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March 31, 2015

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#LastListEgmont: Jaguar Stones, Pirate Adventures, and a New Publishers, Matt Myklusch and Jon and Pamela Voelkel interview

#LastListEgmont: Jaguar Stones, Pirate Adventures, and a New Publishers, Matt Myklusch and Jon and Pamela Voelkel interview

Matt Myklusch and Jon and Pamela Voelkel first met on a panel at the Texas Library Association. At the time, the Voelkels were promoting their action-packed Jaguar Stones series, and Matt was doing the same for his superhero adventure books, The Jack Blank Adventures. Now, a couple years later, with Jon and Pamela Voelkel releasing […]

Not-to-be-Missed 2014 Middle Grade Novels │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

Fourteenth

From a new series opener to a final installment, the following are some of our favorite authors’ 2014 not-to-be-missed hits for middle grade readers. Kids will find glimpses of themselves in diverse fictional worlds as these A-Listers transport them into the following selections from Junior Library Guild editors.

Middle Grade Novels for Spanish-language and Latino Lit Collections | Libro por libro

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Tim Wadham shares an eclectic mix of Spanish-language and Latino-starring novels for upper-elementary and middle school children.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Characters with Tough Choices │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

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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.

Stand-Alone Sequels | SLJ Spotlight

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Three middle grade series installments that can be enjoyed all on their own.

Book review: Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky

Book review: Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky

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 […]

A Girl and Her Dog, Beyond ‘Peter Pan,’ and Other New Middle-Grade Reads | Fiction Grades 5-8

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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.

Scary, Creepy, and Dangerous: Novels to Read in One Gulp │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

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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.

Squirrel Tales, Sibling Woes, and Conflict in Darfur | Grades 5-8 Fiction

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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.

The Best of the Underrated Middle School Books

The Best of the Underrated Middle School Books

A list of recommended, but too little loved books “for the middle schoolers of the world,” by Betsy Bird.

It Merely Looks Like a Toaster: Fantasy Novels for Middle Schoolers │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

City of Death

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.

Review: Dinosaurs, vol. 2

Review: Dinosaurs, vol. 2

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 […]

Superheroes and Villians Star in New Middle Grade Fiction

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Five new middle grade books feature caped crusaders and their rivals.

The Latest from Sheila Turnage and Tim Federle │ JLG’s Booktalks to Go

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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.

The Beat Goes On: Brilliant Middle Grade Sequels │ JLG’s On the Radar

When Did You See Her

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.

Review: The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp

Review: The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp

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 […]

Ghosts and Other Things that Go Bump in the Night │ JLG’s On the Radar

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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.

Orphans Abound: Conquering Larger-than-Life Hurdles | JLG’s On the Radar

Real Boy

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.

Tough Choices for Tough Boys: New Titles Explore “Manhood” | JLG’s On the Radar

Piranhas

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.

Pitch-Perfect Middle Grade Novels | JLG’s On the Radar

Zero Tolerance

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.