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Staff Favorites - Middle Grade

Created 5/30/20

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Mañanaland Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781338157864
Availability: In Stock In Store
Published: Scholastic Press - March 3rd, 2020

This is my favorite book of 2020. Maximiliano wants to make his town's idolized soccer team just like his father and grandfather. He also wants to find out what happened to his mom. Soon Max finds the two are more entangled than he could have ever imagined. Off on an adventure to find answers, Max discovers that the fantastical stories Buelo told him aren't that far-fetched after all. They hide a secret and a key. Can Max make it back in time for soccer tryouts? Can Max make it back at all?  -- Caitlin


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The Girl Who Drank the Moon (Winner of the 2017 Newbery Medal) Cover Image
$9.95
ISBN: 9781616207465
Availability: In Stock In Store
Published: Algonquin Young Readers - April 30th, 2019

I cannot accurately describe how incredible this book is. I would quote it for you but just I'd end up putting the entire book in this review. A witch, a town, a mother, a girl, and a sacrifice. A swamp monster who recites poetry and is as old as the world itself, a baby dragon who loves math and sings to himself when he's scared, and the terrible, mythical grief-eater growing more and more dangerous every second. This book is an instant classic. I do not write that lightly. It is for kids and adults. It is for every genre. And there will never be a time when it has run out of all it can teach us. -- Caitlin


Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780316508896
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 25th, 2018

The Storm Runner Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781368023603
Availability: In Stock In Store
Published: Rick Riordan Presents - August 20th, 2019

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Esperanza Rising (Scholastic Gold) Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780439120425
Availability: In Stock In Store
Published: Scholastic Press - May 1st, 2002

"The rich person is richer when he becomes poor, than the poor person when he becomes rich."

It is 1930, Esperanza has a life of luxury on a land so beautiful few could dream better. When her father is killed by bandits, and her life becomes in danger, Esperanza and her mother must leave for California. I could not put this book down. It is so beautifully written, there is nothing Pam Munoz Ryan can't do.  -- Caitlin


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The Secret Keepers Cover Image
By Trenton Lee Stewart, Diana Sudyka (Illustrator)
$9.99
ISBN: 9780316389549
Availability: In Stock In Store
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 5th, 2017

It has been Reuben and his mom for as long as he can remember. She works two jobs to provide for them and Reuben wants to help in anyway that he can. When he comes across a beautiful pocketwatch stuck in the side of a building, he wedges it free and decides to sell it and give the money to his mom. At the watch shop though, Reuben starts to suspect this watch is very dangerous tries to leave and barely escapes. It is a powerful watch with a dangerous secret and is wanted by the city's criminal mastermind, The Smoke. Can Reuben find the watches rightful owner? Could he possibly take down The Smoke before? Or is the watch too dangerous? -- Caitlin


Winterhouse Cover Image
By Ben Guterson, Chloe Bristol (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9781250294197
Availability: In Stock In Store
Published: Square Fish - October 30th, 2018

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Click Here to Start (A Novel) Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781101931905
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Yearling - August 1st, 2017

Ted is really good at excape the room computer games. Like, realllly good. His great uncle and Ted talk about it when Ted visits him in the hospital. When his great uncle passes away, he leaves him a note stating that everything in my apartment and hints at a treasure. Ted's mom says she's been to that apartment and there's nothing really of value but he & his friends can take whatever they want as they help pack everything up to be donated. Soon, Ted, Caleb, & Isabel start finding clues and more and more start believing in the treasure. It also seems that someone else believes in it too.  -- Caitlin


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Akissi: Tales of Mischief: Akissi Book 1 Cover Image
By Marguerite Abouet, Mathieu Sapin (Illustrator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781911171478
Availability: In Stock In Store
Published: Flying Eye Books - May 8th, 2018

This book gave me that can't-breathe-pain-in-stomach laughing fit. Akissi is growing up in western Africa with her brother and older teen sister. She is smart, adventurous, and absolutely fearless. This book is made up of many little stories of mischeif Akissi finds herself in, like adopting a pet mouse, charging admission to the neighborhood kids to watch Spectreman! before her parents gets home, and trying to get out her loose tooth so she doesn't have to go to the dreaded dentist! Hilarious, heartwarming, and familiar. There is a bit of Akissi is in all of us. -- Caitlin


Snow & Rose Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780553538212
Availability: In Stock In Store
Published: Yearling - October 1st, 2019

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Our Castle by the Sea Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338353853
Availability: In Stock In Store
Published: Chicken House - April 30th, 2019

One of my favorite writers, this book blends Lucy Strange's lyrical, poetic prose with burning questions, spies, prisoners, and sabotage. The book opens with the most enchanting and spooky tale of the four large rocks jutting out of the cliff and a sea monster below. Internet friends, if you were in the store that first page alone would have you sold on reading this. Alas, here we are & you are still reading. Let me set the scene: a foggy, brisk life being the lighthouse keeper's daughter.  It's the late 1930's and 12 year old Pet watches as the threat of invasion floods the town's worries. The first line of defense between Britain and occupied France is her father's lighthouse and it is revealed there is a spy among the citizens, everyone turns to Pet's German mother. Can Pet find and expose the spy and free her mother in time? Or will her family slowly separate further north into Britain like the hundreds of other families living on the coastline. -- Caitlin


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Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks Cover Image
By Jason Reynolds, Alexander Nabaum (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481438285
Availability: In Stock In Store
Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - October 8th, 2019

"This story was going to begin like all the best stories.  With a school bus falling from the sky."

This novel, comprised of ten short stories, is absolutely astonishing. Jason Reynolds is a mythical god when it comes to writing character. Wish this was ten novels instead of ten stories. How he manages to fit the weight of a whale in each character's story in so few pages shows his true genius. -- Caitlin


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Go with the Flow Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781250143174
Availability: In Stock In Store
Published: First Second - January 14th, 2020

Absolutely genius. A graphic novel about friendship, standing up for yourself and others, and periods. This made me laugh out loud, sent my heart racing, and my heart aching. This is the story of four girls in high school who become fast friends after an embarrassing incident. After finding no help in the restroom dispenser these girls wage a war against the administration (and the world) fighting for menstral rights (that should be fundamental). -- Caitlin


Dragon Pearl Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781368013352
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Rick Riordan Presents - January 15th, 2019

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The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780763680893
Availability: In Stock In Store
Published: Candlewick - December 8th, 2015

I have never read a book so original, fateful, and so well done as The Tale of Despereaux. This book makes even the most skeptical of people into believers of fate. You know that moment in that one movie where the mean critic takes a bite of the food and is shot back to his childhood, this book did that to me. Except instead of a skimmed knee it was back to a time when I saw all of the magic in this world. You must read this, no matter how old you are. This book found that special part of myself, I bet inside you will find yourself, too. -- Caitlin


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Once Was a Time: (Middle Grade Fiction Books, Friendship Stories for Young Adults,  Middle Grade Novels in Verse) Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781452161396
Availability: In Stock In Store
Published: Chronicle Books - October 3rd, 2017

Wow, wow, wow.  I read this at the car dealership waiting for my car. They called me (I thought only 30 minutes had passed but really 4 hours had passed) when I was maybe an hour from finishing. I had to pull the car over into a parking lot because I couldn't wait the 20 minutes it took to get home to finish it. It was such a beautiful book & ending I cried so hard that my car windows fogged up.
Charlotte & Kitty are best friends in Bristol, England, 1940. Charlotte's father is a physicist studying wormholes and one day when he doesn't come home, Charlotte and Kitty find themselves in a very dangerous situation with a threatening stranger. But then! A shimmer of light! Charlotte sees a wormhole open up beside her. She tries to grab Kitty as she jumps through but isn't able to and ends up in present day Wisconsin alone. Charlotte finds lots of answers to questions like what is Star Wars, Harry Potter, and this thing called "The Internet" but none to any about her past. So the search begins as she also balances being cool at her new school because of her foreign English accent.  Truly the best story of friendship I have ever read. -- Caitlin


The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781328499219
Availability: In Stock In Store
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - September 4th, 2018

Front Desk (Scholastic Gold) Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781338157826
Availability: In Stock In Store
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - June 25th, 2019

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Queen of the Sea Cover Image
By Dylan Meconis, Dylan Meconis (Illustrator)
$24.99
ISBN: 9781536204988
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Walker Books US - June 25th, 2019

Oh, how I wish this book was endless and I could live in the watercolored pages forever. The incredible story of Margaret, an ophaned girl raised by nuns on a island far off the coast of her kingdom. Soon, a banished Queen arrives seeking refuge.  The Queen is cold and distant at first, but as she warms to Margaret, Margaret finds her values tested and questions about her family more burning than ever. -- Caitlin


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The Skylarks' War Cover Image
By Hilary McKay, Rebecca Green (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9781534427112
Availability: In Stock In Store
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - September 17th, 2019

"Often at that time of year you could hear skylarks over the fields. Soldiers remarked how strange it was that the birds should be there, but in fact the birds had been there for centuries. The really strange thing was that the soldiers were there. Another thing that people thought was oddwas that the skylarks sang in the language of their homes. In English for the English, in French for the French, and in Dutch for the Dutch. More puzzling still, on the other side of the trenches, a few miles away, the skylarks were singing in German."

A wonderful story of three siblings growing up in the beginings of the first world war. Clarry fights for her right to education while her father sees it as pointless. Rupert has just joined the exciting life of a soldier in a war that should be over in a few months. And Peter is sent against all his wishes and begs and pleas to boarding school. This is a brilliantly written coming of age story that will stay in your thoughts long the last page. -- Caitlin


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Where the Mountain Meets the Moon Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9780316038638
Availability: In Stock In Store
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 12th, 2011

An all time favorite that begs to be reread and reread.  Luckily for all of us, Grace Lin wrote a trilogy that has no order and each book informs the other in different ways, so there's lots to reread and dissect and obsess over. If you, like me, have watched and fallen in love with Avatar: the Last Airbender while stuck at home, this trilogy have you just as (if not more) obsessed with it. Fantastical, mythical, heartwarming, enlightening, and inspirational--this book is so good it will give you goosebumps. -- Caitlin


Tumble & Blue Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780147515551
Availability: In Stock In Store
Published: Puffin Books - August 28th, 2018

Legend says on the night when the moon is a red sickle if you know the way there is an all knowing, mythical golden alligator named Munch who will change your fate. Long ago two people found themselves there at the same time and decided to split the good fortune. This did not go as they had hoped and it made half of their family cursed and half of their family lucky. Now, only the grandmother knows the way so half of the family turns up to her house in hopes that she will choose them to pass the secret to. Blue has just been dumped here by his racecar star of a father hoping to change his son's life, but Blue wants nothing to do with the kissing up and showing off of everyone else. Lucky for him, there's a new neighbor, Tumble, who has read countless books on being your best by her hero, thinks she knows how to change his fate without making a deal with an alligator. -- Caitlin


Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, Volume 1 Cover Image
$7.95
ISBN: 9781454932994
Availability: In Stock In Store
Published: Sterling Children's Books - March 5th, 2019

Restart Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9781338053807
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Press - March 27th, 2018