A perfect friendship story for kids transitioning to a middle grade reading level. Its goofy, heart-warming, and guaranteed to teach kids the most important part of being a good friend!
The 7 Problim siblings lived in a house on the swamp…until it exploded! Thus, they move to their grandfather’s house, a wonderful place with huge yards, old-fashioned architecture & lots of surprises. Unfortunately, most of their neighbors, especially the evil Desdemona O’pinion & want them away, saying, “These Problims are problems!” But the Problim kids won’t be pushed around. For fans of Roald Dahl, this book will be especially enticing!
— ARC REVEIWER Lucy H., age 10
With so many kids and so many interests, life on the Poplar Lane cul-de-sac is never boring! Peter wants to be successful, and that means being the best at business, no matter what, right? Rachel doesn't want to be invisible, and that means beating Peter at his own game, no matter what, right?
Panning for pyrite, supply and demanding customers, glitter and glitter-induced allergies, changing friendships and questionable partnerships, how will it all end?
Smart Cookie is a mixture of a mystery, comedy and ghost story! All Frankie wants is to have her family full again so she sets her dad up on a dating site without his knowledge. This story is full of love and family and is a great heartwarming read and perfect for Valentine’s Day!
All Veronica wants is to be one of the cool kids. She didn’t think waking up with “stupid powers” was part of the deal. This quirky novel shows how someone’s emotions can really come to life (in her case emoji heart show up in front of her crush!) A great funny read for kids trying to understand and deal with their emotions!
Truly, you will appreciate and be inspired by Mason's sense of humor and outlook on life. Leslie Connor tells a moving, and at times--heartbreaking--story with unique characters that are so alive, they spring right off the page. A definite read for everyone and a book I hope that will end up in every classroom and school library.
Martin Rising is a beautiful poem and tribute to the prophetic life of Martin Luther King Jr. In such a graceful way it both educated me and made me feel connected emotionally to the last months of MLK's life; from learning about his family and friendships, his last supper, the weather the days of the marches to the immense sense of hope he delivered! A must have for every school and home library!
A sweet coming of age story with just enough darkness and danger to make it even more interesting. Emmaline can control the shadows around her. Dar, Emmaline’s own shadow, is her only friend – and fellow troublemaker. When a stranger arrives at the estate and threatens to take Emmaline away from home to “cure her,” Dar encourages her to run and run they do. Watching Emmaline grow and realize what was happening around her, because of her, was fascinating. I can't wait to see where she goes from here in the next book.
The long-awaited sequel to Gordon Korman’s Ungifted is here! Noah, the Academy genius, has gotten himself purposely kicked out of the Academy. Even the most complicated, advanced schools are easy for him. All he wants is to be able to fail if he wants to. But he quickly learns that normal middle school brings challenges that can’t be solved with a math algorithm or a computer program. He’s already made enemies with head cheerleader Megan Mercury, just because he’s joined her cheerleading squad &…because he’s the clumsiest being known to mankind. He’s bullied by super-jock “Hashtag” Taggart also. And eventually becomes one of the most popular kids in school by falsely claiming to be “Superkid.” Now he's loving it a little too much for someone who did absolutely nothing. A hilarious story about fitting in & being who you are.
— ARC REVIEWER Hannah C., age 12
At first, 11-year-old Elizabeth Somers thinks her Christmas vacation at The Winterhouse Hotel will be terrible.Surprisingly, moved by the cheer & warmth, Elizabeth realizes she wants to stay there—always. But when a witch comes to take Winterhouse & its magic, Elizabeth’s hopes dim. But one thing she knows, she must try to save the hotel, & she does so, one puzzle at a time. With wonderful illustrations & fun word play, Winterhouse is a book that you’ll want to read over & over again!
— ARC REVIEWER Lucy H., age 10
Bolivar is the last dinosaur. He is alive and well and living quietly in NYC. Only his neighbor, Sybil, notices. Determined to fix an unfair parking ticket, Bolivar is mistaken for the mayor and whisked off to open an exhibit at the Museum of Natural History.
A great combination of story and illustration!
I adored this touching, magic-filled Persian fantasy. At times dark and disturbing, it retains the sense of whimsy and tenderness that I found so charming in Furthermore. In her job as a mordeshoor, Laylee is responsible for preparing the dead to cross over into the afterlife, a burden bigger than anyone her age should bear alone. She is a lonely but caring girl, and in desperate need of some help and friendship when two strange visitors arrive in Whichwood, changing her life more than she could have imagined.
Owl wants to find out more about her father because she never met him. She finds out that he is Jack Frost & goes on a quest to meet him. Along the way, she starts to wonder if she has secret powers. Great for fans of adventure or fantasy. I was frozen to my seat from start to finish!
— ARC REVIEWER YuJi S., age 9
Grab your brollies (umbrellas) and take a leap--that's what Morrigan Crow must do, trusting the strange Jupiter North, a man who rescues her from her cursed 11th birthday. But she soon finds she has been volunteered to compete for a place in the magical Wundrous Society, for which she is completely unprepared. Help from her new friend Hawthorne evens the playing field, but cannot prepare her for what she ultimately learns about herself. A great magical adventure.
Short, swift chapters deliver a gripping, action packed adventure story guaranteed to hold your attention. And, if that’s not enough, this book was filled with super-cool spy gear we all wish we had.
In Spy School Secret Service, Ben Ripley once again takes on a mission to thwart SPYDER. The Goal: To protect the president from an assassination. For the first time ever, Ben must go in solo. Spy School Secret Service is an excellent book, filled with combat, ingenious deductions, and falling whale skeletons. With well-developed characters and cunning villains, mystery readers are sure to love this book.
-Matthew X., age 12
I love this well-crafted adventure fantasy that’s filled with humor, danger, monsters, magic and friendship. And did I mention the humor? Because authors, Clark & Eliopulos nail it in this their debut novel! The chapters rotate evenly between the two main characters: Zed—who is half elf and his best friend, Brock –who is the son of a wealthy merchant, which really makes for a more rich and interesting read. Add to that, a wonderful mix of supporting characters and you have one of the best middle grade books of the year. I can’t wait for the next installment!
The holidays may be over for the rest of us but not for Peter and his family in this latest instalment of Peter Powers. Filled with humor similar to Dogman & Captain Underpants, this series is great for 8-year-olds who will soon be merging into middle grade novels.
Fantastic realistic fiction, yet so much of this amazing story pushes into the “magic” of parallel universes and human connection. Like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, Julian tells the story of his family, two Moms and a sister, through the lens of his medical issues. This is a hilarious, heartbreaking, and ultimately a heartwarming story of family, love, and the great Cosmos we call home.
What if the past, present, and future had been mashed together creating a whole new world? That’s Diego’s world. And when his father—a talented engineer whose skills have been helping stabilize this new world—is kidnapped, Diego goes after him. Joining him is best friend Petey, from the 1920s, and classmates Paige from 1984, and Lucy from the late 1800s. They end up on a pirate ship, travel across the ocean and make a shattering discovery. This is a grand tale of adventure! The full color illustrations are balanced with text that’s sure to captivate you as much as it did me. What a great gift for boys (& girls!).
Milo Pine’s home, a hotel called Greenglass House, is full of guests—and that makes him want to scream. But when he gets tangled up in a mystery involving a heist & some old friends, he must—with help from a ghost as well as logic & stories guiding him—control his emotions & solve it. I love this sequel to Greenglass House, again set in a cold, but cozy winter environment.
-Lucy H., age 10
This charming story is a feel-good realistic fiction account (based on the author's childhood!) of Josie, a girl in a large family struggling to make ends meet, but still having space in their hearts (if not in their apartment!) for a little pig runt named Hamlet. With gymnastics finals coming, and Dad's deadline to find a home for Hamlet, Josie discovers the strength she needs resides in her herself, her family, and her friends. A thoroughly modern tale that feels like a classic!
The cover and every single page of this book is super cool with spectacular photographs of all things in the natural world. You feel like you can reach out and touch a chameleon’s skin or a leopard’s fur. When not being blown away by the photos, you will learn about how hummingbird hover and frogs communicate and thousands of other fascinating nature facts. Great family gift!
Lisa McMann has done it again, with a sequel even better than the original Going Wild. The first book left readers in suspense, wondering the fate of Charlie’s father, who was abducted by Dr. Gray. In the sequel, we follow Charlie & her friends as they work to rescue him. In an exciting twist, it is not only Charlie that has a magical bracelet, but also her friends. They must learn to harness their new animal powers as they fight evil. This book is action-packed, never leaving the reader with a dull scene. The author has created incredible characters that are relatable & inspiring—it draws you in & keeps you interested through the whole story. I definitely recommend this amazing book!
— Hannah C., age 12
Gabriel is longing to find his mom, who vanished without a grace when he was a baby. Along with Gabriel’s raven, Paladin with whom he has a magical bond, he & his three friends venture back to the ruined underground city of Aviopolis to free her from the rune in which she’s been imprisoned. But Aviopolis is home to the Lord of Air & Darkness, who’s also Gabriel’s uncle & before his mom is released, Gabriel must answer a riddle…or else be imprisoned forever in a rune for eternity.
— ARC REVIEWER Alexander P., age 11
Fred, Con, Lila and Max’s airplane crashes in the Amazon Rainforest and they are stranded. Days and days pass as they look for a way to get home but only become more and more lost. As they struggle to stay alive—searching for food, water and shelter—they find a map. Where will it lead them? Will they ever see their families again or will they be stuck in the rainforest forever? Read this exciting adventure to find out! I loved this book.
-ARC Reviewer Jane W., age 8
Zig is my kind of everyday hero! Smart, resourceful, loyal, he faces every bump in the road with the determination of “an electron in a parallel circuit.” After scoring a GPS unit at a garage sale, Zig begins to geocache. But someone has found these caches before - the elusive Senior Searcher. Could he be Zig’s dad? Zig is also determined to find a place he and his mother can call home. Some searches have a funny way of turning up what you need in the most unexpected ways. I couldn’t put this book down until I reached the satisfying end.
Once again, Polly Horvath delivers a satisfying and entirely unpredictable tale! To Franny, WWII seems very far away from her home on Vancouver Island . . . until her neighbor starts sending secret messages from an airbase, then disappears, and his kids are left with Franny and her parents. Mystery and magic start to permeate Franny’s everyday world. Did a mermaid rescue the local hermit? Was that a UFO flying around town? Are there ghosts in the kitchen, messages on the radio, and a psychic in the kitchen? And what will happen if Franny and her visitors set foot in the forbidden Night Garden?