Top Fives: Penguin Young Readers Summer 2020 Preview #pyrpreview

Here are my top fives from Penguin’s Summer 2020 preview for librarians and educators.

If you want to see all of the tweets from the preview, you can check out of the #pyrpreview tag on twitter. (You can also find all of my tweets from the preview too!)

First things first: major shoutout to author Simran Jeet Singh who opened the preview  talking about his forthcoming picture book Fauja Singh Keeps Going–beautifully illustrated by Baljinder Kaur. This book shares the story of Fauja Singh who ran his first marathon at the age of 100 (he’s 108 now!). When the author met Singh he described the runner by saying, “Sometimes you meet people and they’re everything you’d dreamed they would be.” When asked about his biggest regret in life, Singh said that he wished he had done more to inspire children–which planted the seed for Simran Jeet Singh to write this book. Fauja Singh Keeps Going will publish in August 2020.

Here are the top five titles I’m excited about from the preview:

Picture Books

  1. Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi, illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky: An essential board book to help grownups engage in conversations with our youngest readers about the state of our world and how to improve it. Publishing June 2020.
  2. Runaway Signs by Joan Holub, illustrated by Alison Farrell: This book about street signs run amuck is narrated by Caution. I’m all about it. Publishing June 2020.
  3. The Stray by Molly Ruttan: It’s all fun and games taking home a stray until he ends up being a sad alien trying to get home. I’ve been obsessed with It’s Only Stanley by Jon Agee for years and I think this one is its spiritual successor. Publishing May 2020.
  4. First Day Critter Jitters by Jory John, illustrated by Liz Climo: This new back-to-school book is structure like a documentary and it sounds absolutely delightful. I can’t wait to check out a copy. Publishing July 2020.
  5. Shirley Chisolm is a Verb by Veronica Chambers, illustrated by Rachelle Baker: This new Shirley Chisholm biography is equal parts tribute and call to action. Publishing July 2020.

Middle Grade

  1. What Lane? by Torrey Maldonado: Maldonado’s followup to his debut novel Tight is a fast-paced story about a biracial boy trying to figure out where he fits. Publishing April 2020.
  2. The Ship We Built by Lexie Bean: This epistolary MG novel explores how Rowan finds a place for himself as a transboy in Michigan in the late 1990s while surviving abuse and searches for someone to understand. Described by the author as a gift to their ten year old self. Publishing May 2020.
  3. Shirley and Jamila Save Their Summer by Gillian Goerz: Kid detectives. Unlikely friends. I’m ready! Publishing July 2020.
  4. Dress Coded by Carrie Firestone: This novel explores the ways girls’ bodies are policed when a girl starts a podcast to protest her school’s unfair dress code. Publishing July 2020.
  5. City of Secrets by Victoria Ying: I am so hype for this steampunk graphic novel from Victoria Ying who I first discovered through her Victoria Schwab fanart on Twitter. Publishing July 2020.

Young Adult

  1. Forged in Fire and Stars by Andrea Robertson: New book Andrea Cremer who is back and better than ever in this series starter written under a new name. Game of Thrones meets An Ember in the Ashes with a swoon-worthy trickster thief and a slow burn romance. Publishing May 2020.
  2. We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez: A striking portrait of current events. Sanchez spent five years writing this novel born of empathy, humanity, and anger about children who deserve to be seen. This one is so important. Preorder your copies now. Publishing May 2020.
  3. Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis: I am so excited for this creepy thriller about the daughter of a horror film director returning to the site of her father’s infamous film. Publishing August 2020.
  4. Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson: Andra wakes up 1,000 years too late at the start of this sci-fi adventure where technology is seen as magic. I. Cannot. Wait. Publishing June 2020.
  5. They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman: Gossip. Girl. Meets. One. Of. Us. Is. Lying. Basically everything I never knew I always wanted. Publishing August 2020.

Let me know if any of these were already on your radar or if this post helped you find some new titles for your to read list!