Usually, my review calendar is about sixty to seventy percent young adult and only thirty to forty percent middle grade, but this season, I’m split pretty close to fifty-fifty for what’s on my reading list. It’s hard to keep up with all the great books coming this season, but I’m going to do my best to try! Here are my 20 most-anticipated middle grade books coming fall 2023.
Since September is already almost over (How?!), I’ve linked a few of the books I’ve finished to my reviews below.
Marvelous Middle-Grade Mondays
I’m sharing this post as a part of a weekly round-up of middle grade posts called Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays. Check out other blogs posting about middle-grade books today on Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays at Always in the Middle with Greg Pattridge.
20 Most-Anticipated Middle Grade Books Coming Fall 2023
What you need to know: Nev arrives at Deephaven, a boarding school with secrets, determined to keep their head down and fit in until they become embroiled in a quest to save a girl everyone thinks is dead. I’ve read everything published by this author, so I knew I was going to read this one. Looks like it’ll be a series, so I’m anxious to see where it goes.
What you need to know: Bobert and his friends must find a way to break the spell placed on them by evil wizard Matt before he takes over Nefaria. Silly, offbeat, and packed with heart. I loved this one.
What you need to know: When Micah becomes trapped in the house her grandfather forbade her to enter, she must confront secrets from her past and make a frightening deal to escape. More eerie than truly scary, this is a great choice for a fall book.
What you need to know: After Daphne is forced to live with her dad, she grudgingly offers him a second chance when he begins teaching her skateboarding tricks. Will he let her down again? I love complex family stories like this one, and I’m super excited for a book about skateboarding.
What you need to know: Dare refuses to accept the story she’s told about her father’s death and sets out to prove monsters still exist. A fabulous story about friendship and how to build trust from the author of THE VERDIGRIS PAWN.
What you need to know: A girl who dreams of winning the science fair is faced with a terrible choice when someone she loves is detained by ICE. I love the way the book description links science and Wendy’s fears about her family. Looks like a book that will make you think.
What you need to know: Two girls whose mother has just been elected President join a secret society of presidential children where they must help the Roosevelt children in order to return to their own time. Written by a former White House staffer. I’m super curious about this one.
What you need to know: When Jake is sent to his great-aunt’s cabin in remote Oregon woods, he stumbles upon a threat against a turtle with a ruby-colored shell. Features a boy with ADHD and a focus on nature and conservation.
Published: October 3, 2023
The Deadlands: Trapped (The Deadlands #2) by Skye Melki-Wegner
What you need to know: Five outcasts from their herds team up to find evidence of an alliance between carrion dinosaurs and save their herds from war. I loved the first book in this series, which I’d describe as LAND BEFORE TIME meets WARRIORS.
What you need to know: A girl desperate to save her family’s struggling magical bakery casts a (slightly illegal) spell that backfires. Looks like lots of delicious descriptions of baking and magical hijinks from an author on my auto-read list.
What you need to know: As Hannukah approaches, best friends with magic must stop a demon from Jewish lore who is hunting the Tree of Life. RAVENFALL was one of my favorite books from last year, so this one is a must-read for me.
Published: October 17, 2023
Secrets We Tell the Sea by Martha Riva Palacio Obón, translated by Lourdes Heuer
What you need to know: A girl with a powerful connection to the sea moves in with her Abuela and meets a new friend she believes will truly understand her. The book description has a lot of imagery about the sea and ocean life and says Sofia is a mermaid. I can’t tell if that’s literal or metaphorical. In any case, I’m super intrigued.
What you need to know: I can’t say it better than the cover copy: “A magical retelling of Swan Lake, featuring a clever orphan, a castle filled with enchanted swans, and a quest to unearth the secrets of the past.” Yes, please!
What you need to know: An explosion destroys a friendship and leaves a girl injured. Her former best friend won’t stop until he uncovers what truly happened. Looks like a powerful story about friendship and healing.
Published: October 31, 2023
Sail Me Away Home (Show Me a Sign #3) by Ann Clare LeZotte
What you need to know: Set in the world of SHOW ME A SIGN and SET ME FREE. Explores the origins of formal Deaf education and complex issues on Martha’s Vineyard between Deaf and Wampanoag communities. I loved SET ME FREE, and I can’t wait for this one.
Published: November 7, 2023
Keeper of the Lost Cities: The Graphic Novel Part 1 by Shannon Messenger
What you need to know: The first half of the epic novel adapted into a graphic novel. This looks like it will be really cool.
Published: November 7, 2023
What are your most-anticipated middle grade books coming out this fall?
What amazing middle grade books coming fall 2023 are you most looking forward to reading? Are you planning to read, or have you already read any of the books on my list? What books am I missing that I need to add?
I’m finally settling into a fall routine, just in time to look ahead at the incredible line-up of books coming out this season. From familiar retellings to irresistible, high-stakes fantasy to classic rom-com, it’s going to be a great fall to grab that pumpkin spice latte (or whatever your preferred fall drink is) and curl up with a great book.
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is Books on My Fall To-Read list. I couldn’t narrow my list down to ten, so… bonus! Here are 21 amazing young adult books coming in fall 2023.
21 Amazing Young Adult Books Coming in Fall 2023
Into the Bright Open (A Secret Garden Remix) by Cherie Dimaline
What you need to know: a retelling of the Secret Garden set in Canada and including indigenous characters. I loved THE MARROW THIEVES, so I’ve been very eager to read more of Dimaline’s work. I’m excited about this one.
What you need to know: Chloe goes from having it all to living in the apartment complex her family owns and abandoned. I got swept away by the powerful emotions and verse of DON’T CALL ME A HURRICANE, so I’m always up for more Ellen Hagan books.
What you need to know: A transgender boy desperate to escape an arranged marriage is diagnosed with a strange illness and sent away to a sanitorium and finishing school where ghosts beg him for his help. Looks twisty, dark, and powerful. White’s debut knocked me sideways (in the best way), so I can’t wait for this one.
What you need to know: A boy still processing his grief over a lost brother vows to take his basketball team to state so his brother’s dreams come true and his story lives on. Romance, basketball, the raw edges of grief– this debut has so much to offer.
What you need to know: Two interns at a massive tech company get their roles swapped by mistake. They decide to keep the switch, so he can take a break from the high-pressure life his father wants for him, and so she can build the connections she needs for college applications. There’s still time to get one last summer romance in with your pumpkin spice.
What you need to know: A new fantasy series from the author of THREE DARK CROWNS. A girl raised to become one of the legendary heromakers called Aristene. A fiery, infuriating boy she’s tasked with turning into a hero. What if she can’t have both? I haven’t read anything by Blake yet, but I want to, and this looks SO good.
What you need to know: A girl foretold to die at seventeen takes a dangerous journey into a deadly forest filled with twisted versions of well-loved fairytales to undo a curse and save her mother. Something about this reminds me of GREYMMIST FAIR by Francesca Zappia, which I loved.
What you need to know: 1932 Shanghai. An exposed spy desperate to rescue her partner, whose memories of her have been wiped, embarks on a national tour as a means to gather allies and save him. I still need to read the first book in this duology, but my library has the audiobook, so I’ll be reading both this fall!
What you need to know: Fourteen mermaid tales by familiar YA authors like Darcie Little Badger, Kalynn Bayron, and Katherine Locke. Looks like a super-inclusive collection, and I’m always up for a mermaid story!
Published: September 26, 2023
Before the Devil Knows You’re Here by Autumn Krause
What you need to know: 1836 Wisconsin Territory. An orphaned girl’s little brother is kidnapped by a mysterious bark-covered man. With help from Paul Bunyan, she tracks the Man of Sap, determined to get her brother back in this dark folk horror tale. Looks twisty and unlike anything I’ve ever read before.
What you need to know: A witch who survived a brutal attack on her coven reluctantly allies with the captain of the witch hunters who claims to be working to dismantle the hunters from inside their group. Looks intense and rich with magic. I’m excited for this one.
What you need to know: 1943 Lithuania. A grieving father uses forbidden magic to create a Nazi-killing golem to avenge his daughter’s death. Vera awakens with an understanding of her purpose and memories of a girl’s human life. This one had me at the comparison: Frankenstein meets Inglourious Basterds. I’m in.
What you need to know: Two half-siblings who have never met embark on a search together for the Iranian immigrant and U.S. Army veteran father they never knew. I love a complex family drama, so this one looks great.
What you need to know: Two Philly families with a faux food truck rivalry (and secret romance) take their act to TV, where the stakes are higher, and their feelings could cost their dreams. I remember when the author started talking about this one on Twitter, and I’ve been desperate to read it since.
What you need to know: A newly out trans boy gets caught up in the world of a glamorous It-girl until that world crashes down in a murder she may have committed. This one is giving me WE MADE IT ALL UP by Margot Harrison vibes, and I love it.
What you need to know: A teen grieving a recent breakup turns the items left behind after a relationship into an art exhibit and tries to convince her new crush she’s ready to try again for love. Looks sweet and like it’s got some great opportunities for humor and heart.
Published: November 14, 2023
The Dark Heir by C. S. Pacat
What you need to know: In a war of Light versus Dark, Will faces terrible secrets that threaten to break their world. I haven’t read the first book in this series yet, but both look so good, I’m going to try to play a little catchup and read them this fall.