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Bookshop's Favorite Middle Grade Books

Dive into Bookshop Santa Cruz's collection of Middle Grade books. Not quite young readers, but not ready for YA just yet, these books are perfect for your kids. They tackle themes and issues that are relevant to today's youth. With relatable characters and gripping storylines, our favorite books are perfect for middle grade readers.

Greenwild by Pari Thomson

Daisy Thistledown is thrown into her own wild adventure when her daring mother suddenly disappears. With the help of her kitty, Napoleon, Daisy soon discovers an enchanting world called the Greenwild, where nature is literally magical. I love how plant magic weaves itself on the pages through words and beautiful illustrations. Daisy and Napoleon are so full of spunk and determination that it’s easy to imagine yourself alongside them, harnessing the magic of friendship, hope, and family.  —Taylor

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Greenwild: The World Behind the Door By Pari Thomson Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781250894540
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Square Fish - April 30th, 2024

Tree. Table. Book by Lois Lowry

I have loved Lois Lowry since her Anatasia Krupnick series, and her newest book has captured that same magic. Eleven-year old Sophie and her 88-year old neighbor, also Sophie, are best friends despite their age difference. When concerns about elder Sophie’s memory arise, younger Sophie is determined to help. What follows proves the love between these two ordinary–extraordinary characters, and just how much being curious, listening, and the right amount of stubbornness really matters.  —S.M.C.

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Tree. Table. Book. By Lois Lowry Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780063299504
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarion Books - April 23rd, 2024

Bridge to Bat City by Ernest Cline

This here is a bonafide, mostly true fable about making change. And bats. Opal B Flats is a unique, melomanic, ’80s teen heroine who, in spite of heartbreak, never loses her generosity of spirit, or her weird. Championing the million bats that live in Austin, Texas, and leading us past a cavalcade of historic Austinites (and one UFO), this is a wild, music-filled ride that celebrates being yourself and standing up for what’s right.  —Jocelyn

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Bridge to Bat City By Ernest Cline Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316460583
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 9th, 2024

The Tenth Mistake of Hank Hooperman by Gennifer Choldenko

When Hank’s mother disappears for a week (a not uncommon occurrence) and the Hoopermans are facing eviction, Hank takes his little sister, Boo, on a journey to find a place to call home. Gennifer Choldenko, who wrote the classic Al Capone series, tells this story with empathy and gravity, allowing readers to see the impacts of poverty and the difficult decisions young people face in taking care of themselves and their loved ones.  —Isaac

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The Tenth Mistake of Hank Hooperman By Gennifer Choldenko Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781524718923
Availability: Not Yet Published - Available for Pre-Order; Please See Publication Date Below Before Ordering
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - June 11th, 2024

A Game of Noctis by Deva Fagan

The city-state of Dantessa has championed its vision of equality for centuries, where—ever since the Last Prince played against Lady Death for the lives of her people—gameplay magically determines your worth and value. But when the game's rules are inherently flawed, there are no second chances. A fun, sparkling story of magic, mystery, and competition, with darker reflections of our own world and a sharp team of indelible underdogs playing for better futures…maybe for all.  —Jocelyn

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A Game of Noctis By Deva Fagan Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781665930192
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - April 9th, 2024

The Secret Library by Kekla Magoon

Dally has an enormous secret—an entire library with books you can fall into, literally! Through the pages of a book, she experiences other people's lives and sometimes plays a pivotal role in their escapades. These delights, however, come at a price as the adventures get more perilous with each book. Full of excitement and intrigue, and a refusal to shy away from hard truths even to its bittersweet end, this one is perfect for the precocious reader. —Jax

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The Secret Library By Kekla Magoon Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781536230888
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - May 7th, 2024

Kira and the (Maybe) Space Princess by Megan Brennan

Turns out entering 7th grade can be fraught in any universe; there’s just no avoiding the popularity contests. In Neo-Earth, Kira can’t help but be bitter when everyone keeps fawning over Tulip, the pretty, smart magical-girl champion. That is, until Catacorn crashlands in her trash, promising Kira magical powers and a shining destiny! A tongue-in-cheek send-up of everyone’s favorite Shōjo trope, but also a heartfelt story of a tween aching for recognition and a real friend.

—Jocelyn

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Kira and the (Maybe) Space Princess: (A Graphic Novel) (Magic Girls #1) By Megan Brennan Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9780593709894
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Graphic - March 5th, 2024

Next Stop by Debbie Fong

Pia is convinced a desert bus tour ending at the mystical Cessarine Lake will heal the rift in her family. However, after her father breaks his leg, she finds herself taking this strange and fantastical journey alone. An homage to road trips—and the weird ephemera seen at roadside stands—this stunning graphic novel with a deceptively simple art style tells a story of grief, independence, and ultimately self-discovery that is sure to alight any imagination.

—Ivy

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Next Stop: (A Graphic Novel) By Debbie Fong Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9780593425183
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Graphic - March 19th, 2024

Timid by Jonathan Todd

Cecil is a middle schooler and aspiring cartoonist, although his dad would prefer he had a more “practical” interest. In addition, he has to navigate a new school where the white kids and the Black kids don’t seem to ever sit together at lunch. This semi-autobiographical graphic novel is a fascinating exploration of complex topics like race, familial expectations, and growing up, perfect for middle-grade readers.

—Isaac

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Timid: A Graphic Novel By Jonathan Todd, Jonathan Todd (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jonathan Todd, Jonathan Todd (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9781338305708
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graphix - April 2nd, 2024

Continental Drifter by Kathy MacLeod

Kathy MacLeod’s new graphic memoir Continental Drifter is a charming and touching story. Told through simple yet lovely illustrations, it follows Kathy as a young girl in Bangkok raised by her American father and Thai mother. She looks forward to the summers they all spend in Maine, but struggles with feeling out of place. The relatable characters and insightful writing made me fall in love with this book.

—Julia

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Continental Drifter By Kathy MacLeod Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781250813749
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - April 2nd, 2024

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