Today’s list: middle grade novels. There are so many good ones – way too many to list here. So like the first two lists (Summer Reading: Parts One and Two), I will stick to the new books. Holes, Charlotte’s Web, and Bud, Not Buddy are on the list (along with many other classic children’s novels) along with these twenty recently published stories…..
For Kids Between the Ages of 8 and 12. Great for the whole family as an evening read-aloud or on a road trip…
A Boy Called Bat by Elana Arnold (A story about a boy and his skunk, but Bat, the main character of this first installment in a new series is on the autism spectrum. It’s refreshing to read about a character who deals with something underrepresented in children’s books with a plot that is the star of the show!)
Sweet Home Alaska by Carole Estby Dagg (You can’t help but think about Laura Ingalls Wilder when you read this book. The setting is 1930s Alaska, but the challenges of life on the frontier and the themes of family and resilience are similar.)
Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres (a debut novel about a 7th grade girl whose family owns a food truck)
Henry and the Chalk Dragon by Jennifer Trafton (Henry likes to draw on his bedroom door. Everything is great until the dragon he draws comes to life!)
Lotteries Plus One by Emma Donoghue (Two couples with seven kids between them. All is going well until Grumps moves in. He’s doesn’t approve of what he sees: two same sex couples, a diverse group of kids, homeschooling. A fun family adventure.)
The Castle in the Mist by Amy Ephron (an old-fashioned fantasy that takes place in a castle in the English countryside)
Jack and the Geniuses by Bill Nye (Bill Nye the Science Guy has a new series! Gadgets and technology and genius kids working in a lab)
Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar (A story based on the author’s story of growing up in New York as a young immigrant in the 1960s. Good story in the Washington Post about the author. Link:
Panda-monium by Stuart Gibbs (Gibbs is my go-to author for reluctant readers. They may check the first one out reluctantly, but they quickly return for the next book.)
Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan (A lovely and timely book about a Muslim girl growing up and navigating all of the things that come along with being 13: family, friends, faith, tradition. What I loved about this book is that it deals with universal themes of growing up, and yet is true to Amina’s experience as a young Muslim girl living in the 21st century.)
Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan (If you know a child who loves being on stage, this is the absolute best summer read for them. A celebration of theater!)
Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia (I read this over the weekend and loved it. Clayton Byrd loves his grandfather, a blues musician who has taught his young grandson to play the harmonica. When his grandfather dies, Clayton goes off on his own to search for the members of his grandfather’s blues band. This is the book I would recommend to a child who loves music.)
And for older readers, ages 10 and over…
Funny Girl. Funniest. Stories. Ever, edited by Betsy Bird (short stories by 25 female writers)
Me and Marvin Gardens by Amy King (A friendship tale with an environmental message – and a touch of magical realism!)
Rooting for Rafael Rosales by Kurtis Scaletta
Horizon by Scott Westerfeld
Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk (by the author of Wolf Hollow– this one is part of my summer book club at Buttonwood Books and Toys in Cohasset.)
Bronze and the Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan
One other note…..
I read over the weekend that there’s going to be a movie based on Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s New York Times Modern Love column about her husband. Her essay, “You May Want to Marry My Husband, is being developed by Universal.