Books: Your best picks this month

Title: Pacey Packer: Unicorn Tracker

Author: JC Phillipps

Publisher: Penguin Random House

In the first of a new graphic novel series, Pacey Packer fantasizes about battling foes while she babysits her little sister, Mina, who’s never without her stuffed unicorn named Slasher. Pacey rolls her eyes whenever Mina insists that Slasher is an actual unicorn — until Mina winds up in unicorn land (which isn’t all rainbows and sunshine) and Pacey must rescue her little sister, for real this time.

Title: We Will Rock Our Classmates

Author: Ryan T. Higgins 

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Penelope is a T. rex, and she’s very good at it. She also likes to rock out on guitar! With the school talent show coming up, Penelope can’t wait to perform for her classmates. But sharing who you are can be show-stoppingly scary, especially when it’s not what people expect. Will Penelope get by with a little help from her friends? 

Title: Quintessence

Author: Jess Redman

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Three months ago, twelve-year-old Alma moved to the town of Four Points. Her panic attacks started a week later, and they haven’t stopped—even though she told her parents that they did. Every day she feels less and less like herself. Then Alma meets the ShopKeeper in the town’s junk shop, The Fifth Point. The ShopKeeper gives her a telescope and this message:

Find the Elements.

Grow the Light. 

Save the Starling.

Read a stunning story of friendship, self-discovery, interconnectedness, and the inexplicable elements that make you you.

Title: American as Paneer Pie

Author: Supriya Kelkar 

Publisher: Aladdin

An Indian-American girl who struggles to navigate her two very different lives: the one at home, where she can be herself, and the one at school, where she is teased for her culture. When a racist incident rocks her small town, she must decide to continue to remain silent or find her voice.

Title: The Amelia Six

Author: Kristin L. Gray 

Publisher: Paula Wiseman Books

Amelia Earhart’s famous aviator goggles go missing and eleven-year-old Millie has to find them before the night is over in this girl-powered middle grade whodunit. Eleven-year-old Amelia Ashford—Millie to her friends (if she had any, that is)—doesn’t realize just how much adventure awaits her when she’s given the opportunity of a lifetime: to spend the night in Amelia Earhart’s childhood home with five other girls. Make that five strangers. But Millie’s mom is a pilot like the famous Amelia, and Millie would love to have something to write to her about…if only she had her address. Once at Amelia’s house in Atchison, Kansas, Millie stumbles upon a display of Amelia’s famous flight goggles. She can’t believe her good luck, since they’re about to be relocated to a fancy museum in Washington, DC. But her luck changes quickly when the goggles disappear, and Millie was the last to see them. 

The Talk: Conversations About Race, Love & Truth

Editors: Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Featuring the voices of 30 acclaimed authors and illustrators, The Talk is an essential anthology about race, privilege, and identity. Both a message of solidarity for Black and indigenous children and children of color, as well as a call for anti-racism, the work collected — from creators such as Nikki Grimes, Meg Medina, Grace Lin, and Raúl Colón — will empower, affirm, and educate.