Your to-read pile is about to grow! Here is a selection of some of the stellar middle-grade titles releasing this month:
I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora
When Lucy, Elena, and Michael receive their summer reading list, they are excited to see To Kill A Mockingbird included. But not everyone in their class shares the same enthusiasm. So they hatch a plot to get the entire town talking about the well-known Harper Lee classic. They plan controversial ways to get people to read the book, but soon, their exploits start to spin out of control and they unwittingly start a mini revolution in the name of books.
Justin Case: Rules, Tools, and Maybe a Bully by Rachel Vail; illustrated by Matthew Cordell
Justin Case made it through third grade and summer camp in the previous two books. Now he’s in fourth grade, and there’s even more to worry about: friends, bullies, grades, tests—and did we say bullies? All the worries and triumphs of elementary school life, told in diary format.
The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern
As befits a future President of the United States of America, Maggie Mayfield has decided to write a memoir of the past year of her life. And what a banner year it’s been! During this period she’s Student of the Month on a regular basis, an official shareholder of Coca-Cola stock, and defending Science Fair champion. Most importantly, though, this is the year Maggie has to pull up her bootstraps and finally learn why her cool-dude dad is in a wheelchair, no matter how scary that is. Author Megan Jean Sovern, herself the daughter of a dad with multiple sclerosis, writes with the funny grace and assured prose of a new literary star. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of this book will be donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
ADVENTURE AND MYSTERY
The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill by Megan Frazer Blakemore
Hazel Kaplansky is a firm believer in the pursuit of knowledge and truth—and she also happens to love a good mystery. When suspicions swirl that a Russian spy has infiltrated her small town of Maple Hill, Vermont, amidst the fervor of Cold War era McCarthyism, Hazel knows it’s up to her to find a suspect… starting with Mr. Jones, the quietly suspicious grave digger. Plus she’s found a perfect sleuthing partner in Samuel Butler, the new boy in school with a few secrets of his own. But as Hazel and Samuel piece together clues from the past and present, the truth is suddenly not what they expected, and what they find reveals more about themselves and the people of their cozy little town than they could ever have imagined.
Nick and Tesla’s Secret Agent Gadget Battle by Bob Plfugfelder and Steve Hockensmith
After foiling a gang of kidnappers and fending off an army of robots, 11-year-old siblings Nick and Tesla Holt could use a little rest! But as their third mystery opens, they discover there’s a spy in their midst, searching for secrets in the home of their beloved (and slightly crazy) Uncle Newt. Is it the new laboratory assistant? The exterminator? The housekeepers? Or someone completely unexpected? To expose the mystery agent, Nick and Tesla must engineer all kinds of outrageous contraptions, from code wheels and fingerprint powder to spy cameras and burglar detectors. Instructions included throughout the story so readers can build the projects, too.
Platypus Police Squad: The Ostrich Conspiracy by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
The opening of the Kalamazoo City Dome–the world’s largest indoor amusement complex–has everyone in the city buzzing, especially because it’s going to be the shooting site for Chase Mercy’s new blockbuster film. But that’s when things start to go haywire. Who would want to sabotage the Dome, and why? Detectives Rick Zengo and Corey O’Malley are on the case. Book 2 in this action-packed humorous series featuring two platypus detectives.
Odin’s Ravens (The Blackwell Pages) by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Meyer
When 13-year-old Matt Thorsen, a modern day descendant of the Norse god Thor, was chosen to represent Thor in an epic battle to prevent the apocalypse he thought he knew how things would play out. Gather the descendants standing in for gods like Loki and Odin, defeat a giant serpent, and save the world. But the descendants’ journey grinds to a halt when their friend and descendant Baldwin is poisoned and killed and Matt, Fen, and Laurie must travel to the Underworld in the hopes of saving him.
Mouseheart by Lisa Fiedler
The Warriors series meets Redwall in this first book in an animal adventure series set in the subway tunnels of Brooklyn. Hopper is just an ordinary pet shop mouse before he escapes. Soon he finds himself below the bustling streets of Brooklyn, deep within the untamed tangles of transit tunnels, and in Atlantia, a glorious utopian rat civilization. But all is not what it seems.
Survivors #5: The Endless Lake by Erin Hunter
At the edge of a strange lake that seems to stretch on forever, Lucky and his Pack are about to discover even more new dangers. With the Fierce Dogs on their trail and the Storm of Dogs looming on the horizon, every dog will have to fight for survival–or be swept away.
The Battle for WondLa by Tony Di Terlizzi
All hope for a peaceful coexistence between humankind and aliens seems lost in the third installment of the WondLa trilogy. Eva Nine has gone into hiding for fear of luring the wicked Loroc to her companions. However, news of the city Solas being captured by the human leader, Cadmus Pryde, forces Eva into action once again. With help from an unlikely ally, Eva tries to thwart Loroc’s ultimate plan for both mankind and the alien life on Orbona.
The Thickety: A Path Begins by J.A. White
First in a new fantasy series about a girl, a mysterious forest, and a book of untold magical powers. Kara and her brother, Taff, are shunned by their village because their mother was a witch. The villagers believe nothing is more evil than magic, except for what lurks in the nearby Thickety. But when Kara enters the forbidden forest, she discovers a strange book, a grimoire that might have belonged to her mother. The events she then sets in motion are both awe-inspiring and terrifying. . . .
Revolution by Deborah Wiles
It’s 1964, and Sunny’s town is being invaded. Or at least that’s what the adults of Greenwood, Mississippi, are saying. All Sunny knows is that people from up north are coming to help people register to vote. They’re calling it Freedom Summer. Meanwhile, Sunny can’t help but feel like her house is being invaded, too. She has a new stepmother, a new brother, and a new sister crowding her life, giving her little room to breathe. And things get even trickier when Sunny and her brother are caught sneaking into the local swimming pool — where they bump into a mystery boy whose life is going to become tangled up in theirs. Book 2 in the Sixties Trilogy, a followup to Countdown.
The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
This follow-up to Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is a Victorian ghost story with shades of Washington Irving and Henry James. More than just a spooky tale, it’s also a moral fable about human greed and the power of storytelling. The Night Gardener follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives.
Jessie Elliott Is a Big Chicken by Elise Gravel
It’s Jessie Elliot’s last summer as a child. In the fall, she’ll be going to Hochelaga High—where the cool kids smoke, have piercings, and make out in abandoned parking lots. Jessie wants to be cool, but it’s way more fun being uncool. That’s why this summer she’s going to get a high score in Tetris, draw her Super Pickle comics, read weird books at her best friend Julie’s cottage, and daydream about her crush, Ben. But when Julie is suddenly BFFs with one of the cool girls, Jessie wonders what will happen to her perfectly nerdy and fun-filled summer.
The Return of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
Ben Hatke brings back our intrepid space heroine for another delightful sci-fi/fantasy adventure in this graphic novel trilogy for middle grade readers. Zita the Spacegirl has saved planets, battled monsters, and wrestled with interplanetary fame. But she faces her biggest challenge yet in the third and final installment of the Zita adventures. Wrongfully imprisoned on a penitentiary planet, Zita has to plot the galaxy’s greatest jailbreak before the evil prison warden can execute his plan of interstellar domination!
Stubby the War Dog: The True Story of World War I’s Bravest Dog by Ann Bausum
Stubby, the stump-tailed terrier, worked behind enemy lines, and gained military honors along the way. Private Robert Conroy casually adopted the orphan pup while attending basic training on the campus of Yale University in 1917. He never imagined that his stray dog would become a war hero. He just liked the little guy. When Conroy’s unit shipped out for France, he smuggled his new friend aboard.
U.S. Presidents (Junior GeniusGuides) by Ken Jennings, illustrated by Mike Lowery
Did you know that Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday? Or that Jefferson introduced the first French fries at a fancy state dinner? Become a presidential pro with this interactive trivia book from Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings
National Geographic Kids Myths Busted! 2: Just When You Thought You Knew What You Knew … by Emily Krieger
Want to make that face for hours? Go ahead, it’ll never freeze like that. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet and go swimming immediately after? A-ok. Have your dog eat off the same plate as you because his mouth is cleaner than yours? Better think twice on that one.
Girl Standing on Lawns by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman
This clever book contains 40 vintage photographs from the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, more than a dozen original paintings by Kalman inspired by the photographs, and brief, lyrical texts by Handler. Poetic and thought-provoking, “Girls Standing on Lawns” is a meditation on memories, childhood, nostalgia, home, family, and the act of seeing.
What is the Statue of Liberty by Joan Holub
In 1876, France decided to give the United States a very big and very special present–the Statue of Liberty. The gift was to commemorate the 100th birthday of the United States, and just packing it was no small feat–350 pieces in 214 crates shipped across the ocean. The story of how the 111-foot-tall lady took her place in the New York Harbor will fascinate young readers.