Great Recommendations for Middle Grade Readers
Keep the kiddos interested and engaged with new books. Your neighborhood bookseller can help you find the perfect title… like these:
The Last Bear by Hannah Gold
This is one of those children’s books that feels like a delightful classic that you tumble down into and don’t want to resurface from. It’s so easy to empathize with April’s desire to bond with her father, and you feel like cheering when she befriends Bear. Though the book has a deep and meaningful message about the polar bears’ plight, the sweet friendship and April’s determination to save Bear keep it moving along as a touching story.
Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca
This is a story of belonging: a young girl struggling to fit in America in 1983 while holding onto her Indian heritage. It’s also a story of grief: a young girl recalling Indian folklore to help her deal with her mother’s illness and processing her grief. Told in quiet/soft but powerful verse, I could tase the sharp burst of mustard seeds on my tongue when Reha cooked with her parents and hear the scratch of pen on paper as her mom scribed aerogrammes to her family in her home country. Reha is brave but not without fear, the core of heroism. Seeing her strength and growth through these trials inspired me. ALSO IT MADE ME CRY A LOT OF FEELS
The Boy Who Failed at Show and Tell by Jordan Sonnenblick
This memoir was super charming. If you’re familiar with Sonnenblick’s novels, the same great writing is on display. Plus, a lot of humor. This reads a lot like a novel, though a little more episodic, which works perfectly for the format here. Nothing seems to go right for Jordan, which makes for a number of humorous situations. An element also on display in his novels. The humor drives this reading experience and is trademark Sonnenblick. For fans of his other work, young readers, or those who want to think back on their time in fourth grade — all are sure to have a fun time with this one.
Ragtag Team (Slamdown Town Book 2) by Maxwell Nicoll & Matthew Smith
All the things I loved in Book 1 are back in Book 2. The importance of friendship and family are the stars once again, along with some fun wrestling action scenes. The rivalry with the twins in this book make for a fun plot point and also add a bit of mystery into story. Olie’s best friend, Tamiko, is a POV character in this sequel and adds another dynamic to the story. It’s great to get inside her head in this installment. Plenty of fun to be had here in this second Slamdown Town Book.
Sydney and Taylor Explore the Whole Wide World by Jacqueline Davies, illustrated by Deborah Hocking
Sydney & Taylor is a delightful story about two animal friends taking their first adventure. They go on an “expedition” to see new places and try new things. This book reminded me of Frog and Toad. The sweet friendship and simple yet engaging story is perfect for those young beginning readers!