Bella’s Recipe for Success is about a girl who can’t seem to figure out what she’s good at. Her brother plays piano excellently and her sister is a brilliant gymnast, but Bella can’t do either of those things well. She decides, though, that she’s going to bake, but it turns out baking isn’t that easy and her first recipe is a bust. But just before she gives up, her abuela steps in to teach her and Bella learns that learning new things — and becoming good at them — takes time and effort.
Things are looking partly cloudy for Madalyn Thomas and her family. After being out of work for the last 7 months, her dad has found work in another state and her mom’s schedule as a social worker has become more packed from taking on overtime. Madalyn’s parents send her to live with her Great Uncle Papa Lobo during the week to allow her to attend school in a different district because of security issues at her former school. But as the only Black girl in class, Madalyn faces a new set of challenges at this new school.
If you’re a parent whose kids are avid readers (and who likes to read too), you’ve likely wondered what to do with old children’s books. True, you could shelve them at home. But if you’re low on storage space and your kids are constantly bringing new books home, that could become an issue. Also, if they’ve outgrown certain books (like board books or old chapter books), you may be ready to shed some of the book load.
Charlotte Andrews stutters and prefers to lay low to avoid being picked on. Thankfully, she has a best friend, Maggie who sticks with her. But middle school is a whole other ball game and soon after she and Maggie start attending, Maggie defends a boy who is being bullied on the school bus, effectively putting a bully target on her own back. When the bullying starts, Charlotte ditches Maggie and suddenly she can’t figure out how to fix the friendship.
Upper middle-grade books are middle-grade books for older tweens and younger teens, aged 11-14.
Often, upper middle-grade books are those loved by adults who do not typically read middle-grade. They’re also perfect for kids in their early teens who do not feel quite ready for the content in most young adult novels.
On this list you’ll find September 11 stories for tweens told from the perspectives of NYC residents, an Afghan boy, a Pakistani-American boy, a 9/11 firefighter’s daughter, and many more. One thing I love is that these books aren’t all dire stories without joy. They also still discuss the experience of being a middle schooler, finding good friends, and crushing on other kids.