100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

10 to Note: Fall Preview 2020

I sorted through, let’s see here, 2432 children’s books coming out in September, October, and November and pulled out the 10 I’m most excited about.

Picture Books

The Chicken Who Couldn’t by Jan Thomas

October 6 | Beach Lane Books (Simon & Schuster) | Grades PreK-2

The master of the funny picture book returns with what looks like another read aloud winner.

Vampires of Blinsh by Daniel Pinkwater, illustrated by Aaron Renier

September 22 | Abrams | Grades K-3

Now this looks interesting. A picture book that uncovers what vampires are really like.

Hello, Arnie: An Arnie the Doughnut Story by Laurie Keller

September 29 | Christy Ottaviano Books (Macmillan) | Grades K-2

I’m always curious to see how well-known characters expand their universes. This stand-alone outing featuring everyone’s favorite doughnut is a delight. It’s funny and has an interactive twist that will make it a read aloud go-to.

The Paper Boat: A Refugee Story by Thao Lam

September 15 | Owlkids | Grades 1-3

A book that’s already getting a fair amount of attention, The Paper Boat weaves a story of a family’s escape from Vietnam with that of a similarly fleeing ant colony. Unique, wordless, and beautiful.

Early Reader

See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka

September 8 | Candlewick | Grades K-2

An early reader with a Dick and Jane satire meta twist? Sign me up.

Chapter Book

Willa the Wisp (Fabled Stables, Book 1) by Jonathan Auxier, illustrated by Olga Demidova

October 20 | Amulet Books (Abrams) | Grades 1-4

Jonathan Auxier has entered the world of the early chapter book and I am glad he did. Fans of The Princess in Black and Mercy Watson will be won over by this magical new series.

Middle Grade Fiction

Muffled by Jennifer Gennari

October 27 | Simon & Schuster | Grades 3-7

A story about a girl coping with a hearing sensitivity, this one is being recommended to El Deafo fans, of which I count myself.

One Time by Sharon Creech

September 8 | HarperColins | Grades 3-7

The Newbery winner returns. One Time is a coming-of-age story about a girl harnessing her creativity (with the help of a new friend and a teacher) to figure out who she really is.

Graphic Novel

Class Act by Jerry Craft

October 6 | Quill Tree Books (HarperCollins) | Grades 3-7

If you’re not looking forward to this, the companion to Newbery winner New Kid, then I don’t know what to say.


Swish! The Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globetrotters by Suzanne Slade, illustrated by Don Tate

November 10 | Little, Brown | Grades K-3

A joy to read. Informative and engaging. Beautiful to look at. It’s everything picture book nonfiction should be.

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.