After spending the summer staying up late, watching movie marathons, and running around outside, it’s time to get kids back into their regular learning routines. A great way to ease them into a back-to-school state of mind is with some exciting books they can read for fun. Here are five new kids’ books that tell tales of friendship, adventure, speaking up for yourselves, and maybe even fighting some monsters along the way.
Serwa Boateng’s Guide to Vampire Hunting by Roseanne A. Brown is a middle-grade novel about a preteen vampire slayer with Ghanaian folklore mixed in. 12-year-old Serwa Boateng knows that some fireflies are really adze, shapeshifting vampires from the forests of Southeastern Ghana. Adze prey on the blood of innocent people, turning them into monsters. When an obayifo (a witch) destroys Serwa’s childhood home, her parents dump Serwa with her hippie aunt and cousin in the middle of nowhere “for her own safety,” where she has to deal with mean girls and algebra instead of monsters … until an adze infiltrates her new school. It’s up to her to teach some of her classmates how to fight back as she decides if she wants to be a normal girl or a slayer. Order the book here.
The Vanquishers by Kalynn Bayron is another book about vampires and vampire hunters. Malika “Boog” Wilson and her best friends grew up idolizing the Vanquishers, a group of vampire hunters who wiped out the last of the undead a long time ago. But, when a friend goes missing, Boog starts to think vampires might not be vanquished after all. Order the book here.
Key Player is the fourth book in the Front Desk saga by Kelly Yang. In the book, the Women’s World Cup is heading to Southern California, and Mia Tang feels like her two identities are finally coming together as the U.S. gets ready to play China in the finals. Mia needs to score a good grade to earn a spot at journalism camp, so she plans to track down the two women’s teams, interview them, and write an A-grade article. Along the way, she’ll have to face prejudice, discrimination, and her own fears. Order the book here.
Iveliz Explains It All by Andrea Beatriz Arango follows main character Iveliz as she heads into seventh grade, ready to make a new friend and help her abuela Mimi settle in after moving from Puerto Rico. No matter how hard Iveliz tries, sometimes she loses her temper when people say things that make her mad. To make matters worse, Mimi says that Iveliz’s medicine is unnecessary — even though it helps Iveliz feel less sad. This story navigates mental health, finding your voice, and discovering that those who really love you will stay by your side. Order the book here.
In The Gingerbread Witch by Alexandra Overy, Maud has grown up in a house made of gingerbread, wishing to be a witch like Mother Agatha, but like all of Agatha’s creations, Maud will turn back into gingerbread if anything ever happens to Agatha. After a big fight, Maud takes off, later returning home to find out that Hansel and Gretel — a pair of witch hunters — have pushed Agatha into the cottage’s oven. Maud will have to venture into the dangerous forest of the Shadelands to find the First Witch’s spellbook to save herself and the other gingerbread creations, but it won’t be easy with witch hunters on her trail. Order the book here.
These books will launch throughout the month of September. Look for them on Amazon or at your local bookstore.