So . . . sudden homeschooling while working from home is exhausting, right? I know a lot of parents are in the same boat. Luckily, there are some fantastic middle grade new releases out this month to keep kids reading, thinking, and even cooking (and everyone staying sane)! Happy reading!
by Katherine Applegate
HarperCollins (May 5, 2020)
Bob sets out on a dangerous journey in search of his long-lost sister with the help of his two best friends, Ivan and Ruby. As a hurricane approaches and time is running out, Bob finds courage he never knew he had and learns the true meaning of friendship and family.
Bob, Ivan, and Ruby have touched the hearts of millions of readers, and their story isn’t over yet. Catch up with these beloved friends before the star-studded film adaptation of The One and Only Ivan hits theaters in August 2020!
By Terri Libenson
Balzer + Bray (May 5, 2020)
Middle school is full of challenges.
Everyone knows how much brainy Bri likes the spotlight (not). So why did she ever agree to something that forces her to learn a new language, give a speech, help organize a party, and juggle drama at school and home?! As the big event inches closer, Bri wonders if it’s all worth it. . . .
Told in alternating past and present chapters, Bri’s heartwarming story unfolds over the eight months leading up to her bat mitzvah—as well as over the course of the big day itself.
by Tui T. Sutherland
Scholastic Press (May 5, 2020)
Growing up in the hives, Cricket has always had a million questions. Why are trees forbidden, even in art? Why do her parents seem to hate her? And the biggest, most dangerous and secret question of all: Why is Cricket immune to Queen Wasp’s powers? Whenever the queen takes control of all the HiveWings, speaking through their mouths and seeing through their eyes, Cricket has to hide, terrified of being discovered.
Now she’s hiding again, wanted for stealing the Book of Clearsight along with her new SilkWing friends, Blue and Swordtail, and the fierce LeafWing, Sundew. The fugitives need answers, and fast, in order to prevent a LeafWing attack. But Cricket has more questions than ever. How can she stay hidden and discover the queen’s deadliest secret? And if she does succeed — can a powerless dragonet really do anything to topple a regime and stop a war?
by Andrea Beaty
Amulet Books (May 12, 2020)
Iggy Peck is an architect at his very core: When he’s not making houses out of food, his head is up in the clouds, dreaming of design. So he’s totally blown away when Ada Twist’s Aunt Bernice inherits an old house from ice-cream mogul Herbert Sherbert that is filled with countless rooms from all his favorite architectural periods. But something’s not quite right . . . Everyone says the house is haunted, and it seems that a number of priceless antiques—which were supposed to help Aunt Bernice pay for the house’s upkeep—have gone missing. If they can’t find those antiques, Aunt Bernice might lose the house forever. It will take all of Iggy’s knowledge of architecture and the help of the other Questioneers—Rosie Revere, Ada Twist, and Sofia Valdez—to solve the mystery and find the treasure!
by Anthony Spears, Abigail Langford, Paul Kimball, Katie Dessinger, and Will Bartlett
Sterling Epicure (May 19, 2020)
Cookbooks for kids often focus on bland “child-friendly” fare, but the authors of Chef Junior, five young cooks between the ages of 12 and 15, challenge that assumption. Instead, they present a repertoire of healthy, delicious, and inventive recipes that range from easy to advanced. Kids will love these dishes and drinks, including Tiramisu French Toast, Coconut Chicken Nuggets, Garden Fresh Pesto Pasta, Peach Cobbler, chocolate-y No-Bake Cookies, and Mango Lemonade, along with perennial favorites like mac ‘n’ cheese, hamburgers, pizza, and tacos. In addition, children will learn how to set up a working pantry and shop for healthy, high-quality ingredients; use kitchen tools (including knives) safely and skillfully; and create meal plans the whole family will enjoy.
By Matthew Burgess, Illustrated by Josh Cochran
Enchanted Lion Books (May 19, 2020)
From Matthew Burgess, the much-acclaimed author of Enormous Smallness, comes Drawing on Walls: A Story of Keith Haring. Often seen drawing in white chalk on the matte black paper of unused advertising space in the subway, Haring’s iconic pop art and graffiti-like style transformed the New York City underground in the 1980s. A member of the LGBTQ community, Haring died tragically at the age of thirty-one from AIDS-related complications. Illustrated in paint by Josh Cochran, himself a specialist in bright, dense, conceptual drawings, this honest, celebratory book honors Haring’s life and art, along with his very special connection with kids.
by Don Brown
Amulet Books (April 28, 2020)
Machines That Think! explores machines from ancient history to today that perform a multitude of tasks, from making mind-numbing calculations to working on assembly lines. Included are fascinating looks at the world’s earliest calculators, the birth of computer programming, and the arrival of smartphones. Contributors discussed include Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, Ada Lovelace, and Bill Gates. From the abacus to artificial intelligence, machines through the ages have pushed the boundaries of human capability and creativity. Back matter includes a timeline, endnotes, a bibliography, an author’s note, and an index.