It’s the start of a new school year, which means many of us are stocking our classroom library shelves. Lucky for us, there are many great new books headed our way this month. Check out some of the best new books coming out in August 2023.
Best New Fiction Picture Books August 2023
Ways To Play by Lyn Miller-Lachmann, illustrated by Gabriel Alborozo
Riley and his cousin Emma clash about the “right” way to play in this sweet story about acceptance and inclusion by an autistic writer-and-illustrator team.
Buy it: Ways To Play on Amazon
The Book From Far Away by Bruce Handy, illustrated by Julie Benbassat
A boy finds a book from out of this world in this magical, wordless tribute to the universal power of reading.
Buy it: The Book From Far Away on Amazon
The Brand-New, Never-Used, Perfect Crayons by Leanne Hatch
Anyone who’s ever received a new box of crayons might relate to Violet’s struggle—she doesn’t want to start using the crayons and mess up that perfection. A perfect back-to-school read-aloud for talking about letting go of the idea of getting it “right.”
Buy it: The Brand-New, Never-Used, Perfect Crayons on Amazon
Stickler Loves the World by Lane Smith
We adore Lane Smith, and his latest tale of a magical being named Stickler who just loves everything about the world is a sweet way to talk with kids about mindfulness and paying attention to the world around them.
Buy it: Stickler Loves the World on Amazon
Water Day by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Olivia Sua
This story about a town that no longer has its own water supply and receives its weekly delivery is both a joyful and realistic depiction of life for many communities.
Buy it: Water Day on Amazon
Best New Easy Readers/Chapter Books August 2023
Fox Has a Problem by Corey R. Tabor
In this third volume of the series, Fox’s kite is stuck in a tree, and he and his friends must work together to get it down.
Buy it: Fox Has a Problem on Amazon
Chi-Chi and Pey-Pey: Cupcake Catastrophe by Jennifer Fosberry, illustrated by Shiho Pate
These sweet and funny friends—a chicken and penguin—are back in this story about learning to share that is perfect for beginning readers.
Buy it: Chi-Chi and Pey-Pey: Cupcake Catastrophe on Amazon
Best New Middle Grade Books August 2023
We Still Belong by Christine Day
A funny and moving story about Wesley, a middle school girl trying to find her place at school and within her Native community.
Buy it: We Still Belong on Amazon
Make a Move, Sunny Park! by Jessica Kim
If you have tween friendship drama in your life (what upper-elementary and middle school teacher doesn’t?), then you’ll want to recommend this story about a seventh grader navigating a friendship breakup.
Buy it: Make a Move, Sunny Park! on Amazon
West of the Sea by Stephanie Willing
A budding paleontologist has to figure out what happened to her missing mom in this suspenseful story that combines road trips, mythology, and dinosaurs.
Buy it: West of the Sea on Amazon
Barely Floating by Lilliam Rivera
A 12-year-old girl explores the world of synchronized swimming as she also navigates her family’s and society’s expectations.
Buy it: Barely Floating on Amazon
Stuntboy, In-Between Time by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Raul the Third
We know so many kids who loved the first Stuntboy, so we’re thrilled to see him back in a sequel, this time dealing with the struggle of his parents living on two different floors of the same apartment building.
Buy it: Stuntboy, In-Between Time on Amazon
Best New Young Adult Fiction August 2023
True True by Don P. Hooper
A Black teen from Brooklyn goes to war with the administration and students of his new, mostly white prep school in this powerful story about fitting in.
Buy it: True True on Amazon
Forgive Me Not by Jennifer Baker
An incarcerated girl looks for forgiveness in the drunk-driving accident that killed her sister.
Buy it: Forgive Me Not on Amazon
Forty Words for Love by Aisha Saeed
Star-crossed friends-turned-something-more must find a way to be together in this romantic, magically set adventure.
Buy it: Forty Words for Love on Amazon
Teach the Torches to Burn: A Romeo & Juliet Remix by Caleb Roehrig
If you haven’t checked out the Remixed Classics series, this page-turning twist on Romeo and Juliet is a great place to start.
Buy it: Teach the Torches to Burn on Amazon
Her Radiant Curse by Elizabeth Lim
Fantasy fans will sink their teeth into this passionate story of two sisters protecting each other from a betrothal contest.
Buy it: Her Radiant Curse on Amazon
Best New Nonfiction for Kids August 2023
A Kids Book About Perseverance by Yonina Schnall Lermer
What if you found out there was a little, tiny word that could change your frustrations into opportunities? When we tell ourselves, “I can’t do this,” we give up. But if instead, we say, “I can’t do this … yet,” we’re opening ourselves to the possibility of growing through challenges, also called perseverance. Join this author in practicing perseverance, adding “yet” to your vocabulary, and learning the value of continued effort toward the things you love, even when it gets hard.
Buy it: A Kids Book About Perseverance on Amazon
Autumn Peltier, Water Warrior by Carole Lindstrom
The inspiring story of two Indigenous Rights activists, Autumn Peltier and Josephine Mandamin.
Buy it: Autumn Peltier, Water Warrior on Amazon
History Smashers: Christopher Columbus and the Taino People by Kate Messner and José Barreiro
We can’t get enough of Messner’s History Smasher series, and this latest installment, co-authored with Jose Barreiro and uncovering the myths and lies about Christopher Columbus, is no exception.
Buy it: History Smashers: Christopher Columbus and the Taino People on Amazon
A Long Time Coming: A Lyrical Biography of Race in America from Ona Judge to Barack Obama by Ray Anthony Shepard, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
A compelling collection of biographies-in-verse for six famous Black Americans, and a must-add to your social studies and ELA libraries.
Buy it: A Long Time Coming on Amazon
Paul Bunyan: The Invention of an American Legend by Noah Van Sciver
The true story of the origin of Paul Bunyan—originally an advertisement—told in cartoon format.
Buy it: Paul Bunyan: The Invention of an American Legend on Amazon
Accountable by Dashka Slater
The true story of a racist social media account that exploded in a small town, and the outcomes and consequences for its creators.
Buy it: Accountable on Amazon
Best New Graphic Novels August 2023
Barb and the Battle for Bailiwick by Dan Abdo and Jason Patterson
So many of our students love the Barb the Last Berzerker series, so we’re psyched for the third installment, which has Barb battling the Witch’s Head Shadow Army.
Buy it: Barb and the Battle of Bailiwick on Amazon
Hour of Need: The Daring Escape of the Danish Jews During World War II by Ralph Shayne, illustrated by Tatiana Goldberg
The true story of the Nazi resistance in Denmark, told in graphic novel form and utterly compelling.
Buy it: Hour of Need on Amazon
Big Nate: Move It or Lose It! by Lincoln Peirce
We might as well set up an auto-draft to Lincoln Peirce’s bank account at this point, because any new Big Nate book is a must-purchase to satiate the fans in our classrooms.
Buy it: Big Nate: Move It or Lose It! on Amazon
Best New Books for Teachers August 2023
Middle School Superpowers: Raising Resilient Tweens in Turbulent Times by Phyllis L. Fagell
The author of Middle School Matters is back with a look at what we can do to build resilience in tweens. She offers practical tips that both parents and teachers will find helpful.
Buy it: Middle School Superpowers on Amazon
Never Enough: When Achievement Culture Becomes Toxic and What We Can Do About It by Jennifer Breheny Wallace
AP classes, tutors, and endless after-school activities—Wallace dives into what she calls “toxic achievement culture” and whether or not we can dig ourselves out from it.
Buy it: Never Enough on Amazon
Stay and Prevail: Students of Color Don’t Need To Leave Their Communities to Succeed by Nancy E. Gutiérrez and Roberto Padilla
Gutiérrez and Padilla take on the mindset that students of color must leave their communities in order to find success, showing how schools can help build more community-rich curriculums and build accountability into their structures.
Buy it: Stay and Prevail on Amazon
Rooted in Joy: Creating a Classroom Culture of Equity, Belonging, and Care by Deonna Smith
Smith has long been one of our favorite and most informative Instagram follows, so we’re looking forward to checking out her deep dive into how teachers can use inclusivity and joy as the basis for classroom management.
We’d love to know what books you’re looking forward to reading in August 2023. Drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know!
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