New Middle Grade Fiction Titles
Since no one can read all the books that come out each year (though we give it the old college try!), the librarians in Mackin’s Collection Management department divvy up the new books by nonfiction categories and fiction genres between us. One of my areas is middle grade fiction by authors whose last name begins with A through M.
Here are some of the best books I have read in the last couple months. They cover everything from realistic fiction to historical fiction, fantasy, suspense, mystery, and adventure. If you can get only a dozen books this season, you can’t go wrong with any of these.
What new books would you recommend?
The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. 9780062686206. 2018. Gr 4-6.
In 1350 Europe, a hunchbacked orphan named Boy lives as an outcast. Through his climbing and jumping talents—and ability to talk to animals—Boy draws the attention of a strange pilgrim named Secundus who manipulates Boy into stealing the seven relics of Saint Peter located all across Europe.
Granted by John David Anderson. 9780062643865. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Ophelia Delphinium Fidgets is a wish-granting fairy in the magical land of Haven. Only a small number of wishes get granted, and one particular day, Ophelia gets her first wish-granting assignment ever. She soon learns that granting wishes takes more effort than she thought.
Knockout by K.A. Holt. 9781452163581. 2018. Gr 5-8.
Ever since Levi was a baby, a very sick baby with respiratory problems, his mother and brother have been treating him like he might break any time. He is not allowed to do anything fun. When his father (his parents are divorced) encourages him to take a few boxing lessons, Levi finds that he loves being in the ring—and he’s good at it! He finds out about a boarding school with a great boxing team, but how can he ask his mom if he can go—when he hasn’t even told her about the lessons?
Mr. Gedrick and Me by Patrick Carman. 9780062421609. 2017. Gr 3-5.
Since Stanley’s dad died, their house—and their lives!—have been a mess, and his mom is grateful to hire Mr. Gedrick as a temporary nanny and housekeeper. But the family needs more than just a clean house and a child minder, and Mr. Gedrick has plans. But just where did he come from—and how did he know they needed help? Kids dealing with grief and loss should be steered toward this funny and touching book.
Oddity by Sarah Cannon. 9781250123282. 2018. Gr 4-7.
Ada and her friends face zombie rabbits, alien mobs, and Puppet Cartels as they explore their small New Mexico town, where what’s strange is normal and vice versa. They are seeking clues to the mystery of what happened to her twin sister.
The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson. 9780545946179. 2018. Gr 4-6.
After Candice’s parents get divorced, Candice and her mother are living in her deceased grandmother’s house while their old house is remodeled before being sold. While there, she finds a letter addressed to her in the attic, a letter with clues to a mystery. If she and the bullied neighbor boy can figure out the clues, they will be able to set right a wrong from decades ago in the Jim Crow era. This book discusses racial issues from today as well as the past.
The Sky at Our Feet by Nadia Hashimi. 9780062421937. 2108. Gr 4-7.
Shocked to learn his Afghan mother has been living in the U.S. illegally since his father was killed in Afghanistan, Jason is terrified his mother will be discovered and they will be separated. When he sees his mother with two police officers, he panics and boards a train to New York to find his mother’s friend. An accident puts him in the hospital where he meets a girl, and the two kids sneak out of the hospital and go on the run in the city on an adventure that is by turns scary and exhilarating.
The Truth As Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor. 9780062491435. 2018. Gr 5-7.
Mason struggles with learning difficulties, a sweating problem, and bullies. He is also grieving the death of his best friend Benny, and he doesn’t understand why the police lieutenant doesn’t believe his story about the last time he saw Benny. He has no other friends (except for the neighbor dog) until short and scrawny Calvin moves into town, giving him hope for a brighter future. But then Calvin disappears—and Mason was the last person to see him.
Until Tomorrow, Mr. Marsworth by Sheila O’Connor. 9780399161933. 2018. Gr 5-7.
After her mother dies, Reenie and her brothers move in with their grandmother. Reenie and her brother Dare take up a paper route together, getting to know the people of the town—except for Mr. Marsworth, the town recluse. Reenie begins to leave him letters, beginning an unlikely friendship. But when Reenie tells him that her brother might enlist to fight in the Vietnam war, the pacifist Mr. Marsworth decides to help her stop him.
Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans. 9781338185270. 2018. Gr 3-5.
When Fidge, impatient with her little sister Minnie, kicks Minnie’s stuffed Wed Wabbit into the street, Minnie gets hit by a car when she runs after it. Fidge stays with her cousin Graham while her mother is at the hospital with Minnie. A thunderstorm transports the kids to the Land of the Wimbley Woos from Minnie’s favorite picture book. The land is being tyrannized by Wed Wabbit, and Fidge and Graham must solve a mystery and save the land from Wed Wabbit—or they’ll never get back home again.
Winterhouse (Book 1) by Ben Guterson. 9781250123886. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Elizabeth is shipped to the Winterhouse Hotel when her guardians win a vacation. The hotel is in the middle of nowhere, it’s Christmas, and she has very few belongings and no money. And who is that odd couple that keeps watching her? Puzzles, magic, and a mysterious book might help her find the answer to her past.
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