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Middle Grade Books

A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée

Ramée’s debut novel explores the awkwardness of middle school, the changing dynamics with friends, and getting “woke.” I found fallible and funny (with her “allergy” to trouble) Shayla utterly relatable as she navigates her feelings about an incident of race-based police violence and struggles to decide whether breaking the rules is sometimes the right choice. Books that examine race often fall short, painting with broad strokes, but this book avoids that misstep—it’s right on target, addressing essential nuances with courage and honesty. - Stephanie

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$16.99
ISBN: 9780062836687
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - March 12th, 2019

Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake

When a tornado rips through Ivy’s home, her world is blown apart in more ways than one. In the chaos, Ivy’s journal is stolen—the journal where she keeps all her secrets, including her biggest one: Ivy likes girls, but she isn’t ready to tell anyone. As Ivy starts losing control of her secrets, her world changes in ways she could never have imagined. A gentle, sometimes heart-wrenching coming-of-age story about first love and family. - Katherine

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$7.99
ISBN: 9780316515474
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - March 26th, 2019

Like Vanessa written by Tami Charles illus. by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

When Vanessa Williams won Miss America, it opened a door in protagonist Vanessa Martin’s heart. Until then, she didn’t believe a girl like her—a dark-skinned girl—could win a beauty contest. Suddenly, Vanessa is competing in a school pageant and her Miss America dreams feel that much closer. Raw and full of heart, this book will have you rooting for Vanessa to go all the way to the crown. - Ivy

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$8.99
ISBN: 9781580898997
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Published: Charlesbridge - March 5th, 2019

Orange for the Sunsets by Tina Athaide

Ugandan Asha and Yesofu have always been best friends, though their worlds couldn’t be more different; Asha has grown up surrounded by wealth and privilege, while Yesofu lives in poverty, working as Asha’s family’s servant. Neither gave their differences much thought until a political crisis forces them to reckon with their identities and the limits of their friendship. Based on historical events, this poignant, heartbreaking tale about xenophobia and prejudice couldn’t be more timely. - Katherine

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$16.99
ISBN: 9780062795298
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Published: Katherine Tegen Books - April 2nd, 2019

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

I loved and learned from this book. This is a story about the struggles that come with living in a country in turmoil and existing as a religious minority. It’s also a coming-of-age tale about endearing, relatable Jude, who is learning who she is and how to allow herself to be seen in a new place, making this a book that can serve as both a window and a mirror for everyone. - Stephanie

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$16.99
ISBN: 9780062747808
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Published: Balzer + Bray - May 28th, 2019

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

This exciting story combines space adventures with Korean folklore. Thirteen-year-old nonbinary Min comes from a long line of fox spirits and goes on a quest to find their missing brother, discovering more about themself and their love for their family along the way. Readers will be immersed in a world of fox, dragon, and tiger spirits, vengeful ghosts, and a legendary pearl that terraforms worlds. - Kathy

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$16.99
ISBN: 9781368013352
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Rick Riordan Presents - January 15th, 2019

Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams

Told in the voice of its hugely loveable main character, Genesis, this book is far more than the sum of its more heartbreaking parts. Written by a teacher who wanted to “heal” the wounds of her students, you'll definitely be rooting for Genesis as she navigates a new middle school, gathers the courage to share her secret singing talent with the world, and grapples with learning to love herself. - I.D.

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$17.99
ISBN: 9781481465809
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Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - January 15th, 2019

To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg & Meg Wolitzer

As anyone familiar with The Parent Trap will tell you, two very different girls from opposite ends of the country brought together at summer camp for some sisterly bonding is a recipe for hijinks. A modern update on an old formula, this funny, fast-paced adventure becomes a sweet, poignant tale about friendship and family. - Katherine

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$17.99
ISBN: 9780525553236
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Published: Dial Books - February 12th, 2019

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

Be warned—I cannot describe how awesome this book is! At a Miami arts school, Sal Vidón, new kid, and Gabi Reál, class president, clash and collaborate with intelligence, mischief, science, showmanship, sleight of hand, and delicious Cuban food—all amidst robots, alternate realities, bullying, chronic health issues, and grief. At its heart, this book is about being a unique kid, and exploring the limits of love, friendship, and yourself. Do yourself a favor and strap in. - Jocelyn

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$16.99
ISBN: 9781368022828
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Rick Riordan Presents - March 5th, 2019

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