There are numerous picture books for Valentine’s Day, but not as many in the middle grade category. Valentine’s Day begins to take on a whole new meaning during the middle grade years, with crushes, body changes, and parties.
The following ten humorous and sometimes poignant Valentine-themed stories are sure to hit the sweet spot with middle grade readers.
Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes by Lisa Greenwald. When a blizzard threatens to ruin Valentine’s Day, three seventh-grade friends make and distribute fortune cookies to their lonely neighbors, and confront the secrets they’ve been keeping from each other.
The Candy Smash by Jacqueline Davies. Jessie and Evan Treski, of Lemonade War fame, are back in this story of Jessie’s determination to get to the bottom of the mysterious candy hearts that appear in their classroom.
My Weird School Special: Oh, Valentine, We’ve Lost our Minds! by Dan Gutman. New in the Weird School series, it’s the week of Valentine’s Day and A.J.’s class is getting a foreign exchange student from France, Pierre. There’s a duel over a cute girl and lots of hilarious antics, plus Valentine’s Day themed trivia and puzzles.
Ready, Freddy #10 Super Secret Valentine by Abby Klein. Freddy wants to make a special Valentine’s Day card for his friend Jessie but is afraid he’ll get laughed at. He secretly tries to cut and paste his way into Jessie’s heart.
Valentine’s Day Secret (Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew #12) by Carolyn Keene and Macky Pamintuan. Nancy’s best friends Bess and George are in a huge fight on Valentine’s Day and Nancy is caught in the middle.
Kylie Jean, Valentine Queen by Marci Peschke. It’s almost Valentine’s Day and Kylie Jean is helping her parents throw a fiftieth anniversary party for her grandparents. Between party planning and her school’s Be Sweet project, there’s a lot happening, but Kylie Jean is still determined to be the Valentine Queen.
Alexis’s Cupcake Cupid (Cupcake Diaries) by Coco Simon. A new book in the series. Alexis makes a special Valentine cupcake for her crush and leaves it by his computer but he starts acting really uncomfortable around her. With no certain Valentine in sight, Alexis ends up leaving a surprise gift for her BFF.
Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentime by Barbara Park. Of course, no Valentine’s Day book list would be complete without this classic. Junie B gets a big, mushy card from a secret admirer on Valentine’s Day and she’s determined to find out who it is.
The Annoying Crush (Galaxy Zack) by Ray O’Ryan. A little guy humor. The Super Advanced Robotic Assistant (SARA) develops a huge crush on Zack. He has to figure out a way to fix this mixed-up robot or he’s doomed to a life of her annoying robot love.
Dork Diaries #6: Tales from a Not-So-Happy Heartbreaker by Rachel Renee Russell. Love and crushes are in the air for Nikki Maxwell. She’s hoping her crush wants to take her to the big dance but what if he doesn’t want to go with her? Or worse, he ends up taking Mackenzie! OMG!
Happy Valentine’s Day, and happy reading!
Michele Weber Hurwitz is the author of The Summer I Saved the World in 65 Days (Wendy Lamb Books 2014) and Calli Be Gold (Wendy Lamb Books 2011). When not eating candy hearts, she can be found at micheleweberhurwitz.com.