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Middle Grade Books

Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson

ZJ’s dad is famous, like football-star famous, but he’s suffering from headaches and doctors don’t know what’s wrong. Told in Woodson’s iconic beautiful poetry, we get a firsthand account of a loving father-son relationship growing as it faces adversity. Woodson’s way with words takes my breath away every time, and this book is a stark reminder that kids see more than we think. Perfect for sports fans, of course, but also anyone looking for stories about strong family bonds. —Ivy

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$17.99
ISBN: 9780399545436
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Nancy Paulsen Books - September 1st, 2020

Ikenga by Nnedi Okorafor

Nnedii Okorafor is a sci-fi/fantasy powerhouse. I have yet to read a book by her I don't like, including this one. Nnamdi is a twelve-year-old Nigerian boy who inherits superpowers after his father dies, yet has no one to show him how to use them. Will Nnamdi be able to avenge his father's death? Even though I’m not a huge fan of superheroes myself, Okorafor’s writing drew me in. Fans of Rick Riodan or any Rick Riordan Presents authors will love this book! —MJ

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$16.99
ISBN: 9780593113523
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Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - August 18th, 2020

The Language of Ghosts By Heather Fawcett

Fawcett has crafted an entertaining new fantasy where the action almost never stops, reminiscent of Diana Wynne Jones, Rick Riordan, and Eva Ibbotson. Assassins, a floating island, invisible cats, deadly and snarky sea serpents, self-absorbed otters, and fascinating magic tangle with a relatable protagonist trying to do right by her family and world. I loved the questions of “good and evil” and “right and “wrong” that Noa grapples with and following Noa and her siblings and friends on this adventure! —Jocelyn

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$16.99
ISBN: 9780062854544
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Published: Balzer + Bray - September 8th, 2020

The Silver Arrow by Lev Grossman

It takes an incredibly special book to become an instant classic: this is such a book. Author of Magicians, Grossman’s first foray into children’s literature is a magical success, creating a world where children discover the importance of challenging work and perseverance while learning about endangered animals. If you love animals—especially talking animals—magic, trains, and adventure, you’re sure to be captivated by this book. A great read-aloud to share with someone you love! —Kathy

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$16.99
ISBN: 9780316539531
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Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 1st, 2020

Tune It Out by Jamie Sumner

After a car accident, Lou Montgomery's life changes radically: she's removed from her mom's care, placed with her aunt and uncle, and diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder. These changes are accompanied by a cast of new and lovable characters, including Lou’s funny, fabulous, theatrical best friend Well. Thought-provoking in its exploration of disability, wealth, and familial relationships, this novel about a young girl's journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance is perfect for fans of So B. It, Out of My Mind, and Counting By 7s. —Molly

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$17.99
ISBN: 9781534457003
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Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - September 1st, 2020

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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$17.99
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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$18.99
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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$7.99
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)
$16.99
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)
$12.99
ISBN: 9780525553908
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Published: Dial Books - April 14th, 2020

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