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10 to Note: Summer Preview 2018

10 to Note

What follows are ten books coming out in June, July, and August that have me interested. REAL interested.

Picture Books


Lick 1

Do Not Lick This Book by Idan Ben-Barak, illustrated by Julian Frost

June 5 | Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan) | Grades K-2

We’ve all seen those cool microscope photos that turn everyday items into alien worlds. We haven’t seen a picture book that folds those captivating images into a story. This book does that and it’s a lot of fun.


Stumpkin 1

Stumpkin by Lucy Ruth Cummins

July 24 | Atheneum (Simon & Schuster) | Grades K-2

Do you remember Lucy Ruth Cummins’s last book? The one about the lion? Well that book was great and so I’m looking forward to this book about a stemless pumpkin.

Drawn Together

Drawn Together 1

Drawn Together by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat

June 5 | Disney-Hyperion | Grades K-2

This one’s a beaut. A story about bridging the generation and language gaps through art, Minh Lê and Dan Santat have outdone themselves. It’s already garnered a whole bunch of starred reviews to boot.

T. Rex

T. Rex 1

How to be a T. Rex by Ryan North, illustrated by Mike Lowery

August 21 | Dial (Penguin) | Grades K-2

It looks really funny, and I not immune to the powers of humor.

Chapter Book


The Princess and the Absolutely Not a Princess (Miranda and Maude #1) by Emma Wunsch, illustrated by Jessika von Innerebner

August 7 | Amulet Books (Abrams) | Grades 1-4

An illustrated chapter book about an unlikely friendship and, in a very 2018 twist, social justice.

Middle Grade


Courage by Barbara Binns

July 31 | HarperCollins | Grades 3-7

A debut novel about a kid who takes up diving to distract from his complicated family situation. Sign me up.

Harbor Me

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

August 28 | Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin) | Grades 5 and Up

Oh, you think the Ambassador is going to come out with her first middle grade since Brown Girl Dreaming and NOT be excited about it?

Graphic Novels

Mr. Wolf

Mr. Wolf 1

Mr. Wolf’s Class by Aron Nels Steinke

June 26 | Graphix (Scholastic | Grades 2-5

I read this. I really like it. I think kids will too. A school story from the teacher’s perspective that has that sort of comfortable familiarity that makes you feel like the characters are already your pals. It’s also the first in a series.



Poo 1

What Do They Do With All That Poo? by Jane Kurtz, illustrated by Allison Black

June 19 | Beach Lane Books (Simon & Schuster) | Grades K-2

Well, don’t you wonder?

Epic Fails

Epic Fails 1

The Wright Brothers: Nose-Diving into History (Epic Fails #1) by Ben Thompson and Erik Slader, illustrated by Tim Foley

July 10 | Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan) | Grades 3-6

Perfection is passé. Failure is forever. I have no idea that means, but it sounded kind of like I did. Anyway, this new nonfiction series about the trial and error seems like a good one.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.