I have read some absolutely fantastic middle grade books lately and have been horrible about posting about them. So please enjoy this roundup of middle grade books—they are already available and you can pick them up immediately!
Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake
Twelve-year-old Ivy loves to draw and most of her pictures are of two girls holding hands in a treehouse—she’s never shared her drawings with anyone. She is terrified after a tornado displaces her family and she loses her notebook of drawings. In the days following the event, she begins to find her own drawings in her locker with notes encouraging her to talk to someone about her sexual identity.
This book is BEAUTIFUL and I’m so happy a middle grade book with this topic exists.
MY RATING: ✰✰✰✰✰
Thank you Disney Hyperion for sending me these galleys!
A FRIENDLY TOWN THAT’S ALMOST ALWAYS BY THE OCEAN! by Kirk Fox, M. Shelley Coates
In this first installment to the Topsea series, we watch new kid Davy get acclimated to his new, exciting, and, well…weird school and town. His new classmates are quirky and charming and they all band together to help Davy discover the secrets of Topsea.
This book is super cute and also told in newspaper clippings and web articles. Think ILLUIMINAE-style storytelling.
MY RATING: ✰✰✰
CHARLIE & FROG by Karen Kane
Charlie is sent to live with his grandparents for the summer, where he encounters a old woman who gives him a frantic message in sign language before disappearing. Charlie teams up with Francine aka Frog, a local deaf girl, who wants nothing more than to become a real detective.
Yay for disability rep in middle grade books! Also yay for positive friendships!
MY RATING: ✰✰✰1/2
CAPTAIN SUPERLATIVE by J.S. Puller
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Captain Superlative! Janey is as mesmerized as her classmates when a self-proclaimed superhero shows up at her middle school in a cape. When she reluctantly befriends the avenger, she learns secrets behind the mask and starts to question what it means to be a superhero.
I loved this—such a powerful message about friendship and how we look at our heroes.
MY RATING: ✰✰✰✰
Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
Twelve-year-old Aru Shah is known as a bit of a fibber amongst her classmates. She often will make up grandiose stories to fit in with her classmates. When three classmates show up at the Museum of Ancient Indian Art to catch her in a lie, Aru accidentally lets loose an ancient demon, the Sleeper, who is on a mission to wake the God of Destruction. To stop this from happening, Aru must find the reincarnations of the five Pandava brothers and save the world.
As per usz, Chokshi has the most beautiful writing and I cannot wait to read the three remaining books in this series.
MY RATING: ✰✰✰✰
Thank you Disney Hyperion, Rick Riordan Presents, for my e-galley!
Carnival Magic by Amy Ephron
Siblings Tess and Max return to England for the summer to stay with their Aunt Evie in the magical sounding Devon-by-the-Sea. Tess and Max manage to finagle attending a traveling carnival alone, but promise to meet Aunt Evie in a few hours. While attending the carnival psychic, Tess and Max are transported into a seemingly alternate universe, where they befriend two acrobat siblings. In order to return to life as they know it, they must find their way back through the mysterious House of Mirrors.
I hadn’t read the first book, THE CASTLE IN THE MIST, but still enjoyed this a lot. Such a cute MG fantasy story.
MY RATING: ✰✰✰
Thank you Philomel books for my galley!