september 2018 Best Children's Books

Updated Jan. 18, 2019
The Templeton Twins Have An Idea book
#1
The Templeton Twins Have An Idea
Written by Ellis Weiner and illustrated by Jeremy Holmes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Suppose there were 12-year-old twins, a boy and girl named John and Abigail Templeton. Let's say John was pragmatic and played the drums, and Abigail was theoretical and solved cryptic crosswords. Now suppose their father was a brilliant, if sometime confused, inventor. And suppose that another set of twins—adults—named Dean D. Dean and Dan D. Dean, kidnapped the Templeton twins and their ridiculous dog in order to get their father to turn over one of his genius (sort of) inventions. Yes, kidnapped. Wouldn't it be fun to read about that? Oh please. It would so. Now in paperback, this is just the first in a series perfect for boys and girls who are smart, clever, and funny (just like the twins), and enjoy reading adventurous stories (who doesn't?!). And now, there's more!

This Little Scientist: A Discovery Primer book
#2
This Little Scientist: A Discovery Primer
Written by Joan Holub and illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Learn all about scientists who changed history in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for inventors-in-training! Asking why. Then making a guess. Asking how. Then proving with tests. Little scientists make great big discoveries. In this follow up to This Little President, This Little Explorer, and This Little Trailblazer now even the youngest readers can learn all about great and empowering scientists in history! Highlighting ten memorable scientists who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this discovery primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.

Pete the Cat’s 12 Groovy Days of Christmas book
#3
Pete the Cat’s 12 Groovy Days of Christmas
Written by James Dean and illustrated by Kimberly Dean , James Dean
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A brand-new Pete the Cat Christmas picture book! Pete and his friends are rockin’ and groovin’ while counting down the days to Christmas! Who needs five golden rings, when you can have five onion rings? Join Pete and the gang for one-of-a-kind holiday cheer. He adds a cool-cat spin on a well-known Christmas carol, bringing a hip and energetic spirit to the season. This is a perfect Christmas gift for Pete the Cat fans who are eagerly awaiting Santa’s arrival.

I Got the Christmas Spirit book
#4
I Got the Christmas Spirit
Written by Connie Scholfield-Morrison and illustrated by Frank Morrison
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

In the same feel-good style of I Got the Rhythm, this exuberant picture book explores the joys of the holiday season, once again illustrated by award-winning artist Frank Morrison. It's the most wonderful time of the year, and a mother and daughter are enjoying the sights and sounds of the holiday season. The little girl hears sleigh bells ringing and carolers singing. She smells chestnuts roasting--CRUNCH! CRUNCH! CRUNCH!--and sees the flashing lights of the department store windows--BLING! BLING! BLING! She spreads the spirit of giving wherever she goes. And when she reaches Santa, she tells him her Christmas wish--for peace and love everywhere, all the days of the year.

A Christmas Advent Story book
#5
A Christmas Advent Story
Written by Ivy Snow and illustrated by Hannah Tolson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

Snow is falling on Christmas Eve, the stars are out, and everyone is in bed. Will Santa visit in the night? Follow the story of a girl, a boy, and their dog in this advent countdown. Along the way you'll find 25 flaps, each introducing a new word. Sing carols on a busy street, watch ice skaters spin and twirl, bake cookies, look out for reindeer, and pick a tree-all in preparation for the perfect Christmas Day.

The Untold Story of Father Christmas book
#6
The Untold Story of Father Christmas
Written by Alison Battle, Mike Battle and illustrated by Lauren A. Mills
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Have you ever wondered where Father Christmas came from? And how he ended up with a factory at the North Pole full of elves to help him make toys? A beautifully illustrated and timeless story about how a toymaker and his wife became Mother and Father Christmas for children all over the world.

When the World Was Waiting for You book
#7
When the World Was Waiting for You
Written by Gillian Shields and illustrated by Anna Currey
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

What could be more heartwarming than the arrival of a new little one? The bunny family in this charming picture book celebrates all the events surrounding a birth, from readying the baby's crib to the very first visit from friends and family This padded board book edition is a perfect baby shower gift, and the round edges and sturdy pages make it just right for big siblings with little hands.

The Splintered Light book
#8
The Splintered Light
Written and illustrated by Ginger Johnson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Reminiscent of The Giver, this literary debut middle-grade fantasy is beautifully written and stunningly creative. "A deep dive into a world-within-a-world, a heart-within-a-heart." --Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award finalist “The joys of the senses and the glories of creation shine in this radiant debut.” --Julie Berry, Printz Honor author of The Passion of Dolssa “Ginger Johnson's debut is as vibrant as the colors her characters wield in this novel about creativity, collaboration, and creation.” --Megan Frazer Blakemore, author of The Water Castle and The Firefly Code Ever since his brother Luc's disappearance and his father's tragic death, Ishmael has lived a monotonous existence helping his mother on their meager farm where everything is colorless. Until one morning a ray of light fragments Ishmael's gray world into something extraordinary: a spectrum of color he never knew existed. Emboldened, Ishmael sets out to find answers hoping his long lost brother might hold the key. He finds Luc in the Hall of Hue, one of the seven creative workshops at The Commons, the seat of all new creation. Luc is completing the final days of his training as a Color Keeper, adding the finishing touches of color to a brand new world designed and built by a team of young artisans. Although his heart calls him to a future as a Color Keeper, Ishmael feels too guilty to leave the duties of his old life behind. But when a catastrophe destroys nearly all of the color and light at the Hall of Hue, Ishmael and Luc are suddenly at severe odds. Torn between his family and his destiny, Ishmael must learn when to let go of the past, when to trust the path ahead, and when to believe in himself.

The Great Shelby Holmes and the Coldest Case book
#9
The Great Shelby Holmes and the Coldest Case
Written and illustrated by Elizabeth Eulberg
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Acclaimed author Elizabeth Eulberg continues her hilarious middle-grade twist on Sherlock Holmes as detective duo Shelby and Watson tackle their trickiest case yet--going undercover . . . as figure skaters! Being friends with a super sleuth isn't easy, especially when she's nine years old, four feet tall, and full of attitude. But for eleven-year-old John Watson, being friends with Shelby Holmes is just the adventure he's looking for. After Watson's online journal chronicling his and Shelby's case-closing abilities attracts the attention of a newspaper reporter, the pair becomes a small "media sensation" in their Harlem neighborhood. So it's no surprise (at least, to Shelby!) when the article lands them a new client--a figure skating coach whose star athlete, Jordan Nelson, is receiving strange, threatening messages, written entirely in code. There's no one better to crack the cipher than dynamic duo Shelby and Watson! But to gather information, Shelby decides that they'll have to go undercover . . . as an award-winning pair skating team. Can they use the laws of physics and their acting skills to maintain their covers and figure out who's sending Jordan such strange messages before it's too late?

The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match book
#10
The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match
Written and illustrated by Elizabeth Eulberg
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Acclaimed author Elizabeth Eulberg continues her hilarious middle-grade twist on Sherlock Holmes as detective duo Shelby and Watson face a culprit who might be able to do the impossible--outsmart Shelby. Eleven-year-old John Watson never expected his first friend in his new Harlem neighborhood to be Shelby Holmes, a nine-year-old, four-foot-tall supersleuth whose incredible smarts are outweighed only by her big attitude. But it turns out that solving mysteries with Shelby is just the adventure that aspiring writer John needs. On John's very first day of school in New York, Shelby deduces that their new science teacher, Mr. Crosby, is in trouble. But as Shelby and John dig deeper to expose the truth, they discover there might be someone unexpected involved . . . Someone determined to outsmart Shelby Holmes. Can Shelby and John uncover the truth before the case goes from puzzling to downright dangerous? Don't miss the rest of the Great Shelby Holmes series: The Great Shelby Holmes The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match The Great Shelby Holmes and the Coldest Case

The Daybreak Bond book
#11
The Daybreak Bond
Written and illustrated by Megan Frazer Blakemore
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

This thought-provoking sequel to Megan Frazer Blakemore's stunningly imaginative novel, The Firefly Code, gives readers a chance to see our world in a brand new light. Mori and her friends Julia, Benji, and Theo have never seen life beyond the walls of their perfect society, Old Harmonie. That changes when their new friend Ilana is threatened by the rules that are supposed to keep them all safe. They escape together, hoping to find help in Boston with Dr. Agatha Varden, one of Old Harmonie's pioneering founders. But the outside world is nothing like they anticipated. As they face challenges they never expected and encounter a group of kids from the outside, Mori and the others begin to understand the complicated reality of their supposedly perfect community. With the help of these new friends, they just might be able to save Ilana . . . but at what cost?

The Exact Location of Home book
#12
The Exact Location of Home
Written by Kate Messner
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Kate Messner pens a new moving tale of family and friendship about a tech-savvy boy searching for his father during tough times. Kirby "Zig" Zigonski lives for the world of simple circuits, light bulbs, buzzers, and motors. Electronics are, after all, much more predictable than most people--especially his father, who he hasn't seen in over a year. When his dad's latest visit is canceled with no explanation and his mom seems to be hiding something, Zig turns to his best friend Gianna and a new gizmo--a garage sale GPS unit--for help. Convinced that his dad is leaving clues around town to explain his absence, Zig sets out to find him. Following one clue after another, logging mile after mile, Zig soon discovers that people aren't always what they seem . . . and sometimes, there's more than one set of coordinates for home. An important story of love and hope that will capture readers' hearts, The Exact Location of Home is another must read from beloved author Kate Messner.

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