The sun has set on 2020, and a new year has begun. Though there is no way of predicting what new things 2021 will bring, and dwelling on the “what ifs” never helped anyone, we can at least find a little joy in exciting new book releases!
Divided between picture books, middle grade, and young adult novels, check out some of the most exciting new and upcoming book releases of winter 2021!
Eyes That Kiss the Corners – Joanna Ho, Dung Ho (Released January 5th)
In the style of the well-beloved Hair Love, follow a young Asian girl learning to love her Asian-shaped eyes and discovering a path to self-love through beautiful lyrical writing and stunning illustration.
Watch Me: A Story of Immigration and Inspiration – Doyin Richards, Joe Cepeda (Released January 12th)
Based on the story of the author’s own father, follow a young boy named Joe who came to America from Africa, as well as the story of how many other people immigrated to America from various other cultures and backgrounds. Illustrated through beautiful oil paintings, this is a story of perseverance and following one’s dreams despite all odds.
What’s the Matter, Marlo? – Andrew Arnold (Released January 26th)
Marlo and Coco are best friends who do everything together. But one day when Coco invites Marlo to play, Marlo ignores her! Is Marlo okay? This heartwarming picture book explores big emotions like anger and sadness, and how children can navigate these big emotions with the help of their friends!
Milo Imagines the World – Matt de la Pena, Christian Robinson (Released February 2nd)
During a long subway ride with his sister, Milo watches the many people around him and imagines what their lives might look like! But when he gets too deep in his made-up story about a boy in a fancy suit, he learns that appearances can be deceiving!
Root Magic – Eden Royce (Released January 5th)
Set in 1960s South Carolina, follow twins Jezebel and Jay who, after the death of their grandmother, are trained in the art of root magic—African American folk magic that has been passed down in their family for generations. But they soon learn that root magic is more than just odd potions and charms. When evil forces start to spread throughout their town, they must use all the magic they can to protect the home they love.
Clues to the Universe – Christina Li (Released January 12th)
Rosalind’s dad passed away unexpectedly, the only thing left to remember him being an unfinished model rocket that the two had been building together. Benji suspects that his father might be the creator of Spacebound, a popular comic book series, but he has no way of confirming as his father walked out a few years back and left no way to contact him. They were only supposed to be science partners, but Ro and Benji soon become unlikely friends. Together, can they answer some of the universe’s biggest questions?
While I Was Away – Waka T. Brown (Released January 26th)
This heartfelt middle-grade memoir follows 12-year-old Waka when her parents send her to live with her strict grandmother in Japan to become better fluent in Japanese. Once a straight-A student, Waka is now seen as a dumb foreigner. Where in the world does she truly belong?
Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories For Kids – Cynthia Leitich Smith (Released February 9th)
From various Native American authors, comes a collection of intersecting stories of heritage, community, and Native Pride all set around the same powwow!
Concrete Rose – Angie Thomas (Released January 12th)
In the highly anticipated prequel to The Hate U Give, follow a seventeen-year-old Maverick as he tries to navigate dealing for the King Lords, supporting his parents, and raising an unexpected child.
Yesterday is History – Kosoko Jackson (Released February 2nd)
After receiving a liver transplant, Andre Cobb discovers that he has been accidentally given the ability to time travel! Bouncing between 1969 and the modern-day, Andre must learn how to use his new gift with the help of Blake, the younger brother of his liver donor, and Michael, a boy he meets in the past.
What Big Teeth – Rose Szabo (Released Feb 2nd)
After years at boarding school, Eleanor is finally ready to reconnect with her monstrous family. She’s the only one visibly human, which to them makes her strange. But after a sudden death in the family, Eleanor must learn to embrace her inner monster if she wants to keep her family from falling apart.
A Dark and Hollow Star – Ashley Shuttleworth (Released February 23rd)
In this thrilling urban fantasy, explore Toronto’s magical underground in which a serial killer’s crimes could risk exposing faeries to the human world. Four teenagers are tasked with solving these grisly murders. But with a war brewing, they’re going to need more than luck if they want to preserve life as they know it.
There are always so many exciting book releases every year! These are only a small sprinkling of books that have been released or are soon-to-be-released this winter. What are some of your and your children’s most anticipated releases?
Don’t forget to support authors, especially debut authors, by purchasing their books or by requesting them at your local library! And to support your local independent bookstores during the pandemic, please consider checking out our Bookshop.org links or ordering directly through them via Indiebound!
You didn’t miss our Fall 2020 Releases You and Your Children Should Look Out For, did you?
Sarah Cook has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She loves to read, daydream, and fangirl over her favorite anime and manga. As a K – 12 homeschool survivor and graduate, she is currently a creative writing major in college. She hopes to someday travel the world, write bestselling novels, and own 152 cats. You can follow her on YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.
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