The Kids Are All Right

Most Anticipated Picture Books for the Second Half of 2019!

Hello Kid Lit Friends!

It’s June, which means I get to talk about all the new releases I’m excited about for the second half of 2019! Yay!

Sponsored by All the Books, our weekly podcast about new book releases!

Have you listened to our All the Books podcast yet? On All the Books, Book Riot resident velocireader Liberty Hardy and several rotating co-hosts discuss the week’s most exciting and intriguing new book releases from every genre. Stay up to date on the best new books with new episodes every Tuesday (and get bonus recommendations for older books every Friday with the All the Backlist drop-in episodes!). Never miss the buzz on the best new releases: listen to All the Books on Spotify, or your podcatcher of choice.

I’ll be honest; it was very difficult to narrow down my anticipated picture book list to the ones you’ll see below. A lot of fall books haven’t come across my desk yet and I simply cannot put all the books I’m excited about in one list – it would be miles long! But here are some that I’m particularly excited about; a look at my choices below and let me know what you think!

The Proudest Blue by Ibitihaj Muhammad with S.K. Ali, illustrated by Hatem Ali (Little, Brown, 9/10)

With her new backpack and light-up shoes, Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It’s the start of a brand new year and, best of all, it’s her older sister Asiya’s first day of hijab–a hijab of beautiful blue fabric, like the ocean waving to the sky. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful, and in the face of hurtful, confusing words, Faizah will find new ways to be strong.

My Footprints by Bao Phi, illustrated by Basia Tran (Capstone, 9/1)

Every child feels different in some way, but Thuy feels “double different.” She is Vietnamese American and she has two moms. Thuy walks home one winter afternoon, angry and lonely after a bully’s taunts. Then a bird catches her attention and sets Thuy on an imaginary exploration. What if she could fly away like a bird? What if she could sprint like a deer, or roar like a bear? Mimicking the footprints of each creature in the snow, she makes her way home to the arms of her moms. Together, the three of them imagine beautiful and powerful creatures who always have courage – just like Thuy.

Nya’s Long Walk: A Step At A Time by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Brian Pinkney (HMH, 9/2)

Young Nya takes little sister Akeer along on the two-hour walk to fetch water for the family. But Akeer becomes too ill to walk, and Nya faces the impossible: her sister and the full water vessel together are too heavy to carry. As she struggles, she discovers that if she manages to take one step, then another, she can reach home and Mama’s care.

Moon! Earth’s Best Friend by Stacy McAnulty, illustrated by Stevie Lewis (Macmillan, 6/11)

Meet Moon! She’s more than just a rock―she’s Earth’s rock, her best friend she can always count on. Moon never turns her back on her friend (literally: she’s always facing Earth with the same side!). These two will stick together forever. With characteristic humor and charm, Stacy McAnulty channels the voice of Moon in this next celestial “autobiography” in the Our Universe series.

How To Read A Book by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Melissa Sweet (HarperCollins, 6/18)

From Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander and Caldecott Honoree Melissa Sweet, this duo has teamed up for the first time to bring you How to Read a Book, a poetic and beautiful journey about the experience of reading.

Find a tree—a

black tupelo or

dawn redwood will do—and

plant yourself.

(It’s okay if you prefer a stoop, like Langston Hughes.)

With these words, an adventure begins. Kwame Alexander’s evocative poetry and Melissa Sweet’s lush artwork come together to take readers on a sensory journey between the pages of a book.

Cats Are A Liquid by Rebecca Donnelly, illustrated by Misa Saburi (Henry Holt, 10/8)

Cats fill./ Cats spill./ Cats flow downhill.// Cats tip./ Cats drip./ Cats grip, snip, rip.// Cats are a liquid/ Except when they’re not.

Inspired by an Ig Nobel Prize–winning investigation of how cats behave like liquids, this book introduces some of the physical properties of liquids―they adapt to fit a container, they flow like fluids―and is just pure fun.

Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal (Roaring Brook Press, 10/22/19)

Fry bread is food.
It is warm and delicious, piled high on a plate.

Fry bread is time.
It brings families together for meals and new memories.

Fry bread is nation.
It is shared by many, from coast to coast and beyond.

Fry bread is us.
It is a celebration of old and new, traditional and modern, similarity and difference.

Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend! by Cori Doerrfeld (Penguin, 7/2)

Change and transitions are hard, but Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend! demonstrates how, when one experience ends, it opens the door for another to begin. It follows two best friends as they say goodbye to snowmen, and hello to stomping in puddles. They say goodbye to long walks, butterflies, and the sun…and hello to long evening talks, fireflies, and the stars. But the hardest goodbye of all comes when one of the friends has to move away. Feeling alone isn’t easy, and sometimes new beginnings take time. But even the hardest days come to an end, and you never know what tomorrow will bring.

Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border by Mitali Perkins, illustrated by Sara Palacios (Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 9/10)

It’s almost time for Christmas, and Maria is traveling with her mother and younger brother, Juan, to visit their grandmother on the border of California and Mexico. For the few minutes they can share together along the fence, Maria and her brother plan to exchange stories and Christmas gifts with the grandmother they haven’t seen in years. But when Juan’s gift is too big to fit through the slats in the fence, Maria has a brilliant idea.

Here is a heartwarming tale of families and the miracle of love.

The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar, illustrated by Alea Marley (Sterling, 9/3)

Harpreet Singh has a different color for every mood and occasion, from pink for dancing to bhangra beats to red for courage. He especially takes care with his patkahis turban—smoothing it out and making sure it always matches his outfit. But when Harpreet’s mom finds a new job in a snowy city and they have to move, all he wants is to be invisible. Will he ever feel a happy sunny yellow again?

Listen by Holly M. McGhee, illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre (Roaring Brook, 9/3)

with your heart.
It is your ears
your eyes
your nose
your mouth
your hands–

Author Holly M. McGhee and illustrator Pascal Lemaître ask you, me, and all of us to inspire empathy by exploring what it means to be connected to everything, including the natural world. Simple and tender, Listen teaches us to engage our senses, to taste, see, and feel in order to engage with the world around us.

Migration: Incredible Animal Journeys by Mike Unwin, illustrated by Jenni Desmond (Bloomsbury, 8/6)

Animals of all shapes and sizes make epic journeys across our planet, through harsh weather, avoiding hungry predators, in their efforts to survive. Travel around the globe with some of the world’s most incredible animals and discover their unique migration stories. Follow the emperor penguin through snow, ice and bitter temperatures; watch as the great white shark swims 10,000 km in search of seals; track huge herds of elephants, on their yearly hunt for water and be amazed at the millions of red crabs, migrating across Christmas Island.

Here and Now by Julia Denos, illustrated by E.B. Goodale (HMH, 9/3)

Explore identity and connection, inspire curiosity, and prompt engaging discussions about the here and now.



Fill out our survey and enter to win! We’re always trying to do things better here at Book Riot, so we would love your feedback on this newsletter. Click here to complete the survey and enter to win a $50 gift certificate to Amazon; contest will close on June 30 at 11:45pm

What new releases in 2019 are you excited about? Let me know! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at

Until next time!

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Today In Books

Unseen Anne Frank Letters Translated To English: Today In Books

This edition of Today in Books is sponsored by I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest, and Fierce Reads.

I Wanna Be Where You Are cover image

Unseen Anne Frank Letters Translated To English

A series of letters written by Anne Frank, starting before she began writing her diary, have been published and translated to English for the first time. In letters written to her grandmother she talks about her preferred hair length, getting braces, and the rise of Nazis. Read quotes and more about the collection here.

The Wives Are The Gangsters Now

The adaptation of the comic book The Kitchen by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle now has a trailer! Watch Tiffany Haddish, Melissa McCarthy, and Elisabeth Moss become the mob bosses of New York while their husbands are in jail. Have the popcorn ready for August 9th when the film hits theaters.

Tony Robbins’ Upcoming Book No Longer Slated To Release

A Tony Robbins coauthored book with a July release date is no longer set to release after allegations “that Robbins has berated victims of rape and domestic violence, while former staffers and fans have accused him of groping audience members, exposing himself to women assistants, and sexually harassing fans.” Robbins’ lawyer says the book is just delayed but a source at Simon & Schuster said “We are not proceeding with publication of The Path.” You can get all the details here.


Win $100 to Spend on Young Adult Lit!

What’s Up in YA? is our biweekly newsletter about all things young adult literature, and we’re giving away a $100 gift card to Amazon to support all (well, some of) your YA purchasing! Just sign up for the newsletter below to enter, and enjoy young adult new release news, interviews, backlist recommendations, and deals!

Go here to enter for a chance to win, or just click the image below. Good luck!

Riot Rundown


Today’s Riot Rundown is sponsored by Dynamite Entertainment.

Takeshi Kovacs was a member of the Envoy Corps, ultra-lethal adepts in switching bodies across the stars. While he served, he was known by a variety of names–Mamba Lev, One Hand Rending, the Icepick–all testament to his capacity for rapid response and extreme violence in whatever flesh he wore. Now he’s out of the service and trying to live a different life. But the Protectorate hasn’t changed its spots, no matter what world Kovacs drifts to, and with that old combat rage still burning deep inside him, will he ever really be able to walk away?

Today In Books

4 New Harry Potter Ebooks: Today In Books

This edition of Today in Books is sponsored by The Plus One from HarperCollins 360.

Plus One cover image

Four New Harry Potter Ebooks

Next month Pottermore will be releasing four new Harry Potter ebooks that will be nonfiction about “the traditional folklore and magic at the heart of the Harry Potter stories.” Each book will center a Hogwarts curriculum so I guess we all get to go to school without ending up with student loan debt.

Shakespeare In The Park Led By Danielle Brooks

Now playing through June 23rd you can see Much Ado About Nothing at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. It has a hell of a cast, all Black, with Danielle Brooks (Orange Is the New Black) headlining as Beatrice. For ticket information click here.

The Goldfinch Trailer

The adaptation of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch has a trailer! Starring Nicole Kidman and Ansel Elgort, the story follows a grieving boy and the painting he stole.



We have 10 copies of Rebel by Beverly Jenkins to give away to 10 Riot readers!

Here’s what it’s all about:

Valinda Lacey’s mission in New Orleans is to help the newly emancipated community survive and flourish. But when thugs destroy the school she has set up and then target her, Valinda runs for her life—and straight into the arms of Captain Drake LeVeq. As an architect from an old New Orleans family, Drake has a personal interest in rebuilding the city. Raised by strong women, he recognizes Valinda’s determination. And he can’t stop admiring—or wanting—her. But when Valinda’s father demands she return home to marry a man she doesn’t love, her daring rebellion draws Drake in closer.

Go here to enter for a chance to win, or just click the cover image below!


Unusual Suspects

Crime Fiction As Self-Care

Hello mystery fans!

Sponsored by Looking For Garbo by Jon James Miller.

Looking For Garbo cover imageIn Looking For Garbo, tabloid NYC reporter Seth Moseley gets a hot tip that movie goddess Greta Garbo is stowed aboard an ocean liner bound for Europe on September 1, 1939. He boards the vessel, desperate to get a candid photo and pay off some hefty gambling debts. But he gets more than he bargained for when Seth realizes the reclusive Garbo is actually sailing on to Nazi Germany, on a secret mission to stop WWII before it can start by assassinating her biggest fan – Adolf Hitler. Miller’s debut novel is filled with action, thrills and golden age Hollywood glamour.

From Book Riot And Around The Internet

miracle creek cover imageThese Thrillers Will Keep You Glued To The Page This Summer

7 Books Like THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR That Will Have You Side-Eyeing Your Neighbors

Crime Fiction as Self-Care

Rincey and Katie are back with news, another bit of a rant, and some mysteries by Asian and Asian American authors in the latest Read or Dead.

Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe cover imageOn the latest For Real Kim and Liberty discussed their favorite nonfiction releases so far this year and there are a few really great nonfiction crime books on their list.

James Bond Quiz: Choose a Bond, Get a Book Rec

The ‘My Favorite Murder’ Book Might Have Been The Scariest Project Yet For Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark

Ian Rankin donates Rebus manuscripts to National Library: Best-selling crime writer’s archive includes manuscripts and letters to other authors.

Clue: Candlestick turns a board game into comic book brilliance

Watch Now

The final season of Elementary has started on CBS–the first episode was SO good–and you can watch the first six seasons streaming on Hulu.

Luther is back! Well, almost, he’s back on June 2nd for U.S. audiences on BBC America with a season 5. You can stream the first 4 seasons on Amazon Prime.

Kindle Deals

The Banker's Wife by Cristina Alger cover imageThe Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger is a ridiculous .99 cents! (Journalist with a bone–Full review) (TW rape/ suicide)

Baltimore Blues (Tess Monaghan #1) by Laura Lippman is $5.99 if you’re looking to start a P.I. series.

A Bit Of My Week In Reading

Finished reading: The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins (There have been a few crime-novels-unlike-all-the-others lately in the historical crime category and I want a lot more of them! And the audiobook narrator was great!); Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal (This is a mystery novel + a horror novel set in Puerto Rico and I loved it!); The Winters by Lisa Gabriele (A modern retelling of Rebecca–suspense I inhaled!).

Theme Music cover imageGalleys I just got: Theme Music by T. Marie Vandelly (A thriller getting buzz!); Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk, Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Anything with a title like that must be read!)

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. And here’s an Unusual Suspects Pinterest board.

Until next time, keep investigating! And in the meantime, come talk books with me on Twitter, Instagram, and Litsy–you can find me under Jamie Canavés.

If a mystery fan forwarded this newsletter to you and you’d like your very own you can sign up here.

True Story

Journalist Tony Horwitz Dies at 60, Mindy Kaling’s New Essay Collection, and More Nonfiction

Hello, fellow nonfiction readers.

Sponsored by Lion Forge

In Gender Queer, Maia Kobabe has crafted an intensely cathartic autobiography about eir path to identifying as nonbinary and asexual, and coming out to eir family and society. By addressing questions about gender identity—what it means and how to think about it—the story also doubles as a much-needed, useful, and touching guide. Find the graphic novel memoir in stores now from Lion Forge!

I’m sad to be opening this newsletter with the announcement of another major death in the nonfiction world. Author and journalist Tony Horwitz died Monday at just 60 years old. He was on tour for his latest book, Spying On The South, when he suffered what appeared to be a cardiac arrest. He leaves behind his wife, novelist Geraldine Brooks, and two sons.

Since his death Monday, there’s been an outpouring of writing about Horwitz and his work, particularly admiration for his 1998 book Confederates in the Attic. NPR’s Fresh Air replayed an interview with Horwitz from 1998 talking about the book. It also includes Maureen Corrigan’s review of Spying On The South, a travel narrative that uses the 19th century meanderings of Frederick Law Olmsted as a guide for Horwitz’s own travels through the American South today.

I’m disappointed I haven’t read any of his work so far, but this has been an inspiration to address that hole in my nonfiction reading. His 2002 book, Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before is calling my name.

It again feels weird to be transitioning from that story to lighter news, but that is the nature of a newsletter. Here are a few lists, book announcements, and stories that caught my attention this week:

Time Magazine released a list of the 10 best nonfiction books of the year so far, a list that looks particularly good and includes one of my favorites so far, The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang. Add to your TBR!

Mindy Kaling is publishing a new essay collection 2020. One of the interesting bits about this story is that she’s releasing the collection with Amazon Publishing, which means it’ll be free for all Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited customers, and available on Audible. I’m curious to see if the choice of publisher has an impact on sales compared to her previous books.

The Jonas Brothers are releasing a memoir. Blood, co-authored with the guy who wrote Mötley Crüe’s book, will “detail the brothers’ journey as a band, from the group’s inception through their rise, breakup, and comeback.” It’ll be out November 12.

It’s not news that Brené Brown has a Netflix special, but I still like finding stories about it. This piece from Entertainment Weekly about “what’s making Brené Brown feel vulnerable right now,” isn’t super new, but I didn’t catch it back in April and I thought it was interesting.

Love reading about con artists? Bustle has a list of true crime books about con artists for people interested in the Anna Delvey case. Just care about Anna Delvey? Hold out for My Friend Anna, a memoir by one of her former friends that’s coming out on July 23.

That’s all for this week! You can find me on Twitter @kimthedork, on email at, and co-hosting the For Real podcast here at Book Riot. Happy reading! – Kim

Riot Rundown


Today’s Riot Rundown is sponsored by Forge Books.

The highly anticipated first book by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, the voices behind the #1 hit podcast My Favorite Murder!

Sharing never-before-heard stories ranging from their struggles with depression, eating disorders, and addiction, Karen and Georgia irreverently recount their biggest mistakes and deepest fears, reflecting on the formative life events that shaped them into two of the most followed voices in the nation.

In Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered, Karen and Georgia focus on the importance of self-advocating and valuing personal safety over being “nice” or “helpful.” They delve into their own pasts, true crime stories, and beyond to discuss meaningful cultural and societal issues with fierce empathy and unapologetic frankness.

Swords and Spaceships

Swords and Spaceships May 31

We made it to space port, me hearties–happy Friday! The rainbow nebula that is Pride Month is just on the horizon and coming in fast, so prepare the glitter canons. (And if you want something heartwarming, there’s this ad about a dad showing his trans son how to shave.) It’s Captain Alex, with at-least-peripherally-book-related news and whatever random thing from Wikipedia makes me feel like going off on a science fantasy tangent.

This newsletter is sponsored by Tor Books, publisher of A Chain Across the Dawn by Drew Williams.

Esa and her fellow agent Jane Kamali have been travelling across the known universe, searching for children who share Esa’s supernatural gifts, but they are not alone. A mysterious being with impossible powers will stop at nothing to get his hands on the very children Esa and Jane are trying to save.

News and Views

There’s a Good Omens-themed escape room? And David Tennant and Michael Sheen showed up?

SYFY Wire also has a super cute post with pictures of tattered copies of Good Omens and fans talking about how they met their beloved book.

For your heart punch of the day, Terry Pratchett’s hat and scarf had their own seat at the show’s world premiere.

A cover reveal and an excerpt from The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis. has an excerpt fromThe Iron Dragon’s Mother, which is the sequel to this gritty, diesel-punky with fairies book called The Iron Dragon’s Daughter. I mostly mention this because it is a blast from my person past. The Iron Dragon’s Daughter was originally published in 1997, the year before I graduated high school. So… wow.

Ever wonder what Myers-Briggs type various Star Wars characters might be? We’ve got you covered.

Okay, I normally leave comic book news to one of our other newsletters but Dynamite is going to have a miniseries where Bettie Page fights chthonic elder beings. has a round up of genre short fiction from May for you to read.

For the next 20 days or so, you can get the Science Fiction and Fantasy Satire Bundle (curated by Nick Mamatas) and the Afrofuturism Bundle (curated by Tenea D. Johnson) has a bit less than a week left. You can choose to donate 10% of your purchase to charities selected by the curators.

A gentle look at fans being overly possessive of media properties: “Not my Batman” is no way to go through life.

First reviews are in for the third season of The Handmaid’s Tale

On the sisterhood of Arya and Sansa Stark.

Fans built a full-sized Atlantis Stargate.

The crowd-funded Star Trek: Deep Space Nine documentary is coming to US and Canadian theaters soon.

Astronomical fun: The merger of two white dwarf stars that might turn into a neutron star. And neutron stars might give us some clues about quarks.

Free Association Friday

May 31, 1223 was the Battle of Kalka River, during the Mongolian invasion of the Cumans. And 70 years later, Kublai Khan headed out to invade Java because King Kertanegara refused to pay tribute.

I’m sorry to say that my Google skills have failed mightily and I haven’t dug up any science fiction or fantasy by Mongolian authors for you. I actually haven’t even had much luck finding any literature or poetry in translation, other than this newsletter that’s got a little bit of poetry in it. In penance, I offer this badass music video by Mongolian metal band The Hu, which is guaranteed to make you want to get on a horse and go tearing across the nearest picturesque, steppe-like piece of land you can find. (Or on a motorcycle.)

I can say there’s been a lot of really great Asian-inspired fantasy lately that definitely has not forgotten the Mongolians–and goes beyond the simple and problematic “barbarian horde” trope. The Tiger’s Daughter (and its sequel The Phoenix Empress) by K. Arsenault Rivera’s got to be one of my favorites; the world feels real and lived-in and like it has a history, and the beating heart of the story are lesbian soulmates. Ken Liu’s Grace of Kings is more concerned by civil war, but by the time we get to Wall of Storms, there’s someone knocking at Dara’s door. Elizabeth Bear’s Eternal Sky trilogy starts with the grandson of the Great Khan walking off a battlefield where he was left for dead in Range of Ghosts and proceeds apace. Kate Elliot’s Jaran is set in a sci-fi world with some very Steppe-like features, while her Crown of Stars series is fantasy with a rather Mongolian-esque culture.

See you, space pirates. You can find all of the books recommended in this newsletter on a handy Goodreads shelf. If you’d like to know more about my secret plans to dominate the seas and skies, you can catch me on the (Hugo-nominated!!!) Skiffy and Fanty Podcast or over at my personal site.