Summer 2021 edition
A Note from the Ed/Lib Team
As anyone who has joined us in our offices over the years knows, we love hosting our seasonal previews to meet local teachers and librarians and introduce them to our upcoming titles and authors. We’re even more excited to be able to bring our previews to teachers and librarians around the country! From this page, you can learn more about preview speakers, download materials distributed at the event, and discover upcoming titles courtesy of S&S editorial staff.
So sit back, get your TBR lists ready, and enjoy this preview of our Summer 2021 season from the comfort of your own home, school, or library. Excited about one of these books? Interested in what we’re reading? Tweet us at @SSEdLib using #SSKidsPreview.
Meet Summer 2021 Preview Speaker, Supriya Kelkar!
If you’ve ever fantasized about the musical version of your life, read on. This whimsical middle grade novel is about a Bollywood-loving girl whose world turns upside down when she starts to involuntarily burst into glamorous, magical song-and-dance routines during everyday life. Eleven-year-old Sonali doesn’t know what to do with the news that her parents are divorcing, so she pretends that everything is okay and hides her feelings. But then one day she wakes up to a reality that has gone completely Bollywood—the walls of her room are unrealistically bright, she involuntarily bursts into song and dance, her family and friends join her for big, fun flash mob dance numbers. Sonali knows something has gone majorly awry, and she suspects that it has something to do with her own mismanaged emotions, and so it is up to her to figure out how to stop Bollywood from taking over her life before it’s too late. Woven underneath the surface of its commercial premise is a nuanced exploration of emotional vulnerability and navigating a messy divorce as a kid. But more than anything else, this novel is joyful, fun, and will have you dancing yourself. Supriya Kelkar is the author of American As Paneer Pie, and her work is perfect for fans of Kelly Yang and Hena Khan.
Preview Summer 2021 Titles on Edelweiss
Spend a few minutes with each S&S editor as they highlight a title from their Summer lists!
The Manu rainforest in Peru is home to a whopping fourteen different species of monkeys-- more than any other rainforest in the world! This lively rhyming nonfiction picture book introduces readers to the monkeys of Manu, and it features illustrations by Caldecott Honoree Steve Jenkins that feel like they’re about to leap right off the page. Informational paragraphs, infographics, and endmatter will delight the most curious of readers as they discover the little-known natural treasure that is Manu. Animal and nature lovers will have a blast getting to know these incredible primates in this fun-filled, fact-filled rainforest romp.
HC: 9781534460393; EB: 9781534460409; July 6, 2021, Ages 3–8
It’s true that there are a lot of picture books about friendship. But when I first read Chirp!, I immediately loved its sweet and fresh take on the qualities that matter most in a friend: the best of friends don’t just try to comfort you, they listen, support, and allow you to feel your feelings. I hope readers are as charmed as I am by song-filled Chipmunk and her quest to find a true friend—someone who will sing along with her better than a silent rock. It’s funny, it’s sweet, it’s filled with completely delightful animals. And best of all, it celebrates friendship in a totally new and special way. Enjoy!
HC: 9781534470026; EB: 9781534470033, June 29, 2021, Ages 4–8
I love books that encourage readers to engage with the world around them, and Listen does just that. It follows a girl on a normal day: walking to school, playing on the playground, playing with friends. But it highlights the sounds around her and urges close listening, asking if she can hear each one: the bark of a dog, the crunch of gravel. As the day goes on, the sounds become quieter. What does the sigh of a friend mean? What about silence? It concludes with the beating of her own heart and whispered goodnights, making it perfect for bedtime reading. What I love most about this book is that it encourages mindfulness and close listening to friends. We can learn a lot from sound, but can we learn from quiet, too?
HC: 9781534461895; EB: 9781534461901, June 29, 2021, Ages 4–8
With anti-gravity cupcakes, robots, 3D printers, and, of course, unicorns, this book has something for everyone! Fern is a unicorn who doesn’t fit in. At all. While the other unicorns are jumping through shimmering rainbows, Fern would rather be in her lab coding software. The rest of the unicorns call Fern a nerdycorn and tease her for being different. When there’s a major mechanical mishap at the Sparkle Dance Party, Fern can certainly fix it for them…but will she? Fern is a great role model for how to be yourself and stand up for yourself—messages that are sure to resonate far and wide.
HC: 9781534460058; EB: 9781534460065; May 18, 2021, Ages 4–8
Simon Spotlight is so excited to launch our new Ready-to-Read Graphics program this summer! Ready-to-Read Graphics books give readers the perfect introduction to the graphic novel format with easy-to-follow panels, speech bubbles with accessible vocabulary, and sequential storytelling that is spot-on for beginning readers. There’s even how-to a guide for reading graphic novels at the beginning of each book. We are launching with three incredible books.
First is Geraldine Pu and Her Lunch Box, Too! from debut author-illustrator Maggie P. Chang. Meet spunky, funny, and friendly Geraldine Pu as she takes on a bully and makes a new friend in this first book in a new Level 3 Ready-to-Read Graphics series! Geraldine Pu’s favorite part of school is lunch. She loves her lunch box, which she calls Biandang. She can’t wait to see what her grandmother, Amah, has packed inside it each day. Then one day, Geraldine gets stinky tofu...and an unexpected surprise. What will she do?
In Nugget and Dog: All Ketchup, No Mustard, join a hot dog named Dog and a chicken nugget named Nugget in this Level 2 Ready-to-Read Graphics book, the first in a new series by Jason Tharp! Nugget and Dog’s town of Gastropolis is a peaceful place...until a spicy mustard packet named Dijon Mustard tries to make everyone grumpy. Nugget and Dog start a K.E.T.C.H.U.P. club to bring back kindness, empathy, and other good things. Can Nugget and Dog save the day with ketchup and kindness?
Next, we have Thunder and Cluck: Friends Do Not Eat Friends, a hilarious and heartfelt story from award-winning author Jill Esbaum and illustrated by veteran animator Miles Thompson. Two dinosaurs with larger-than-life personalities become unlikely friends in this silly and sweet Level 1 Ready-to-Read Graphics book, the first in a new series! Thunder is a big T-Rex. Thunder likes to ROAR! Cluck is a little dinosaur. Cluck likes to say, “hello!” Can Thunder and Cluck still find a way to be friends?
Geraldine Pu and Her Lunch Box, Too!: HC: 9781534484696; PB: 9781534484689; EB: 9781534484702; June 29, 2021, Ages 6–8
All Ketchup, No Mustard!: HC: 9781534484634; PB: 9781534484627; EB: 9781534484641; June 29, 2021, Ages 5–7
Friends Do Not Eat Friends: HC: 9781534486522; PB: 9781534486515; EB: 9781534486539; June 29, 2021, Ages 4–6
Little Simon has seen the power of creating early chapter book series that focuses on emerging readers, from Heidi Hecklebeck all the way to Good Dog, but we’ve realized that emerging readers want graphic novels, too. So we’ve created a line of graphic novels with those younger readers in mind.
There is a ton of action, adventure, and humor with age-appropriate text and big bold graphic panels that insure perfectly paced storytelling.
To do this, Little Simon considered the number of panels per page, we’ve given readers full spread resting scenes in strategic spots, all while keeping a hefty, but not daunting, 144-page book.
In short, we’ve built these graphic novels in the same way we built our early chapter books, in that the presentation (the covers, the art, the storylines) are fresh, bright, exciting, and cool, while the text serves as a “bridge” for emerging readers.
We wanted to create graphic novels that LOOK as good as they READ.
Night Hunt: HC: 9781534478640; PB: 9781534478633; EB: 9781534478657; May 4, 2021, Ages 5–9
Ghost Island: HC: 9781534478671; PB: 9781534478664; EB: 9781534478688, July 13, 2021, Ages 5–9
The Soccer Mystery: HC: 9781534478701; PB: 9781534478695; EB: 9781534478718; June 1, 2021, Ages 5–9
Ghosts, Goblins, and Ninjas!: HC: 9781534478732; PB: 9781534478725; EB: 9781534478749; July 20, 2021, Ages 5–9
Super Turbo vs. the Pencil Pointer: HC: 9781534478398; PB: 9781534478381; EB: 9781534478404; June 29, 2021, Ages 5–9
Super Turbo Protects the World: HC: 9781534478428; PB: 9781534478411; EB: 9781534478435; August 3, 2021, Ages 5–9
We are so thrilled to be publishing Mary Alice Monroe’s debut middle grade, The Islanders. Written with her wonderful co-author, Angela May, The Islanders combines all of the things that have made Mary Alice both a USA Today and New York Times bestseller with Gallery and has earned her so many loyal readers: a story that centers on family—particularly a grandparent-grandchild relationship—friendships, and wildlife conservation, all against the backdrop of South Carolina’s low country.
After his father is wounded in Afghanistan, 11-year-old Jake finds out that he will be spending his summer in tiny Dewees Island with his grandmother, Honey. When an adventure with his two new friends, Macon and Lovie, goes awry, they find themselves on the Turtle Team under the watchful eye of Honey, patrolling the beach at dawn for loggerhead sea turtle tracks, and ensuring a newly created nest stays safe. But when that nest becomes endangered, they must figure out how to save it from predators and learn how to work with each other—and trust each other—in the process.
This book is heartfelt, funny and full of interesting turtle tracks (and some adorable interior spot illustrations!) as Jake navigates both his new normal on the island and within his own family. We cannot wait to introduce Mary Alice’s wonderful work to a whole new audience!
HC: 9781534427273; EB: 9781534427297; Audio: 9781797123691, June 15, 2021, Ages 8–12
Eleven-year-old Felicity—better known as Flick—doesn’t know what she’s looking for when she starts to explore her new town. But what she finds is more amazing than she ever could have imagined—the headquarters of a secret agency that allows you to explore any world in the multiverse just by stepping into a suitcase! This book—the first in a trilogy about the Strangeworlds Travel Agency—was one of my first acquisitions for Aladdin, and while I could tell that there was something special to the story, I had no idea that we would be publishing it into a time when readers are more eager for travel and excitement—and more reliant on their imaginations—than ever. Filled with magic, adventure, and mystery, readers will enjoy getting swept away as Flick and her new friend Jonathan explore new worlds and try to protect an important city from succumbing to an invisible threat and taking our world along with it. L.D. Lapinski is a debut author and a wonderful new voice in the middle grade space, and we’re thrilled to have her on the Aladdin list.
HC: 9781534483514; EB: 9781534483538; Audio: 9781797127651, May 25, 2021; Ages 8–12
This past year, we’ve seen our streets filled with hope and fury, protesters determined to even the stakes for everyone. Their path is a well-trodden one, full of the inspiration of other dissenters, including two of the most profound: Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.
Mahatma Gandhi was a lawyer, tiny of stature with giant ideas, in a British-ruled India. Dr. Martin Luther King was a minister from Georgia with a thunderous voice and hopes for peace. Both preached love for all human beings, both believed that freedom and justice were won by not one, but by many, both met their ends in the most unpeaceful of ways—assassination, and both have become legends and role models for the world. But what led these two great men through roads of violence to paths of peace? Perfect for budding activists, Threads of Peace examines and celebrates these two great activists’ lives, the threads that connect them, and the threads of peace they laid throughout the world. Uma Krishnaswami, a native of India, whose own mother met Gandhi, has packed the book with historical photos, sidebars, timeline and glossary and index, and the praise is already being strewn along the book’s path.
HC: 9781481416788; EB: 9781481416801; August 17, 2021; Ages 9–14
A little bit Jenny Han, a little bit Shark Tank, a little bit something entirely new, Made in Korea is just a ton of fun, full of joy and energy that’s utterly contagious. It features everything you’d ever want in a YA contemporary read: two characters who think they hate each other but actually love each other, high-stakes competition, awkward romantic encounters, and deeper explorations of identity and family as it intersects with first love. With its pitch perfect voice, utterly charming characters, and great skincare advice, Made in Korea will totally win readers over.
HC: 9781534474376; EB: 9781534474390; Audio: 9781797132365; May 18, 2021, Ages 12 & up
Published in the Salaam Reads imprint, Misfit in Love is S.K. Ali’s companion novel to Saints and Misfits, which garnered an APALA Honor, a Morris nomination, and more. In this romantic novel that can be read as a stand-alone or alongside Saints and Misfits, we reunite with Janna, whose black nail polish and goth chic hide a heart that’s looking for love. And what better place to find it than at her brother’s wedding? With three days at a villa on a lake, surrounded by old and new friends, Janna’s sure she’s ready to confess her feelings to her crush. But what if it turns out her heart’s been leading her in the wrong direction—and fate has other plans? With an atmospheric country house setting, a hilarious wedding-plans-gone-awry plot, and a quest for love for our heroine, this is pitch-perfect rom com territory. Layered under the romance and fun, though, are serious themes about xenophobia and racism within the Muslim community and what it means to be an ally. Fans of S.K. Ali’s work will be delighted to spot familiar characters, including a cameo from Love From A to Z’s Adam and Zayneb, but for those who are new to her books, Misfit in Love is a great entry point.
HC: 9781534442757; EB: 9781534442771; Audio: 9781797123561; May 25, 2021, Ages 14 & up
Spotlight on Audio
Enjoy an audiobook excerpt playlist from our children’s audio group. Many of these are clips of previous books from authors with new books on the Summer 2021 list.