Exciting new releases for June!

Mom, I’m bored!

School is barely out for most districts, but perhaps you’ve already heard this from your tween.

Have no fear, the library and your local independent book store are here!

Check out the latest releases for your middle-grade readers. A bit of nonfiction, a dash of fiction and their boredom will be relieved!

Hector: A Boy, A Protest, and the Photograph that Changed Apartheid, written by Adrienne Wright

Page Street Kids, June 4 release
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On June 16, 1976, Hector Pieterson, an ordinary boy, lost his life after getting caught up in what was supposed to be a peaceful protest. Black South African students were marching against a new law requiring that they be taught half of their subjects in Afrikaans, the language of the White government. The story’s events unfold from the perspectives of Hector, his sister, and the photographer who captured their photo in the chaos. This book can serve as a pertinent tool for adults discussing global history and race relations with children. Its graphic novel style and mixed media art portray the vibrancy and grit of Hector’s daily life and untimely death.

Heartbreaking yet relevant, this powerful story gives voice to an ordinary boy and sheds light on events that helped lead to the end of apartheid.

Escape from the Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel (The Descendants), written by Melissa de la Cruz

Disney-Hyperion, June 4 release

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Mal, Evie, Jay, and Carlos may have once been the baddest of the bad, but their wicked ways are (mostly) behind them-and now graduation is almost here! But before the seniors can don their custom-designed caps and gowns, courtesy of Evie, they’ve got an epic plan to put into action. There are tons of villain kids on the Isle of the Lost who are eager for their chance to come to Auradon Prep-even Celia, Dr. Facilier’s trickster daughter, wants in on the deal!-and Mal’s crew is using their upcoming visit to the Isle to help make it happen. But Auradon’s biggest threat is still at large?
Trapped on the other side of the barrier, Uma is more desperate than ever to get her long-awaited revenge against Mal. When she discovers an underground lair belonging to Hades, god of the underworld, Uma realizes she’s found the perfect partner in crime. Together, they can defeat Mal, bring down the barrier, and escape the Isle for good.
Mal and Uma have a score to settle, and they’ll come face to face in an explosive underwater battle that could determine the fates of Auradon and the Isle of the Lost once and for all.

All the Greys on Greene Street written by Laura Tucker

Viking Books for Young Readers, June 4 release
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SoHo, 1981. Twelve-year-old Olympia is an artist–and in her neighborhood, that’s normal. Her dad and his business partner Apollo bring antique paintings back to life, while her mother makes intricate sculptures in a corner of their loft, leaving Ollie to roam the streets of New York with her best friends Richard and Alex, drawing everything that catches her eye.

Then everything falls apart. Ollie’s dad disappears in the middle of the night, leaving her only a cryptic note and instructions to destroy it. Her mom has gone to bed, and she’s not getting up. Apollo is hiding something, Alex is acting strange, and Richard has questions about the mysterious stranger he saw outside. And someone keeps calling, looking for a missing piece of art. . . .

Olympia knows her dad is the key–but first, she has to find him, and time is running out.

Sea Sirens (A Trot & Cap’n Bill Adventure) written by Amy Chu, illustrated by Janet K. Lee

Viking Books for Young Readers, June 11 release
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Trot, a Vietnamese American surfer girl, and Cap’n Bill, her cranky one-eyed cat, catch too big a wave and wipe out, sucked down into a magical underwater kingdom where an ancient deep-sea battle rages. The beautiful Sea Siren mermaids are under attack from the Serpent King and his slithery minions–and Trot and her feline become dangerously entangled in this war of tails and fins.

This beautiful graphic novel was inspired by The Sea Fairies, L. Frank Baum’s “underwater Wizard of Oz.” It weaves Vietnamese mythology, fantastical ocean creatures, a deep-sea setting, quirky but sympathetic main characters, and fast-paced adventure into an imaginative, world-building story.

Maximillian Fly written by Angie Sage

Katherine Tegen Books, June 11 release
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Maximillian Fly wants no trouble. Yet because he stands at six feet two, with beautiful indigo wings, long antennae, and more arms than you or me, many are frightened of him.

He is a gentle creature who looks like a giant cockroach. This extraordinary human wants to prove his goodness, so he opens his door to two SilverSeed children in search of a place to hide.

Instantly, Maximillian’s quiet, solitary life changes. There are dangerous powers after them and they have eyes everywhere. But in this gray city of Hope trapped under the Orb, is escape even possible?

Maximillian Fly is a masterful story brimming with suspense, plot twists, and phenomenal world building. This compelling novel delves into family dynamics and themes of prejudice, making the case for tolerance, empathy, and understanding.

Midsummer’s Mayhem Hardcover  written by Rajani LaRocca  

Yellow Jacket, June 11 release
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Eleven-year-old Mimi Mackson comes from a big Indian American family: Dad’s a renowned food writer, Mom’s a successful businesswoman, and her three older siblings all have their own respective accomplishments. It’s easy to feel invisible in such an impressive family, but Mimi’s dream of proving she’s not the least-talented member of her family seems possible when she discovers a contest at the new bakery in town. Plus, it’ll start her on the path to becoming a celebrity chef like her culinary idol, Puffy Fay.

But when Mimi’s dad returns from a business trip, he’s mysteriously lost his highly honed sense of taste. Without his help, Mimi will never be able to bake something impressive enough to propel her to gastronomic fame.

Drawn into the woods behind her house by a strangely familiar song, Mimi meets Vik, a boy who brings her to parts of the forest she’s never seen. Who knew there were banyan trees and wild boars in Massachusetts? Together they discover exotic ingredients and bake them into delectable and enchanting treats.

But as her dad acts stranger every day, and her siblings’ romantic entanglements cause trouble in their town, Mimi begins to wonder whether the ingredients she and Vik found are somehow the cause of it all. She needs to use her skills, deductive and epicurean, to uncover what’s happened. In the process, she learns that in life, as in baking, not everything is sweet.

This Was Our Pact written by Ryan Andrews

First Second, June 11 release
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It’s the night of the annual Autumn Equinox Festival, whenthe town gathers to float paper lanterns down the river. Legend has itthat after drifting out of sight, they’ll soar off to the Milky Way andturn into brilliant stars, but could that actually be true? This year,Ben and his classmates are determined to find out where those lanternsreally go, and to ensure success in their mission, they’ve made a pactwith two simple rules: No one turns for home. No one looks back.

The plan is to follow the river on their bikes for as long as it takes tolearn the truth, but it isn’t long before the pact is broken by allexcept for Ben, and (much to Ben’s disappointment) Nathaniel, the onekid who just doesn’t seem to fit in.

Together,Nathaniel and Ben will travel farther than anyone has ever gone, down awinding road full of magic, wonder, and unexpected friendship*.

*And a talking bear.

The Girl Who Sailed the Stars written by Matilda Woods,  illustrated by Anuska Allepuz 

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When Oona Britt was born in the magical town of Nordlor, where all of the homes are built from wrecked ships, her parents never expected her to be a girl. Having listened to a faulty prediction from a washed-up soothsayer, they were promised a “bold and brave son,” so as the youngest of seven sisters, Oona’s birth became a disappointment — especially to her sea captain father, who doesn’t believe there’s a place for girls aboard ships.

But Oona is different from the rest of her family. She longs for adventure and knowledge. So she steals aboard her father’s ship just as he’s about to set sail for his annual winter whale hunt, and suddenly finds herself in the midst of a grand adventure! The ship has its own sea cat, Barnacles, and a navigator named Haroyld, who show Oona how to follow the stars. But for all that, Oona’s father is furious. Can she prove to him that she’s worth his love and pride, even though she’s not the bold and brave son he was promised?

The Boy, the Boat and the Beast written by Samantha M. Clark

Paula Wiseman Books/Simon and Schuster, Paperback release June 25
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A shout out to one of our contributors, Samantha M. Clark, as her middle-grade novel is released in paperback this month!

A boy washes up on a mysterious, seemingly uninhabited beach. Who is he? How did he get there? The boy can’t remember. When he sees a light shining over the foreboding wall of trees that surrounds the shore, he decides to follow it, in the hopes that it will lead him to answers. The boy’s journey is a struggle for survival and a search for the truth—a terrifying truth that once uncovered, will force him to face his greatest fear of all if he is to go home.

 

Julie K. Rubini
Julie K. Rubini is the author of the upcoming MG biography, Eye to Eye: Sports Journalist Christine Brennan. She has also written Virginia Hamilton: America's Storyteller, which is included in the Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books, 2018. Her other works include Missing Millie Benson: The Secret Case of the Nancy Drew Ghostwriter and Hidden Ohio. She is also the Founder of Claire's Day, Ohio's largest children's book festival.
www.julierubini.com and www.clairesday.org
1 Comment
  1. Thanks for sharing. I’m adding some of these to my summer reading and will offer some as a giveaway choice in my monthly giveaway blog hop. Thanks!