Go Be Wonderful is the saying that ushers the new baby in this picture book into the world. When Daisy is born, her daddy holds her close and says “Go be wonderful,” and throughout her childhood, from gurgling infant to curious toddler, the adults in her life remind her to be wonderful. Daisy explores her surroundings, living up to the encouragement she receives, bravely trying new things and being unafraid to experiment. That is until the first day of school, when the doubts come: would people like her? What if she couldn’t find the bathroom on time?
As a huge fan of art and a photographer myself, finding these best middle grade books about art, crafting and photography made me squeal. Many of the middle grade books about art are art-related mysteries, but I’m happy that several…
All You Knead Is Love follows 12-year-old Alba whose mother forces her to move from NYC to Barcelona, Spain where her grandmother lives. Alba is gender non-conforming, which means that she doesn’t like the typical “girly” dresses or frilly tops her parents often want her to wear. She’s happiest in her jeans and t-shirts. Alba’s father is physically abusive, especially towards her mother, and generally treats Alba with disregard.
In this interview, Jenn and I chat about her new book, writing about difficult topics (her previous book is about a boy whose father dies by suicide), middle school friendship drama, shadow boxes, and her love for bison. I know you’ll enjoy this interview as much as I did.
Thirteen-year-old Olivia is excited about going on a road trip back to California with her sister and their uncle and aunt. Their family moved to Tennessee from California three years ago, and the girls had buried a time capsule before their move. Olivia’s big sister Ruth is now 16 and clinically depressed. She has good and bad days and is on medication to manage her depression. Olivia feels responsible for Ruth’s happiness and has a plan to recover their time capsule, while doing a photo project during their trip to remind Ruth of good times and make her just a little happier. But she soon finds out that with mental illness, it’s not always so simple.
Reading Middle Grade is delighted to reveal the cover of Kathleen Jae’s Elanora and the Salt Marsh Mystery! Kathleen’s new middle grade novel is perfect for fans of animal stories and environmental activists. Below, she describes her inspiration for the story.