Must Read Children’s Books of 2017

If you are looking for a guaranteed favorite new book for your young readers ages 0-12, you have come to the right place.  We have compiled a list of our most anticipated books going to make their debut in 2017.  It was quite a difficult task as there are hundreds of titles to be excited about. These recommendations are based on popular authors we know and love that always produce quality and engaging titles as well as a couple up and comers. Your kids are sure to enjoy these must read children’s books of 2017. With each title, we list the recommended age and date it will be available so you can add these to your wish list now! 🙂

However, kids should not have to have all the fun!  Book Oblivion is announcing our winter book club title on December 23rd. Join our newsletter to be a part of our online book club.

Must Read Children's Books of 2017

The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do by Ashley Spires

thethingloucouldntdoIf you read “The Most Magnificent Thing”, you know best selling author Spires will encourage the little girls in your life to never give up while entertaining them with the endearing and brave characters.  Available on pre-order now and released in May 2017. Appropriate for ages 5-7.

“Lou and her friends are BRAVE adventurers. They run FASTER than airplanes. They build MIGHTY fortresses. They rescue WILD animals.” But one day, when they’re looking for a ship to play pirates in, Lou’s friend has an idea: “Up there! The tree can be our ship!” “Ummm …” says Lou. This is something new. Lou has never climbed a tree before and she’s sure she can’t do it. So she tries to convince her friends to play a not-up-a-tree game.

When that doesn’t work, she comes up with reasons for not joining them — her arm is sore, her cat needs a walk, you shouldn’t climb so soon after eating. Finally, she tells herself she doesn’t want to climb the tree. But is that true, or is this brave adventurer just too afraid to try? With humor and endearing artwork, Spires sensitively portrays Lou procrastinating, making excuses, imagining alternatives and denying she cares.

Ultimately, Lou faces her fear, and although she fails, the effort empowers her, encouraging a growth mindset. All the while, Lou’s friends model compassionate friendship by offering to teach her how to climb and then moving the game. This book makes a perfect choice for a character education discussion about courage or resilience, or a life-skills lesson on facing challenges. The story also promotes the joy of imaginative play in the outdoors.” (Amazon)

A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold

aboycalledbatThis fantastic book is going to be the first book in a new series from acclaimed author Elana K. Arnold. A Boy Called Bat stars an unforgettable young boy on the autism spectrum. This book is available for pre-order and will be released in March 2017. Appropriate for ages 7-12.

“Bixby Alexander Tam, or Bat, has autism. He has a high need for structure; anything out of the ordinary causes him anxiety. When his mother, a vet, is late coming home from work one day, Bat is panicked. His mother explains she has a good reason, and tells him about the baby skunk she has brought home. The mother skunk did not survive a car accident, but Bat’s mom was able to save the kit, and they will raise him at home for a month until he is old enough to be released to a wild animal shelter.

Bat, who wants to be a vet himself someday, is fascinated by the kit, named Thor by his sister. Feeling that no one will be able to care for Thor as well as he can, Bat tries to find a way to convince his mother to keep the kit as a pet. This tender novel starts out slowly, focusing on Bat’s frequent frustration. Arnold shows more than tells, crafting a nuanced character.

Readers learn that Bat goes to a school that values his uniqueness and works with him on interpersonal dynamics like developing an awareness of other people’s feelings, empathy, and friendship. Midway through the book, the pacing picks up. Bat’s relationships with his teacher and a vet at his mother’s clinic are particularly enjoyable and add humor to the novel.

Santoso’s illustrations, appearing about once a chapter, add warmth. Short chapters and a straightforward plot make this a good candidate for reluctant readers. VERDICT The challenges faced by kids like Bat are often underrepresented in children’s literature; this is a refreshing depiction. Readers will appreciate this funny and thoughtful novel.” (Review from School Library Journal)

You Can Read by Helaine Becker

youcanreadThis book is on my own personal wish list as it encourages our tiniest pre-readers that books are awesome and so are the people who read them. This is a perfect title to read aloud while snuggled up on the couch this winter.  Helaine Becker is the bestselling author of more than seventy books for children and young adults. She has many fun rhyming and song books such as Little Jack Horner: Live from the Corner, Mama Likes to Mambo, and Ode to Underwear. Available for pre-order now, and to be released in February 2017. Appropriate for ages 4-8.

“In this fun and funny celebration of literacy, kids of all ages will discover that the act of reading is a daring adventure that can take you anywhere! You can read at the playground, under the sea, at the opera and even in outer space! It turns out you can read everywhere! And when you do, you open yourself to a universe of adventure. Presented in light-hearted, rib-tickling verse that’s perfect for reading aloud.” (Amazon)

Bear With Me by Lara Gardarsdottir


If you are looking to branch out to a popular Icelandic author, this book perfectly reflects the refugee crisis happening across the world.  Although a more serious subject, this book is very appropriate for explaining the current events to young children with questions about what we see every day on the news. Available for pre-order now and being released in July 2017.  Appropriate for ages  3-7.

“A beautiful children’s book by Icelandic author Lára Garðarsdóttir on a couple of polar bears forced to flee their home will be published in the US this coming summer. The story, Bear with Me, orignally titled Flökkusaga in Icelandic received great reviews in Iceland. It’s intended for children aged 3- 7 and tells the story of a mother polar bear and her little cub who encounter difficulties in a new homeland across the sea, after a long and perilous swim.

The story reflects a number of issues facing western society today and shows children how important it is to be kind to those dealing with sorrow and prejudice following great change, and to help them adapt to a new environment.  (Iceland Monitor Review)

Little Excavator by Anna Dewdney

littleexcavatorAnna Dewdney, a New York Times bestselling author-illustrator who brought you the wonderful and very popular Llama Llama series books sadly passed away this year, but her legacy lives on as she inspired so many parents to read with their children.   Her final book offers wonderfully unique pictures that follow her signature rhyming text.  The illustrations of endearing Little Excavator are guaranteed to capture the attention of the little ones in your life.  Expect to read this book over and over again when the book is released in June, 2017. Appropriate for ages 0- 4.
“Here come the BIG RIGS
rolling down the street.

There’s Loader and Dump Truck, Backhoe and Crane. They’re ready to transform a vacant lot into a neighborhood park. And who wants to help most of all?  Little Excavator! But are there any jobs for someone so small?” (Amazon)

Hogwarts Library by J.K. Rowling

hogwartslibraryRowling needs no introduction as she is one of the world’s most premier authors.  Her newest treasury of books will be released in May, 2017.  If you read Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (The Original Screenplay) or watched the movie in November you have whet your appetite for what you know will be a wonderful set of books.  A perfect gift for any Hogwarts enthusiasts to add to their collection. Appropriate for ages 8 and above. 

“Inside readers will find books treasured by users of the great library at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Newt Scamander’s master work on magical creatures; Quidditch Through the Ages, a comprehensive history of the game and its rules; and The Tales of Beedle the Bard, with an introduction and illustrations by J.K. Rowling and extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore. This boxed set is an essential addition to the collection of any Harry Potter fan, and a beautiful gift to cherish.” (Amazon)

Dingus by Andrew Larsen

dingusCanadian author Andrew Larsen also wrote The Imaginary Garden and Bella and the Bunny which are picture books for ages 3-6. I love his story; Larsen is a stay at home dad, and as his own children have grown, he continues to write books his own children would read.  This title is available for pre-order now and released May, 2017. Appropriate for ages 9 and up. 

“Summer vacation is starting, and soon-to-be-sixth-grader Henry is facing two months with nothing to do. He can sadly feel himself “being pulled by the gravitational force of nothingness.” His best friend, Max, who may not even be his best friend anymore, is going away to chess camp. And all Henry’s stay-at-home father has planned for him and his toddler brother, Sam, is something called a “staycation”. Things start looking up, however, when he finds out they’ll be dog-sitting his grandfather’s dog, Rupert.

That is, until the day they bring Rupert to the park, where Henry does something irresponsible. Something with real consequences. And suddenly Henry would give anything to go back to the nothingness. Can Henry make things right? Or has he turned into the dingus Max said he shouldn’t be? This classic middle-grade coming-of-age novel from popular author Andrew Larsen is told with humor and heart. Henry is a likable boy trying hard not to be a dingus (translation: “a fool or a goof”) as he navigates the changes in both his home and social lives. On top of that, he knows his father is right when he says Henry needs to step up and become more responsible. Happily, Henry manages to do just that in the end.

With believable dialogue and touching scenes of everyday family life, this story feels honest and true. It would make a perfect summer reading choice. It could also easily spark discussions about growing up and developing a sense of self.” (Catalist)

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

americanstreetZoboi releases her first novel in February, 2017, and the excitement about this book is real.  The story weaves vodou culture with the hardships of immigration that is sure to encourage young adults to sit down and curl up with this book. Appropriate for ages 10-12.

“American Street is an evocative and powerful coming-of-age story perfect for fans of Everything, Everything; Bone Gap; and All American Boys. In this stunning debut novel, Pushcart-nominated author Ibi Zoboi draws on her own experience as a young Haitian immigrant, infusing this lyrical exploration of America with magical realism and vodou culture.

On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.

Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?” (Harper-Collins Publishing)

I Got This: To Gold and Beyond by Laurie Hernandez

igotthisIf you watched the Olympics, you know gymnastics was one of the most exciting and thrilling sports of the summer.  This book will inspire the young ones in your life to reach for their dreams, no matter how lofty they seem.  You do not have to wait long for this book as it is being released in January, 2017.  Appropriate for ages 10 and up.

“Gold medal-winning Olympic gymnast and Dancing with the Stars champion Laurie Hernandez shares her story in her own words in this debut book for fans of all ages—with never-before-seen photos!

At sixteen years old, Laurie Hernandez has already made many of her dreams come true—and yet it’s only the beginning for this highly accomplished athlete. A Latina Jersey girl, Laurie saw her life take a dramatic turn last summer when she was chosen to be a part of the 2016 US Olympic gymnastics team. After winning gold in Rio as part of the Final Five, Laurie also earned an individual silver medal for her performance on the balance beam.

Nicknamed “the Human Emoji” for her wide-eyed and animated expressions, Laurie continued to dance her way into everyone’s hearts while competing on the hit reality TV show Dancing with the Stars, where she was the youngest-ever winner of the Mirrorball Trophy.

Poignant and funny, Laurie’s story is about growing up with the dream of becoming an Olympian and what it took to win gold. She talks about her loving family, her rigorous training, her intense sacrifices, and her amazing triumphs. Be prepared to fall in love with and be mesmerized by America’s newest sweetheart all over again.” (Amazon)

Mighty, Mighty Construction Site by Sherry Duskey Rinker  

mightymightyconstructionsiteAny little ones in love with all things that go have read Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site until it has fallen to pieces.   To everyone’s delight, in February 2017 Rinker is releasing the newest book of the series. I recommend buying at least 2 copies as your truck lover will devour this book as well.  Appropriate for ages 0-4.

“At last—here from the team behind the beloved international bestseller comes a companion to Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. All of our favorite trucks are back on the construction site—this time with a focus on team-building, friendship, and working together to make a big task seem small!

Down in the big construction site, the crew faces their biggest job yet, and will need the help of new construction friends to get it done. Working as a team, there’s nothing they can’t do! The millions of fans of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site are in for a mighty good time!” (Amazon)

Big Nate: What’s a Little Noogie Between Friends? by Lincoln Peirce

bignateEven the most reluctant readers will love the newest in the Big Nate series.  Scheduled to be released in February 2017, this book should be on your pre-order wishlist.  Peirce has been entertaining both kids and adults with his Big Nate comic for over 20 years, and this is a great read aloud book for your older readers at dinner or bedtime.  Appropriate for ages 8-12.

“Big Nate is in a class by himself. This feisty 11-year-old holds the school record for detentions, but that doesn’t stop him from dreaming big!Nate Wright’s a winner–in his own mind, anyway. So when things go wrong, he’s at a loss to explain why. How does his soccer team manage to lose to a school with a sixty-game winless streak?  What’s he doing at the movies on a Friday night . . . with GINA? And why, oh why is one of his classmates (hint:  she’s Nate’s dream girl) suddenly moving 3,000 miles away?  It’s all enough to make a sixth-grade superstar feel . . . well, not so super.

But you can’t keep a good man down, and Nate’s still got pals like Teddy, Francis, and Chad to cheer him up. Sure, their methods aren’t always warm and fuzzy, but Nate doesn’t mind. After all, what’s a little noogie between friends?” (Amazon)

Place Value by David Adler

placevalueIf you have ever tried to teach a child the concept of place value either as an educator or as a parent helping with homework, you know this is one of the most difficult tasks.  Adler’s book uses adorable monkeys and baking cupcakes to help young readers learn mathematical concepts through literacy.  Avoid the frustration of math and use this book as an engaging way to teach what can be a tedious concept. Available for pre- order now and set to be released in January 2017.  Appropriate for ages 5-7.

“Introducing readers to the concept of place value, this text follows the monkeys of the Banana Cafe at 306 Monkey Lane as they bake a Colossal Banana Cupcake. Adler begins by establishing a connection between numbers and letters: similar to the alphabet, our numerical system is made up of a specific set of pieces (digits) that are used to make numbers. However, some letters, such as A, can stand by themselves as both a letter and word, and the same goes for numbers. As the monkeys begin to gather and combine the ingredients for the cupcake, Adler explains that the value of a digit is determined by its place in a number.

Miller’s vibrant digitally created illustrations add humor, and the endpapers depict a brightly colored, eye-catching chart. This fun and simple explanation of place value provides a strong introduction for young readers.” (School Library Journal)

I am Jim Henson  by Brad Meltzer

iamjimhensonThis will be the newest in the best selling biography series from Brat Meltzer.  Jim Henson, creator of our childhood favorite Kermit the Frog, shows children how to see the good in people no matter what their circumstances.  Available for pre-order now and released in January, 2017.  Appropriate for ages 5-8. While you wait, be sure to check out the other titles in the series such as I am Martin Luther King Jr., I am Helen Keller, I am Lucille Ball, etc. 
“This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great–the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. Jim Henson, for example, was always dreaming up something new, and always expressing his belief in the goodness of people.

Henson was a born performer with a terrific sense of humor, and he used those talents to help create two of the most beloved programs in television history: The Muppet Show and Sesame Street. Through his Muppets, Jim showed the world that there’s nothing more beautiful than imagination, especially when it’s accompanied by laughter and kindness.

Each book in this series tells the story of one inspiring individual through lively text and art that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers. At the back are an excellent timeline and photos.” (Amazon)

Happy Easter Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen

poutpoutfishThis is one of most favorite series for young readers.  Celebrating Easter with the beloved Pout-Pout Fish will certainly be a splendid adventure.   This is a short and lovely read aloud is being released in January, 2017. There are many books in this series available now that would be a fantastic addition to any home library such as Kiss Kiss Pout-Pout Fish, Smile Pout-Pout Fish, Sweet Dreams Pout-Pout Fish, and The Pout-Pout Fish Far Far from Home. Appropriate for ages 0-4. 

“Hippity-hoppity, the pout-pout bunny is on his way! Toddlers will love swimming along with the pout-pout fish this Easter as he turns little pouts into big smiles.

With just one line of text per page, this simple, twelve-page board book will send Debbie Diesen and Dan Hanna’s much loved Pout-Pout Fish flippering and swishing into the hearts and minds of very young children.” (Amazon)

wrathofthestormNielsen has cultivated quite a loyal fan base with the first two books in the series, and this third book in the trilogy is bound to follow that pattern. While you wait for the release in January 2017, be sure to read (or reread) the first two books; Mark of the Thief and Rise of the Wolf.  Appropriate for ages 9-12.

“Trouble has a way of seeking out Nicolas Calva, and it’s not likely to leave him alone any time soon. With Caesar’s magic bulla, the Malice of Mars, and the possibility of a Jupiter Stone in play, all the powers of Rome are circling Nic. He’ll have to maneuver his way through scheming government officials and reawakened magical beasts to save the Empire.

Can he manage to keep his friends and family safe, claim his own freedom once and for all, and rescue the Empire — before the magic gets the better of him?

With twists and turns on every page, critically acclaimed author Jennifer Nielsen weaves an epic, action-packed conclusion to her extraordinary Mark of the Thief trilogy.” (Amazon)

Hope you can find your newest book thrill from this list and be sure to comment with other titles our readers would love as well! For our newest FREE eBook “The Importance of Reading Aloud: A Parent’s Guide”, click HERE. Included are crazy helpful tips for reading to different ages, as well as a list of over 500 of our favorite read aloud titles. You cannot afford to miss out on this free offer!

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