Sneak Peeks at Upcoming Upper ES/MS Fiction

One of my favorite things about my job here at Mackin is receiving advance reader copies (ARCs) from our publishers. In fact, the last cart of books brought to my desk contains ARCS of books most of which won’t be published until June or July.  (A guilty pleasure of mine is checking out the new releases at the local bookstore and thinking, “Already read it. Read it. Read that one, too.)

Here is a sneak peek at some of the middle grade novels I’ve read that will be out in March. Whether they are fans of realistic fiction or adventure stories or fantasy, your readers will find something they like here.

matylda-bright-and-tenderMatylda, Bright and Tender by Holly M. McGhee. 9780763689513. 2017. Gr 3-6.
Sussy and Guy have been best friends since kindergarten, and they even share Matylda, their pet leopard gecko. So Sussy is devastated when Guy is killed in an accident. This lovely and touching book realistically portrays the experience of grief in a young child as Sussy learns to deal with her emotions and her new reality.

one-good-thing-about-americaOne Good Thing about America by Ruth Freeman. 9780823436958. 2017. Gr 3-6.
Only Anais, her mother, and her younger brother were able to immigrate to America, leaving her father, older brother, and loving grandmother behind, still in danger. Anais, who was the best English speaker back home, finds that she is now the worst student in “Crazy America.” Told entirely in letters to her grandmother, who encourages her to find one good thing every day about her new home, the book shows not only Anais’s improving language and social skills, but also a brighter attitude about America and hope for her family.

hear-the-wolvesHear the Wolves by Victoria Scott. 9781338043587. 2017. Gr 4-8.
Most of the townspeople of the tiny town of Rusic, Alaska, have traveled to get supplies in a neighboring town. When a blizzard unexpectedly moves in and an elderly woman is badly injured in an accident, twelve-year-old Sloan and five others (and a dog) brave the storm to get the woman to a doctor. The forest’s wolves have never before been a threat, but the winter has been hard and prey is hard to find. Now the wolves are starving…  Booklist calls this an “intense, white-knuckle story” and readers who like excitement and danger and not a little bloodshed will be thrilled.

miss-ellicotts-school-for-the-magically-mindedMiss Ellicott’s School for the Magically Minded by Sage Blackwood. 9780062402639. 2017. Gr 4-8.
Chantel is a young sorceress-in-training with excellent magical skills, but she’s not so great in deportment—a struggle for her in a society that requires females to be “shamefaced and biddable.” When all of the city’s sorceresses disappear, it is up to Chantel to find them so they can enspell and strengthen the city walls before a marauding army breaks through.  Chantel’s struggles with staying respectful when faced by corrupt adults adds a humorous touch to this tale of the dangers of an authority governed by selfishness and greed. Honor, duty, magic, and a dragon make this a thoroughly delightful fantasy.

And here is a list of several others, also out in March, that I am excited to read:

braced  bronze-and-sunflower  forever-or-a-long-long-time  goat  hello-universe  lotterys-plus-one  who-let-the-gods-out

Braced by Alyson Gerber. 9780545902144. 2017. Gr 5-7.
Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan. 9780763688165. 2017. Gr 4-8.
Forever, or a Long, Long Time by Caela Carter. 9780062385680. 2017. Gr 5-7.
The Goat by Anne Fleming. 9781554989164. 2017. Gr 3-6.
Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly. 9780062414151. 2017. Gr 4-7.
The Lottery’s Plus One by Emma Donoghue. 9780545925815. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Who Let the Gods Out? by Maz Evans. 9781338065565. 2017. Gr 4-7.