18 New September Picture Books to Wake Your Brain Cells

Here are eighteen picture books coming out in September that have garnered starred reviews and praise. September is such a busy publishing month that it was hard to narrow down the titles to include. There are so many more to be celebrated!

Cover for Ada and the Galaxies

Ada and the Galaxies by Alan Lightman and Olga Pastuchiv, illustrated by Susanna Chapman

Cover for Bear Wants to Sing

Bear Wants to Sing by Cary Fagan, illustrated by Dena Seiferling

Cover for Change Sings

Change Sings by Amanda Gorman, illustrated by Loren Long

Cover for Chez Bob

Chez Bob by Bob Shea

Cover for Circle Under Berry

Circle Under Berry by Carter Higgins

Cover for Dad Bakes

Dad Bakes by Katie Yamasaki

Cover for A House

House by Kevin Henkes

Cover for King of Ragtime

King of Ragtime: The Story of Scott Joplin by Stephen Costanza

Cover for Little Witch Hazel

Little Witch Hazel by Phoebe Wahl

Cover for My Two Border Towns

My Two Border Towns by David Bowles, illustrated by Erika Meza

Cover for Nina

Nina: A Story of Nina Simone by Traci Todd, illustrated by Christian Robinson

Cover for Norman Didn't Do It!

Norman Didn’t Do It! Yes, He Did by Ryan Higgins

Cover for The People Remember

The People Remember by Ibi Zoboi, illustrated by Loveis Wise

Cover for Ten Spooky Pumpkins

Ten Spooky Pumpkins by Gris Grimly

Cover for Time for Bed, Old House

Time for Bed, Old House by Janet Costa Bates, illustrated by A.G. Ford

Cover for Time is a Flower

Time Is a Flower by Julie Morstad

Cover for A True Wonder

True Wonder: The Comic Book Hero Who Changed Everything by Kirsten W. Larson, illustrated by Katy Wu

Cover for When We Say Black Lives Matter

When We Say Black Lives Matter by Maxine Beneba Clark

Jukebox by Nidhi Chanani

Cover of Jukebox.

Jukebox by Nidhi Chanani (9781250156365)

When Shaheen can’t find her father anywhere, she and her cousin Tannaz try to figure out where he might have gone. They check out the vintage record store he loves, but it’s closed and the owner is nowhere to be found either. The two girls decide to break into the store and discover an unplugged jukebox. When they play one of her father’s favorite records, the jukebox takes them back in time to when the songs were being performed at a concert. At the end of the record, they are taken back to their regular lives. As the girls work to figure out why Shaheen’s father hasn’t returned, they also learn that there is a cost to time travel and one that they may have to risk to save him from the past where he is trapped.

This graphic novel for middle grades is a wonderful mixture of music and time travel. The various songs that they time travel with feature well-known musicians and then are artfully combined with social justice moments in history. The story centers on the two Indian-American protagonists who are different from one another but willing work together to solve the mystery. With a look at race and civil rights, the two girls traverse time learning a lot along the way.

The art is fresh and colorful. Using a time travel visual as well as record covers, it has a clear distinction between the modern part of the story and the historical events the girls witness.

A groovy graphic novel worth a spin. Appropriate for ages 9-12.

Reviewed from library copy.