Whether unconsciously or purposefully chosen, we usually gravitate toward books that feel like whatever season we're in at the time. Fall reads feel different from others. They feel cozy and nostalgic, and the adventure may be a little bit darker than a summer read, mirroring the shortening days.
A gold leaf appears in the forest. As soon as the animals notice it, each wants it more than anything else in the world. But in their struggle for it, the leaf is destroyed. Heartbroken, the animals wonder: Will we ever again see such a leaf?
This book is the anticipation of fall, beginning with one beautiful golden leaf.
Young Isaac Gutenberg isn't a curious boy... that is, until he meets an old shopkeeper who tells him about The Book of Gold. This special book, hidden somewhere in the world, holds all the answers to every question & turns to solid gold when opened. Isaac is determined to find the book--it will make him rich! He opens many books in his search, but quickly closes them when they don't turn to gold. That changes one day when he opens a book, looks at the page, & a question pops into his mind. From then on, he reads every word.
When I think of fall, I think of learning new things. The search for knowledge in this book feels right at home with this season's blooming curiosity.
Walking his dog at dusk, one boy catches glimpses of the lives around him in this lovely ode to autumn evenings, exploring your neighborhood, and coming home.
This book feels like warm sweaters & crisp fall evenings, & it will make you want to go for a walk.
Middle Grades Books
Pax & Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day, the unimaginable happens: Peter's dad enlists in the military & makes him return the fox to the wild.
At his grandfather's house, three hundred miles away from home, Peter knows he isn't where he should be—with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, & grief, to be reunited with his fox.
Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures & discoveries of his own...
This book is so obviously fall I want to say it's actually fall in the story. If not, then the tone & atmosphere carry the quintessential essence of fall, such as nostalgia and the comforts of home.
Kansas, 2065: Adri has been handpicked to live on Mars. But weeks before launch, she discovers the journal of a girl who lived in her house more than a hundred years ago and is immediately drawn into the mystery surrounding her fate.
Oklahoma, 1934: Amid the fear and uncertainty of the Dust Bowl, Catherine’s family’s situation is growing dire. She must find the courage to sacrifice everything she loves in order to save the one person she loves most.
England, 1919: In the recovery following World War I, Lenore tries to come to terms with her grief for her brother, a fallen British soldier, and plans to sail to America. But can she make it that far?
While their stories span thousands of miles and multiple generations, Lenore, Catherine, and Adri’s fates are entwined in ways both heartbreaking and hopeful. In Jodi Lynn Anderson’s signature haunting, lyrical prose, human connections spark spellbindingly to life, and a bright light shines on the small but crucial moments that determine one’s fate.
Melancholy and haunting memory are two elements that make this a good fall read.
Early Young Adult & Classics
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
Caramel popcorn, hot cider, and evenings at the circus: these are the elements of fall in this book. The circus is all fun, games, and illusions, on the surface that is. Something a little more sinister lies underneath the bright lights and carnival treats.
Orphaned Jane Eyre grows up in the home of her heartless aunt, where she endures loneliness and cruelty, and at a charity school with a harsh regime. This troubled childhood strengthens Jane’s natural independence and spirit—which proves necessary when she takes a position as governess at Thornfield Hall. But when she finds love with her sardonic employer, Rochester, the discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a choice. Should she stay with him and live with the consequences, or follow her convictions, even if it means leaving the man she loves?
The Gothic setting of this classic is perfect for cozying up in the shortening days.