It’s March. The wind is whipping and clouds and sun are fighting for ownership of the sky – which means spring is on its way. And so are a bunch of new middle grade releases. Check out the great books coming out in March.
Max and the Millions by Ross Montgomery
In the vein of The Borrowers and The Indian in the Cupboard, this is an imaginative, irresistible, and incredible exploration into what happens when one boy discovers a kingdom of tiny people. The day before summer vacation, Max’s closest friend at boarding school disappears, leaving behind his amazing model collection and a handful of sand on his bedroom floor. Like Max, the eccentric janitor Mr. Darrow is a genius at building tiny models. Eight weeks later, Max finds that the sand has magically transformed into a whole desert kingdom–filled with millions of tiny people Max wears hearing aids, and they allow him to hear the ant-sized people. There’s a boy named Luke who’s about to become king. But when Max appears, he plunges their world into chaos. Luckily, Luke has two strong allies: Ivy, a fearless girl, and Luke’s trusty steed–a flea. While Max and his new friend Sasha fight to protect the Floor from their evil headmaster, Luke must fight to save it from being destroyed by all-out war.
A Side of Sabotage by C. M. Surrisi
For decades, Gusty’s Cafe has been a beloved staple in Maiden Rock, Maine. Quinnie Boyd’s dad runs the cafe, just like Quinnie’s granddad before him. But the family business has new competition when a bad-boy chef from Boston opens his own place in the small vacation town.
The new restaurant takes fancy dining to the extreme. Still, that’s not a crime . . . but when things start to go wrong at Gusty’s, Quinnie suspects foul play. Are the people behind Restaurant Hubert trying to squash the Boyds’ family cafe? Quinnie is about to find out if it is a coincidence–or sabotage.
The Legend of Jack Riddle by H. Easson
So what if 12-year-old Jack’s great-great-great-great-great aunt has oddly youthful looks? (Probably cosmetic surgery.) Or a hat she never removes? (Fashion victim.) Or goes out into the creepy forest at midnight to play bingo? (Must be what people do in the country.) Who cares about that when her cottage doesn’t even have Wi-Fi? Forced to visit his distant relative with the unusual name of Gretel, Jack is about to find out that fairy tales aren’t sparkly, cheesy love stories. They’re dark. They have claws. They’re a warning. And when you’re the unwilling hero of your own fairy tale, you might be the one who’s taught a nasty lesson.
Wizardmatch by Lauren Magaziner
The hilarious, magic-infused world of Roald Dahl meets the lovable feuding family from The Incredibles in this heartwarming middle grade. Twelve-year-old Lennie Mercado loves magic. She practices her invisibility powers all the time (she can now stay invisible for fifteen seconds ), and she dreams of the day that she can visit her grandfather, the Prime Wizard de Pomporromp, at his magical estate. Now Lennie has her chance. Poppop has decided to retire, and his grandchildren are coming from all over to compete in Wizardmatch. The winner inherits his title, his castle, and every single one of his unlimited magical powers. The losers get nothing. Lennie is desperate to win, but when Poppop creates a new rule to quelch any sibling rivalry, her thoughts turn from winning Wizardmatch to sabotaging it . . . even if it means betraying her family. Comedic, touching, and page-turny, Wizardmatch is perfect for fans of Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, The Gollywopper Games, and The Candymakers.
The Alien Next Door: The New Kid by A.I. Newton, illustrated by Anjan Sarkar
In the first book of the Alien Next Door series, an alien boy named Zeke tries to fit in and adjust to life on Earth, while a classmate, Harris, suspects that Zeke might not be quite what he claims to be.
Zeke the alien is on his way to his first day of school, feeling down because he has to start over again on a new planet, as his scientist parents constantly move to wherever their research takes them. When he gets to school, no one seems to notice anything strange or different about him except Harris, a kid obsessed with science fiction and aliens. Harris sees Zeke doing extraordinary things but can’t convince anyone, least of all his best friend, Roxy, that Zeke might be an alien. Roxy just thinks Harris is jealous that she’s becoming friends with Zeke. But when Roxy invites Zeke over to Harris’s house, will Harris find a way to prove that he’s right?
P.S. I Miss You by Jen Petro-Roy
Evie is heartbroken when her strict Catholic parents send her pregnant sister, Cilla, away to stay with a distant great-aunt. All Evie wants is for her older sister to come back. Forbidden from speaking to Cilla, Evie secretly sends her letters.
Evie writes about her family, torn apart and hurting. She writes about her life, empty without Cilla. And she writes about the new girl in school, June, who becomes her friend, and then maybe more than a friend.
Evie could really use some advice from Cilla. But Cilla isn’t writing back, and it’s time for Evie to take matters into her own hands.
P.S. I Miss You by Jen Petro-Roy is a heartfelt middle grade novel dealing with faith, identity, and finding your way in difficult times.
The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras
A Scottish medieval adventure about the youngest in a war-band who must free her family from a castle prison after knights attack her home–with all the excitement of Ranger’s Apprentice and perfect for fans of heroines like Alanna from The Song of the Lioness series. One dark night, Drest’s sheltered life on a remote Scottish headland is shattered when invading knights capture her family, but leave Drest behind. Her father, the Mad Wolf of the North, and her beloved brothers are a fearsome war-band, but now Drest is the only one who can save them. So she starts off on a wild rescue attempt, taking a wounded invader along as a hostage. Hunted by a bandit with a dark link to her family’s past, aided by a witch whom she rescues from the stake, Drest travels through unwelcoming villages, desolate forests, and haunted towns. Every time she faces a challenge, her five brothers speak to her in her mind about courage and her role in the war-band. But on her journey, Drest learns that the war-band is legendary for terrorizing the land. If she frees them, they’ll not hesitate to hurt the gentle knight who’s become her friend. Drest thought that all she wanted was her family back; now she has to wonder what their freedom would really mean. Is she her father’s daughter or is it time to become her own legend?
The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller
An emotionally-charged new classic about the science of hope, love, and miracles Natalie’s uplifting story of using the scientific process to “save” her mother from depression is sure to take root in readers’ hearts. How do you grow a miracle?
For the record, this is not the question Mr. Neely is looking for when he says everyone in class must answer an important question using the scientific process. But Natalie’s botanist mother is suffering from depression, so this is The Question that’s important to Natalie. When Mr. Neely suggests that she enter an egg drop competition, Natalie has hope. Eggs are breakable. Hope is not.
Natalie has a secret plan for the prize money. She’s going to fly her mother to see the Cobalt Blue Orchids–flowers that survive against impossible odds. The magical flowers are sure to inspire her mother to love life again. As Natalie prepares for the competition, she will discover that talking about problems is like taking a plant out of a dark cupboard and giving it light. An extraordinary debut about the coming-of-age moment when kids realize that parents are people, too. Think THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH meets THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH.
The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani
In the vein of Inside Out and Back Again and The War That Saved My Life comes a poignant, personal, and hopeful tale of India’s partition, and of one girl’s journey to find a new home in a divided country. It’s 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries: Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders. Half-Muslim, half-Hindu twelve-year-old Nisha doesn’t know where she belongs, or what her country is anymore. When Papa decides it’s too dangerous to stay in what is now Pakistan, Nisha and her family become refugees and embark first by train but later on foot to reach her new home. The journey is long, difficult, and dangerous, and after losing her mother as a baby, Nisha can’t imagine losing her homeland, too. But even if her country has been ripped apart, Nisha still believes in the possibility of putting herself back together. Told through Nisha’s letters to her mother, The Night Diary is a heartfelt story of one girl’s search for home, for her own identity…and for a hopeful future.
Beast of Stone by Linda Sue Park
In this third and final installment in the enchanting Wing & Claw trilogy, Newbery Medal-winning author Linda Sue Park sends her young apothecary to the front lines of a fearsome battle, where he must rely on his talents and his friends to defend what he knows is right.
Raffa Santana is a healer, not a fighter. As a gifted apothecary, he has amazing instincts for unleashing the potential of magical-seeming plants. But his skills have failed to free the animals that the heartless Chancellor captured and turned against the people of Obsidia–directly threatening Raffa’s friends and family.
Now Raffa and his ragtag group of allies are preparing to confront the Chancellor’s armies in battle. Great beasts, small animals, and humans alike will be joining the fight, and Raffa’s heart yearns to prevent injuries–and worse–on both sides of the battle. After all, the Chancellor’s creatures will be fighting against their will. Can Raffa’s instincts for apothecary arts bring a tolerable resolution to an impossibly unfair fight?
The Sky at Our Feet by Nadia Hashimi
This #ownvoices novel by bestselling author Nadia Hashimi tells the affecting story of an Afghan-American boy who believes his mother has been deported. For fans of Inside Out and Back Againand Counting by 7s.
Jason has just learned that his Afghan mother has been living illegally in the United States since his father was killed in Afghanistan. Although Jason was born in the US, it’s hard to feel American now when he’s terrified that his mother will be discovered–and that they will be separated.
When he sees his mother being escorted from her workplace by two officers, Jason feels completely alone. He boards a train with the hope of finding his aunt in New York City, but as soon as he arrives in Penn Station, the bustling city makes him wonder if he’s overestimated what he can do.
After an accident lands him in the hospital, Jason finds an unlikely ally in a fellow patient. Max, a whip-smart girl who wants nothing more than to explore the world on her own terms, joins Jason in planning a daring escape out of the hospital and into the skyscraper jungle–even though they both know that no matter how big New York City is, they won’t be able to run forever.
Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake
In the wake of a destructive tornado, one girl develops feelings for another in this stunning, tender novel about emerging identity, perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish.
When a tornado rips through town, twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen’s house is destroyed and her family of five is displaced. Ivy feels invisible and ignored in the aftermath of the storm–and what’s worse, her notebook filled with secret drawings of girls holding hands has gone missing.
Mysteriously, Ivy’s drawings begin to reappear in her locker with notes from someone telling her to open up about her identity. Ivy thinks–and hopes–that this someone might be her classmate, another girl for whom Ivy has begun to develop a crush. Will Ivy find the strength and courage to follow her true feelings?
Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World exquisitely enriches the rare category of female middle-grade characters who like girls–and children’s literature at large.
The Tapper Twins Go Viral by Geoff Rodkey
Told as a series of interviews, photos, texts, social media hits, and videogame screenshots, The Tapper Twins Go Viral is a laugh-a-page story about online fame and shame, with internet pro-tips and a serious lesson about digital citizenship.
Claudia Tapper just doesn’t get it: How is it possible that the video of the best breakup song she’s ever written is watched by virtually nobody, when her brother Reese’s completely moronic 2-second clip of an video game wipeout ends up being the hottest thing online at Culvert Prep? Unfortunately, Claudia’s bold declaration of injustice sets the stage for the bet of her life: Which of the Tapper twins can get more online followers in a week? She had better top Reese’s rapidly escalating popularity or she can kiss her social life goodbye if she loses the bet and is forced to post the most embarrassing video imaginable.
The Wolf Keepers by Elise Broach
A high-stakes middle grade historical adventure through Yosemite National Park by the New York Times-bestselling author of Masterpiece.
Twelve-year-old Lizzie Durango and her dad have always had a zoo to call their home. Lizzie spends her days watching the animals and taking note of their various behaviors. Though the zoo makes for a unique home, it’s a hard place for Lizzie to make lasting friends. But all this changes one afternoon when she finds Tyler Briggs, a runaway who has secretly made the zoo his makeshift home. The two become friends and, just as quickly, stumble into a covert investigation involving the zoo wolves who are suddenly dying. Little do they know, this mystery will draw them into a high-stakes historical adventure involving the legend of John Muir as they try to navigate safely while lost in Yosemite National Park.
The Spinner Prince by Matt Laney
I am Leo, Prince of Singara, and I am about to die. . .
Prince Leo is next in line for the throne of Singara, a land ruled by super-evolved felines. Like every thirteen-year-old, Leo must prove his worth by hunting a deadly beast called a slaycon. But killing a slaycon is the least of Leo’s problems. The enemy beyond the Great Wall is rising up. Inside the wall, Singara is being torn apart by Leo’s rebellious cousin. Worst of all, Leo is a Spinner, cursed with a dangerous and forbidden power he can’t control.
The future of Singara is in Leo’s hands. Can he conceal his curse, claim the throne, and protect his realm? Or will he embrace his power and discover a far greater destiny . . . for himself and for his world?
An unforgettable adventure, this first book in the Pride Wars series by debut author Matt Laney introduces a world where honor and duty, ferocity and faith, are tested by an unexpected hero.
President of the Whole Sixth Grade: Girl Code by Sherri Winston
Go-getter Brianna Justice is back and on assignment with her local newspaper in this third book in the popular President series.
When budding middle school journalist Brianna Justice learns that Yavonka Steele, rising star of the nightly news broadcast, is looking for a mentee for a class project, she’s thrilled That is until she’s paired instead with a “boring” reporter from the community news desk.
But when she’s asked to interview students from a girls’ coding program at Price Academy, an inner-city middle school, this suburban girl has no idea what to expect. Will Brianna learn to ignore stereotypes and embrace the world around her?
Sherri Winston crafts another winning story in the President series, full of humor, heart, and a deeper examination of stereotypes and how they can throw a wrench in middle school life.
The Sound of Freedom by Kathy Kacer
Anna and her family have only one hope left to escape certain doom. It’s 1936 and life is becoming dangerous for the Jews of Krakow. As incidents of violence and persecution increase day by day, Anna begs her father to leave Poland, but he insists it’s impossible. How could he give up his position as an acclaimed clarinetist in the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra? When Anna and her father barely escape from a group of violent thugs, it becomes clear that the family must leave. But how? There seems to be only one possibility. Bronislaw Huberman, a world-renowned violinist, is auditioning Jewish musicians for a new orchestra in Palestine. If accepted, they and their families will receive exit visas. Anna and her grandmother boldly write to Huberman asking him to give Anna’s father an audition, but will that be enough to save them? This poignant story is based on real events in pre-war Poland and Palestine. After saving 700 Jews and their families, Huberman went on to establish what later became the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Against an ominous background of the impending Holocaust in Europe and the first Arab-Israeli war, The Sound of Freedom still manages to remind the reader of the goodness in the world.
The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown
The sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Wild Robot, by award-winning author Peter Brown.
Shipwrecked on a remote, wild island, Robot Roz learned from the unwelcoming animal inhabitants and adapted to her surroundings–but can she survive the challenges of the civilized world and find her way home to Brightbill and the island?
From bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator Peter Brown comes a heartwarming and action-packed sequel to his New York Times bestselling The Wild Robot, about what happens when nature and technology collide.
A Possibility of Whales by Karen Rivers
The story of a girl who–thanks to her friends, her famous dad, and a chance encounter with a whale–learns the true meaning of family.
Twelve-year-old Natalia Rose Baleine Gallagher loves possibilities: the possibility that she’ll see whales on the beach near her new home, that the boy she just met will be her new best friend, that the photographers chasing her actor father won’t force Nat and her dad to move again. Most of all, Nat dreams of the possibility that her faraway mother misses and loves Nat–and is waiting for Nat to find her.
The thing is, Nat doesn’t even know who her mother is. She left Nat as a baby, and Nat’s dad refuses to talk about it. Nat knows she shouldn’t need a mom, but she still feels like something is missing.
In this heartfelt story about family, friendship, and growing up, Nat’s questions lead her on a journey of self-discovery that will change her life forever.
Like Vanessa by Tami Charles
Middle graders will laugh and cry with thirteen-year-old Vanessa Martin as she tries to be like Vanessa Williams, the first black Miss America. In this semi-autobiographical debut novel set in 1983, Vanessa Martin’s real-life reality of living with family in public housing in Newark, New Jersey is a far cry from the glamorous Miss America stage. She struggles with a mother she barely remembers, a grandfather dealing with addiction and her own battle with self-confidence. But when a new teacher at school coordinates a beauty pageant and convinces Vanessa to enter, Vanessa’s view of her own world begins to change. Vanessa discovers that her own self-worth is more than the scores of her talent performance and her interview answers, and that she doesn’t need a crown to be comfortable in her own skin and see her own true beauty.
Elle of the Ball by Elena Delle Donne
From 2015 WNBA MVP, 2016 Olympic gold medalist, and global ambassador to the Special Olympics Elena Delle Donne comes the first novel in a brand-new middle grade series with as much heart as there is game. Elle Deluca is a seventh grader who is tall–not just sort of tall. She’s six feet tall. And for a twelve-year-old girl, this means that her basketball team has high hopes for her changing positions and becoming their starting center. But a new position is not the only footwork she has to learn. Her class’s dance unit in gym is coming up, and that means she has to learn ballroom dance steps with a boy much shorter than her–and perform publically for a grade. In the first book in WNBA MVP and Olympic gold medalist Elena Delle Donne’s Hoops series, Elle must figure out a way to remain herself when others want her to be someone else.
Beep and Bob: Party Crashers by Jonathan Roth
Beep and his best friend Bob get blamed for a robbery on a fancy spaceship in this second book in the hilarious, action-packed Beep and Bob series It’s Bob’s friend Lani’s birthday, and she’s having her party on a super luxury space cruiser called the Starship Titanic, whose motto is “The 100% safest ship in the galaxy.” The Titanic boasts three water parks, sixteen amusement parks, and twelve-million hyper-show channels on TV Beep and Bob pack their favorite swimsuits and their favorite TV watching gear. When Beep and Bob arrive on the ship, however, they realize they forgot the most important item: a birthday gift for Lani. Not only that, but Lani’s parents are super rich and expect everyone to wear a suit to dinner (not the bathing suit that Bob wore by mistake). But that’s not their biggest problem. No, that happens when the lights dim and guests’ jewelry is stolen from right under their noses–and Beep and Bob get blamed for the crime Things go from bad to worse when Beep and Bob discover that their “indestuctable” ship is headed right for the ice rings of Neptune–and then starts plummeting toward the planet below Can Beep and his squishy alien buddy save the Starship Titanic? Or will this be their last party ever?
Kasey and Ivy by Alison Hughes
Through twenty-six letters to her friend Nina, twelve-year-old Kasey chronicles her observations and impressions of her unexpected, month-long stay in a geriatric ward for the treatment of a rare but treatable bone disease (“osteo-something-something-itis”). Kasey tries to make her life less dull by wearing her own nightgowns, surrounding herself with her favorite stuffies and developing an unusual exercise routine. Hospital food, insomnia and the germy communal bath are enduring sources of dread, but some new (and unexpected) friends make her life bearable.
Love, Penelope by Joanne Rocklin, illustrated by Lucy Knisley
Penny is excited to welcome her new sibling, so throughout her mom’s pregnancy she writes letters to it (not it, YOU ). She introduces herself (Penelope, but she prefers “Penny”) and their moms (Sammy and Becky). She brags about their home city, Oakland, California (the weather, the Bay, and the Golden State Warriors) and shares the trials and tribulations of being a fifth-grader (which, luckily, YOU won’t have to worry about for a long time).
Penny asks little questions about her sibling’s development and starts to ask big questions about the world around her (like if and when her moms are ever going to get married “for real”).
Honest, relatable, and full of heart, Love, Penelope explores heritage, forgiveness, love, and identity through the eyes (and pen) of one memorable 10-year-old in a special year when marriage equality and an NBA championship made California a place of celebration.
Emily Windsnap and the Falls of Forgotten Island by Liz Kessler
While on vacation, Emily Windsnap finds herself swept up in an ancient prophecy as the New York Times best-selling series continues. Emily is headed to a tropical island for a relaxing vacation with friends and family. And this time, Emily promises her best friend, Shona, there will be absolutely no adventure — just plenty of fun. But somehow excitement always seems to find Emily, and before she knows it, she ends up on the other side of a powerful waterfall on a forgotten island no one else can get to. Well, no one that isn’t a half-mer like Emily and her boyfriend, Aaron. The people who live on the island believe in a prophecy that foretells how they can be saved from an imminent, devastating earthquake — and this prophecy seems to revolve around Emily and Aaron, as well as a mysterious, mythic giant. Will they be able to find the giant — and fulfill the prophecy — before it’s too late?
The Last Grand Adventure by Rebecca Behrens
Twelve-year-old Bea finds herself on a unique road-trip with her grandmother, as they search for her grandmother’s long-lost sister–the legendary Amelia Earhart–in this charming novel from the author of When Audrey Met Alice and Summer of Lost and Found. It’s 1967 and twelve-year-old Bea is in need of some adventure. Her mother is off in San Francisco, while her father has just gotten remarried in Los Angeles. Bea has gained a younger stepsister, and she’s not thrilled about her blended family. So when her ailing grandmother, Pidge, moves to an Orange County senior-living community and asks if Bea would spend the summer helping her get settled, Bea is happy for any excuse to get away. But it turns out, her grandmother isn’t interested in settling in. What she really wants is to hop a train back to Atchison, Kansas–where she thinks she’ll be reunited with her long-missing sister: Amelia Earhart. And she wants Bea to be her sidekick on this secret trip. At first, Bea thinks her grandmother’s plan is a little crazy. But Pidge has thirty years of letters written in “Meelie’s” unmistakable voice, all promising to reunite. This might be the adventure Bea needs… With letters in hand, Bea and Pidge set off on their quest to find Amelia. But getting halfway across the country proves to be more of an adventure than either of them bargained for. And their search for Amelia leads to some surprising truths about their family–and each other.
The Train of Lost Things by Ammi-Joan Paquette
A magical story about a boy’s love for his dying father and his journey to the mythic Train of Lost Things, where beloved lost objects are rescued and protected until they can be returned. Perfect for fans of The Phantom Tollbooth, The Bridge to Terabithia, and Lost in the Sun. Marty cherishes the extra-special birthday present his dad gave him — a jean jacket on which he’s afixed numerous buttons — because it’s a tie to his father, who is sick and doesn’t have much time left. So when his jacket goes missing, Marty is devastated. When his dad tells him the story of the Train of Lost Things, a magical train that flies through the air collecting objects lost by kids, Marty is sure that the train must be real, and that if he can just find the train and get his jacket back, he can make his dad better as well. It turns out that the train is real — and it’s gone out of control Instead of just collecting things that have been accidentally lost, the train has been stealing things. Along with Dina and Star, the girls he meets aboard the train, Marty needs to figure out what’s going on and help set it right. As he searches for his jacket, and for a way to fix the train, Marty begins to wonder whether he’s looking for the right things after all. And he realizes that sometimes you need to escape reality in order to let it sink in. In this achingly beautiful adventure, it is the power of memories, and the love between a father and son, that ultimately save the day.
World’s Apart by James Riley
Owen and Bethany try to find their way back to each other after the fictional and nonfictional worlds are torn apart in this fifth and final book in the New York Times bestselling series, Story Thieves—which was called a “fast-paced, action-packed tale” by School Library Journal–from the author of the Half Upon a Time trilogy. Bethany and Owen have failed. The villain they have come to know as Nobody has ripped asunder the fictional and nonfictional worlds, destroying their connection. Bethany has been split in two, with her fictional and nonfictional selves living in the separate realms. But weirdly, no one seems to mind. Owen–and every other nonfictional person–have lost their imaginations, so they can’t picture their lives any differently. Then Owen gets trapped in a dark, dystopian reality five years in the future, where nothing is needed more desperately than the power to imagine. Fictional Bethany is thrilled to be training with her father as his new sidekick, Twilight Girl–until she realizes that the fictional reality will fade away completely without the nonfictional world to hold it together. In this final installment of the genre-bending Story Thieves series, Owen and Bethany will be forced to risk everything to defeat Nobody and save multiple realities.
Terra Nova by Shane Arbuthnott
The city of Terra Nova was founded on a lie: that the spirits who cross over from the spirit world are evil and must be captured for the safety of humanity. But Molly Stout and her family have learned that the spirits are thinking, feeling beings, enslaved to enrich the wealthy, especially the spirit-harvesting company Haviland Industries and its founder, Charles Arkwright.
With the help of her family and the aetheric spirits Ariel and Legerdemain, Molly has been fighting to free the spirits. But Terra Nova runs on spiritual machinery, and for each factory they shut down, another takes its place. As Haviland Industries and the authorities of Terra Nova tighten their nets around Molly, she begins to question whether she is really making any difference or if her rebellion puts people and spirits at risk.
Bat and the Waiting Game by Elana K. Arnold with pictures by Charles Santoso
In the tradition of Clementine and Ramona Quimby, meet Bat. Author Elana K. Arnold returns with another irresistible story of friendship in this widely acclaimed series starring an unforgettable boy on the autism spectrum.
For Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat), life is pretty great. He’s the caretaker of the best baby skunk in the world–even Janie, his older sister, is warming up to Thor.
When Janie gets a part in the school play and can’t watch Bat after school, it means some pretty big changes. Someone else has to take care of the skunk kit in the afternoons, Janie is having sleepovers with her new friends, and Bat wants everything to go back to normal.
He just has to make it to the night of Janie’s performance. . . .
Elementals: Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman
From New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman comes an electrifying new series about a brother and sister who must harness their powers and find their place in a sharply divided world.
Everyone in Vallen knows that ice wolves and scorch dragons are sworn enemies who live deeply separate lives.
So when twelve-year-old orphan Anders takes one elemental form and his twin sister, Rayna, takes another, he wonders whether they are even related. Still, whether or not they’re family, Rayna is Anders’s only true friend. She’s nothing like the brutal, cruel dragons who claimed her as one of their own and stole her away.
In order to rescue her, Anders must enlist at the foreboding Ulfar Academy, a school for young wolves that values loyalty to the pack above all else. But for Anders, loyalty is more complicated than obedience, and friendship is the most powerful shapeshifting force of all.
Good Dog by Dan Gemeinhart
Brodie was a good dog. And good dogs go to heaven.
Except Brodie can’t move on. Not just yet. As wonderful as his glimpse of the afterlife is, he can’t forget the boy he left behind. The boy he loved, and who loved him in return.
The boy who’s still in danger.
So Brodie breaks the rules of heaven. He returns to Earth as a spirit. With the help of two other lost souls — lovable pitbull Tuck and surly housecat Patsy — he is determined to find his boy and to save him.
Even if it costs him paradise. Even if he loses his eternal soul.
Because it’s what a good dog would do.
Out of the Wild Night by Blue Balliett
Ghosts are alive on the island of Nantucket. You can hear them in the wind and in the creaks of the old homes. They want to be remembered. And, even more, they want to protect what was once theirs.
The ghosts have chosen a few local kids to save the island against the adults who would do it harm. But the kids can’t be sure how the ghosts are going to act. Things tend to disappear when ghosts are around. People tend to get trapped – especially if they’re up to no good. Only the kids can make things right . . . if the ghosts will let them.
Out of the Wild Night is master storyteller Blue Balliett at her spooky best, a spellbinding tale about the haunted residents of a very special place.
The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson
When Candice finds a letter in an old attic in Lambert, South Carolina, she isn’t sure she should read it. It’s addressed to her grandmother, who left the town in shame. But the letter describes a young woman. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery enfolding the letter-writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle. So with the help of Brandon Jones, the quiet boy across the street, she begins to decipher the clues. The challenge will lead them deep into Lambert’s history, full of ugly deeds, forgotten heroes, and one great love; and deeper into their own families, with their own unspoken secrets. Can they find the fortune and fulfill the letter’s promise before the answers slip into the past yet again?
Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender
Caroline Murphy is a Hurricane Child.
Being born during a hurricane is unlucky, and twelve-year-old Caroline has had her share of bad luck lately. She’s hated and bullied by everyone in her small school on St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, a spirit only she can see won’t stop following her, and — worst of all — Caroline’s mother left home one day and never came back.
But when a new student named Kalinda arrives, Caroline’s luck begins to turn around. Kalinda, a solemn girl from Barbados with a special smile for everyone, becomes Caroline’s first and only friend — and the person for whom Caroline has begun to develop a crush.
Now, Caroline must find the strength to confront her feelings for Kalinda, brave the spirit stalking her through the islands, and face the reason her mother abandoned her. Together, Caroline and Kalinda must set out in a hurricane to find Caroline’s missing mother — before Caroline loses her forever.
Cilla Lee-Jenkins: This Book is a Classic by Susan Tan, illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte
Priscilla “Cilla” Lee-Jenkins has just finished her (future) bestselling memoir, and now she’s ready to write a Classic. This one promises to have everything: Romance, Adventure, and plenty of Drama–like Cilla’s struggles to “be more Chinese,” be the perfect flower girl at Aunt Eva’s wedding, and learn how to share her best friend.
In Cilla Lee-Jenkins: This Book Is a Classic, author Susan Tan seamlessly weaves experiences as a Chinese American with universal stories about being a big sister, making friends, and overcoming fears. Cilla Lee-Jenkins will bulldoze her way into your heart in this winning middle grade novel about family, friendship, and finding your voice.
Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
Best-selling author Rick Riordan introduces this adventure by Roshani Chokshi about twelve-year-old Aru Shah, who has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she’ll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from her latest archeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur? One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru’s doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don’t believe her claim that the museum’s Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again. But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it’s up to Aru to save them. The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and journey through the Kingdom of Death. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that?
Jake the Fake Keeps it Real by Craig Robinson and Adam Mansbach, art by Keith Knight
For fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Big Nate comes the first book in a side-splitting illustrated series from comedian and film star Craig Robinson, #1 New York Times bestselling author Adam Mansbach, and NAACP History Maker recipient and cartoonist Keith Knight. Jake can barely play an instrument, not even a kazoo. And his art? It’s better suited for Pictionary than Picasso. Which is a real problem because Jake just faked his way into the Music and Art Academy for the gifted and talented (and Jake is pretty sure he is neither). More jokester than composer, Jake will have to think of something quick before the last laugh is on him. Featuring more than 160 illustrations, Jake the Fake is sure to bring the laughs with his hilarious high jinks.