Middle Grade 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

2020 Middle Grade Holiday Gift Guide

Middle Grade 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

I don’t think I’ve ever done this before, but this year I wanted to post a giant list of recommended titles for the holiday season. Whether you’re looking for stories to fill the weeks at home between school days or filling your shopping bag with gifts for those you love, these titles are among my favorites and the ones I most highly recommend from books published this year. I’ve divided this holiday gift guide into sections so hopefully the list is less overwhelming. If I’ve posted a review of the book, you’ll see a link to next to the publication date.

Without further ado, here are the books I recommend for the 8-12 year old reader in your life this … Continue reading

Review: The Camelot Betrayal by Kiersten White

The Camelot Betrayal by Kiersten White

The Camelot Betrayal (Camelot Rising #2)
Kiersten White
Delacorte Press
Published November 10, 2020

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Goodreads

About The Camelot Betrayal

EVERYTHING IS AS IT SHOULD BE IN CAMELOT: King Arthur is expanding his kingdom’s influence with Queen Guinevere at his side. Yet every night, dreams of darkness and unknowable power plague her.

Guinevere might have accepted her role, but she still cannot find a place for herself in all of it. The closer she gets to Brangien, pining for her lost love Isolde, Lancelot, fighting to prove her worth as Queen’s knight, and Arthur, everything to everyone and thus … Continue reading

Review: Malcolm and Me by Robin Farmer

Malcolm and Me by Robin Farmer

Malcolm and Me
Robin Farmer
SparkPress
Published November 17, 2020

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Goodreads

About Malcolm and Me

Philly native Roberta Forest is a precocious rebel with the soul of a poet. The thirteen-year-old is young, gifted, black, and Catholic—although she’s uncertain about the Catholic part after she calls Thomas Jefferson a hypocrite for enslaving people and her nun responds with a racist insult. Their ensuing fight makes Roberta question God and the important adults in her life, all of whom seem to see truth as gray when Roberta believes it’s … Continue reading

Review: The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising #1)
Kiersten White
Delacorte Press
Published November 5, 2019

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Goodreads

About The Guinevere Deception

From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes a new fantasy series reimagining the Arthurian legend, set in the magical world of Camelot.

There was nothing in the world as magical and terrifying as a girl.

Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed a stranger: the charismatic King Arthur. With magic clawing at the kingdom’s borders, the great wizard Merlin conjured a solution–send in Guinevere to be Arthur’s wife . . … Continue reading

Review: Into the Silent Land by Martin Laird

Into the Silent Land by Martin Laird

Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplative Prayer
Martin Laird
Oxford University Press
Published July 1, 2006

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Goodreads

About Into the Silent Land

Sitting in stillness, the practice of meditation, and the cultivation of awareness are commonly thought to be the preserves of Hindus and Buddhists. Martin Laird shows that the Christian tradition of contemplation has its own refined teachings on using a prayer word to focus the mind, working with the breath to cultivate stillness, and the practice of inner vigilance or awareness. But this … Continue reading

Review: Aster’s Good, Right Things by Kate Gordon

Aster's Good Right Things by Kate Gordon

Aster’s Good, Right Things
Kate Gordon
Riveted Press
Published November 1, 2020

Book Depository | Goodreads

About Aster’s Good, Right Things

“I can’t let go of them – the good, right things—because if I do I’ll turn into a cloud and I’ll float away, and a storm will come and blow me to nothing.”

Eleven-year-old Aster attends a school for gifted kids, but she doesn’t think she’s special at all. If she was, her mother wouldn’t have left. Each day Aster must do a good, right thing—a challenge she sets herself, to make someone else’s life better. Nobody can know about her ‘things’, because then they won’t count. And if she doesn’t do them, she’s sure everything will go wrong. … Continue reading

Review: Mary Underwater by Shannon Doleski

Mary Underwater by Shannon Doleski

Mary Underwater
Shannon Doleski
Amulet
Published April 7, 2020

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Goodreads

About Mary Underwater

Mary Murphy feels like she’s drowning. Her violent father is home from prison, and the social worker is suspicious of her new bruises. An aunt she’s never met keeps calling. And if she can’t get a good grade on her science project, she’ll fail her favorite class.

But Mary doesn’t want to be a victim anymore. She has a plan: build a real submarine, like the model she’s been making with Kip Dwyer, the secretly sweet class clown.

Gaining courage from her heroine, Joan of Arc, Mary vows … Continue reading

Review: Fallen Hero by Katie Zhao

The Fallen Hero by Katie Zhao

Fallen Hero (Dragon Warrior #2)
Katie Zhao
Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Published October 6, 2020

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Goodreads

About Fallen Hero

Faryn Liu thought she was the Heaven Breaker, a warrior destined to wield the all-powerful spear Fenghuang, command dragons, and defeat demons. But a conniving goddess was manipulating her all along…and her beloved younger brother, Alex, has betrayed her and taken over as the Heaven Breaker instead. Alex never forgave the people who treated him and Faryn like outcasts, and now he wants to wipe out both the demons and most of humanity.

Determined to prevent a war and bring … Continue reading

Review: A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe

A Golden Fury Blog Tour Banner A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe

A Golden Fury
Samantha Cohoe
Wednesday Books
Published October 13, 2020

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Goodreads

About A Golden Fury

Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just … Continue reading

13 Most-Anticipated Middle Grade Books Out Fall 2020

13 Most-Anticipated Middle Grade Books Coming Fall 2020

Great Middle Grade Books Coming This Fall

It’s finally fall! A new season and new fantastic middle grade books coming out soon to usher in the spooky season and the cooler weather. (Well, thoughts of cooler weather, anyway. Here in Florida, we have a while yet before we get a real break from the heat.)

I’m not usually a big Halloween girl– I was raised not celebrating, so I guess I’ve never really gotten into the holiday as an adult. This year, though, there are some spooky books on my wish list that I think will be perfect for readers looking for a deliciously creepy crawly read.

There are also some great stories about relationships and celebrating the arts, like writing, ballet, and figure … Continue reading

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