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10 Of The Best New Children’s Books Out July 2024

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Margaret Kingsbury

Contributing Editor

Margaret Kingsbury grew up in a house so crammed with books she couldn’t open a closet door without a book stack tumbling, and she’s brought that same decorative energy to her adult life. Margaret has an MA in English with a concentration in writing and has worked as a bookseller and adjunct English professor. She’s currently a freelance writer and editor, and in addition to Book Riot, her pieces have appeared in School Library Journal, BuzzFeed News, The Lily, Parents, StarTrek.com, and more. She particularly loves children’s books, fantasy, science fiction, horror, graphic novels, and any books with disabled characters. You can read more about her bookish and parenting shenanigans in Book Riot’s twice-weekly The Kids Are All Right newsletter. You can also follow her kidlit bookstagram account @BabyLibrarians, or on Twitter @AReaderlyMom.

While I usually think of the summer months as a time to get outside and play, as it was during my childhood, the scorching temperatures caused by climate change has made it almost impossible to have outdoor play after lunch, particularly where I live in the south. That means lots of time spent indoors reading and playing instead. These 10 July children’s book releases are a great way to pass the time during these too-hot afternoons. Just make sure to keep that water bottle filled, even while indoors.

In July picture book releases, I review five phenomenal books about the Summer Olympics, rocks, grief, birds, and Colombian buses. In July middle grade releases, I review four excellent books about con artists, autism, jinns, and climate change activism. From richly detailed fantasies to silly early reader graphic novels that will make kids laugh, there’s something for every reader on this list of July children’s book releases. If you want even more book recommendations, make sure to subscribe to Book Riot’s The Kids Are All Right newsletter, where I review new releases and children’s books on a theme twice weekly.

Which one of these July children’s book releases do you want to read?

July Children’s Book Releases: Picture Books

Cover of Wings of an Eagle by Mills

Wings of an Eagle by Billy Mills, Donna Janell Bowman, & S.D. Nelson (July 2; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

In this lovely picture book biography, Mills tells the story of his life and how he won a gold medal in the 1964 Olympics. He grew up on the Oglala Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation. Both his mother and father died when he was a child, and he worked to help take care of his siblings, though he also trained as a runner. He experienced race-based bullying while in school and health issues that later turned out to be prediabetes. He did not initially make it into the Olympics, but when he did, he won the gold medal. Extensive back matter gives photographs, a timeline, additional details about his life, and more. Nelson’s illustrations are soft yet energetic. It’s a perfect read before this year’s Olympic games.

Cover of I Am La Chiva!: The Colorful Bus of the Andes by Karol Hernández & Lorena Alvarez Gómez

I Am La Chiva!: The Colorful Bus of the Andes by Karol Hernández & Lorena Alvarez Gómez (July 9; Dial Books)

Told from the perspective of a Colombian bus, this vibrant, rhyming picture book takes readers on a journey through the Andes mountains. La Chiva picks up farmers first before the sun has even risen, along with their products to sell. Next come Doña Inez and her hen, Don Ernesto and his pig, and more and more. As people pile in, La Chiva plays music, and everyone sings along. But oh no! A flat tire halts their progress. Kids will love this delightful read-aloud with a bit of Spanish sprinkled throughout.

Cover of Just What to Do by Kyle Lukoff & Hala Tahboub

Just What to Do by Kyle Lukoff & Hala Tahboub (July 16; Dial Books)

Lukoff explores how to help loved ones grieve in his latest deceptively simple picture book. It opens with a child trying to help his older brother feel better after his cactus dies. The younger brother draws a picture of the cactus, but instead, the older brother wants him to tell jokes to help him feel better. Subsequent scenes show more people experiencing death as the same child tries to decipher what he can do to help them feel better: a cousin’s goldfish dies, the teacher’s hamster, the sitter’s dog. It culminates in the death of his friend’s grandmother. How can he help? The friend doesn’t know, but they decide to figure it out together. This picture book perfectly captures grief’s complexity in such a simple, straightforward way.

Cover of All the Rocks We Love by Lisa Varchol Perron, Taylor Perron, & David Scheirer

All the Rocks We Love by Lisa Varchol Perron, Taylor Perron, & David Scheirer (July 16; Rise x Penguin Workshop)

This is a fun, rhyming celebration of rocks and rock collecting. Each page spread shows a different type of rock, like chert, shale, pumice, and more. Different children find and investigate the rocks, while the energetic text describes an aspect of the rock: “I squeeze my rock that’s cool and smooth. / It helps me feel prepared.” Back matter includes a description of the three main types of rocks as well as more details about the rocks shown in the book. The illustrations are perfect — colorful, expressive, and child-friendly.

Cover of A Terrible Place for a Nest by Sara Levine & Erika Meza

A Terrible Place for a Nest by Sara Levine & Erika Meza (July 30; Roaring Brook Press)

When Juno and his mother lose their home, they have to move somewhere new. Juno hates everything about his new home, and when he startles nesting mourning doves, he tells them it’s a terrible place to nest. Juno learns more about the mourning doves at school, and as he watches them grow, he slowly begins to acclimate to his new home and comes to love the birds. This is a lovely picture book about moving and being inspired by nature.

July Children’s Book Releases: Early Readers

Cover of Narwhal's Sweet Tooth by Ben Clanton

Narwhal’s Sweet Tooth by Ben Clanton (July 2; Tundra Books)

My daughter and I love the Narwhal and Jelly early reader graphic novel series, and this ninth book is just as delightful as the rest. They can be read in any order. In this one, Jelly is alarmed to find Narwhal’s tusk-tooth hanging by a thread. What happened!? It turns out Narwhal has been using it as a snack saver by piling sweets onto it. Jelly decides they must visit Shark for advice about how to fix Narwhal’s tooth. Everyone is worried about it — except for Narwhal.

July Children’s Book Releases: Middle Grade

Cover of Faker by Gordon Korman

Faker by Gordon Korman (July 2; Scholastic Press)

Korman needs no introduction for middle grade readers. His books are always lots of fun, and his latest has a unique perspective that will intrigue kids. Trey’s dad is a con artist who uses Trey and his younger sister, Arianna, to target people. Trey makes friends with wealthy kids in a new school; their parents meet his father, Junior, who reels them into his latest scheme. When the parents ‘invest’ in the idea and money is in the bank, the family runs to a new town. Trey is tired of the con artist life. After fleeing the last con, Junior has taken them to Boxelder, Tennessee, where Trey takes an ethics class and begins questioning whether or not what he and his dad are doing is ethical.

Cover of Invisible Isabel by Sally J. Pla & Tania de Regil

Invisible Isabel by Sally J. Pla & Tania de Regil (July 9; Quill Tree Books)

This sweet illustrated novel-in-verse skews toward the younger end of middle grade readers. Isabel Beane lives in a full house with five siblings, busy parents, and pets. She prefers quiet and calm, something she rarely experiences. She has undiagnosed autism and anxiety. She tries to gently tell her mother that she thinks something makes her different from others, but her mother brushes her off. Isabel longs to make a real friend, and when new girl Monica starts school, Isabel thinks this is her chance. Unfortunately, Monica leans into being popular at Isabel’s expense. Meanwhile, an upcoming standardized makes even more worry moths gather in Isabel’s stomach. Pla alternates perspectives between Isabel and Monica.

Cover of Amir and the Jinn Princess by M. T. Khan

Amir and the Jinn Princess by M. T. Khan (July 23; JIMMY Patterson Books)

This stand-alone middle grade fantasy is set in the same world as Nura and the Immortal Palace. Amir, whose wealthy father owns a brick empire in Pakistan, misses his mother, who disappeared a year ago. When his father announces he’s remarrying and the family will go to their summer home, Amir despairs at ever finding his mother. Then, he learns that workers are disappearing from the brick factory near their summer home. Could his mother’s disappearance be related? When a cat that follows him home in search of sweets turns out to be a djinn, Amir agrees to return to her world to help her in a competition to become the next heir to the throne in return for her help in finding his mother. This is a high-stakes, complex fantasy with fantastic worldbuilding and characters.

Cover of Save Our Forest! by Nora Dåsnes, translated by Lise Laerdal Bryn

Save Our Forest! by Nora Dåsnes, translated by Lise Laerdal Bryn (July 30; Hippo Park)

This middle grade graphic novel sequel to Cross My Heart and Never Lie is about climate change and child activism. Bao is a student member of the PTA, who ignore her most of the time. To Bao’s horror, they want to tear down the forest near the school to expand the parking lot. They refuse to take her arguments about climate change and the importance of the forest seriously. When Bao sees bulldozers around the forest, she gathers her friends and leads a protest. This is an important and engaging graphic novel translated from Norwegian.


If you’re looking for more new children’s book releases beyond this list of July children’s book releases, check out my list of June children’s book releases, May children’s book releases, and April children’s book releases.

You can find a full list of new releases in the magical New Release Index, carefully curated by your favorite Book Riot editors, organized by genre and release date.