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Middle Grade Books

Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk

From the author of Wolf Hollow and Beyond the Bright Sea comes a fresh take on an old story: one family’s struggle to survive during the Great Depression. Through young Ellie’s eyes, we see both the hardship and the great freedoms that her family’s move to Echo Mountain presents. Ellie’s resilience, cleverness, and profound honesty keep us rooting for her from beginning to end. This novel made me believe that I was running up and down the mountain alongside her.

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ISBN: 9780525555568
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Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - April 21st, 2020

Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan

A beautiful work of magical realism, Mañanaland shows us the courage of immigrants and those who help and support them. Pam Munoz Ryan is always an expert storyteller and this rich novel is one to dig into and discuss. Perfect for a family book club. —Emma

From the genius behind Esperanza Rising and Echo comes the fantastical story of Max, an 11-year-old boy who loves stories. Ever since Max’s mother disappeared when he was a baby, his family has been full of secrets. Then Max makes a discovery that changes his life forever, putting him on a quest for the true story. Great for fantasy readers! —MJ

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ISBN: 9781338157864
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Published: Scholastic Press - March 3rd, 2020

Summer of a Thousand Pies by Margaret Dilloway

Cady Bennett is such a cool kid! Landing in the house of two aunts after growing up homeless with her dad in San Diego, Cady uses her strong survival skills to learn to trust adults who will do what they promise. The Great British Baking Show and a thousand pies inspire Cady to save the day. This book is all about feeling that you belong.

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ISBN: 9780062803474
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Published: Balzer + Bray - May 12th, 2020

A Wolf Called Wander Written by Rosanne Parry Illustrated by Mónica Armiño

Told from the (fictional) perspective of a (real) wolf, this book is perfect for the budding middle grade naturalist. It’s a great look into the behaviors and habits of wolves, how the pack operates, and what a wolf without a pack might do, all in a fascinating, age-appropriate narrative form. Fans of Pax and Endling, and older fans of Wild Robot, will appreciate the environmental message of this touching story.

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By Rosanne Parry, Mónica Armiño (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062895936
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Published: Greenwillow Books - May 7th, 2019

When Stars Are Scattered Written by Victoria Jamieson & Omar Mohamed Illustrated by Victoria Jamieson & Iman Geddy

For this excellent graphic novel memoir, Victoria Jameison worked closely with Omar Mohamed, a Somali refugee and founder of the nonprofit Refugee Strong, to tell Mohamed’s story of growing up in a refugee camp, which included caring for his younger brother Hassan, who has a developmental disability. The characters are deeply relatable, and the realities of refugee life are presented without being overwhelming or melodramatic. A great choice for fans of nonfiction and historical fiction graphic novels like March and White Bird.

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By Victoria Jamieson, Omar Mohamed, Victoria Jamieson (Illustrator), Iman Geddy (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780525553908
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Published: Dial Books - April 14th, 2020

Go with the Flow by Karen Schneemann and Lily Williams

Four friends are fed up with their school not providing necessary menstrual supplies and decide to make a change. This brilliant graphic novel shows readers how to raise up the people they care about, be honest about their feelings, and talk openly about their own bodies. For anyone who has (or will have) a period or those who just love a great friendship story! This is everything I want a book to be—empathetic, educational, and entertaining!


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ISBN: 9781250143174
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Published: First Second - January 14th, 2020

The Deep & Dark Blue by Niki Smith

This debut middle grade graphic novel features a political coup, a religious order where women spin magical blue thread, a trans protagonist, and a vibrant, jewel-toned world. It’s also a refreshing switch on the traditional ‘girl disguised as a boy’ trope, with twins Hawke and Grayson assuming the identities of Hanna and Grayce in order to escape the coup and join the aforementioned religious order. This beautiful book is perfect for fans of The Witch Boy and The Nameless City.

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ISBN: 9780316486019
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Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - January 7th, 2020

The Dark Lord Clementine by Sarah Jean Horwitz

Simply put, Clementine Morcerous is absolutely charming—not an adjective that would please a future Dark Lord, but after a couple chapters, you’ll agree. Clementine’s been groomed since birth to take her father’s place as Dark Lord, but when he falls under a curse, she must grapple with what’s expected of her versus what she really wants…and realizes that she might not want what’s expected of her. Great for fantasy fans who want something a little bit different. - J Gallo

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ISBN: 9781616208943
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Published: Algonquin Young Readers - October 1st, 2019

I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day

This story had me crying the whole way through. Edie’s discovery of her Native American heritage as she deals with changing friendship dynamics is beautiful, heartbreaking, and hopeful. I couldn’t put this one down. The characters felt so real and relatable, I fell in love with them all. The perfect next read for Sharon Creech and Kate DiCamillo fans. - Emma

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ISBN: 9780062871992
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Published: Quill Tree Books - October 1st, 2019

Beverly, Right Here by Kate DiCamillo

Fourteen-year old Beverly buries her dog Buddy and tells no one she’s leaving. She doesn’t want to depend on anyone and doesn’t want anyone depending on her. Iola, who offers Beverly shelter, says, “Just because you can’t stand to think about something, doesn’t mean it ain’t happening, that it ain’t true. People wait on other people. People rely on other people.” This book is about love, trust, resiliency, and friendship. Like the other two books in the trilogy, it’s real. - Noreen

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ISBN: 9780763694647
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Published: Candlewick - September 24th, 2019


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