The Great Library Giveaway Spotlights: Week 1

We say it a lot, but we mean it when we say thanks to all those who donate books for our giveaways.

As thanks, we wanted to bring a little more attention to the middle-grade titles offered in our Great Library Giveaway.  Each week we will spotlight ten or so books that have been graciously donated by authors, publishers, and you.  You can see the complete list of titles here. For more information about our Great Library Giveaway and how you can nominate a library to win our middle-grade book collection, please click here.

The titles we are spotlighting this week are:

As Simple as It Seems by Sarah Weeks

Description from Indiebound:

Verbena Colter knows she’s bad news.

Trouble from the get-go. How could she not be, with parents like hers? Her mother practically pickled her before she was even born, leaving Verbie to struggle with the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome. And her father was just plain mean. Verbie wishes she could be somebody, anybody other than who she is. Enter Pooch, a flatlander boy visiting for the summer. When Pooch and his mom rent the house next door, Verbie takes the opportunity to be someone else entirely. And what starts out as a game leads Verbie into a surprising and heartwarming journey of self-discovery.

Escape Under the Forever Sky by Eve Yohalem

Description from Indiebound:

Lucy’s mother is the U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, so Lucy’s life must be one big adventure, right? Wrong. Lucy’s worrywart mother keeps her locked up inside the ambassador’s residence. All Lucy can do is read about the exotic and exciting world that lies beyond the compound walls and imagine what it would be like to be a part of it. That is, until one day Lucy decides she has had enough and she and a friend sneak off for some fun. But to their horror, Lucy gets kidnapped! With only herself to rely upon, Lucy must use her knowledge of African animals, inventiveness, will, and courage to escape, and in the process embarks on an adventure beyond her wildest imagination.

The Healing Spell by Kimberley Griffiths Little

Description from Indiebound:

Livie is living with a secret and it’s crushing her. She knows she is responsible for her mother’s coma, but she can’t tell anyone. Livie struggles to find her place within her own family as she learns about the powers of faith and redemption.


The Magnificent 12: The Call by Michael Grant

Description from Indiebound:

Twelve-year-old Mack MacAvoy suffers from a serious case of mediumness. Medium looks. Medium grades. Medium parents who barely notice him. With a list of phobias that could make anyone crazy, Mack never would have guessed that he is destined for a more-than-medium life.

And then, one day, something incredibly strange happens to Mack. A three-thousand-year-old man named Grimluk appears in the boys’ bathroom to deliver some startling news: Mack is one of the Magnificent Twelve, called the Magnifica in ancient times, whatever that means. An evil force is on its way, and it’s up to Mack to track down eleven other twelve-year-olds in order to stop it. He must travel across the world to battle the wicked Pale Queen’s dangerous daughter, Ereskigal—also known as Risky. But Risky sounds a little scary, and Mack doesn’t want to be a hero. Will he answer the call?

The Pepins and Their Problems by Polly Horvath

Description from Indiebound:

Whether it’s waking up to find toads in their shoes, becoming trapped on the roof, or searching for cheese when their cow makes only lemonade, the Pepin family always seem to get into the most bizarre scrapes. Lucky for them, they have an author with large psychic antennae and great problem-solving readers who can join the Pepins on their hilarious adventures. And they need all the help they can get!

Saving Lilly by Peg Kehret

Description from Indiebound:

Erin Wrenn and her friend David are in big trouble because they refuse to go on a field trip to the Glitter Tent Circus. They wrote a report on the sad lives of circus animals, and discovered that the Glitter Tent Circus is one of the worst animal abusers of all.

Mrs. Dawson is determined to give her students the happy circus experience she remembers from her childhood; she won’t let Erin and David share their report or pass around a petition asking for a different field trip. Erin is determined to force Mrs. Dawson to change her plans — or she’ll stage a sit-in at school.

Then Erin sees an even bigger problem: Lilly, a mistreated elephant, is about to be sold to a hunting park. How can she save Lilly before it’s too late? It seems impossible!

Can one girl — and a class of sixth-graders — make a difference?

Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes

Description from Indiebound:

When twelve-year-old Izzy discovers a beat-up baseball marked with the words “Because magic” while unpacking in yet another new apartment, she is determined to figure out what it means. What secrets does this old ball have to tell? Her mom certainly isn’t sharing any especially when it comes to Izzy’s father, who died before Izzy was born. But when she spends the summer in her Nana’s remote New Mexico village, Izzy discovers long-buried secrets that come alive in an enchanted landscape of watermelon mountains, whispering winds, and tortilla suns. Infused with the flavor of the southwest and sprinkled with just a pinch of magic, this heartfelt middle grade debut is as rich and satisfying as Nana’s homemade enchiladas.

Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord

Description from Indiebound:

Touch Blue and your wish will come true.

“Why take chances?” says eleven-year-old Tess Brooks. “Especially when it’s so easy to let the universe know what you want by touching blue or turning around three times or crossing your fingers.”

But Tess is coming to know that it’s not always that simple.

The state of Maine plans to shut down her island’s schoolhouse, which would force Tess’s family to move to the mainland–and Tess to leave the only home she has ever known. Fortunately, the islanders have a plan too: increase the numbers of students by having several families take in foster children. So now Tess and her family are taking a chance on Aaron, a thirteen-year-old trumpet player who has been bounced from home to home. And Tess needs a plan of her own–and all the luck she can muster. Will Tess’s wish come true or will her luck run out?

Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning by Danette Haworth

Description from Indiebound:

Spunky, headstrong Violet Raines is happy with things just the way they are in her sleepy backwoods Florida town. She loves going to the fish fry with her best friend, Lottie, and collecting BrainFreeze cups with her good friend Eddie. She loves squeezing into the open trunk of the old cypress tree, looking for alligators in the river, and witnessing lighting storms on a warm summer day.

But Violet’s world is turned upside down when Melissa moves to town from big city Detroit. All of a sudden Violet’s supposed to want to wear makeup, and watch soap operas, and play Truth or Dare! It’ll take the help of Violet’s friends, her Momma, a few run-ins with lightning, and maybe even Melissa, for Violet to realize that growing up doesn’t have to mean changing who you are.

What Happened on Fox Street by Tricia Springstubb

Description from Indiebound:

Fox Street was a dead end. In Mo Wren’s opinion, this was only one of many wonderful, distinguishing things about it.

Mo lives on Fox Street with her dad and little sister, the Wild Child. Their house is in the middle of the block—right where a heart would be, if the street were a person. Fox Street has everything: a piano player, a fix-it man, the city’s best burrito makers, a woman who cuts Mo’s hair just right, not to mention a certain boy who wants to teach her how to skateboard. There’s even a mean, spooky old lady, if ringing doorbells and running away, or leaving dead mice in mailboxes, is your idea of fun. Summers are Mo’s favorite time, because her best friend, Mercedes, comes to stay.

Most important, though, Fox Street is where all Mo’s memories of her mother live. The idea of anything changing on Fox Street is unimaginable—until it isn’t.

This is the story of one unforgettable summer—a summer of alarming letters, mysterious errands, and surprising revelations—and how a tuft of bright red fur gives Mo the courage she needs.

2 Responses to The Great Library Giveaway Spotlights: Week 1

  1. Natalie Aguirre

    I really want to read The Healing Spell, The Magnificent 12, and Tortilla Sun. Great list of books.

  2. I loved The Healing Spell.