Happy Booktember!

Start off the school year strong with a slate of exciting new kids’ books full of friendship, adventure, and imagination coming out this month. From unlikely animal friendships to otherworldly quests, check out these September reads to keep kids occupied as they head into fall.

Skunk and Badger is a book about an odd-couple friendship written by Amy Timberlake and illustrated by Jon Klassen. No one wants a skunk, but Skunk is Badger’s new roommate, and there is nothing Badger can do about it. Skunk upends everything in Badger’s life, and even though Badger tries to resist, these opposites must learn how to be friends

Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron is a contemporary fantasy about a 12-year-old girl who goes searching for her missing father. Maya is the only one in her South Side Chicago neighborhood who witnesses weird happenings, such as were-hyenas stalking the streets at night and a scary shadow man visiting her in her dreams. When Papa goes missing, Maya uncovers the truth: Her father is the guardian of the veil between our world and the Dark, where an army led by the Lord of Shadows from Maya’s nightmares awaits. It turns out, Maya herself is a godling — half-orisha and half-human — and her neighborhood is a safe haven. Now that the veil is failing, the Lord of Shadows is determined to destroy the human world and it’s up to Maya to stop him.

Related: Spooky-Good Stories for Middle-Grade Readers

Little Bird by Cynthia Voigt is about a tiny crow with a big imagination and an even bigger heart. When a wild fisher cat attacks their nest, Little Bird and her flock are devastated. Little Bird ventures through the forest in search of a lucky pendant that was stolen, even though the other crows think she is too little. With the help of some new friends, Little Bird uses her survival skills and returns home wiser, braver, kinder, and ready to spread her wings.

Kenny & the Book of Beasts by Tony DiTerlizzi is a sequel to Kenny and the Dragon, this time dealing with the changes in Kenny Rabbit’s life. Time has passed since Kenny’s last adventure with his best friend, the legendary dragon Grahame, and a lot has changed in the sleepy village of Roundbrook. Kenny now has a whole litter of baby sisters, his friends are at different schools, Sir George is off adventuring, and Grahame’s old friend Dante arrives. Dante and Grahame start spending a lot of time catching up, without Kenny, but Kenny needs his best friend back to go on a quest to defeat a witch, rescue a pal, and unlock a mysterious book.

Three Keys by Kelly Yang is the sequel to the novel Front Desk, following Mia Tang and her parents as the owners of the Calivista Motel. This year, Mia is starting sixth grade, but things are not going well. Mia’s new teacher doesn’t think her writing is all that great and her entire class finds out she lives and works in a motel, which is struggling. Plus, a new immigration law is on the horizon, threatening everyone in Mia’s life.

All five books are available on Amazon and Kindle, or you can look for them at local bookstores.