day suburbs. Dana is starting to unlock her magical potential in 90s Chicago. As the storylines speed towards a startling intersection, Dana and Ivy must reckon with the choices they have made and the magic they’ve brought into their lives.

Early praise for the novel:

“Riveting, creepy, and utterly bewitching; do not miss this one.” – Kirkus, starred review

“A tale both spellbinding and bingeworthy.” – Publisher’s Weekly, starred review

ParnassusNext is the book subscription box for YA lovers. Every member of ParnassusNext receives a first edition hardcover of each month’s selected book, signed by the author. There is no membership fee to join — and no line to stand in for the autograph. Not only will you have one of the best YA books of the month when it comes out, you’ll have it straight from the author’s hands, with an original, authentic signature! Set up a subscription for yourself or buy a gift membership for your favorite YA reader for 3, 6, or 12 months.