Squad Goals (Hearts & Crafts #1) is the first in a new middle grade series about Mackenzie Miller, a new seventh-grader who calls herself a “maker.” Mackenzie loves projects especially when they involve crafting artsy things or planning things. After her parents’ divorce and her father’s remarriage, it’s just Kenzie and her mom and Kenzie wants her mom to find a boyfriend. Last year, her BFFs also dumped her and Kenzie is convinced she can try to win them back this year while working hard to make new friends. In the spirit of making, she quickly finds herself embroiled in a fundraiser to help get some of the Band kids in her school (she’s also in Band) new instruments. But can Mackenzie balance it all?
Besties Beth and Chanda need to find a way to earn some money. Beth wants to give her mom a spa day while Chanda needs money to adopt a new pet (and prove herself responsible to her parents who are constantly comparing her to her big sister). But when the two land a house-sitting gig, they end up breaking their employer’s prized possession. Can they fix the problem without losing their friendship and reputation?
In How to Win a Slime War, young Alex Manalo and his father have moved from Silicon Valley to Sacramento where his dad is taking over his Lolo and Lola’s grocery store. His grandparents have retired and his dad is tired of Silicon Valley living and wants to revamp the family’s Filipino Market. Alex is struggling to adjust a new place and also feeling burdened by his father’s expectations of him — that he cut his hair short, play more sports, and make less slime.
Joy Taylor and her family have moved into an apartment complex because her dad lost his job and their mortgage is too expensive to keep on one income. Now Joy has to share a room with her little sister and hear her parents fight every day about the work her dad chooses (or chooses not to do). Her only respite is the nice kids in the building and the hideout they introduce Joy to. One of the kids befriends Joy and they even start a dog-walking business together. But when Joy finds a sad message on the hideout wall, she’s determined to find out the person in need, but her good intentions cause more harm than good.
Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero has been on my TBR for a while, so it was a pleasure to finally read it! Isaiah’s father has died, leaving behind Isaiah, his mom, and his younger sister, Charlie. Isaiah’s mom is so depressed she’s lost her job — and started drinking too many bottles of wine. Isaiah realizes that they need money if they’ll ever move out of the motel where they’ve had to live since being unable to pay for their home. Thankfully, Isaiah has his father’s books of poems, his best friend Sneaky who sells candy at school (and lets Isaiah be his business partner), and the kind people who look out for him once they realize he’s in need. In the end, will Isaiah be the hero of his story?
Which kid never felt the need to have some money of their own? Well, if you’ve got a budding business owner, these best middle grade books about entrepreneurship may just be the inspiration they need. Although there are several non-fiction books about starting a business, I’m a believer in the power of storytelling. These stories are inspiring — although some occasionally border on unrealistic — and will help kids who either want to start a small business or support their family-owned businesses with more vim.
In J.D. and the Great Barber Battle, eight-year-old J.D. has to devise a means to correct a haircut gone wrong. His mom obviously doesn’t care much about lining his cut evenly, and J.D. gets laughed at school by his friends. Eventually, after using his little brother as a subject, J.D. figures out how to cut his own hair — and he does a fantastic job!