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Middle Grade Books

A Soft Place to Land by Janae Marks

Janae Marks delivers a vibrant novel that reads absolutely true to the experience of being a kid, and the rarified world one lives in at that time. Joy Taylor’s problems are real—an unexpected move, family troubles, a new school, feeling out new friends—and her journey to overcome them both resonated with me and inspired me. The escapades Joy and her friends fall into, and the friends themselves, kept me turning pages and feeling right at home.—Jocelyn

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$16.99
ISBN: 9780062875877
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - September 14th, 2021

The Beatryce Prophecy written by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Everyone dismissed the prophecy because it was about a girl messing with power. It’s the same reason everyone overlooked Beatryce. With the help of a monk, an orphan boy, a mysterious man in the woods, and a cantankerous goat, Beatryce is going to surprise them all. Kate DiCamillo’s books are always a delight and this does not disappoint, especially when paired with Sophie Blackall’s illustrations. Strange and surreal, it kept me guessing until the last moment.—Ivy

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By Kate DiCamillo, Sophie Blackall (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781536213614
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - September 28th, 2021

Playing the Cards You're Dealt by Varian Johnson

The game of life isn’t easy, and Joplin men are known for playing the hand they are dealt. Sometimes. What’s it like to try to meet your father’s expectations when he’s keeping a secret that can tear the family apart? 10-year-old Anthony (“Ant”) needs to win the card tournament, but he doesn't know how or who will help him get there. Can he find the courage and perseverance to be a good card player and a good young man?—Noreen

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$16.99
ISBN: 9781338348538
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - October 5th, 2021

Pony by R. J. Palacio

Silas Bird has a genius for a father and a ghost for a best friend. Their simple lives are upended when men take his father in the night, believing him to be a notorious criminal. When Silas goes after them, he finds deep woods and even deeper secrets. R.J. Palacio (author of Wonder) has crafted a surprising departure from her previous work and it is excellent. Trust me, this story is both unexpected and exactly what you want.—Ivy

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Pony Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780553508116
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - September 28th, 2021

Kaleidoscope by Brian Selznick

This book is a puzzle. So is life. It’s like looking through the little colorful bits of glass in a kaleidoscope. There is imagination, love, grief, and hope. Each successive reading of this apparently simple book leads us to know more, go deeper, and ask more questions. Written during Covid lockdown, this story may help us even in the hardest times. Readers of Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret or Wonderstruck won’t be disappointed.—Noreen

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Kaleidoscope Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781338777246
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Inc. - September 21st, 2021

Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales written by Soman Chainani, illustrated by Julia Iredale

Laying twelve fairy tales bare while questioning their traditional endings and moral lessons, Chainani reweaves these tales into modern masterpieces tackling the patriarchy, gender roles, and happy endings. Surprising and magical, each story is beautifully crafted, drawing the reader in. This is perfect for anyone who enjoys a good fairy tale and beautiful writing. Read it with a friend so you can discuss it together!—Kathy

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By Soman Chainani, Julia Iredale (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062652638
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - September 21st, 2021

Dead Wednesday by Jerry Spinelli

Jerry Spinelli, award-winning author of Stargirl and Maniac Magee, has written another outstanding classic that delves into the mind of middle-grade children. This is a thoughtful telling of a 14-year-old boy discovering how to overcome his insecurities and embrace his visibility. A new story for anyone who loves the old classics such as Bridge to Terabithia and Tuck Everlasting. —Kathy

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Dead Wednesday Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780593306673
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - August 3rd, 2021

Willodeen by Katherine Applegate

Willodeen knows all creatures deserve love despite what the rest of her town thinks, especially the screechers, a “beast”-like animal both stinky and loud. To protect the screechers, she must speak up for them when no one else will. Newberry Award–winning author Katherine Applegate returns with a wonderful and environmentally conscious story driven by love for all. Perfect for returning fans, as well as lovers of animals and nature. —Andrea

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$16.99
ISBN: 9781250147400
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Feiwel & Friends - September 7th, 2021

Living Ghosts & Mischievous Monsters: Chilling American Indian Stories by Dan Sasuweh Jones

In this collection, Jones finds a perfect balance between scary and fascinating as he shares the spooky stories he has collected from tribes all over the country. While I didn’t find any of the stories blood-curdling—which makes sense for a book geared towards kids—they still managed to send a chill up my spine. I think this is the perfect book for a kid who is ready to level up their horror collection or a class learning about Indigenous legends. —Jax

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$12.99
ISBN: 9781338681604
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Nonfiction - September 7th, 2021

That Thing about Bollywood by Supriya Kelkar

This is a fun, vibrant, full-of-heart fairy tale set in the modern world that uses magic in the best way: to make the complexities of real life easier to understand. Supriya Kelkar’s Sonali is recognizable and likeable, even as she struggles against the musical Bollywood world she finds herself in, with the forces of change pressing in on her friends and family and against her. For anyone who wants stories of the real world but also appreciates a bit of whimsy. — Jocelyn

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That Thing about Bollywood Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534466739
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - May 18th, 2021

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