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Blind Date with Middle Grade Books

NEW this year—Blind Date with a Book for Kids! Our Blind Date with a Book program for adults and young adults has been hugely popular for the past few years, so this year we thought we'd expand it to kids. Let us set your Middle Grade Valentines up on a Blind Date with a Book! Our Children's Department staff picked out books we adore, wrapped them up to hide their identity, and gave short descriptions to entice you. You can’t unwrap a book until you’ve taken the plunge and purchased it, but you CAN rest assured that all of these books have been thoroughly vetted—and come with our heartfelt recommendations.

Looking for other Valentine's Day ideas? Be sure to check other Blind Date with a Book offerings as well as our Book Lover's Box options and books for valentines of all ages.

  • Ghost story! 
  • Nice creepy setting
  • Mysterious villain
  • Strong female lead
  • For those who never want Halloween to end
  • Ages 10 & up

  • Bilingual English/Spanish
  • Classic cars meet SPACE TRAVEL
  • Teamwork makes the dream work!
  • Unique drawing style
  • Ages 9–12

  • A love story unfolds, both past and future
  • With a surprising and highly reliable narrator
  • Sprinkled with creative mealtimes under shelter-in-place conditions—sound familiar?
  • The ending will not let you down
  • Ages 6–10

  • Graphic Novel
  • Not a cute fairy tale
  • Stunning visuals
  • Good mystery
  • Full of childlike wonder
  • Ages 10–14

  • Ghost story! 
  • Nice creepy setting
  • Mysterious villain
  • Strong female lead
  • For those who never want Halloween to end
  • Ages 10 & up

  • Set in New York City
  • Learning to fit in at school
  • Older sister, not always good at it
  • Healing through art
  • Tearjerker in the best way possible
  • Ages 8–12

  • The art reminds me of Gravity Falls
  • Awesome dog companion
  • Neato magic 
  • Be careful what you wish for! 

  • Blend of folk-lore and fiction
  • Vivid, descriptive writing
  • Determined heroine
  • Secrets to be kept
  • Small, nasty creatures who live underground
  • Ages 10–14 

  • Talking lizards, edible mushrooms & a pet wolf
  • Start of a series, written by two popular fantasy authors
  • Tries his best to do his worst - and fails at failing
  • Exploration of friendship's loyalty
  • Heart-stopping, pulse-pounding plunge into the magical unknown.
  • Ages 8–12

  • The perfect accompaniment to life’s transitional moments
  • Imbued with friendships that keep everyone afloat
  • Bonus: a secondary storyline that takes place on Valentine’s Day! 
  • Ages 10 & up

  • A prickly girl who has lost plenty, in the summer before 6th grade
  • A reminder of just how much you can love a dog
  • Can writing saving her? You bet!
  • For fans of Ann Martin’s Rain Reign and Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie
  • Ages 8–12


  • Beautifully illustrated novel
  • Two societies on the brink of war
  • Hilariously funny!
  • Odd couple pair of protagonists
  • Learning to overcome differences
  • Ages 10–14

  • Narnia meets Indigenous stories
  • A talking squirrel? She’s VERY sassy!
  • Wilderness survival 
  • Foster youth & families
  • Ages 10–13