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10 to Note: Summer Preview 2020

A few weeks later than normal, but nevertheless here – a preview of some of the most intriguing books coming out in June, July, and August.

Picture Books

Gustavo, the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago

July 14 | Candlewick | Grades PreK-1

Look, it can be tough for an outgoing ghost to make friends, but a shy one? Next to impossible. That’s the problem Gustavo is facing in this immensely inviting and sweet (debut!) picture book.

Me & Mama by Cozbi A. Cabrera

August 25 | Denene Millner Books (Simon & Schuster) | Grades K-2

A story about a mother and daughter spending a rainy day together. The execution makes this book a standout – gorgeous paintings combined with sweet, but not saccharine text. It also features what might be the best front cover/back cover combo of the year.

Gurple and Preen: A Broken Crayon Cosmic Adventure by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

August 25 | Simon & Schuster | Grades PreK-2

Ever since I saw Debbie Ridpath Ohi’s broken crayon drawings online, I knew we’d see the concept in a book someday. That someday is coming soon, with the great Linda Sue Park supplying a story about a couple of crash-landed robots and their crayon creativity.

Chapter Books

The Magic Eraser (Locker 37, #1) by Aaron Starmer, illustrated by Courtney La Forest

July 7 | Penguin Workshop | Grades 3-6

I’m always interested when an author switches things up, and that’s what we have with this first book in a new series by Aaron Starmer. He wrote one of the trippiest middle grade/YA tweener series in recent memory, and now it’s chapter book time. Is it possible that locker 37 can solve any problem? The students of Hopewell Elementary will find out.

Middle Grade

Something to Say by Lisa Moore Ramée

July 17 | Balzer + Bray | Grades 3-7

Already gathering starred reviews and an Indie Next selection, this story about a shy girl and a friendship-altering class debate is on my radar in a big way.

Graphic Novels

Cookie and Broccoli: Ready for School! by Bob McMahon

July 7 | Dial (Penguin) | Grades K-3

A full-color early graphic novel about an odd couple navigating school, I can already see kids excited to read this new series.

Agent Moose by Mo O’Hara, illustrated by Jess Bradley

August 4 | Feiwel & Friends | Grades 1-3

The first installment in a new graphic novel series about a mystery solvin’ secret agent moose. It’s written by My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish author Mo O’Hara and looks to be a nice helping of goofy fun.

Beetle & The Hollowbones by Aliza Layne

August 4 | Atheneum (Simon & Schuster) | Grades 3-7

Who’s up for a fantasy/humor comic about a 12 year old goblin witch? I am.

Shirley & Jamila Save Their Summer by Gillian Goerz

July 14 | Dial (Penguin) | Grades 3-7

Going heavy on the graphic novels this time out, but there’s a bunch that are catching my eye. Including this one, about a mystery solving girl who has trouble fitting in, and a basketball loving girl who is trying to figure her out.


Jumbo: The Making of the Boeing 747 by Chris Gall

August 4 | Roaring Brook Press | Grades 1-5

Chris Gall’s exacting illustrations are well suited to this nonfiction book about the making of a flying giant. A delightful and highly informative read.

See you in August for 10 to Note: Fall Preview 2020.

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.


  1. Dana Frank says

    Lots of ampersands! That could be a trends blog post :)