August Middle-Grade Releases

Joy. Adventure. Mythology. Science. Sports. August brings these topics and more to middle-grade readers. What an exciting collection, brought to you by amazing authors!

Black Boy Joy: 17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood by Kwame Mbalia Delacorte Press, August 3

Celebrate the joys of Black boyhood with stories from seventeen bestselling, critically acclaimed Black authors–including Jason Reynolds (the Track series), Jerry Craft (New Kid), and Kwame Mbalia (the Tristan Strong series)!

“Pick up Black Boy Joy for a heavy dose of happiness.” —Booklist, starred review

Black boy joy is…

Picking out a fresh first-day-of-school outfit.
Saving the universe in an epic intergalactic race.
Finding your voice—and your rhymes—during tough times.
Flying on your skateboard like nobody’s watching.

And more! From seventeen acclaimed Black male and non-binary authors comes a vibrant collection of stories, comics, and poems about the power of joy and the wonders of Black boyhood.

Paola Santiago and the Forest of Nightmares by Tehlor Mejia Rick Riordan Presents, August 3

“Paola is a brilliant, furious girl who often trusts her brain but trips over her heart.”–Sarah Gailey, Hugo and Locus award-winning author of River of Teeth

Six months after Paola Santiago confronted the legendary La Llorona, life is nothing like she’d expected it to be. She is barely speaking to her best friends, Dante and Emma, and what’s worse, her mom has a totally annoying boyfriend. Even with her chupacabra puppy, Bruto, around, Pao can’t escape the feeling that she’s all alone in the world.

Pao has no one to tell that she’s having nightmares again, this time set in a terrifying forest. Even more troubling? At their center is her estranged father, an enigma of a man she barely remembers. And when Dante’s abuela falls mysteriously ill, it seems that the dad Pao never knew just might be the key to healing the eccentric old woman.

Pao’s search for her father will send her far from home, where she will encounter new monsters and ghosts, a devastating betrayal, and finally, the forest of her nightmares. Will the truths her father has been hiding save the people Pao loves, or destroy them?

Once again Tehlor Kay Mejia draws on her Mexican heritage to tell a wild and wondrous story that combines creatures from folklore with modern-day challenges.

Zeus the Mighty: The Trials of Hairy-Clees by Crispin Boyer Under the Stars, August 3

Zeus the hamster and his “god squad” are back to battle for the title of champion in the third title in this series that takes readers on a rollicking romp through Greek mythology.

Our story begins with a challenge: The Trials of Hairy-Clees are only for the bravest and most awesome gods of all. Who among them will become the ultimate champion?

The pets of Mount Olympus Pet Center are a true team: They conquer epic quests as easily as Ares the pug scarfs down Mutt Nuggets and they vanquish enemies who are pricklier than the spines on Poseidon the pufferfish. But when a chicken named Hermes shows up one day, things take a turn, and before the team knows it, the Oracle has spoken and the mysterious Trials of Hairy-Clees begin! Who will become top god? And can Zeus learn to share the limelight to fight alongside Hermes?

Join Zeus the overconfident hamster, Athena the wise cat, Ares the treat-loving pug, Poseidon the proud pufferfish, and Demeter the loyal cricket on another laugh-out-loud adventure through Greek mythology.

World Champions! A Max Einstein Adventure by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein Jimmy Patterson, August 9

Max finally meets her hero, Albert Einstein, as she dashes across glaciers, visits the Great Barrier Reef, and flies a solar-powered jet in a race to stop Global Warming—before it’s too late for Planet Earth.

World Champions . . . 

GET OUTDOORS  

From racing across glaciers in Greenland and flying in a super fancy solar-powered jet to Hawaii, to visiting the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia and hanging out with a robot named Leo, twelve-year-old genius Max and her friends live for adventure.

TAKE ACTION  

Whenever there’s a problem to solve, the kids work better together. So does an evil group of the rich and powerful, who will do whatever it takes to split the kids up—even as the planet is changing before their eyes.

NEVER GIVE UP 

Max has one more surprise in her playbook, and if she’s going to pull it off, she needs her team around her. Who said that kids can’t save the world?

Dark Waters by Katherine Arden G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, August 10

New York Times bestselling author Katherine Arden returns with another creepy, spine-tingling adventure in this follow-up to the critically acclaimed Small Spaces and Dead Voices.

Until next time. That chilling promise was made to Ollie, Coco, and Brian after they outsmarted the smiling man at Mount Hemlock Resort. And as the trio knows, the smiling man always keeps his promises. So when the lights flicker on and off at Brian’s family’s inn and a boom sounds at the door, there’s just one visitor it could be. Only, there’s no one there, just a cryptic note left outside signed simply as –S.

The smiling man loves his games and it seems a new one is underway. But first, the three friends will have to survive a group trip to Lake Champlain where it’s said Vermont’s very own Loch Ness monster lives. Brian is thrilled. He hasn’t sailed since visiting his family in Jamaica and even the looming threat of the smiling man can’t put a damper on what is guaranteed to finally be a day of fun–even if it is awkward being stuck on a boat with both his old best friend, Phil and his new best friends, Coco and Ollie. But when a misstep from Phil causes a tragedy onboard and leaves them shipwrecked on an island haunted by a monster on both land and sea, Brian’s survival instincts kick in and it’s up to him to help everyone work together and find a way to escape.

One thing is for sure, the smiling man is back and he wants a rematch. And this time Brian is ready to play.

Good Housekeeping Amazing Science: 83 Hands-on S.T.E.A.M Experiments for Curious Kids! by Aubre Andrus Hearst Home Kids August 24

Awesome S.T.E.A.M.-based science experiments you can do right at home with easy-to-find materials designed for maximum enjoyment, learning, and discovery for kids ages 8 to 12 

Join the experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute Labs and explore the science you interact with every day. Using the scientific method, you’ll tap into your own super-powers of logic and deduction to go on a science adventure.

The engaging experiments exemplify core concepts and range from quick and simple to the more complex. Each one includes clear step-by-step instructions and color photos that demonstrate the process and end result. Plus, secondary experiments encourage young readers to build on what they’ve discovered. A “Mystery Solved!” explanation of the science at work helps your budding scientist understand the outcomes of each experiment.

These super-fun, hands-on experiments include:
  Building a solar oven and making s’mores
  Creating an active rain cloud in a jar
  Using static electricity created with a balloon to power a light bulb
  Growing your own vegetables—from scraps!
  Investigating the forces that make an object sink or float
  And so much more!

Bursting with more than 200 color photos and incredible facts, this sturdy hardcover is the perfect gift for any aspiring biologist, chemist, physicist, engineer, and mathematician!

Legacy and the Double by Annie Matthew, created by Kobe Bryant Granity Studios August 24.

Kobe Bryant’s legacy of uplifting and inspiring young athletes continues in this highly anticipated follow-up to the #1 New York Times bestseller Legacy and the Queen.

Legacy Petrin is a national tennis champion, but she doesn’t feel like one. At the orphanage where she grew up, far from the city where she learned to shine, Legacy struggles to focus on her training. Her famous magical inner light dims and darkens until she barely recognizes herself.

Then a girl who looks exactly like Legacy―same burlap dress, same signature glow―starts playing in Legacy’s name. She wins matches in the city, makes charming speeches in support of “Queen” Silla, and gains a devoted following. Soon, Silla issues a decree against impersonating champions, which means that the real Legacy could be arrested simply for looking like herself.

To reclaim her name and her identity, Legacy has no choice but to compete in disguise . . . until she can rise through the ranks, face off against her imposter, and prove that she is the one and only Legacy Petrin―a champion who was born to shine.

Julie K. Rubini on FacebookJulie K. Rubini on InstagramJulie K. Rubini on LinkedinJulie K. Rubini on TwitterJulie K. Rubini on Wordpress
Julie K. Rubini
Julie K. Rubini is the author three MG biographies, including, Eye to Eye: Sports Journalist Christine Brennan, Virginia Hamilton: America's Storyteller, (Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books, 2018, Outstanding Merit) and Missing Millie Benson: The Secret Case of the Nancy Drew Ghostwriter and Hidden Ohio. Upcoming: Psychology: Why We Smile, Strive and Sing, June 2020. Julie is also the Founder of Claire's Day, Ohio's largest children's book festival.
www.julierubini.com and www.clairesday.org
2 Comments
  1. How to choose? Thanks for sharing about all these wonderful stories!

  2. Not a very long list this month, but a couple of these look interesting. Black Boy Joy and Amazing Science are books I will be looking for. Thanks for the post.