In Off to See the Sea, a boy is cajoled into bath time, and with his mother’s help and an active imagination, bath time becomes a more whimsical and enjoyable experience.
E.L. Shen is the author of The Comeback, a vibrant middle-grade novel about a young ice skater with a lot of passion. I spoke to E.L. about her debut middle-grade book, ice-skating, writing an emotionally honest novel, and handling racism, microaggressions and macroaggressions on the page. I enjoyed this interview just as much as I did her book.
Rigel has 365 days to Alaska. After her parents split up, her mom moves Rigel and her two sisters from their Alaskan bush living to Connecticut where their grandmother lives. At first, Rigel hates it in the Connecticut suburbs, even though her sisters seem to be having a better time. They’re excited about the comforts of running water, a television, and malls, among other things. But Rigel yearns for the quiet of bush life, wants to return to the simplicity of hunting animals for food, and being with her dad. So her father promises her that in a year, when he’s earned a bit of money from working, Rigel can return to live with him in Alaska.
The best middle-grade books about families warm our hearts. But then again, isn’t nearly every book a little bit about families? I thought so too, so for this list of middle-grade books about families, I chose books with family as one of the central themes. This means that whether the families in this story are small (parent and child) or large (parents and multiple children), a major plot point is how the family unit deals with a given challenge. You’ll find happy families, worried families, dysfunctional families, and supportive families in various shapes and sizes.
Alone is Megan E. Freeman’s debut survival middle-grade novel in verse. It follows 12-year-old Maddie who gets abandoned by some twist of fate when her entire town is mysteriously evacuated. Left alone with no human in sight, she bonds with a Rottweiler named George who is one of many abandoned pets. Soon after, they lose power and then water and Maddie has to fend for herself using a variety of ingenious means and the town resources at her disposal, including an empty library, grocery store, and neighbors’ homes.
A (not by any means exhaustive) list of 65 superb young adult novels by black authors featuring black protagonists. Get stacking!