Our picks of the best children’s books coming out in Autumn 2021

Here’s our selection of top new titles coming out during autumn term 2021 (September, October, November, and December). These reading recommendations include picture books, early and middle-grade fiction; young adult novels and non-fiction for children aged 5-12. The titles below are books that (at the time of writing) are now due to be released during the autumn term in UK schools and in time for Christmas. These books have been chosen with classroom teaching, school libraries, home learning and lockdown reading in mind.

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Autumn 2021 new children’s books – our recommendations

New picture books for autumn 2021

The Visible Sounds by Yin Jianling and Yu RongThe Visible Sounds by Yin Jianling and Yu Rong
Storm In A Jar by Samuel Langley-Swain and Katie CottleStorm In A Jar by Samuel Langley-Swain and Katie Cottle
War by Jose Jorge Letria and André LetriaWar by Jose Jorge Letria and André Letria

Lily Takes a Walk by Satoshi Kitamura

When Lily walks home she only sees the positives and the beauty the world has to offer. But her pet dog Nicky sees all the dangers and risks. An ideal picture book to spark discussion and hone prediction and inference skills with younger children. A beautifully produced reissue of the 1980s classic.

Lily Takes a Walk by Satoshi Kitamura

Cindergorilla by Gareth P. Jones and Loretta SchauerCindergorilla by Gareth P. Jones and Loretta Schauer
What the Elephant Heard by Charlotte Guillain and Sam UsherWhat the Elephant Heard by Charlotte Guillain and Sam Usher
There’s a Ghost in this House by Oliver JeffersThere’s a Ghost in this House by Oliver Jeffers

The Dragon with the Blazing Bottom by BeachThe Dragon with the Blazing Bottom by Beach
Inside the Suitcase by Clotilde PerrinInside the Suitcase by Clotilde Perrin
Time to Move South for Winter by Clare Helen Welsh and Jenny LøvlieTime to Move South for Winter by Clare Helen Welsh and Jenny Løvlie


New fiction 5-7 for autumn 2021

The Rapping Princess by Hannah Lee

This lively and engaging picture book from the author of ‘My Hair’ is packed with catchy rhyming couplets, rhythm and onomatopoeia. With vivid illustrations and a powerful message about embracing talent and uniqueness, it’s ideal for years 1&2 literacy lessons and will provide a springboard for teachers and children to create performance poetry and classroom raps.

The Rapping Princess by Hannah Lee

We'll Be Together Again by Lucy Menzies and Maddy VianWe’ll Be Together Again by Lucy Menzies and Maddy Vian
Isadora Moon and the Shooting Star by Harriet MuncasterIsadora Moon and the Shooting Star by Harriet Muncaster
How to Greet a Gran by Donna Amey BhattHow to Greet a Gran by Donna Amey Bhatt


New fiction 7-9 for autumn 2021

The Girl Who Talked to Trees by Natasha Farrant and Lydia CorryThe Girl Who Talked to Trees by Natasha Farrant
The False Rose by Jakob WegeliusThe False Rose by Jakob Wegelius
Journey to the Last River by The Unknown Adventurer and Teddy KeenJourney to the Last River by The Unknown Adventurer and Teddy Keen

Bandoola: The Great Elephant Rescue by William GrillBandoola: The Great Elephant Rescue by William Grill
Michael Rosen's Sticky McStickstick: The Friend Who Helped Me Walk Again by Michael Rosen and Tony RossMichael Rosen’s Sticky McStickstick: The Friend Who Helped Me Walk Again by Michael Rosen and Tony Ross
Count by Melvin BurgessCount by Melvin Burgess

Aaron Slater, Illustrator by Andrea BeatyAaron Slater, Illustrator by Andrea Beaty
The 143-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry DentonThe 143-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
Blossom by Laura DockrillBlossom by Laura Dockrill

New fiction 9-12 for autumn 2021

When Fishes Flew by Michael MorpurgoWhen Fishes Flew by Michael Morpurgo
The Lion Above the Door by Onjali Q. RaufThe Lion Above the Door by Onjali Q. Rauf
The Wild Before by Piers TordayThe Wild Before by Piers Torday

The Book Cat by Polly Faber

This charming illustrated novel features Morgan, a cat who finds himself a home at Faber & Faber, the renowned London publisher. As WW2 develops and London is bombed in the Blitz, Morgan takes charge and makes plans to lead all the other cats to safety. With an accessible font, short chapters and engaging illustrations, this will be a useful text for teachers of reluctant readers in upper KS2 who are studying WW2 as a topic.

The Book Cat by Polly Faber

Aarti & the Blue Gods by Jasbinder BilanAarti & the Blue Gods by Jasbinder Bilan
Imaginary by Lee BaconImaginary by Lee Bacon
The Bear who Sailed the Ocean on an Iceberg by Emily CritchleyThe Bear who Sailed the Ocean on an Iceberg by Emily Critchley

The Week at World’s End by Emma Carroll

It’s October 1962, and the world is on a knife-edge. Set during the Cuban Missile Crisis, schoolchildren Stevie and Ray wonder if the world is on the verge of ending. Added to that, a strange runaway girl has turned up in Stevie’s coal shed, and loyalties are tested. Who is she? Why is she on the run? Can she be trusted? A mesmerising historical novel that will in equal measure grip, stun and surprise readers in upper KS2.

The Week at World's End by Emma Carroll

The Memory Thieves by Darren SimpsonThe Memory Thieves by Darren Simpson
Always by Morris GleitzmanAlways by Morris Gleitzman
The Unexpected Tale of Bastien Bonlivre by Clare PoveyThe Unexpected Tale of Bastien Bonlivre by Clare Povey

The Ash House by Angharad Walker

When a boy arrives at a strange house with no memory of his name or where he is, he is thrust into a world of darkness, mystery and secrecy where his new housemates all try to be as nice as possible all of the time. Atmospheric and enchanting, The Ash House is a memorable read and perfectly suited to book clubs in Year 7.

The Ash House by Angharad Walker

Hide and Seek by Robin Scott-ElliotHide and Seek by Robin Scott-Elliot
Following Frankenstein by Catherine BrutonFollowing Frankenstein by Catherine Bruton
Julia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave with Tom de FrestonJulia and the Shark by Kiran Millwood Hargrave with Tom de Freston

New 12-16 young adult novels for autumn 2021

Green Rising by Lauren JamesGreen Rising by Lauren James
Giften by Leyla SuzanGiften by Leyla Suzan
Endgame by Malorie BlackmanEndgame by Malorie Blackman

Defy The Night by Brigid Kemmerer

In a vividly drawn fantasy fiefdom, Tessa and Weston are a Robin Hood / Bonnie and Clyde couple that teens will root for in this novel where the protagonists are forced to sacrifice their principles to save those they care about the most. This compelling combination of virtuous heroism and blind courage in the face of tyranny makes this YA blockbuster an intoxicating page-turner. An ideal addition to your KS4 library.

Defy The Night by Brgid Kemmerer

The Wanderer by Josie WilliamsThe Wanderer by Josie Williams
Stay Another Day by Juno DawsonStay Another Day by Juno Dawson
You'll Be the Death of Me by Karen M McManusYou’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M McManus

Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers SainDark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers Sain
Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero by E. Lockhart and Manuel PreitanoWhistle: A New Gotham City Hero by E. Lockhart and Manuel Preitano
The Red Gloves: and Other Stories by Catherine FisherThe Red Gloves: and Other Stories by Catherine Fisher

The Song that Sings Us by Nicola DaviesThe Song that Sings Us by Nicola Davies
Shadow Town by Richard LambertShadow Town by Richard Lambert
Everything Within and In Between by Nikki BarthelmessEverything Within and In Between by Nikki Barthelmess

New children’s poetry books for autumn 2021

Yapping Away: Poems by Joshua SeigalYapping Away: Poems by Joshua Seigal
Everyone Sang: A Poem for Every Feeling Hardcover by William SieghartEveryone Sang: A Poem for Every Feeling Hardcover by William Sieghart
When Poems Fall from the Sky by Zaro WeilWhen Poems Fall from the Sky by Zaro Weil

Carnival of the Animals by Michael Morpurgo

In this brand new collection of poems, Michael Morpurgo takes inspiration from ‘The Carnival of Animals’ by the composer Camille Saint-Saëns. Illustrated throughout by Michael Foreman, each poem features a different animal telling its own story. Combining music, environmental awareness, vibrant artwork and light-hearted character poetry, this book presents a unique opportunity for cross-curricular teaching in KS2.

Carnival of the Animals by Michael Morpurgo

New nonfiction children’s books for autumn 2021

Amazing Rivers: 100+ Waterways That Will Boggle Your Mind by Julie Vosburgh Agnone and Kerry HyndmanAmazing Rivers: 100+ Waterways That Will Boggle Your Mind by Julie Vosburgh Agnone and Kerry Hyndman
This Book is Full of Brains by Little House of Science and Josy BloggsThis Book is Full of Brains by Little House of Science and Josy Bloggs
Britannica First Big Book of Why by Sally Symes and Stephanie DrimmerBritannica First Big Book of Why by Sally Symes and Stephanie Drimmer

A Day in the Life of a Caveman, a Queen and Everything In Between by Mike Barfield and Jess BradleyA Day in the Life of a Caveman, a Queen and Everything In Between by Mike Barfield and Jess Bradley
We Have a Dream by Dr Mya-Rose Craig and Sabrena KhadijaWe Have a Dream by Dr Mya-Rose Craig and Sabrena Khadija
How Was That Built? by Roma Agrawal and Katie HickeyHow Was That Built? by Roma Agrawal and Katie Hickey

You Can't Say That! by Leonard S. MarcusYou Can’t Say That! by Leonard S. Marcus
Breaking News: How to Tell What's Real From What's Rubbish by Nick SheridanBreaking News: How to Tell What’s Real From What’s Rubbish by Nick Sheridan
Only in America!: The Weird and Wonderful 50 States by Heather Alexander and Alan Berry RhysOnly in America!: The Weird and Wonderful 50 States by Heather Alexander and Alan Berry Rhys

The Sky by Hélène Druvert and Juliette EinhornThe Sky by Hélène Druvert and Juliette Einhorn
Dinosaurs and other Prehistoric Life by DKDinosaurs and other Prehistoric Life by DK
Rescuing Titanic: A true story of quiet bravery in the North Atlantic by Flora DelargyRescuing Titanic: A true story of quiet bravery in the North Atlantic by Flora Delargy

This page was first published in August 2021 and last updated on Aug 10, 2021 @ 4:13 pm.

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About Tom Tolkien

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Tom Tolkien is an experienced teacher and educational consultant who taught for 20 years in primary and secondary schools, including Woodleigh School in North Yorkshire, where he was Head of English and ran a 4000 book prep school library for pupils aged 3-13. He now reviews books for children and teens. Social profiles: Twitter | Linkedin