We all make difficult choices. Some are harder than others. In the following selections by the editors at Junior Library Guild, kids fight with their siblings, adjust to parents with chronic illnesses, and fight racial prejudice. Sharing these titles with your middle graders will show them that they are not alone.
Gracefully Grayson, by Ami Polonsky, tells the story of 6th grade Grayson, a transgender girl. Raised as a boy, Grayson has never felt entirely comfortable in her own skin. She spends her class time doodling abstract princesses in the margins of her notebook, trying to keep them unrecognizable because she knows boys shouldn’t do that—and [...]
There’s something here for middle-grade fans of all stripes this month. Those looking for adventure on the high seas will find it in Heidi Schulz’s Hook’s Revenge, while readers seeking a quieter tale will enjoy Ann M. Martin’s moving Rain Reign, a poignant story of an autistic girl who bonds with a lost dog.
This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.
With a little danger, some suspense, and a dose of the supernatural, these middle grade titles selected by the editors at Junior Library Guild will have kids reading long past their curfew.
Fiction for the middle-grade set includes both the light and lively, with Lynne Rae Perkins’s “true” tale of squirrels, and the stark and serious, with Andrea Davis Pinkney’s The Red Pencil.
This article was published in School Library Journal's July 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.
A list of recommended, but too little loved books “for the middle schoolers of the world,” by Betsy Bird.
Menacing appliances are just one part of the story in Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman’s adventure. Check out the next installments in Pete Hautman’s “Seven Wonders” and Catherine Fisher’s “Obsidian Mirror” series. Rebecca Hahn joins this elite group of fantasy authors with her debut novel for fans of Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina.
True story: We were planning a trip the zoo and my three-year-old daughter and I were having a conversation about what animals we might see there. We mentioned sea lions, tigers, birds, and turtles. But then my daughter asked, “Will we see dinosaurs?” “No,” I answered, “Dinosaurs aren’t found in zoos. Maybe we can see [...]
Middle grade titles by Sheila Turnage, Tim Federle, and newcomers Natalie Lloyd and Henry Clark combine humor and poignancy, creating the perfect recipe for great reads. Incorporate the following booktalks and tools when sharing these powerful books with kids.
Junior Library Guild editors share fun sequels for independent readers. These follow-ups include new entries in favorite series by Lemony Snicket and Jack Gantos, and will have kids anxiously waiting for their next titles.
The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. 2013. Library copy. NBA Shortlist. The Plot: Raccoons Bingo and J’miah are the two newest True Blue Scouts of the Sugar Man Swamp, charged to watch over the swamp and in case of [...]
When kids have long outgrown the nightmare in their closet, they still clamor for a story that scares them into sleeping with the lights on. From zombies to murdering ghosts, the following new fiction titles, selected by the editors at Junior Library Guild will keep middle school readers looking over their shoulders.
From Victorian England to modern day America, orphaned children often face struggles that kids with parents rarely confront. However, most middle-grade students will relate to the issues explored in these new fiction titles―from poverty to self-confidence―selected by the editors at Junior Library Guild. In fact, these works may give young readers hope about their own issues, while giving them stories that help them step back from their own realities.
From paperboy routes to dealing with a dad fighting in Afghanistan, these new releases selected by Junior Library Guild editors feature boys who make difficult, life-altering decisions.
From Rita Willams-Garcia’s P.S. Be Eleven to Cynthia Kadohata’s The Thing About Luck, these middle grade novels selected by Junior Library Guild editors showcase plucky protagonists who learn to forge their own paths despite the circumstances that come their way.
In the last 12 years, the fantasy genre has dominated the middle grade market. Thanks to “Harry Potter”, children worry less about the number of pages, and authors have been happy to comply with longer imaginative offerings. These lengthy tomes are fast-paced reads, full of magical creatures, daring adventures, and loyal characters that fight for the good of all. In the following titles selected by JLG editors, themes of family and friendship are woven into sets of enchanted lands, and fans can escape to a place where their own problems seem far away.
Doll Bones by Holly Black. McElderry Books. 2013. Reviewed from ARC from publisher. The Plot: Zach, Poppy, and Alice get together nearly everyday to play an elaborate game with dolls, action figures, and stories that grow and twist and turn, all related to the “Great Queen” doll that Poppy’s mother keeps locked in a cabinet. [...]