10 to Note: Fall Preview 2023
I begin with a lot of books. A couple thousand. I pick out about 100 that either A) I’ve read and love or B) catch my eye. From that batch of 100 or so, I narrow things down even further.
What I end up with are 10 books coming out in September, October, and November that I’m excited about.
Dim Sum Palace by X. Fang
September 12 | Tundra | Grades K-2
An ode to Sendak’s In the Night Kitchen, but drawing on debut author/illustrator X. Fang’s childhood food memories, this is a book that will please the senses. It’s already racking up starred reviews and praise, so you don’t just have to take my word on it.
Seals Are Jerks! by Jared Chapman
September 5 | Orchard (Scholastic) | Grades K
Funny titles don’t get enough credit. It’s really rare to see a funny picture book title. While the title for Seals Are Jerks sets a high bar, the rest of the book clears it with ease. Seals are Lorelei’s favorite animals . . . until she realizes they eat penguins. Let the moral conflict begin!
The Boo-Boos of Bluebell Elementary by Chelsea Lin Wallace, illustrated by Alison Farrell
November 7 | Chronicle | Grades K-2
Working in a school I know that educators must sometimes morph into healthcare professionals. When it comes to minor injuries, teachers are basically MDs. So this book, all about the bumps and bruises of one particular class, is a relatable standout.
Dory Fantasmagory: Can’t Live Without You by Abby Hanlon
September 26 | Dial (Penguin) | Grades 1-3
To know me is to know my high levels love and respect for this series. I didn’t even know if we were going to get any more installments, and then I spied this glorious cover. Hands-down one of the funniest, most bizarrely authentic chapter book series in history. Each one is a gift, and this one, about Dory haunting her family, looks to be another great one.
Middle Grade Fiction
Oliver’s Great Big Universe by Jorge Cham
September 26 | Amulet (Abrams) | Grades 3-6
A new illustrated middle grade fiction series that you might be able to hand to fans of Wimpy Kid and Big Nate. Maybe it should be called Diary of a Really Smart Kid, as main character Oliver aims to be an astrophysicist. This book combines science and story to make an engaging whole.
Jawbreaker by Christina Wyman
October 24 | Dial (Penguin) | Grades 3-6
This middle grade debut features one of the most lovable covers of the season. Who can’t relate to a little dental drama? Well, readers might not be able to relate to Max’s level of dental drama – a severe overbite forces her to wear headgear. When Max has to get on camera in front of the whole school, will she be able to do it?
The Wild Robot Protects by Peter Brown
September 26 | Little, Brown | Grades 3-6
After the New York Times bestselling (and not to mention critical) success of the first two books in the Wild Robot series, Roz returns to complete the trilogy. This time out, the scope is grand, as the future of her island is at stake.
Duel by Jessixa and Aaron Bagley
November 7 | Simon & Schuster | Grades 4-7
Husband and wife Jessixa and Aaron Bagley team up for this graphic novel about an 8th grade sisterly rivalry (and fencing). I’ve been anticipating this one since I saw it announced and it looks like a great pick for fans of Smile and Sunny.
Tiny Jumper by Candy Dahl, illustrated by Maithili Joshi
October 10 | Little Bee Books (S&S) | Grades 2-6
There are some things that are good to get right. Then there are things like parachuting, which you kinda MUST get right. This picture book about the invention of the parachute ripcord tells the true story.
The Mona Lisa Vanishes by Nicholas Day, with art by Brett Helquist
September 5 | Random House Studio | Grades 3-7
Shout-out to the design team on this one. They knew this fantastic true story would appeal to fans of Blue Balliett’s Chasing Vermeer, The Wright Three, and The Calder Game. So they got Brett Helquist to provide the art, and designed one of the coolest covers of the year. The insides make it all worth it, as we follow the trail of the most famous art heist in history.
Filed under: Previews
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 email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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