New Middle Grade Series Starters

My last post was on new middle-grade stand-alone fiction, but there are quite a few new series that have just been published—or will soon. Animal protagonists, oddball families, demons from India, puzzles, and curses are just the short list of things you’ll find in these books. Enjoy!


Aru Shah and the End of Time (Pandava, Book 1) by Roshani Chokshi. 9781368012355. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Aru exaggerates her family’s status in order to fit in at her private school. But when three classmates come to the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture—where Aru actually spends most of her time—they dare her to prove an ancient lamp is cursed, and she inadvertently frees an ancient demon.

A Bad Night for Bullies (Goolz Next Door, Book 1) by Gary Ghislain. 9781629796772. 2018. Gr 4-7.
Life in his small town was boring for Alex, stuck in his wheelchair. Then Frank Goolz, a famous horror writer, and his daughters moved in next door. Alex’s life takes a decisive and exciting turn when he realizes that Mr. Goolz’s horror stories don’t come from his imagination, but from the family’s own real-life paranormal mishaps.

Best Buds Under Frogs (Rizzlerunk Club, Book 1) by Leslie Patricelli. 9780763651046. 2018. Gr 2-5.
Lily’s first act at her new school is to throw up on somebody’s shoes. Fortunately, she is taken under the wing of Darby, who likes frogs and other weird stuff. Together the new BFFs form the Rizzlerunk Club. Shortly after, Darby’s former BFF, who had moved to London, returns. How will these relationships turn out?

The Doughnut Fix (Book 1) by Jessie Janowitz. 9781492655411. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Tristan loves living in New York City, where he can try out the foods at the nearby delis and has learned to bake luscious pastries. So he is appalled when his parents move the family to a tiny town with no restaurants or bakeries. Not one! When he finds out that the owner of the general store knows how to make “life-changing” chocolate cream doughnuts, but hasn’t done it for years, he and his new friends go on a search for the recipe, planning to use it to start a new business in this sleepy town.

Elle of the Ball (Hoops, Book 1) by Elena Delle Donne. 9781534412316. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Elle is tall—and not just for her age. Elle is a six-foot twelve-year-old girl, and her basketball team is thrilled to have her. But her coach wants her to switch positions and become the starting center, and she needs to learn a lot of new skills. Not only that, but she has to learn how to ballroom dance in gym class, and she’ll be graded on how well she can dance with a boy much shorter than she is. Elle is sure she won’t be able to do either!

Geeked Out : A LAME New World (Geeked Out, Book 1) by Obert Skye. 9781627799393. 2018. Gr 3-5.
A secret vigilante group called the League of Average and Mediocre Entities is formed by a group of middle school geeks who have had enough of being bullied. With the chaos of life outside of school growing, LAME is determined to at least give their fellow middle school students the super heroes they need in school.


Love Sugar Magic : A Dash of Trouble (Love Sugar Magic, Book 1) by Anna Merland. 9780062498465. 2018. Gr 3-6.
Leonora’s family owns a popular bakery in Rose Hill, Texas, and they are busy preparing sweets for the annual Dia de los Muertos festival. Leo wants to help but she’s told she’s too young. Then Leo discovers that her mother, aunt, and four older sisters are brujas, Mexican witches, and they are putting magic into their baked goods. Leo is determined to follow their example, and when her best friend Caroline has a problem, Leo tries to help with a little spell of her own.

Mez’s Magic (Lost Rainforest, Book 1) by Eliot Schrefer. 9780062491077. 2018. Gr 4-7.
Caldera is divided into animals who walk by night and those who walk by day. Mez and her sister are nightwalker panthers who fear daywalkers as creatures of myth and legend. When Mez discovers that she can enter the daylight world, she and an unlikely group of animal friends including a bat, a tree frog, and a monkey, must unravel an ancient mystery, discover the extent of Mez’s newly discovered magical powers, and face their greatest fears in order to save their rainforest home.

The Problim Children (Book 1) by Natalie Lloyd. 9780062428202. 2018. Gr 3-6.
When the Problim family home blows up, the seven siblings must go live in their grandfather’s abandoned home in Lost Cove. Rumors about treasures and magic lead to shenanigans as their next-door neighbor becomes determined to get their hands on the secrets the children hold. Through it all, the children must band together and muster up the courage to face whatever challenge comes their way as a family.

The Quest of the Cubs (Bears of the Ice, Book 1) by Kathryn Lasky. 9780545683043. 2018. Gr 4-7.
In this first volume of a new animal fantasy series set in the world of Ga’Hoole, the Northern Kingdoms of the polar bears are taken over by a group of power-hungry bears. When Roguers come to snatch a set of twin bear cubs, their mother offers herself instead. The cubs set off on a dangerous mission across the ice to find their mother. Along the way, they must learn to trust each other if they want to survive.

The Serpent’s Secret (Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond, Book 1) by Sayantani Dasgupta. 9781338185706. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Until her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala considered herself an ordinary sixth-grader in Parsippany, New Jersey. But on that day her parents disappear and a drooling rakkhosh demon shows up in her kitchen. Soon she is swept into another dimension, full of magic, winged horses, talking birds (very annoying), and cute princes—and somehow Kiranmala needs to sort it all out, find her parents, and basically save the world.

Shadow Weaver (Book 1) by MarcyKate Connolly. 9781492649953. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Twelve-year-old Emmeline possesses the unique ability to manipulate shadows, but when her magical powers are threatened by a noble family she desperately turns to Dar, her shadow friend, who offers to save her if Emmeline makes Dar flesh again. But this bargain only puts Emmeline’s life in further jeopardy.


The Spinner Prince (Pride Wars, Book 1) by Matt Laney. 9781328707260. 2018. Gr 5-7.
Prince Leo is next in line for the throne of Singara. He is also from a race of super-evolved felines. At his age, he is required to hunt a deadly slaycon to prove he is worthy. Even worse, Leo’s cousin is rebelling against the country, and Leo has just realized that he is a Spinner, cursed with a forbidden power. How can Leo prove his worth, defeat his cousin,  keep his throne, hide his curse, and stay alive?

Survival Tails : The Titanic (Survival Tails, Book 1) by Katrina Charman. 9780316477857. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Mutt sneaks on board the Titanic when he realizes his owner and BFF Alice is going to leave without him. He meets up with King Leon the rat and Clara, the Captain’s cat, and agrees to help look after three kittens abandoned in a lifeboat. When the ship hits an iceberg, the animals must locate their humans and find a way to survive!

Two’s a Crowd (Pug Pals, Book 1) by Flora Ahn. 9781338118452. 2018. Gr 2-5.
Sunny the pug tries to deal with his energetic new pug sister. But it’s the last straw when she takes Sunny’s favorite toy, Mr. Bunny, and loses him!

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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