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Staff Suggestions — Kids 8-12 Years

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We Dream of Space Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062747303
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Greenwillow Books - May 5th, 2020

OMG! I loved this book from start to finish. Siblings, Bird, Fitch, and Cash are navigating their own unique ways through 7th Grade and dealing with parents who spend more time arguing than with them. Set in 1986 as the country was preparing for the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger and its first teacher in space, this book is filled with triumphs and hardships that all kids go through. A must read!

— Karen


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The Colossus of Roads Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780823444502
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Margaret Ferguson Books - April 1st, 2020

When I read this book, I immediately thought of Beverly Cleary, who said: I write about ordinary kids living ordinary everyday lives. Christina Uss has captured this feeling! There’s humor, charm and a great friendship that builds between Rick and his neighbor Mila. Add to that, Rick’s love of traffic patterns makes this story fresh and unusual. Perfect for readers ready to move from early chapter books into middle grade novels.

— Susan


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The Mystery of the Moon Tower (The Pathfinders Society) Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780425291870
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - April 21st, 2020

When a summer camp in a small town starts to have money problems, a group of campers decide to try to find the legendary treasure the camp's founder has hidden. There are plenty of clues for them to follow as they get to know each other in this first in a graphic novel series. A perfect read for kids looking for more story in their graphic novels.

— Jamie


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Stepping Stones (Peapod Farm #1) Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781984896841
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Graphic - May 5th, 2020

I liked Jen and the way she handled her Mom’s new boyfriend, his two daughters, the things she’s bad at (like math), and the things she’s really good at, but maybe doesn’t give herself the credit she deserves (like art). A great read under a shady tree. 

— Jamie


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Ways to Make Sunshine (A Ryan Hart Novel #1) Cover Image
By Renée Watson, Nina Mata (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781547600564
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury Children's Books - April 28th, 2020

I like this new take on the lovable girl-of-her-time Ramona. Rising star Renee Watson has written an updated new girl-next-door best friend and I, for one, am happy to make her my new bestie!

— Jamie


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Echo Mountain Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525555568
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - April 21st, 2020

I was thoroughly captivated in just the first two pages of this breathtaking novel, and I loved Ellie's quiet assured voice in the face of difficulty. Taking place in Maine during the Depression, the resilience shown by Ellie and her family is especially hopeful, and Ellie's own awakening is powerful. Once again, Wolk proves she is one of the finest writers for middle grade.

— Jamie


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Wink Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781984815149
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dial Books - March 31st, 2020

Like a lot of realistic fiction, it's the warm, funny, and vulnerable character that makes his story relatable, allowing you to begin to see a new perspective. I found Ross to be such a character. Wonder fans, of course, will enjoy this one, but also graphic novel fans looking for something humorous with a side of serious.

— Jamie


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Mr. Tiger, Betsy, and the Blue Moon Cover Image
By Sally Gardner, Nick Maland (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780593095164
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Workshop - April 7th, 2020

This stunning new work by Sally Gardner takes its place right next to My Father's Dragon and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a classic read aloud. A fantastical circus tent, and charming characters like the tiny Gongalong acrobats and wise Mr. Tiger, are just a few of the enchanting elements that families will want to revisit again and again. A must on every bookshelf. 

— Jamie


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Here in the Real World Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062698957
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - February 4th, 2020

Like Ware, a creative misunderstood dreamer, I think I want to live in Magic Fairness Land! This is a feel good story of two outsiders who come together and discover who they are. I loved that not everything works out because, after all, they are living "here in the real world."

— Jamie


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Center of Gravity Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250191861
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Feiwel & Friends - March 24th, 2020

I love a sad, beautifully written story with a message of hope. Tessa and her new group of friends are proof that we are never alone, even in our darkest times. This novel shines a light on the strength kids possess, both in trying to handle their problems on their own, and in having the courage to seek out help. An overall stunning novel. 

— Becky


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Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen! Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525554189
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dial Books - February 25th, 2020

I couldn’t decide if I wanted Vivy to succeed because she’s on the spectrum or because she’s a girl who wants to play baseball, not softball! Told through a series of emails, I cheered all the way through this gentle story about believing in yourself. I’m also completely psyched for knuckleball season!

— Jamie


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Coo Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062955975
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Greenwillow Books - March 3rd, 2020

Coo is a brilliant debut all about friendship, bravery, and how not all families are brought together by blood. I love Coo. She's curious, compassionate, and fiercely loyal to her flock. A story about a girl raised by everyone's least favorite birds managed to steal my heart from the opening pages. The pigeons unique personalities and language make the story really come to life. I adored this book!

— Becky


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City Spies Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534414914
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Aladdin - March 10th, 2020

I am a fan of spy novels, so I loved this group of kids that MI6 is secretly training at a special school in Scotland. In City Spies, we get to know them and see them in action—enjoy this adventure!

— Jamie


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Fire in the Star (The Unicorn Quest) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781681192499
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury Children's Books - February 18th, 2020

Sometimes when I finish a novel, I don’t want to pick up another. I want to let that story simmer. And this is a perfect example! With the end of book three comes the end of wondrous trilogy. But oh, what a marvelous ending to a finely spun tale. Benko kept building and building the suspense; I thought the book was going to explode out of my hands! I love Claire and Sophie; their relationship is so authentic and so is their journey.

— Susan


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If We Were Giants Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781484778715
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney-Hyperion - March 3rd, 2020

Put down the guitar, Dave! Dave Matthews proves he is a master storyteller with this fantasy tale that examines the issues that arise when a band of conquering giants try to invade a peaceful society. I liked the wonderful characters, lush imagery, and big themes, and I hope he will find time to write a sequel!

— Jamie


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The Midnight Hour Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338569094
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Chicken House - March 3rd, 2020

A wonderfully bewitching world is conjured in this new middle grade fantasy I couldn’t put down. The impulsive, snarky heroine is refreshing and I loved the mysterious Hog, a hedgehog who may prove magical yet. I eagerly await book two!

— Jamie


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Mañanaland Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781338157864
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Press - March 3rd, 2020

An enchanting novel full of hope and magical realism! Mañanaland is told through the eyes of 11-year-old Maximiliano, who loves fútbol and the stories told by his Buelo. Many of his Buelo's stories are about their family history as “Guardians of the Hidden Ones,” helping those fleeing oppression. One night, Max too is called upon. A timely story; one that you will not soon forget.

— Marilyn


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A Galaxy of Sea Stars Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780374309091
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - February 4th, 2020

Wow! Such thoughtful writing. Every lovely, powerful, perfect word just falls into place to tell a tale of bravery. Of staying true to yourself. Of speaking out. And such careful consideration was given to each character. I stood in Izzy’s shoes and Sitara’s and not only felt what they felt but really understood their points of view—their stories. I also love what Nonni said to Izzy: Will your fear be bigger than your courage, or will your courage be bigger than your fear?

— Susan


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Cast Away: Poems for Our Time Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062907691
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Greenwillow Books - February 11th, 2020

If you pick up this book be prepared to “talk trash”- only in the most thoughtful, relevant, and entertaining ways possible! Young people’s poet laureate, Naomi Shihab Nye explores the things we discard, propelling us to not only to be more conscientious about it, but also to think about it in a whole new way. This collection is calling all young environmentalist to pick up this book, and perhaps some trash!

— Tonya


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Zatanna and the House of Secrets Cover Image
By Matthew Cody, Yoshi Yoshitani (Illustrator)
$9.99
ISBN: 9781401290702
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: DC Comics - February 18th, 2020

Drawn with a nod to manga, veteran author Matthew Cody spins a tale of magic and middle-grade issues. The colorful cast of characters, including my favorite: the wise and grumpy rabbit Pocus, pack a lot of adventure into this one tale. I look forward to the next!

— Jamie


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The Boy Who Grew Dragons Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9781499810110
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Yellow Jacket - February 4th, 2020

It felt like Tomas was talking directly to me in this funny story about the luckiest kid in the world: BECAUSE HE HAS A DRAGON FOR A PET! Was ancient magic involved? Can his friends get one? Can he keep this a secret from Liam, a Class A bully? Illustrations throughout capture all the fun.

— Jamie


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The Story Seeker: A New York Public Library Book (The Story Collector #2) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250301093
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - January 28th, 2020

I love this story! Who doesn’t want to read about libraries or books or wonderful words!? But it’s not just any old story…this is historical fiction based on a family who actually did live in the NYC Public Library in the 1920s. And the mystery of the missing books that Viviani is investigating is also true. Although this is a follow up to The Story Collector, it can be read without having read the first! Just an absolute joy!

— Susan