Middle-grade books with Muslim characters are a rarity. If you have a Muslim reader who yearns to see themselves in books, these middle-grade books with Muslim characters are a good start. They, of course, also make for excellent windows into the lives of others, though different from ours. Beyond practicing Islam though (which is a small fraction of these books’ contents), these stories cover a wide range of themes from sports to immigration to food and friendship.
When Bina’s mom suggests buying bracelets for Bina’s brothers in celebration of Raksha Bandhan, Bina decides that she’s now old enough to make the bracelets for them instead. Each brother has a different favorite color, and one color they dislike. Bina’s challenge is to make bracelets with two alternating colors: one, their one favorite color and another color they like, while excluding the one color they absolutely do not like. Can she do it?
Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry is Joya Goffney’s debut YA novel. It follows list-making high-schooler Quinn whose journal full of *very* private lists and confession is stolen. The thief then blackmails her into completing the items on one of her lists, one of which is telling her parents that she did not actually get into Columbia, the university she already told them she was accepted into. Quinn is convinced that her blackmailer is Carter Bennett, the last person to have had her journal. But when a page of her journal is posted on Instagram, Quinn is desperate enough to join forces with Carter to find the blackmailer.
I’m pleased that this list has a range of characters of different races and social backgrounds. These stories also have a variety of themes besides music. You’ll find among these middle-grade music books, stories about race, homelessness, immigration, sexual harassment, anxiety, neurodiversity, and much more.
The best middle grade books about dogs and their owners often warm readers hearts, whether or not they’re dog lovers. Although I already have a list of middle grade books about animals, it was only right to make one just about dogs! This list includes books written from the dogs’ perspective and those about the bond shared by a tween and their dog.
Thirteen-year-old Nat Beacon has the chance to fly when she stumbles upon a group of kids putting on a production of Wicked, the musical. Nat has been paralyzed from the waist down since an accident when she was two. She’s also a wheelchair athlete whose parents have moved from California to New Jersey for her mother’s new job. Nat is obsessed with Broadway and Hamilton although she has never actually been in a musical.