21 New Books for Your Fall Reading List

Fall means new books, and we’re pretty excited about these.

After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) by Dan Santat

Santat’s first book since Caldecott winner Are We There Yet? focuses on the psychological repercussions of Humpty Dumpty’s great fall. (Elementary)


La La La: A Story of Hope by Kate DiCamillo

Jaime King’s illustrations illuminate this lovely, almost wordless book about a brave little girl who ventures out into the world with a song. (Elementary)


The Antlered Ship by Dashka Slater

Curious fox Marco sets sail with a crew of deer, finding plenty of adventure on his search for a skulk of equally curious foxes. (Elementary)


Where’s Halmoni? by Julie Kim

Korean folk and fairy tales come to life in this charming graphic novel, in which two siblings go in search of their halmoni, or grandmother, through a magical door. (Elementary)


The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse by Mac Barnett

Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen team up again in this tongue-in-cheek tale of a mouse who gets swallowed by a wolf and finds that a duck has already set up a cozy abode inside the wolf ’s belly. (Elementary)


Before She Was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome

This gorgeous free verse biography recounts Tubman’s life from her childhood in slavery to her adult willingness to risk her own life for other people’s freedom, chronicling her strength, compassion, and resilience. (Elementary)


All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson

Homeschooled Imogen Vega leaves her comfortable Renaissance Faire world to enter public high school in this graphic novel from the author of Roller Girl. (Middle grades)


The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente

The Bronte siblings’ imaginary world comes to life—wonderfully and dangerously—in Valente’s first (stand-alone) book since the Fairyland series. (Middle grades)


The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi

Farah and her friends get sucked into a very dangerous game and must fight their way out to save themselves and the rest of the world in this diverse, steampunk take on the Jumanji idea of a game gone very, very bad. (Middle grades)


Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

In Applegate’s newest work, an ancient oak tree narrates the story of a Muslim boy who finds prejudice and fear in his new neighborhood. (Middle grades)


The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag

In Aster’s world, boys always grow up to be shapeshifters, and girls get to be witches. But Aster’s always dreamed of being a witch, so he sneaks off to the woods to study witchcraft on his own. (Middle grades)


A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf by Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney

I’m not convinced that these friendships are as secret as the authors (also literary friends) suggest, but this set of four dual biographies centered on some of literature’s best-known women and their friends is fascinating nonetheless. (High school)


Beren and Luthien by J.R.R. Tolkien

Tolkien’s son put together this lavishly illustrated version of a story told in the appendices of the Silmarillion, tracing the star-crossed lovers’ story’s evolution and significance across Tolkien’s work. (High school)


The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

Pullman’s long-awaited return to the alternate Oxford of the His Dark Materials trilogy introduces an 11-year-old boy named Malcolm who meets a baby named Lyra Belacqua—yes, that Lyra. (High school)


Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds 

With a claustrophobic setting (it reminded me of Nicholson Baker’s The Mezzanine) and a critical perspective on gun violence, this tense story takes place on a seven-story elevator ride a 15-year-old boy with a gun is taking to avenge his brother’s murder. (High school)


Turtles All the Way Down by John Green 

Teen lit hero Green returns with his first novel since The Fault in Our Stars. This time, he’s exploring the world of a 16-year-old with a mental illness who becomes obsessed with the disappearance of a billionaire. (High school)


The Dire King by William Ritter

The supernatural Sherlock Holmes series Jackaby wraps up with its fourth book, in which Jackaby, his intrepid assistant Miss Rook, dog-shifting policeman Charlie Cane, and ghostly Jenny Cavanaugh work to prevent the apocalypse. (High school)


Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Vivian Carter isn’t trying to start a revolution at her Texas high school when she starts publishing an underground feminist zine—she’s just fed up with her community’s sexist attitudes. As it turns out, she’s not the only one, and before she knows it, Vivian is leading the resistance. (High school)


Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

Dao’s first novel in a new fantasy series is steeped in Asian mythology and folklore. The first installment follows an 18-year-old beauty who must choose between good and evil en route to her destiny. (High school)


Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor

In book two of this series, newly minted witch Sunny works to develop her skills so that she can fulfill her destiny and prevent the apocalypse. This series is a little like a feminist, Nigerian take on Harry Potter. (High school)


Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Teenage Justyce starts a journal writing to Martin Luther King, Jr., after a false arrest has him questioning racism and resistance in his world. When his worst fears are realized in a police shooting, Justyce has to confront the darkest parts of himself and the world he lives in. (High school)

This list is reprinted from the fall 2017 issue of home/school/life.