I don’t know if I’m reading more books than usual because of trying to stay home and avoid COVID-19, or if I’ve just got better contacts and a better sense of the middle grade book world these days, or if I’ve just gotten incredible lucky, but it seems like there have been a LOT of really amazing books published this year.
This list will focus on middle grade books, which are aimed at kids 8 to 12. I’ll do a separate post featuring young adult books, because there have been some fabulous titles there, too.
If you’re looking for a book that will sweep you away, make you laugh out loud, or make you get lost in another world, these are … Continue reading →
After escaping a Soviet prison camp, Lina is pursued by a powerful witch and her shadow wolves in a riveting debut that imbues frozen wilderness with fairy-tale magic.
All that twelve-year-old Lina knows of the world is the Stalinist labor camp where she was born, a place of hunger, cruelty, and deprivation. After a daring escape into the frigid Siberian wilds with her best friend, Bogdan, Lina vows to reach Moscow and find her long-lost grandmother, whom she hopes will help her return to the camp to rescue her mother. … Continue reading →
Paul Marconi has always thought that Bellwood was a strange town, but also a bit of a boring one. Not much for an 11 year old to do. Fires are burning nearby, Paul’s parents are obsessed with winning a bratwurst contest, his best friend, one of the founding members of their only-sibling detective club, The One and Onlys, is about to have a younger sister, sort of undoing their whole reason for existing. But then! Hundreds of rubber duckies have appeared on … Continue reading →
For anyone who has ever felt like a potato in middle school, this hilarious story about a boy forced to become the dorkiest school mascot ever will have readers cheering!
“A grade A, spudtastic (not to mention FUNNY) debut. Arianne Costner sure knows middle school and middle schoolers!” –Chris Grabenstein, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library
An elephant never forgets…but Lexington Willow can’t remember her past. When she was a toddler, a tornado swept her away from everyone and everything she knew and landed her near an enclosure in a Nebraska zoo, where an elephant named Nyah protected her from the storm. With no trace of her family, Lex grew up at the zoo with her foster father, Roger; her best friend, Fisher; and the wind whispering in … Continue reading →
Shipped halfway around the world to spend the summer with her mom’s eccentric Australian relatives, middle schooler and passionate violinist Louisa is prepared to be resentful. But life at the family’s remote camp in the Tasmanian rainforest is intriguing, to say the least. There are pig-footed bandicoots, scary spiders, weird noises and odors in the night, and a quirky boy named Colin who cooks the most amazing meals. Not the least strange is her Uncle Ruff, with his unusual pet and veiled hints about something … Continue reading →
Cassie’s always looked up to her mom, a vivacious woman with big ideas and a mischievous smile. Together they planned to check off every item on a big-dream bucket list, no matter how far the adventure would take them. But then Mom was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and everything changed.
Now, Cassie tries to keep Mom happy, and to understand some of Dad’s restrictive new rules. She tries to focus on math lessons and struggles to come up with art … Continue reading →
Ryan Hart loves to spend time with her friends, loves to invent recipies, and has a lot on her mind—school, self-image, and family. Her dad finally has a new job, but money is tight. That means changes like selling their second car and moving into a new (old) house. But Ryan is … Continue reading →
Exploring a mysterious cave in the mountains behind their house, John and his sister Sarah are shocked to discover they’ve time traveled to ancient Egypt!
Now they must work together to find a way back home from an ancient civilization of golden desert sand and a towering new pyramid, without parents to save them. The adventures abound—cobras, scorpions, a … Continue reading →