It’s that time of the year again where (this time) I share middle grade books to read in 2022! I’m thrilled to bring you this superb list of books that match my interests. On this list, you’ll find 100 books I have on my radar as a reader of contemporary, sci-fi, fantasy (but no magic), realistic middle grade fiction. If our interests align, then you’ll be rushing to add many of these picks to your TBR!
Note: As with all anticipated book lists, I haven’t read all of these books (more like 1-5 of them), but I have done a fair bit of research using in-depth publisher information and these are stories that pique my interest.
I hope you find several amazing middle grade books to read in 2022! I’ve added a table of contents to help you jump quickly between months as this is an info-heavy roundup. If you’re wondering what my favorite middle grade books actually were in 2021, I’ll be sharing that list very soon!
100 Best Middle Grade Books to Read in 2022
Table of Contents
Here are 100 of the best middle grade books to read in 2022:
The Unforgettable Logan Foster
January 4, 2022
Logan Foster has pretty much given up on the idea of ever being adopted. It could have something to with his awkward manner, his photographic memory, or his affection for reciting curious facts, but whatever the cause, Logan and his “PP’s” (prospective parents) have never clicked.
Then everything changes when Gil and Margie arrive. Although they aren’t exactly perfect themselves—Gil has the punniest sense of humor and Margie’s cooking would have anyone running for the hills—they genuinely seem to care.
But it doesn’t take Logan long to notice some very odd things about them. They are out at all hours, they never seem to eat, and there’s a part of the house that is protected by some pretty elaborate security.
No matter what Logan could have imagined, nothing prepared him for the truth: His PP’s are actually superheroes, and they’re being hunted down by dastardly forces. Logan’s found himself caught in the middle in a massive battle and the very fate of the world may hang in the balance. Will Logan be able to find a way to save the day and his new family?
January 4, 2022
Bo and her mom always had their own rhythm. But ever since they moved to Harlem, Bo’s world has fallen out of sync. She and Mum are now living with Mum’s boyfriend Bill, his daughter Sunday, the twins, Lili and Lee, the twins’ parents…along with a dog, two cats, a bearded dragon, a turtle, and chickens. All in one brownstone! With so many people squished together, Bo isn’t so sure there is room for her.
Set against the bursting energy of a New York City summer, award-winning author Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich delivers a joyful novel about a new family that hits all the right notes!
Hide and Geek
January 4, 2022
Gina, Edgar, Elena, and Kevin have been best friends for as long as they can remember. So when their arch-nemesis points out that their initials make them literally GEEKs, they decide to go with it.
The GEEKs’ hometown of Elmwood was once the headquarters of the famous toymaker Maxine Van Houten. Her popular puzzle sphere, the Bamboozler, put the town on the map. But Maxine passed away long ago. Now the toy factory is shutting down, and Elena’s mom and Kevin’s dad are losing their jobs. They might have to move—and that would mean splitting up the GEEKs!
Maxine left one final puzzle, a treasure hunt that could save the town and keep the friends together. But only those who know and love Elmwood best will be able to solve it. GEEKs to the rescue!
Pizza My Heart: A Wish Novel
January 4, 2022
Maya Reynolds has practically grown up in her family’s Brooklyn pizza shop, Soul Slice, and is a true city girl. When her family moves to a small town in Pennsylvania to open another pizza place, everything changes.
Being the new girl is hard enough. At Soul Slice 2.0, Maya is assigned delivery duty. And her first delivery is a disaster. Can you make a worse impression than tripping… and falling face-first into a rude boy’s pizza order?
When that same rude — and, okay, cute — boy shows up at her school, Maya’s convinced nothing can go right. But she may be in for some surprises. Could good friends, secret crushes, and creative pizza toppings turn Maya’s new home into her own slice of heaven?
When Winter Robeson Came
January 11, 2022
When Eden’s cousin Winter comes for a visit, it turns out he’s not just there to sightsee. He wants to figure out what happened to his dad, who disappeared ten years earlier from the Watts area of L.A. So the cousins set out to investigate together, and what they discover brings them joy—and heartache. It also opens up a whole new understanding of their world, just as the area they’ve got their sights on explodes in a clash between the police and the Black residents. For six days Watts is like a war zone, and Eden and Winter become heroes in their own part of the drama. Eden hopes to be a composer someday, and the only way she can describe that summer is a song with an unexpected ending, full of changes in tempo and mood–totally unforgettable.
January 18, 2021
Twelve-year-old Gabe doesn’t know where he belongs anymore. His family is caught up in their own lives and his friends barely have time for him now that they’re stars on the soccer team. In a desperate plea for attention to impress his friends after school, Gabe sets off fireworks in the woods near his house and causes a small forest fire that destroys several acres of land.
In the chaos of the destruction, a coyote named Rill—tired of her family and longing for adventure—finds herself far from home. Already on animal control’s watch for wandering into a backyard and snapping at a child, Rill crawls into a cave, where she nurses her wounds alone.
Gabe and Rill’s paths irrevocably cross when Gabe is tasked with cleaning up the forest through the court’s restorative justice program. The damage to the land and both their lives is beyond what the two can imagine. But together, they discover that sometimes it only takes one friend to find the place where you belong.
January 18, 2022
Mason and Ty were once the very best of friends, like two nerdy sides of the same coin . . . until seventh grade, when Ava Petrakis came along. Now Mason can trace everything bad in his life to that terrible fight they had over the new girl. The one thing he’d give anything for is a do-over. But that can’t happen in real life—can it?
As a science kid, Mason knows do-overs are impossible, so he can’t believe it when he wakes up from a freak accident and finds himself magically transported back to seventh grade. His parents aren’t yet divorced and his beloved sheepdog is still alive. Best of all, he and Ty haven’t had their falling-out yet.
It makes no logical sense, but Mason is determined to use this second chance to not only save his friendship (and his dog!) but do other things differently—like trying out for the football team and giving new friends a chance. There’s just one person he’ll be avoiding at all costs: Ava. But despite his best efforts, will he be able to stop the chain of events that made his previous life implode?
Dream, Annie, Dream
January 25, 2022
As the daughter of immigrants who came to America for a better life, Annie Inoue was raised to dream big. And at the start of seventh grade, she’s channeling that irrepressible hope into becoming the lead in her school play.
So when Annie lands an impressive role in the production of The King and I, she’s thrilled . . . until she starts to hear grumbles from her mostly white classmates that she only got the part because it’s an Asian play with Asian characters. Is this all people see when they see her? Is this the only kind of success they’ll let her have—one that they can tear down or use race to belittle?
Disheartened but determined, Annie channels her hurt into a new dream: showing everyone what she’s made of.
The Supervillain’s Guide to Being a Fat Kid
January 25, 2022
Max’s first year of middle school hasn’t been easy. Eighth-grade hotshot Johnny Pro torments Max constantly, for no other reason than Max is fat and an easy target. Max wishes he could fight back, but he doesn’t want to hurt Johnny . . . just make him feel the way Max feels.
In desperation, Max writes to the only person he thinks will understand: imprisoned supervillain Master Plan, a “gentleman of size.” To his surprise, Master Plan wants to help! He suggests a way for Max to get even with Johnny Pro, and change how the other kids at school see them both.
And it works! When Master Plan’s help pays off for Max in ways he couldn’t have imagined, he starts gaining confidence—enough to finally talk to Marina, the girl he likes in class who shares his passion for baking. With Master Plan in his corner, anything seems possible . . . but is there a price to pay for the supervillain’s help?
Sofia Acosta Makes A Scene
January 25, 2022
It’s a good thing Sofía Acosta loves dreaming up costumes, because otherwise she’s a ballet disaster—unlike her parents, who danced under prima ballerina Alicia Alonso before immigrating to the suburbs of New York. Luckily, when the Acostas host their dancer friends from Cuba for a special performance with the American Ballet Theatre, Sofía learns there’s more than dance holding her family together. Between swapping stories about Cuba and sharing holiday celebrations, the Acostas have never been more of a team.
Then Sofía finds out about the dancers’ secret plans to defect to the United States, and makes a serious mistake—she confides in her best friend, only to discover that Tricia doesn’t want “outsiders” moving to their community. Now Sofía wonders what the other neighbors in her tight-knit suburban town really think of immigrant families like hers. Sofía doesn’t want to make a scene, but if she doesn’t speak up, how will she figure out if her family really belongs?
Maizy Chen’s Last Chance
February 1, 2022
Maizy has never been to Last Chance, Minnesota . . . until now. Her mom’s plan is just to stay for a couple weeks, until her grandfather gets better. But plans change, and as Maizy spends more time in Last Chance (where she and her family are the only Asian Americans) and at the Golden Palace—the restaurant that’s been in her family for generations—she makes some discoveries. For instance:
• You can tell a LOT about someone by the way they order food.
• And people can surprise you. Sometimes in good ways, sometimes in disappointing ways.
• And the Golden Palace has secrets.
But the more Maizy discovers, the more questions she has. Like, why are her mom and her grandmother always fighting? Who are the people in the photographs on the office wall? And when she discovers that a beloved family treasure has gone missing—and someone has left a racist note—Maizy decides it’s time to find the answers.
Wishing Upon the Same Stars
February 1, 2022
When twelve-year-old Yasmeen Khoury moves with her family to San Antonio, all she wants to do is fit in. But her classmates in Texas are nothing like her friends in the predominantly Arab neighborhood back in Detroit where she grew up. Almost immediately, Yasmeen feels like the odd girl out, and as she faces middle school mean girls and tries to make new friends, she feels more alone than ever before.
Then Yasmeen meets her neighbor, Ayelet Cohen, a first-generation Israeli American. As the two girls grow closer, Yasmeen is grateful to know someone who understands what it feels like when your parents’ idea of home is half a world away.
But when Yasmeen’s grandmother moves in after her home in Jerusalem is destroyed, Yasmeen and Ayelet must grapple with how much closer the events of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are than they’d realized. As Yasmeen begins to develop her own understandings of home, heritage, and most importantly, herself, can the two girls learn there’s more that brings them together than might tear them apart . . . and that peace begins with them?
The Boy Who Met a Whale
February 1, 2022
Razi, a local fisherboy, is watching turtle eggs hatch when he sees a boat bobbing into view. With a chill, he notices a small, still hand hanging over the side.
Inside is Zheng, who’s escaped a shipwreck and is full of tales of sea monsters and missing treasure. But the villains who are after Zheng are soon after Razi and his sister, Shifa, too. And so begins an exhilarating escapade in the shadow of the biggest sea monster of them all.
Author Nizrana Farook has crafted another briskly paced, action-packed Own Voices quest that swells with empathetic heroes, missing treasure, and a great beast lurking beneath. Set against a vibrant landscape inspired by Sri Lanka, this delightful caper will thrill young fans of adventure and fantasy.
The Swallowtail Legacy: Wrack at Ada’s Reef
February 1, 2022
Twelve-year-old Lark Heron-Finch is steeling herself to spend the summer on Swallowtail Island off the shores of Lake Erie. It’s the first time that she and her sister will have seen the old house since their mom passed away. And while her stepfather and his boys are okay, the island’s always been full of happy memories—and now everything is different.
When Nadine, a close family friend, tells Lark about a tragic boat accident that happened off the coast many years before, Lark’s enthralled with the story. Nadine’s working on a book about Dinah Purdy, Swallowtails’s oldest resident who had a connection to the crash, and she’s sure that the accident was not as it appeared. Impressed by Lark’s keen eye, she hires her as her research assistant for the summer.
And then Lark discovers something amazing. Something that could change Dinah’s life. Something linked to the crash and even to her own family’s history with Swallowtail. But there are others on the island who would do anything to keep the truth buried in the watery depths of the past.
A compelling and complex mystery with a classic feel, Wreck at Ada’s Reef is perfect for fans of The Parker Inheritance, Holes, The Westing Game, and anyone looking for a satisfying puzzle that stretches across decades.
February 1, 2022
The grownups are out-of-town, and for Charley Decker that means one thing: a last epic weekend with her older brother Greg before he leaves for college. Bring on the burgers, milkshakes, and movie marathons!
So when Greg ditches Charley for a date night downtown, she’s kind of crushed. Worse, he gets their mom’s boyfriend’s super-expensive, super-rare Mustang towed and needs Charley’s help to get it back. What’s an unsupervised seventh grader to do? Grab her best friends, sneak into the city, pull off the ultimate car heist, and then make Greg pay, of course!
Only now the Mustang has a new feature in the trunk: a stowaway named Mitch who’s guarding a world-changing secret. And a pair of seriously big, seriously scary dudes are after him.
What follows is an all-night race around the clock as Charley and her friends try to dodge the twin terrors, save Mitch, fix a sibling squabble…and get the Mustang home before morning!
Each of Us a Universe
February 1, 2022
What do you do when you’re facing the impossible?
Ever since the day when everything changed, Cal Scott’s answer has been to run―run from her mother who’s fighting cancer, run from her father whom she can’t forgive, and run from classmates who’ve never seemed to “get” her anyway. The only thing Cal runs toward is nearby Mt. Meteorite, named for the magical meteorite some say crashed there fifty years ago. Cal spends her afternoons plotting to summit the mountain, so she can find the magic she believes will make the impossible possible and heal her mother. But no one has successfully reached its peak―no one who’s lived to tell about it, anyway.
Then Cal meets Rosine Kanambe, a girl who’s faced more impossibles than anyone should have to. Rosine has her own secret plan for the mountain and its magic, and convinces Cal they can summit its peak if they work together. As the girls climb high and dig deep to face the mountain’s challenges, Cal learns from Rosine what real courage looks like, and begins to wonder if the magic she’s been looking for is really the kind she needs.
February 1, 2022
Omar knows his scholarship to Ghalib Academy Boarding School is a game-changer, providing him—the son of a servant—with an opportunity to improve his station in life. He can’t wait to experience all the school has to offer, especially science club and hopefully the soccer team; but when he arrives, his hopes are dashed. First-year scholarship students aren’t allowed to join clubs or teams—and not only that, they have to earn their keep doing menial chores. At first Omar is dejected—but then he gets angry when he learns something even worse—the school deliberately “weeds out” kids like him by requiring them to get significantly higher grades than kids who can pay tuition, making it nearly impossible for scholarship students to graduate. It’s a good thing that in his favorite class, he’s learned the importance of being stubbornly optimistic. So with the help of his tight-knit new group of friends—and with the threat of expulsion looming over him—he sets out to do what seems impossible: change a rigged system.
Just Right, Jillian
February 1, 2022
Fifth-grader Jillian will do just about anything to blend in, including staying quiet even when she has the right answer. After she loses a classroom competition because she won’t speak up, she sets her mind on winning her school’s biggest competition. But breaking out of her shell is easier said than done, and Jillian has only a month to keep her promise to her grandmother and prove to herself that she can speak up and show everyone her true self.
A warm and relatable middle-grade debut novel about family, friendship, and finding the confidence to break free from the crowd and be who you truly are.
Ready or Not! #1 (Abby in Between)
February 15, 2022
For nine-year-old Abby McAdams, everything seems to be changing.
Her cousin and best friend, Zoe, has moved across the country, her mom is going back to work, and Abby is stuck in the only after-school activity still available–running–which she absolutely loathes. Her perspective on the world is changing, too, after an encounter in her community sheds light on the issue of homelessness in her town. On top of everything, sudden changes in Abby’s body mean she has to deal with things like deodorant, bras, and uncomfortable conversations. And without her best friend by her side, she’s not sure she can handle it all.
She’s not a grown-up yet, but she definitely doesn’t feel like a little kid anymore. She’s Abby, in between.
February 15, 2022
Starting Middle School is rough for Autumn after her one and only BFF moves to California. Uncertain and anxious, she struggles to connect with her new classmates. The two potential friends she meets could not be more different: bold Logan who has big ideas and quiet Cooper who’s a bit mysterious. But Autumn has a dilemma: what do you do when the new friends you make don’t like each other?
When Autumn is picked to be the secret voice of the Dear Student letters in the Hillview newspaper, she finds herself smack in the middle of a problem with Logan and Cooper on opposite sides. But before Autumn can figure out what to do, the unthinkable happens. Her secret identity as Dear Student is threatened. Now, it’s time for Autumn to find her voice, her courage, and follow her heart, even when it’s divided.
Anybody Here Seen Frenchie?
February 15, 2022
Eleven-year-old Aurora Petrequin’s best friend has never spoken a word to her. In fact, Frenchie Livernois doesn’t talk.
Aurora is bouncy, loud and impulsive—“a big old blurter.” Making friends has never come easily. When Frenchie, who is autistic, silently chose Aurora as his person back in third grade, she chose him back. They make a good team, sharing their love of the natural world in coastal Maine.
In the woods, Aurora and Frenchie encounter a piebald deer, a rare creature with a coat like a patchwork quilt. Whenever it appears, Aurora feels compelled to follow.
At school, Aurora looks out for Frenchie, who has been her classmate until this year. One morning, Frenchie doesn’t make it to his classroom. Aurora feels she’s to blame. The entire town begins to search, and everyone wonders: how is it possible that nobody has seen Frenchie?
At the heart of this story is the friendship between hyper-talkative Aurora and nonvocal Frenchie. Conflict arises when Aurora is better able to expand her social abilities and finds new friends. When Frenchie goes missing, Aurora must figure out how to use her voice to help find him, and lift him up when he is found.
February 22, 2022
Seventh grader Aafiyah Qamar loves playing tennis, reading weird-but-true facts, and hanging out with her best friend, Zaina. However, Aafiyah has a bad habit that troubles her—she’s drawn to pretty things and can’t help but occasionally “borrow” them.
But when her father is falsely accused of a crime he hasn’t committed and gets taken in by authorities, Aafiyah knows she knows she needs to do something to help. When she brainstorms a way to bring her father back, she turns to her weird-but-true facts and devises the perfect plan.
But what if her plan means giving in to her bad habit, the one she’s been trying to stop? Aafiyah wants to reunite her family, but finds that maybe her plan isn’t so perfect after all. . .
A Song Called Home
February 22, 2022
Lou and her family don’t have much, but for Lou it’s enough. Mom. Her sister, Casey. Their apartment in the city. Her best friend, Beth. It would be better if Dad could stop drinking and be there for her and Casey, and if they didn’t have to worry about money all the time. But Lou doesn’t need better—she only needs enough.
What’s enough for Lou, however, is not enough for Mom. Steve, Mom’s boyfriend, isn’t a bad guy, he’s just…not what Lou is used to. And now, he and Mom are getting married, and that means moving. Packing up life as they’ve known it and storing it in Steve’s garage. Lou will be separated from everything in her small but predictable life, farther from Dad than ever.
Their last night in the city, Lou receives a mysterious birthday gift: A guitar, left for her by their front door. There’s nothing saying who left it, but it must be from Dad. And as she leaves the only place she’s ever known, she starts to believe that if she can learn how to play it, maybe she can bring a piece of him, and of her old life, home.
March 1, 2022
Elliott has been struggling since his closest friend moved away, and he’s not too sure where he fits into his own family, especially since his newly remarried dad and stepmom are expecting a baby. His grades aren’t too great, he’s always forgetting things, and he doesn’t really like sports. All together, the result is someone the complete opposite of his dad–a fact they’re both very aware of. Elliott’s only solace is cooking, where he can control the outcome, testing exciting recipes and watching his favorite cooking shows.
When he’s paired with the super smart and popular Maribel for a school-wide project, Elliott worries they won’t see eye to eye. But Maribel is also looking for a new way to show others her true self and this project could be the chance they’ve both been waiting for. Sometimes the least likely friends help you see a new side to things . . . and sometimes you have to make a few mistakes before you figure out what’s right.
March 1, 2022
Dive in to this whimsically adventurous graphic novel from Caldecott-winning author-illustrator Dan Santat!
Ever since her father was lost at sea, Sophia has been moping around Aqualand, a marine theme park. But Sophia’s world is turned upside-down when an “aquanaut” breaks into the park’s research lab.
To her amazement, Sophia discovers that the aquanaut is not what it seems: inside lives a band of goofy sea creatures! And when they all realize that Aqualand is more sinister than advertised, Sophia is determined to help the aquanaut crew free the park’s captive marine life before it’s too late.
Best Frenemies Forever
March 1, 2022
Sophie Dailey is NOT looking forward to starting middle school. For one thing, she doesn’t look like other kids. Instead of trendy tank tops, she wears high tech shirts that block UV rays. (Sun protection is serious business!) And she definitely doesn’t sound like other kids either. (She can’t say “holla” or “hot take” without making a weird face.) Needless to say, this is probably why her best friend, Ella, ditched her for Queen Bee Morgan.
Sophie is comfortable with who she is and doesn’t want to change. But she’s also pretty lonely without Ella. Even worse, Morgan seems intent on making seventh grade miserable for Sophie, and Ella doesn’t bat an eye at the bullying. Then a new girl moves in next door to Sophie. Kaytee Ray is everything Sophie is not: fashionable and super-confident.
Sophie can’t believe Kaytee wants to spend the last days of summer with her. Determined to keep Kaytee as a friend, Sophie lies about her social status, claiming to be besties with Morgan and Ella. As long as Kaytee attends Villa Academy―a private school on the other side of town―she’ll never find out her first friend in New Jersey is a loser.
Anne of West Philly
March 1, 2022
When Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert decide to foster a teenage girl for the first time, their lives are changed forever. Their redheaded foster daughter, Anne Shirley, is in search of an exciting life and has decided that West Philly is where she’s going to find it. Armed with a big personality and unstoppable creativity, Anne takes her new home by storm as she joins the robotics club, makes new friends in Diana and Gilbert, experiences first love, and turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. But as Anne starts to get comfortable, she discovers one thing she wasn’t looking for: a family.
The School for Whatnots
March 1, 2022
That’s what the note says that Max finds under his keyboard.
He knows that his best friend, Josie, wrote it. He’d know her handwriting anywhere. But why she wrote it—and what it means—remains a mystery.
Ever since they met in kindergarten, Max and Josie have been inseparable. Until the summer after fifth grade, when Josie disappears, leaving only a note, and whispering something about “whatnot rules.”
But why would Max ever think that Josie wasn’t real? And what are whatnots?
As Max sets to uncover what happened to Josie—and what she is or isn’t—little does he know that she’s fighting to find him again, too. But there are forces trying to keep Max and Josie from ever seeing each other again. Because Josie wasn’t supposed to be real.
This middle grade thriller from Margaret Peterson Haddix delves into the power of privilege, the importance of true friendship, and the question of humanity and identity. Because when anyone could be a whatnot, what makes a person a real friend—or real at all?
Drew Leclair Gets a Clue
March 1, 2022
Drew Leclair knows what it takes to be a great detective. She’s pored over the cases solved by her hero, criminal profiler Lita Miyamoto. She tracked down the graffiti artist at school, and even solved the mystery of her neighbor’s missing rabbit. But when her mother runs off to Hawaii with the school guidance counselor, Drew is shocked. How did she miss all of the clues?
Drew is determined to keep her family life a secret, even from her best friend. But when a cyberbully starts posting embarrassing rumors about other students at school, it’s only a matter of time before Drew’s secret is out.
Armed with her notebooks full of observations about her classmates, Drew knows what she has to do: profile all of the bullies in her grade to find the culprit. But being a detective is more complicated when the suspects can be your friends. Will Drew crack the case if it means losing the people she cares about most?
Coming of Age: 13 B’Nai Mitzvah Stories!
March 1, 2022
What does it mean to become an adult in your faith? Join thirteen diverse characters as they experience anxiety, doubt, and self-discovery while preparing for their b’nai mitzvah. And whether celebrating with a lavish party or in reception room A with an accordion player, the Jewish rite of passage remains the same. Filled with humor, hope, and history, there’s something in this anthology for every reader, regardless of their faith.
Join the Club Maggie Diaz
March 1, 2022
“MAYBE I’M GOOD AT SOMETHING I DON’T EVEN KNOW ABOUT YET.”
Everyone in Maggie Diaz’s life seems to be finding their true passion. The one thing that defines them as a person. Her best friends Zoey and Julian are too busy to hang out after school thanks to band and comics club. Mom is finishing her last semester in college. And Maggie’s perfect older sister Caro is perfectly-perfect at sports and tutoring.
So Maggie cooks up a plan to join every club she can! But trying to fit in with type-A future leaders, gardening whizzes, and the fearless kids in woodshop is intimidating, exhausting, and seriously confusing. And juggling homework, friends, and all of her after-school activities is way harder than it looks.
Seventh grade is all about figuring out who you are — good thing Maggie Diaz has the perfect plan!
New From Here
March 1, 2022
When the coronavirus hits Hong Kong, ten-year-old Knox Wei-Evans’s mom makes the last-minute decision to move him and his siblings back to California, where they think they will be safe. Suddenly, Knox has two days to prepare for an international move—and for leaving his dad, who has to stay for work.
At his new school in California, Knox struggles with being the new kid. His classmates think that because he’s from Asia, he must have brought over the virus. At home, Mom just got fired and is panicking over the loss of health insurance, and Dad doesn’t even know when he’ll see them again, since the flights have been cancelled. And everyone struggles with Knox’s blurting-things-out problem.
As racism skyrockets during COVID-19, Knox tries to stand up to hate, while finding his place in his new country. Can you belong if you’re feared; can you protect if you’re new? And how do you keep a family together when you’re oceans apart? Sometimes when the world is spinning out of control, the best way to get through it is to embrace our own lovable uniqueness.
March 1, 2022
From the groundbreaking author of Tyrell, an astonishing middle-grade novel about a girl overcoming the secrets and abuse of her past.
This should be an exciting time for Caprice. She has been offered a place at the school of her dreams, where she’s just had a fantastic summer. But this great opportunity coincides with a lot of internal doubt and the disturbing news that her long-estranged grandmother has fallen ill and may be near death. As Caprice tries to figure out her future, she is pulled back toward her past, and the abuse she endured from her uncle when she was little — an abuse she’s never told anyone about.
With extreme sensitivity and honesty for middle-grade readers, Coe Booth has written a painful but ultimately healing novel about finding support from your parents and friends, articulating your truth, and choosing your own path.
Squad Goals (Hearts & Crafts #1)
March 1, 2022
Mackenzie Miller has big goals
For instance, conquering 7th grade — with projects. There’s the Mom Project (finding her a boyfriend — even if she says she’s not interested), the Friend Project (win back the BFFs who dumped her and make a new friend), and the Band Project (so what if she’s never planned a fundraiser? How hard can it be?).
But finding real-life romance is a lot more complicated than her mom’s favorite movies make it look. And last year’s friends still won’t tell Mackenzie what she did wrong. And the fundraiser? It has to be beyond impressive, since Mackenzie sort of accidentally promised a live band so amazing it will “make everyone poop their pants.”
The harder Mackenzie works to craft the perfect school year, the more she feels like she’s failing. She can do it all, can’t she? Or do her big goals require something more — like a little help from her friends?
Where the Sky Lives
March 8, 2022
When life doesn’t make sense, twelve-year-old amateur astronomer Tuesday Beals has always looked to the stars above Zion National Park, where she lives. Her beloved late uncle Ezra taught her astronomy, but now their special stargazing sites are all she has left of him, along with his ashes and a poem that may be a riddle.
Then a new housing development next door threatens to ruin the night skies and her favorite astronomy spots. Desperate to focus on something besides the growing uncle-sized chasm between her and her mother, the park archeologist, Tuesday takes up photography with her best friend, Carter, after they find an abandoned camera. With this new way of seeing the universe, she tries to solve her uncle’s riddle to save the land.
But one day, a photo reveals clues about an endangered animal—one that could halt construction. Will the discovery be enough to save the park and keep the rest of her world from falling apart?
In Honor of Broken Things
March 8, 2022
At West Beacon Middle School, eighth graders Oscar Villanueva, Ellie Baptiste, and Noah Wright become unlikely friends during Introduction to Clay class. Oscar, a football star, just lost his little sister to cancer. Ellie’s been dragged away from Philadelphia by her single mom to a new life in West Beacon, a tiny Pennsylvania coal town that’s smaller than Ellie’s old school. Noah’s spent his whole life as a homeschooler and just started West Beacon Middle School as a result of his parents’ train wreck of a divorce. Through art, football, failure, faith, and trust, the friends help one another to piece things back together again. In true friendship, they also discover that some injuries may never heal, some things can never be unbroken–and that’s okay too.
Those Kids from Fawn Creek
March 8, 2022
There are twelve kids in the seventh grade at Fawn Creek Middle School. They’ve been together all their lives. And in this small factory town where everyone knows everything about everyone, that’s not necessarily a great thing.
There are thirteen desks in the seventh-grade classroom. That’s because Renni Dean’s father got a promotion, and the family moved to Grand Saintlodge, the nearest big town. Renni’s desk is empty, but Renni still knows their secrets; is still pulling their strings.
When Orchid Mason arrives and slips gracefully into Renni’s chair, the other seventh graders don’t know what to think. Orchid—who was born in New York City but just moved to Fawn Creek from Paris—seems to float. Her dress skims the floor. She’s wearing a flower behind her ear.
Fawn Creek Middle might be small, but it has its tightly knit groups—the self-proclaimed “God Squad,” the jocks, the outsiders—just like anyplace else. Who will claim Orchid Mason? Who will save Orchid Mason? Or will Orchid Mason save them?
Turn the Tide
March 8, 2022
Mimi has a plan for her seventh grade year: play piano in the Young Artists competition at Carnegie Hall with her best friend, Lee; enjoy a good old Massachusetts snow day or two; and work in her community garden plot with her dad. But all that changes when her family’s Greek restaurant falls on hard times.
The Laskarises’ relocation to Wilford Island, Florida, is a big key change for Mimi. Where does she fit in in this shell-covered paradise without Lee? Mimi is taken by the beauty of the island and alarmed by the plastic pollution she sees on the beaches. Then her science teacher, Ms. Miller, shows her class a TED Talk by Melati and Isabel Wijsen. At ages twelve and ten, they lobbied to ban single-use plastic bags on their home island of Bali—and won. Their story strikes a chord for Mimi. She’s twelve. Could a kid like her make such a big change in a place that she’s not yet sure feels like home? Can she manage to keep up with piano, her schoolwork, and activism? And does confident and flawless Carmen Alvarez-Hill really want to help her with the movement?
Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence
March 15, 2022
Twelve-year-old Mira’s summer is looking pretty bleak. Her best friend Thomas just moved a billion and one miles away from Florida to Washington, DC. Her dad is job searching and he’s been super down lately. Her phone screen cracked after a home science experiment gone wrong. And of all people who could have moved into Thomas’s old house down the street, Mira gets stuck with Tamika Smith, her know-it-all nemesis who’s kept Mira in second place at the school science fair four years running.
Mira’s beloved cat, Sir Fig Newton, has been the most stable thing in her life lately, but now he seems off, too. With her phone gone and no internet over the weekend at her strict Gran’s house, Mira must research Fig’s symptoms the old-fashioned way: at the library. She determines that he has “the silent cat killer” diabetes. A visit to the vet confirms her diagnosis, but that one appointment stretched family funds to the limit—they’ll never be able to afford cat insulin shots.
When Mira’s parents tell her they may have to give Fig up to people who can afford his treatment, Mira insists she can earn the $2,000 needed within a month. Armed with ingenuity, determination, and one surprising ally, can Mira save her best (four-legged) friend before it’s too late?
March 15, 2022
Isaac and Marco already know sixth grade is going to change their lives. But it won’t change things at home—not without each other’s help.
This year, star basketball player Isaac plans on finally keeping up with his schoolwork. Better grades will surely stop Isaac’s parents from arguing all the time. Meanwhile, straight-A Marco vows on finally winning his father’s approval by earning a spot on the school’s basketball team.
But will their friendship and support for each other be enough to keep the two boys from falling short?
For the Record
March 15, 2022
Twelve-year-old Justine’s parents are recently divorced. She and her little sister, Bea, go back and forth between their parents’ homes in Montreal. Their mother, whose anxiety manifests as the need to control, believes that their father and beloved half-sister are a bad influence on Justine and Bea. So, she enlists Justine in collecting evidence that would lead to getting sole custody.
Justine accepts her mother’s view of her father at first and begins writing detailed notes about his behavior: He doesn’t stick to Bea’s strict bedtime. He’s late dropping them off at school. He makes sandwiches with white bread. But when Justine crafts an outright lie for her mother’s court case, she starts to question her mother’s behavior, and her own.
This thoughtful, supportive look at parental alienation and its impact on children tenderly balances this difficult topic with moments of joy, love, and connection. Throughout the book, Justine’s clever, unique voice guides readers as she navigates complicated family dynamics and summons the courage to tell the truth, no matter the consequences.
Meant to Be
March 15, 2022
Ivy loves living in Applewood Heights. The family’s apartment is tiny, and her older sister, Rachel, won’t stop grumbling about sharing a room after their old house was lost to foreclosure. But for the first time, Ivy has friends. Lucas and Alice live close by, and every week all three watch their favorite cooking show and practice baking together (even if Ivy has to find creative substitutes for the pricey ingredients). But Ivy is a worrier, and this summer there’s plenty to be anxious about. Her parents can’t wait to move to a bigger, nicer place, which is the last thing Ivy wants. Then Alice receives devastating news, and Ivy somehow manages to say just the wrong thing. Will Alice ever stop being mad at her?
Ivy finds much-needed reassurance, and a boost of confidence, when she starts working with the building superintendent, who teaches her how to fix things. Ivy has a natural talent, but she comes to realize that some things—like hurt feelings—are harder to fix than others. Luckily, Ivy is pretty good at making up her own recipes as she goes along. In an honest, hopeful companion to Where the Heart Is, Jo Knowles puts quirky, tenacious Ivy in the spotlight—as she tries to figure out exactly where she’s meant to be.
Louisa June and the Nazis in the Waves
March 22, 2022
Days after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Hitler declared war on the U.S., unleashing U-boat submarines to attack American ships. Suddenly, the waves outside Louisa June’s farm aren’t for eel-fishing or marveling at wild swans or learning to skull her family’s boat—they’re dangerous, swarming with hidden enemies.
Her oldest brothers’ ships risk coming face-to-face with U-boats. Her sister leaves home to weld Liberty Boat hulls. And then her daddy, a tugboat captain, and her dearest brother, Butler, are caught in the crossfire.
Her mama has always swum in a sea of melancholy, but now she really needs Louisa June to find moments of beauty or inspiration to buoy her. Like sunshine-yellow daffodils, good books, or news accounts of daring rescues of torpedoed passengers.
Determined to help her Mama and aching to combat Nazis herself, Louisa June turns to her quirky friend Emmett and the indomitable Cousin Belle, who has her own war stories—and a herd of cats—to share. In the end, after a perilous sail, Louisa June learns the greatest lifeline is love.
March 22, 2022
Eleven-year-old Rodney is starting sixth grade in a new school, in a new home in a new state. The new school is really old and smells like someone ate a couple of pounds of glue and then barfed it back up, and he’s in a class with a bunch of kids who seem to sort of hate him. Even his best friend won’t write him back. It’s strange, because just a couple of months ago, Rodney was one of the most popular guys in his fifth-grade class. He lived in Las Vegas, with his mom, older sister and his dad, who was a successful professional poker player.
Now his old life is over—his mom even says they shouldn’t tell anyone their real last name. Because of something his dad did. Or something people said that he did. His dad says it’s all a big misunderstanding, but he’s now staying in a center “for people who are having problems, like being addicted to drugs or gambling, or because other people don’t understand that you are just funny and friendly and sometimes you give people hugs or put your arm around them and they accuse you of taking liberties and ruin everything.” Rodney is confident that it won’t be long until the misunderstanding is all cleared up and they can all go back to their old life. But he can only keep the truth at bay for so long…
Miss Quinces: A Graphic Novel
April 5, 2022
Sue just wants to spend the summer reading and making comics at sleepaway camp with her friends, but instead she gets stuck going to Honduras to visit relatives with her parents and two sisters. They live way out in the country, which means no texting, no cable, and no Internet! The trip takes a turn for the worse when Sue’s mother announces that they’ll be having a surprise quinceañera for Sue, which is the last thing she wants. She can’t imagine wearing a big, floofy, colorful dress! What is Sue going to do? And how will she survive all this “quality” time with her rambunctious family?
The Prisoner of Shiverstone
April 5, 2022
In Linette Moore’s debut, middle-grade graphic novel, The Prisoner of Shiverstone, eleven-year-old Helga Sharp is found unconscious in a drifting rowboat near the coast of Utley Island. Utley, as Helga finds out when she awakens in the hospital, is forbidden territory: it’s a prison island to which the Mainland has exiled troublesome mad scientists for generations. Helga is questioned by the island’s guards and though they’re suspicious of her story, they agree to let her stay until they find her family.
The truth is, it’s no accident that Helga landed here. She is a keen inventor, but the Mainland is suspicious of all scientists and inventors. While working on her projects in secret, Helga made radio contact with Erasmus Lope, a mad genius who everyone thought had died in a lab experiment gone spectacularly wrong. But Lope is alive, and Helga is on a mission to rescue him from the prison island.
Now Helga must find a way to break Lope out, right under the noses of the family of famous heroes that run Utley Island. There’s only one big problem—Lope’s trapped inside a giant crystal in the mad scientists’ museum!
Fans of Red’s Planet and Suee and the Shadow are sure to love The Prisoner ofShiverstone, a charismatically illustrated mad science adventure for readers of all ages.
The Zee Files
April 5, 2022
Thirteen-year-old Mackenzie Blue Carmichael, aka “Zee,” has never eaten fish ‘n’ chips, never slept away from home longer than a few nights, and knows nothing about London. But when her family relocates for her dad’s new job, Zee has to leave her old life in California behind for a new one in England.
Now at her new boarding school, The Hollows Creative Arts Academy, Zee hopes to find new friends and jumpstart her music career. But things aren’t so easy. Some classes are more difficult than expected, and between a chilly roommate, a BFF who’s gone MIA, and distractions from the hottest–and poshest–student in her grade, Zee has to wonder: will she ever find her place in London?
Catch That Dog
April 5, 2022
When Joanie first encounters Masterpiece, he’s curled up in an alley and she mistakes him for (of all things!) a cat. Soon, though, she cleans him up and shows him home and discovers he is, in fact, a poodle.
What Joanie doesn’t know is that Masterpiece isn’t any ordinary poodle. No, Masterpiece is a world-famous poodle, who has been in movies and advertisements and has been seen hobnobbing with celebrities. So how did Masterpiece go from a palatial apartment in New York City to an alley in a small town in New Jersey? He was dognapped! And now not only does the dognapper want him back, but his former owner is offering a big reward.
Masterpiece knows he should want to go home to the luxury of his old life. But nobody’s ever loved him the way Joanie loves him.
What’s a dog to do?
Scout Is Not a Band Kid
April 5, 2022
When Scout learns that her favorite author is doing an exclusive autograph session at the end of the year, she’s determined to be there! She officially needs a plan…and when she finds out that her school’s band is heading to the same location for their annual trip, an idea takes shape. Being a band kid can’t be that hard, right?
As it turns out, learning how to play an instrument when you can’t even read music is much, much, MUCH tougher than expected. And it’s even harder for Scout when her friends aren’t on board with her new hobby. Will she be able to master the trombone, make new band friends, and get to her favorite author’s book signing? Tackling everything seems like a challenge for a supergenius superfriend supermusician–and she’s just Scout.
April 5, 2022
Karthik Raghavan is good at remembering things. Like his bike routes. Or all the reasons he likes Juhi Shah—even if she doesn’t even know he exists. It doesn’t help that she seems to have a crush on his arch nemesis, Jacob Donnell, whose only job is to humiliate Karthik (and get his name wrong). Then Karthik’s luck changes when he secretly agrees to be in a play about the famous musician, Leonard Bernstein. But he can’t tell his parents. The family store is in jeopardy, and they need him delivering groceries on his bike to help save it. His mom is also worried about the Financial Crisis, and she’s convinced that studying hard and staying focused is the only way to succeed. But Karthik is having fun being Lenny. Besides, what if acting is Karthik’s special talent? And what if acting is the one way to catch Juhi Shah’s attention? With all the pressure from his family to succeed, will Karthik be able to really imagine and hope when he’s not sure what will happen next?
April 5, 2022
Cooper just wants to spend the summer before 7th grade drawing and having adventures with his best friend, Nacho. Anything to keep his mind off the fact that his dad’s new girlfriend and his mom’s announcement that she’s going to start dating.
But when one of his adventures with Nacho goes too far, Cooper’s parents freak out. Either he joins the Boy Rangers, a dorky club that’s all about discipline and rules, or that dream cartooning camp at the end of his summer? Will get erased.
At first it’s not so bad―the troop is a disorganized mess. But then a new scoutmaster starts. Mr. Pierce is a gruff ex-Marine who’s never worked with kids before, especially not a ragtag team of misfits like Troop 19. As he tries turning them into a lean, mean, badge-earning machine, Cooper longs for freedom. He doesn’t want to break the rules, but the rules are going to break him!
Behind the Mountains
April 5, 2022
It is election time in Haiti, and bombs are going off in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. During a visit from her home in rural Haiti, Celiane Espérance and her mother are nearly killed. Looking at her country with new eyes, Celiane gains a fresh resolve to be reunited with her father in Brooklyn, New York.
The harsh winter and concrete landscape of her new home are a shock to Celiane, who witnesses her parents’ struggle to earn a living and her brother’s uneasy adjustment to American society, and at the same time encounters her own challenges with learning and school violence.
Consider the Octopus
April 5, 2022
Jeremy “JB” Barnes is looking forward to spending the summer before seventh grade hanging on the beach. But his mother, a scientist, has called for him to join her aboard a research ship where, instead, he’ll spend his summer seasick and bored as he stares out at the endless plastic, microbeads, and other floating debris, both visible and not, that make up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Miles and miles away, twelve-year-old Sidney Miller is trying to come up with an alternate activity worthy of convincing her overprotective parents that she can skip summer camp.
When Jeremy is asked to find the contact information for a list of important international scientists and invite them to attend a last-minute Emergency Global Summit, he’s excited to have a chance to actually do something that matters to the mission. How could he know that the Sidney Miller he messages is not the famous marine biologist he has been tasked with contacting, but rather a girl making podcasts from her bedroom―let alone that she would want to sneak aboard the ship?
It’s the End of the World and I’m in My Bathing Suit
April 5, 2022
A hilarious new middle-grade from Justin A. Reynolds that asks: What happens when five unsupervised kids face the apocalypse under outrageously silly circumstances?
Twelve-year-old Eddie Gordon Holloway has concocted his most genius plan ever to avoid chores… especially the dreaded L-A-U-N-D-R-Y. If he can wear all the clothes he owns, he’ll only have to do the laundry once during his school break.
On the day of the highly anticipated Beach Bash, Eddie’s monstrous pile of dirty laundry is found by his mom. And Eddie’s day has just taken a turn for the worst. Now he’s stuck at home by himself, missing the bash, and doing his whole pile of laundry. But mid-cycle, the power goes out!
With his first load of laundry wet and the rest of his stuff still filthy, he sets out to explore the seemingly empty neighborhood in his glow-in-the-dark swim trunks, flip-flops, and a beach towel. He soon meets up with other neighborhood kids: newcomer Xavier (who was mid-haircut and has half his head shaved), Eddie’s former friend Sonia (who has spent her entire break trying to beat a video game and was mid-battle with the final boss), and siblings Trey and Sage (who are dealing with major sibling drama).
As they group up to cover more ground and find out what happened, they realize that their families aren’t coming back anytime soon. And as night falls, the crew realizes that they aren’t just the only people left in the neighborhood, they might be the only people left… anywhere.
April 5, 2022
The Mendoza sisters need a do-over!
Raquel and Lucinda used to be inseparable. But ever since their parents split, Raquel has been acting like editor-in-chief of their lives. To avoid her overbearing sister, Lucinda spends most of her time with her headphones on, practicing her skating routine.
Then a pandemic hits, and the sisters are forced to spend the lockdown at their dad’s ranch house. Suddenly Raquel sees a chance to get back everything they’ve lost. If they can convince their mom to come along, maybe they can get their parents to fall in love again and give their family a second chance, a do-over.
But at the ranch, they get a not-so-welcome surprise: their dad’s new girlfriend and her daughter are already living there! Lucinda finds she actually likes them, which only makes Raquel more desperate to get rid of them. And as her Raquel’s schemes get more and more out of hand, Lucinda starts to wonder what they are really fighting for. Is trying to bring the Mendoza family back together really just tearing them further apart?
A Duet for Home
April 5, 2022
It’s June’s first day at Huey House, and as if losing her home weren’t enough, she also can’t bring her cherished viola inside. Before the accident last year, her dad saved tip money for a year to buy her viola, and she’s not about to give it up now. Tyrell has been at Huey House for three years and gives June a glimpse of the good things about living there: friendship, hot meals, and a classical musician next door. Can he and June work together to oppose the government, or will families be forced out of Huey House before they are ready?
The Boy Who Failed Dodgeball
April 5, 2022
Sixth grade is the worst… and also the best, as Jordan rides the ups and downs of middle-school life in hilarious fashion.
Funny, outrageous things didn’t stop for Jordan Sonnenblick after he left fourth grade. No, in many ways the events detailed to hilarious effect in The Boy Who Failed Show and Tell were but a prelude to sixth grade, a time when Jordan would have to deal with…
The Not-So-Uniform Life of Holly-Mei
April 5, 2022
This debut middle grade series follows a girl finding her place in a brand-new world of private school and frenemies when her family moves to Hong Kong.
Holly-Mei Jones couldn’t be more excited about moving to Hong Kong for her mother’s job. Her new school is right on the beach and her family’s apartment is beyond beautiful. Everything is going to be perfect . . . right?
Maybe not. It feels like everywhere she turns, there are new rules to follow and expectations to meet. On top of that, the most popular girl in her grade is quickly becoming a frenemy. And without the guidance of her loving Ah-ma, who stayed behind in Toronto, Holly-Mei just can’t seem to get it right.
It will take all of Holly-Mei’s determination and sparkle (and maybe even a tiny bit of stubbornness) to get through seventh grade and turn her life in Hong Kong into the ultimate adventure!
April 12, 2022
Punk rock-loving JJ Pankowski can’t seem to fit in at his new school in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, as one of the only white kids. Pie Velez, a math and history geek by day and graffiti artist by night is eager to follow in his idol, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s, footsteps. The boys stumble into an unlikely friendship, swapping notes on their love of music and art, which sees them through a difficult semester at school and at home. But a run-in with the cops threatens to unravel it all.
Grow Up, Tahlia Wilkins!
April 19, 2022
Twelve-year-old Tahlia Wilkins is ready to kick off the perfect summer at the popular kid’s pool party. But when the Red Goddess of Panties, aka her first period, arrives 24 hours before the pool party, it messes up all her plans. To make matters worse, her mom is out of town, and there’s no way she’s going to ask her dad for help! Tahlia always feared that growing up would be tough, but this is just not fair.
In order to save herself from total embarrassment, it will take all of Tahlia and her best friend Lily’s scheming to keep her reputation—and her favorite jeans—from being ruined. Sneak off to the grocery store only to have the clerk price check your “goods” over the loudspeaker? Check. Trick your mature teenage neighbor into letting you use her bathroom to ‘rehome’ some tampons? Check. Take a dip into a fountain to ‘borrow’ some quarters for a bathroom period product dispenser? Check, check, check!
April 19, 2022
Bella “Unfadeable” Fades is determined to stay out of trouble. A wiser-than-her-years graffiti artist known for tagging walls and bridges in her Indianapolis neighborhood, the Land, Bella plans to spend her summer break laying low and steering clear of anyone who might tip off to social services that she’s living on her own.
But keeping a low profile is all but impossible when Bella discovers people in high places are trying to defund the Land. She has to find a way to fight back.
Getting involved will mean putting herself out there—making connections with unlikely friends and attracting potential enemies. But if Bella doesn’t put her trust in her neighbors and learn how to bring her community together, her home—and her future—will never be the same.
Zara’s Rules for Record-Breaking Fun
April 19, 2022
Meet Zara Saleem, the queen of the neighborhood.
Zara’s in charge of it all: she organizes the games, picks the teams, and makes sure everyone has a good time…and they always do.
When a new family moves in across the street, suddenly Zara’s reign is threatened by Naomi, who has big ideas of her own about how the neighborhood kids can have fun. To get everyone to notice her again, Zara decides she’s going to break a Guinness World Record—if her little brother Zayd doesn’t mess things up.
But when she finds herself increasingly alone in her record-breaking quest, Zara starts to wonder if sharing the crown and making a new friend might end up being the best rule of all.
Jennifer Chan Is Not Alone
April 26, 2021
Thanks to her best friend, Reagan, Mallory Moss knows the rules of middle school. The most important one? You have to fit in to survive. But then Jennifer Chan moves in across the street, and that rule doesn’t seem to apply. Jennifer doesn’t care about the laws of middle school, or the laws of the universe. She believes in aliens—and she thinks she can find them.
Then Jennifer goes missing. Using clues from Jennifer’s journals, Mallory goes searching. But the closer she gets, the more Mallory has to confront why Jennifer might have run . . . and face the truth within herself.
Tae Keller lights up the sky with this insightful story about shifting friendships, right and wrong, and the power we all hold to influence and change one another. No one is alone.
Peapod Farm #2 Apple Crush
May 3, 2022
Jen is just getting used to her life on Peapod Farm with her new stepsisters, Andy and Reese. But when the school year starts, there are even more changes in store for her. Jen has to navigate new friends and new challenges–but at least she’ll have Andy with her, right? As she starts the sixth grade, she finds that her stepsister seems way more interested in crushes and boys than hanging out with her, while Jen wants to know when the world decided boys and girls couldn’t be “just friends” anymore.
May 3, 2022
Lucy’s always looked up to her big sister, Olivia, even though the two are polar opposites. But then, Lucy notices Olivia start to change. She doesn’t want to play with Lucy anymore, she’s unhappy with the way she looks, and she’s refusing to eat her dinner. Finally, Lucy discovers that her sister is not just growing up: Olivia is struggling with an eating disorder.
While her family is focused on her sister’s recovery, Lucy is left alone to navigate school and friendships. And just like her big sister, she begins to shrink.
But with time, work, and a dose of self-love, both sisters begin to heal and let themselves grow. Soon enough, Olivia and Lucy find their way back to each other―because sisters are the one friend you can never ditch.
Mr. Lemoncello’s Very First Game
May 3, 2022
Go back to the START and meet thirteen-year-old, PUZZLE-obsessed Luigi Lemoncello!
Luigi has a knack for games and puzzles. But sometimes it feels like the cards are stacked against him. UNTIL a carnival arrives in town and Luigi gets the CHANCE OF A LIFETIME—the opportunity to work for the world famous Professor Marvelmous—a dazzling, banana-hat-wearing barker who puts the SHOW in SHOWMAN! When the carnival closes, Professor Marvelmous leaves behind a mysterious puzzle box along with a clue. A clue that will lead Luigi and his friends on a fantastical treasure hunt to a prize beyond anything they could imagine—if they can find it!
Can Luigi crack the codes and unlock the box’s secrets? Will there be puzzles? Of course! Balloons? You bet! Will it be fun? Hello! It’s a Lemon-cello! BONUS! Can YOU crack the hidden puzzle inside?!
Shine On, Luz Véliz!
May 3, 2022
Have you ever been the best at something . . . only to lose it all?
Luz Véliz is a soccer star-or rather, she was a soccer star. With her serious knee injury, it’s unlikely she’ll be back on the field anytime soon. But without soccer, who is she? Even her dad treats her differently now—like he doesn’t know her or, worse, like he doesn’t even like her. When Luz discovers she has a knack for coding, it feels like a lifeline to a better self. If she can just ace the May Showcase, she’ll not only skip a level in her coding courses and impress Ms. Freeman and intriguing, brilliant Trevor—she’ll have her parents cheering her on from the sidelines, just the way she likes it.
But something—someone—is about to enter the Vélizes’ life. And when Solana arrives, nothing will be the same, ever again.
Unforgettable characters, family drama, and dauntless determination illuminate Luz’s journey as she summons her inner strength and learns to accept others and embrace the enduring connection of family. Through it all, Luz’s light is a constant—a guide for others, a path forward through the dark, and an ineffable celebration of her own eternal self.
The Game Master: Summer Schooled
May 3, 2022
Rebecca Zamolo is on a mission to save her summer. Instead of going to camp like she’d planned, she’s been stuck in summer school. But today is the day! She’s going to present her final science assignment—using her Nana’s borrowed vintage zoetrope—and then she’ll be free to have fun.
But as Becca and her classmates wait for her teacher to arrive, a menacing voice comes over the intercom claiming to be the Game Master! The kids quickly discover that the Game Master has locked the doors, scared off the teachers, and made it clear that if Becca and her friends don’t solve the clues that have been left behind, they’ll never get back Becca’s irreplaceable zoetrope, never finish summer school, and never get to enjoy what’s left of their summer vacations.
Becca doesn’t know who is behind this, but she won’t let the Game Master win. But will she and her classmates be able to work together and solve the puzzles and escape their school before time runs out? Join YouTube’s favorite mystery-solving team as they go toe-to-toe with the Game Master in the first book of this action-packed series from beloved YouTube creators Matt and Rebecca Zamolo, stars of the hugely popular Game Master Network.
Morning Sun in Wuhan
May 10, 2022
Grieving the death of her mother and feeling like an outcast in school, thirteen-year-old Mei seeks consolation in cooking and computer games. When an online friend admits that his grandmother is sick, Mei reaches out to her father, a doctor, for help, and discovers an overcrowded hospital. As the virus spreads, Mei finds herself alone in a locked down city trying to find a way to help.
An uplifting and genuine depiction, this novel explores our resilience in the face of great loss, and the ways in which people come together to heal and survive. Weaving in recipes, author Ying Compestine draws on her own experiences growing up in Wuhan.
May 10, 2022
Eleni attempts to get over the worst BFF breakup ever by revisiting her top five friENDship fails to see if she can learn from past mistakes or if she’s doomed to be friENDless forever in this funny and uplifting middle grade novel from the beloved author of the Friendship List and TBH series.
When Eleni comes home from a lonely summer at camp only to get dumped by her BFF since kindergarten, she figures there’s got to be something wrong with her. Who loses two friends in the span of a couple of months? So, Eleni decides to revisit her top five friendship fallouts to figure out what went wrong and how to be a better friend—all before she has to choose a roommate for her middle school’s big overnight.
Along the way, Eleni reconnects with her across-the-street neighbor, a friend-turned-mean-girl from Hebrew school, and a friend who moved away in Pre-K—and finds herself stumbling into new friendships along the way. But will she ever get over the burn of losing her BFF?
In the vein of High Fidelity and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Lisa Greenwald uses her exceptional skills at capturing tween social dynamics to explore the ins and outs of friendship in a humorous and insightful novel that affirms that we are all innately capable and worthy of friendship.
May 10, 2022
The Princess Diaries meets Harriet the Spy when Abby—who thinks she is the most ordinary girl in the world—finds herself undercover at a summer camp for famous kids. From acclaimed author Jennifer Blecher, Camp Famous is an accessible and fun summertime adventure about fitting in, being brave, and letting others see who you truly are. Camp Famous is pitch-perfect for tweens who love Disney’s Camp Rock.
Eleven-year-old Abby Herman is normal normal normal. She’s never stood out, and she never knows quite how to find her place in a group of friends, even though she notices everything and writes it all down in her notebook. When Abby learns that she’ll be attending summer camp, she is beyond excited at the idea of a fresh start and a place where she might find what she’s always wanted: a best friend. But—surprise!—she’s not going to just any summer camp, she’s going to Camp Famous, the one exclusively for famous kids escaping the spotlight.
Desperate to fit in with the pop stars, princesses, and geniuses, Abby creates a fake identity as a famous author. Everything goes as planned: the other girls welcome her, she participates in camp activities, and she even inspires a pop star! But as camp comes to a close, Abby finds herself torn between who she has pretended to be and who she truly is.
Best Friends, Bikinis, and Other Summer Catastrophes
May 17, 2022
For fans of Barbara Dee and Shannon Hale, this poignant coming-of-age middle grade novel explores the ups and down of best friends, crushes, and backyard projects during a summer full of changes and possibilities.
Alex has always known her best friend and next-door neighbor, Will, will be there for her. That’s just how it’s always been. Until a girl from the pool named Rebekah comes over to them and says hi. Suddenly, Will is changing his clothes, restyling his hair, and breaking all of their summer plans and Alex is not happy about it.
Every summer, she and Will come up with a new challenge. This year, it’s a treehouse. Now Alex is wrangling up summer jobs and keeping tabs on the new girl, hoping that in completing their treehouse, she can keep from losing her best friend and her summer from falling apart.
May 17, 2022
Perfect for fans of Jerry Craft and Kwame Alexander, this splashy, contemporary middle grade graphic novel debut from cartoonist Johnnie Christmas follows young Bree as she faces her fear of swimming head-on while at the same time confronting the long-standing barriers of systemic racism set within the public pool system.
Bree can’t wait for her first day at her new middle school, Enith Brigitha, home to the Mighty Manatees—until she’s stuck with the only elective that fits her schedule, the dreaded Swim 101.
The thought of swimming makes Bree more than a little queasy, yet she’s forced to dive headfirst into one of her greatest fears. Lucky for her, Etta, an elderly occupant of her apartment building and former swim team captain, is willing to help.
With Etta’s training and a lot of hard work, Bree suddenly finds her swim-crazed community counting on her to turn the school’s failing team around. But that’s easier said than done, especially when their rival, the prestigious Holyoke Prep, has everything they need to leave the Mighty Manatees in their wake.
In this middle grade graphic novel debut, Johnnie Christmas demonstrates how—through friendship, courage, and heart—the wave of change can start with the smallest ripple.
Cookies and Milk
May 17, 2022
Eleven-year-old Ellis Johnson has the summertime blues. He dreamed of spending the summer of 1976 hanging out with friends, listening to music, and playing his harmonica. Instead, he’ll be sleeping on a lumpy pullout in Dad’s sad little post-divorce bungalow and helping bring Dad’s latest far-fetched, sure-to-fail idea to life: opening the world’s first chocolate chip cookie store. They have six weeks to perfect their recipe, get a ramshackle A-frame on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard into tip-top shape, and bring in customers.
But of course, nothing is as easy as Dad makes it sound, even with Grandma along for the ride. Like she says, they have to GIT—get it together—and make things work. Along the way, Ellis discovers a family mystery he is determined to solve, the power of community, and new faith in himself.
Sweet and Sour
May 17, 2022
Revenge is sweet!
For as long as she can remember, Mai has spent every summer in Mystic, Connecticut visiting family friends. And hanging out with her best-friend-since-birth, Zach Koyama, was always the best part.
Then two summers ago everything changed. Zach humiliated Mai, proving he wasn’t a friend at all. So when Zach’s family moved to Japan, Mai felt relieved. No more summers together. No more heartache.
But this year, the Koyamas have returned and the family vacation is back on. And if Mai has to spend the summer around Zach, the least she can do is wipe away the memory of his betrayal… by coming up with the perfect plan for revenge!
Only Zach isn’t the boy he used to be, and Mai’s memories of their last fateful summer aren’t the whole truth of what happened between them. Now she’ll have to decide if she can forgive Zach, even if she can never forget.
May 24, 2022
Would you rather blend in or stand out?
Claire and Michelle used to be best friends, but now the two sisters couldn’t be more different. Michelle will do anything to fit in, even if it means denying her Taiwanese culture. Whereas Claire is proud of who she is. So much so that she decides to become a junior counselor at a Taiwanese American summer camp.
Sensing a rift between the two, their parents decide to send them both off to camp, much to Michelle’s dismay. As summer continues, both sisters learn more about their culture and each other. But Michelle must eventually decide to either embrace her culture and her family or assimilate into the popular group at school. Which will she choose?
From Lily LaMotte and Ann Xu, the brilliant creators of Measuring Up, comes a heartwarming story about the importance of being true to yourself and standing up for what you believe in.
Meet Me Halfway
May 24, 2022
Mattie Gomez feels directionless after being uprooted from her beloved Minnesota and forced to move in with her new stepfamily in California. So when she meets a girl at her new middle school who looks exactly like her, she’s not sure what to make of it.
But her doppelganger, the popular Mercedes Miller, doesn’t like it one bit.
Mercedes is used to getting what she wants, when she wants; Mattie would rather be invisible and blend into the background. Mercedes lives in a big empty house with her nanny; Mattie’s new home is packed-to-the-gills, twenty-four/seven chaos. Mercedes has a short fuse; Mattie is a planner. Though they may look alike, the two of them couldn’t be more different.
Soon enough, however, Mattie and Mercedes learn that they have at least one thing in common: a dad that neither of them has ever met. Determined to meet the father they’ve never known, these polar opposites suddenly have to work together to fake sleepovers, evade their friends, and plot daring escapes from school field trips in an effort to track down him down.
If only they could stop bickering long enough to get the show on the road.
Fight + Flight
May 24, 2022
Avery Hart lives for the thrill and speed of her dirt bike and the pounding thump of her drum kit. But after she’s diagnosed with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a disease that affects her joints, Avery splits her time between endless physical therapy and worrying that her fun and independence are over for good. Sarah Bell is familiar with worry, too. For months, she’s been having intense panic attacks. No matter how much she pours her anxiety into making art, she can’t seem to get a grip on it, and she’s starting to wonder if she’ll be this way forever.
Just as both girls are reaching peak fear about what their futures hold, their present takes a terrifying turn when their school is seemingly attacked by gunmen. Though they later learn it was an active shooter drill, the traumatic experience bonds the girls together in a friendship that will change the way they view their perceived weaknesses—and help them find strength, and more, in each other.
The Summer of June
May 31, 2022
Twelve-year-old June Delancey is kicking summer off with a bang. She shaves her head and sets two goals: she will beat her anxiety and be the lion she knows she can be, instead of the mouse everyone sees. And she and her single mama will own their power as fierce, independent females.
With the help of Homer Juarez, the poetry-citing soccer star who believes in June even when she doesn’t believe in herself, she starts a secret library garden and hatches a plan to make her dreams come true. But when her anxiety becomes too much, everything begins to fall apart. It’s going to take more than a haircut and some flowers to set things right. It’s going to take courage and friends and watermelon pie. Forget second chances. This is the summer of new beginnings.
Furry Friends Forever (Must Love Pets #1)
May 31, 2022
A new, young middle grade series that combines the heart and friendship of the Baby-sitters Club, with the irresistible appeal of adorable animals!
Pet-sitters for hire!
Imaan Bashir loves dogs, but she doesn’t have one. Yet. If only there were a surefire way to demonstrate her special canine connection to her mom. Then she’d be well on her way to pampering a pup of her very own.
When one of Imaan’s neighbors needs a last minute pet-sitter for her dog, Sir Teddy, a great idea is hatched. Imaan and her friends London and Olivia will step in as pet-sitters! Imaan’s mom will be so blown away by Imaan’s amazing animal abilities that she will beg her to adopt her own dog. Or something like that. . . But the reality of pet-sitting is a little more complicated—Imaan soon discovers that Sir Teddy is a real paw-full!
Out of Range
June 7, 2021
Sisters Abby, Emma, and Ollie have gone from being best friends forever to mortal enemies.
Thanks to their months-long feud, they are sent to Camp Unplugged, a girls’ camp deep in the heart of the Idaho mountains where they will go “back to nature”—which means no cell phones, no internet, and no communicating with the outside world. For two whole weeks. During that time, they had better learn to get along again, their parents tell them. Or else.
The sisters don’t see any way they can ever forgive each other for what they’ve done, no matter how many hikes and campfire songs they’re forced to participate in. But then disaster strikes, and they find themselves lost and alone in the wilderness. They will have to outrun a raging wildfire, make it through a turbulent river, escape bears and mountain lions and ticks. They don’t have training, or food, or enough supplies. All they have is each other.
And maybe, just maybe, it will be enough to survive.
In the Beautiful Country
June 14, 2021
This emotional debut novel in verse, inspired by the author’s own experiences, is about a young Taiwanese girl who emigrates to America and finds a stark difference between her dreams and her reality.
Anna is counting the days until her family gets to move to America—the so-called beautiful country—though she’s only ever known life in Taiwan.
But the beautiful country isn’t at all what Anna pictured. Her family can only afford a cramped one-bedroom apartment. Anna is bullied and lost at school because she doesn’t understand the new language. And the restaurant her father poured his savings into is struggling to stay afloat. Why is the version of America Anna and her family are experiencing anything but beautiful?
This lyrical and emotionally nuanced story, perfect for fans of Inside Out and Back Again, is about the struggle to make a place for yourself in the world and what it truly means to have a home.
Chunky Goes to Camp
June 14, 2022
Sports put Hudi to the test.
Now he’s about to face his greatest trial . . . summer camp.
Hudi finally embraced his love of art and comedy, but his class clown antics keep getting him in trouble. After Hudi’s artwork lands him in detention again, his parents decide a change is needed when summer arrives, and they sentence him to four weeks at summer camp.
Hudi is hesitant about Greene Family Camp—a Jewish sleepaway camp in the blazing Texas desert. At least he still has Chunky. Then Hudi meets Pepe, a fellow camper who’s also Latinx, Jewish, and a comedian like Hudi, and who—get this—can also see Chunky! What?! The rest of Hudi’s bunkmates are also a motley crew of misfits. Has Hudi finally found his people?
This new friendship with Pepe leads Hudi and Chunky into all kinds of high jinks, including a prank war with a few rival campers: the rich, preppy trio of Joshes. Hudi soon realizes that Pepe is driven by more than just making people laugh, and he’s not telling Hudi the truth. As the pranks escalate further than Hudi wants, he’s at risk of getting labeled a troublemaker again—can Chunky help Hudi save this new friendship? Or will it flame out?
Not Starring Zadie Louise
June 21, 2022
Zadie loves Tae Kwon Do, comic books, and outer space. She also loves visiting the community theater that her mom runs, especially the lighting grid over the stage and the stage manager’s booth, which is filled with levers and buttons like a spaceship control panel. So when the family’s finances suffer a blow and Zadie has to give up her usual activities to spend the summer at the theater, she doesn’t mind too much. After all, she’s always wanted to tech a show.
She knows she’d be great at it, but her mom and the new stage manager are totally opposed to the idea of having a kid do tech. Instead, Zadie’s stuck handing out snacks and folding flyers. But the future of the theater rides on this show, and Zadie is determined to help. She’s going to make Spinderella the hit of the season—unless she accidentally turns it into a disaster.
Hanna Hsu and the Ghost Crab Nation
June 21, 2022
Hana Hsu can’t wait to be meshed.
If she can beat out half her classmates at Start-Up, a tech school for the city’s most talented twelve-year-olds, she’ll be meshed to the multiweb through a neural implant like her mom and sister. But the competition is fierce, and when her passion for tinkering with bots gets her mixed up with dangerous junkyard rebels, she knows her future in the program is at risk.
Even scarier, she starts to notice that something’s not right at Start-Up—some of her friends are getting sick, and no matter what she does, her tech never seems to work right. With an ominous warning from her grandmother about being meshed, Hana begins to wonder if getting the implant early is really a good idea.
Desperate to figure out what’s going on, Hana and her friends find themselves spying on one of the most powerful corporations in the country—and the answers about the mystery at Start-Up could be closer to home than Hana’s willing to accept. Will she be able to save her friends—and herself— from a conspiracy that threatens everything she knows?
Lies I Tell Myself
June 21, 2022
In this moving and funny companion to the acclaimed To Tell You the Truth, Raymond has a life-changing summer when he’s sent to Maine to stay with the grandparents he’s never met.
Raymond has always preferred to keep life simple and leave adventuring to other people. But then he’s sent across the country, against his will, to spend the summer before fifth grade with grandparents who think he’s “troubled” and needs to have playdates set up for him. Determined to show everyone how brave, confident, and untroubled he can be, Raymond hatches a three-step plan:
1) Learn to ride a bike. His mom never got around to teaching him before she left.
2) Learn how to swim.
3) Make friends. On his own.
But can Raymond really change, or is this whole plan just a bunch of lies he’s telling himself? With the help of his great-grandfather’s old journal, a feral chicken, and a possibly imaginary new friend, Raymond might just overcome his fears and figure out who he really wants to be.
June 21, 2022
Eleven-year-old Ash McNulty is one of the “gifted and talented” kids at her school, spending most of her day in a special class with a few other advanced students. As the end of fifth grade rolls around, she should be on top of the world. According to everyone, she’s going to rock junior high!
But Ash has a secret: She can’t keep up with her advanced classmates anymore. The minute she asks for help, everyone will know she’s not who they think she is. She’s not so special. She might not even be that smart. And her parents will be crushed if they discover the truth.
If she can win the Quiz Bowl, though, that will show everyone that Ash is still on top. If she gets a lucky break ahead of time, all the better.
Except that “lucky break” backfires…
And Ash is left to question everything she thought she knew about school, friends, and success.
Coming Up Short
June 21, 2022
Bea’s parents think she can accomplish absolutely anything—and she’s determined to prove them right. But at the end of seventh grade, on the same day she makes a gutsy play to send her softball team to the league championships and Xander, the boy she likes, makes it clear that he likes her too, a scandal shakes up her world. Bea’s dad made a big mistake, taking money that belonged to a client. He’s now suspended from practicing law, and another lawyer spread the news online. To make matters worse, that other lawyer is Xander’s dad.
Bea doesn’t want to be angry with her dad, especially since he feels terrible and is trying to make things right. But she can’t face the looks of pity from all her friends, and then she starts missing throws in softball because she’s stuck in her own head. The thing she was best at seems to be slipping out of her fingers along with her formerly happy family. She’s not sure what’s going to be harder—learning to throw again, or forgiving her dad. How can she be the best version of herself when everything she loves is falling apart?
Gabe in the After
June 28, 2022
It’s fourteen-year-old Gabe Sweeney’s day to check for survivors . . .
Two years after a global pandemic, twenty survivors (most of them children) have relocated from their coastal Maine island full of sad memories to a mansion on a small, neighboring island where they have school and farm chores. When Gabe and his dog, Mud, find Relle Douglas alone in the woods on the mainland, they take the strange new girl across the channel to live with them.
Relle changes the island with her hopeful attitude. She tells big stories and makes plans for activities like talent shows. Despite a growing crush, Gabe doesn’t quite understand the point of it all; why have a talent show at the end of the world? But when tragedy strikes, Gabe sets out on a dangerous journey to try and find other survivors where the world might be normal. Like Before.
June 28, 2022
For fans of Gordon Korman, Varian Johnson, and Celia Pérez, High Score is an exciting heist adventure with a diverse cast of whipsmart characters and entertaining, fast-paced writing.
Darius James—DJ to his friends—has a head for cons and a heart of gold. He pulled his last con months ago at his old school. Now safely enrolled in the Fitz (Ella Fitzgerald Middle School) he’s determined to keep his head down. But when Conor, his best friend from his old school, suddenly shows up, DJ knows his anonymous days are numbered.
Sure enough, within a week of arriving at the Fitz, Conor runs afoul of Lucky, the seventh-grade bully who runs a complicated contest based on tickets from Starcade, the games-and-pizza joint across the street from the school. Lucky has the power to ruin any kid’s life, including Conor’s, unless DJ agrees to come up with 100,000 Starcade tickets within two weeks.
It’s impossible! Or is it? If anyone can stay on the straight and narrow—and pull off the biggest ticket heist of all time, it’s DJ. In the process, he just might save his friend—and maybe even the whole school—from Lucky.
The Kaya Girl
June 28, 2022
Writing with effortlessly engaging prose, Wolo showcases the interweaving layers of Ghanaian culture to create a prismatic, multifaceted world in which two young girls, against all odds, are able to find each other.
When Faiza, a Muslim migrant girl from northern Ghana, and Abena, a wealthy doctor’s daughter from the south, meet by chance in Accra’s largest market, where Faiza works as a porter or kaya girl, they strike up an unlikely and powerful friendship that transcends their social inequities and opens up new worlds to them both.
Set against a backdrop of class disparity in Ghana, The Kaya Girl has shades of The Kite Runner in its unlikely friendship, and of Slumdog Millionaire as Faiza’s life takes unlikely turns that propel her thrillingly forward. As, over the course of the novel, Abena awakens to the world outside her sheltered, privileged life, the novel explores a multitude of awakenings and the opportunities that lie beyond the breaking down of barriers. This is a gorgeously transporting work, offering vivid insight into two strikingly diverse young lives in Ghana.
Repairing the World
July 5, 2022
Twelve-year-old Daisy and Ruby are totally inseparable. They’ve grown up together, and Daisy has always counted on having Ruby there to pave the way, encourage her to try new things, and to see the magic in the world. Then Ruby is killed in a tragic accident while on vacation, and Daisy’s life is shattered.
Now Daisy finds herself having to face the big things in her life—like starting middle school and becoming a big sister—without her best friend. It’s hard when you feel sad all the time. But thanks to new friends, new insights, and supportive family members, Daisy is able to see what life after Ruby can look like. And as she reaches beyond that to help repair the world around her, she is reminded that friendship is eternal, and that magic can be found in the presence of anyone who chooses to embrace it.
July 5, 2022
In this poignant middle grade novel, a struggling student joins her school’s celebrated quiz team in a bid to avoid failing eighth grade.
Marianne Blume knows she’s one of the stupid kids. After years of trying and trying and feeling like she’s always failing, she has mastered the art of turning off her brain whenever questions or lectures arise. She gets by in school on a combination of luck, deflection, and charisma—that is, until she lands in the classroom of Mr. Garcia.
To avoid flunking Mr. Garcia’s class, Marianne joins her school’s Quiz Quest team, hoping the move will ingratiate her to him, the team’s coach. Can Marianne learn to be smart if she puts her mind to it? And what does it really mean to be ‘bright,’ anyway?
Bright is a readable and empowering story about bucking labels, overcoming preconceptions, and learning to find—and uphold—your own self-worth.
The Hike to Home
July 5, 2022
Lin Moser is not looking forward to this summer. After living on the road all her life, hiking mountains and traveling through the country in an RV with her house-flipping parents, she’s now stuck in Newbridge, New Jersey for their longest stay yet. With Mom away on a year-long naturalist assignment, Lin has resigned herself to having the most boring summer ever. But then she finds out about a local legend: an ancient ruined castle in the woods that no one has been able to find. Hiking to this castle would be like a quest. . . such an amazing quest that Mom might even come home, and they could adventure together the way they used to.
Determined to create her own adventure, Lin sets off on her biggest one yet―braving the wilderness with her two new friends, seeking the castle, and maybe discovering a new idea of home along the way.
Be Real, Macy Weaver
July 12, 2022
Eleven-year-old Macy Weaver knows relationships are complicated. Fresh off her latest friendship breakup, she’s spent most of her summer break on her own. So when Macy’s mother decides to go back to college three states away, Macy jumps on the chance to move—anything for a fresh start.
But Macy’s new home isn’t exactly what she expected. Her mother’s never around and her dad’s always working. Lonelier than ever, Macy sets her sights on finding a new best friend. When she meets Brynn, who’s smart and kind and already seems to have her whole life figured out—down to her future as a high fashion model—Macy knows she’s it. The only problem is that Brynn already has a BFF and, as everyone knows, you can only have one.
Resorting to old habits, Macy turns one small lie into a whole new life—full of fantastic fashion and haute couture—but it isn’t long before everything really falls apart. Ultimately, Macy must determine how to make things right and be true to herself—rather than chasing after the person she thinks she’s supposed to be.
A Perfect Mistake
July 12, 2022
Max wishes he could back in time: to before he was diagnosed with ADHD, before he grew to be the tallest kid in his class, and before he and his best friends went into the woods in the middle of the night. Max doesn’t remember what happened after he left his friends Will and Joey and the older kids who took them there. He’s not sure if he wants to remember. Knowing isn’t going to make Joey talk to him again, or bring Will out of his coma.
When the local authorities run out of leads, Max realizes that without his help, they may never know what really happened to Will. Charged by the idea that he may be the key to uncovering the truth, Max pairs up with classmate and aspiring journalist Sam to investigate what really happened that night. But not everyone in the community wants that night to be remembered.
Flipping Forward Twisting Backward
July 12, 2022
Claire is by far the best gymnast on her team, and she’s well on her way to qualifying for the state championships. The gym is where Claire shines. But at school, she’s known as a troublemaker. She seems to spend more time in the office than in class—which is fine with her since it enables her to hide the fact that she can’t read. She has never been able to make sense of the wobbling jumble of letters on a page. No one except her BFF knows.
But when a sympathetic principal wonders if Claire is acting out because she’s dyslexic, her mother balks. She’s afraid Claire will be labeled “stupid” and refuses testing. Claire has always assumed she’s dumb; she never imagined her reading problem could have a solution. Is she strong enough to take on both her reading challenges and her mother’s denial? Is it worth jeopardizing her spot in qualifiers?
Told in clear and poignant verse and featuring black and white illustrations, Claire’s struggle with something that seems to come easily to everyone else will resonate with readers and have them cheering her on.
Haven: A Small Cats Big Adventure
August 2, 2022
A warm, cozy lap. The toasty smell of baking bread. Tasty food served in a bright-blue bowl. These make Haven’s life as an indoor pet heaven. All thanks to her beloved human and rescuer, Ma Millie. But when Ma Millie becomes too sick to care for her, the cat’s cozy life is turned upside down, and Haven decides she must seek out another human for help. Anything for Ma Millie! Her vow pulls her out of her safe nest into the shadowy forest and down unfamiliar and dangerous roads.
When her first plan fails, Haven meets a wilderness-savvy fox who volunteers as an ally, and their perilous journey together brings some victories. But Haven finds herself pitted against creatures far wilder than she ever could be, testing her strength and spirit to their limits. Will her loyalty to Ma Millie—and her newfound confidence in herself—be enough to help Haven see the quest through to its conclusion? Can she stand up against the fierce predator that is tracking her every move?
Isaiah Dunn Saves the Day
August 2, 2022
Things are looking up for super kid Isaiah Dunn. He and his little sister, Charlie, are getting used to staying with Miz Rita, and Mama’s feeling better. Isaiah’s poetry business with Angel is taking off, and his best friend, Sneaky, always has a new hustle. Plus, Isaiah has his dad’s journals for a story or if he needs advice….
Like maybe now, because starting middle school is hard. Especially when his mentee Kobe won’t stop making trouble. Isaiah knows something is up, but to get to the bottom of Kobe’s secret, he’ll have to rely on every hero he knows–including himself!
Discover the heartfelt and humorous sequel to the award-winning novel Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero.
August 9, 2022
Life on the road with Daddy is as good as gets for Hazmat. Together, they’ve been taking jobs and crisscrossing the US for years. Now Daddy’s talking about putting down roots—somewhere Hazmat can go to a real school and make friends. Somewhere Daddy doesn’t have to mail-order textbooks about “nature’s promise to all women.” Somewhere Mom’s ashes can rest on a mantle and not on a dashboard.
While everything just keeps changing, sometimes in ways she can’t control, Hazmat isn’t ready to give up the freedom of long-distance hauling. Sure the road is filled with surprises, from plane crashes and robo trucks to runaway hitchhikers and abandoned babies, but that all makes for great stories! So Hazmat hatches a plan to make sure Daddy’s dream never becomes a reality. Because there’s only one place Hazmat belongs: in the navigator’s seat, right next to Daddy, with the whole country flying by and each day different from the last.
There they are: 100 of the best middle grade books to read in 2022! I’d love to hear which ones you’re most excited for!