Buyer's Guide 2021: Middle Grade Picks

The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy By Anne Ursu Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062275127
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Walden Pond Press - October 12th, 2021

My favorite fantasy stories aren’t just about sorcery and monsters but speak to something about our lived reality. The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy is about a powerful sorcerer’s guild, but it is also about so much more. It is about power: who has it, how they got it, how they use it to harm others. It is about people coming together to reclaim the power inherent to them. It is about how we create culture and record history. And it is so good.

Timothy


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Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales By Soman Chainani, Julia Iredale (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Soman Chainani, Julia Iredale (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062652638
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: HarperCollins - September 21st, 2021

I will always be the first to gobble up any retelling of classic fairy tales—I just can’t get enough. So although my opinion may be a little biased, Beasts and Beauty: Dangerous Tales may be one of the best collections I’ve ever read. Chainani turns old worn-out fairy tales into something new and fresh through his beautiful prose and is able to examine the darker and more questionable themes in a modern way. This book was very difficult to put down.

Anna


The Beatryce Prophecy By Kate DiCamillo, Sophie Blackall (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Kate DiCamillo, Sophie Blackall (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781536213614
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick - September 28th, 2021

Fans of Kate DiCamillo, rejoice! For she has done it again! Her latest book is stunningly illustrated by Sophie Blackall, and what a pair they make. Beatryce is a calm, centered girl who loves reading and writing. She is also part of a prophecy to unseat the king. Alongside a group of strange companions (everyone loves a cantankerous goat sidekick), Beatryce does everything in her power to fulfill the prophecy.

Anna


Lotería By Karla Arenas Valenti, Dana Sanmar (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Karla Arenas Valenti, Dana Sanmar (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780593176962
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - September 7th, 2021

Jump into this Coco meets Alice In Wonderland world as Clara is taken on a journey of good vs evil. The magical realism storytelling from Valenti paired with the beautiful illustrations by SanMar bring this mythical story to life. This book will pull at your heartstrings and reveal the true message of love, family, and the hardships we have to face.

Jess


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Willodeen By Katherine Applegate, Charles Santoso (Illustrator) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250147400
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Feiwel & Friends - September 7th, 2021

I will forever love Applegate’s writing because she is able to tell such meaningful stories without talking down to her young readers. She has done this once again with Willodeen, a story about a young girl who is trying to save an endangered species that is mostly seen as an unpopular pest. The book is so full of heart and a strong love for those deemed unlovable—the perfect gift for the child who wants to change the world.

Anna


Staff Pick Badge
The Awakening Storm: A Graphic Novel (City of Dragons #1) By Jaimal Yogis, Vivian Truong (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jaimal Yogis, Vivian Truong (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9781338660425
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Graphix - September 21st, 2021

An action-packed story with vibrant illustrations, magic and myths, and poignant messages about friendship and family, the colorful art of this graphic novel sucks you in and keeps you entertained with Grace’s adventures. Grace is new in Hong Kong, but after accidentally hatching a dragon, making new friends isn’t her biggest concern anymore; it’s up to Grace and her newfound friends to save the dragon from mysterious forces who want to steal the dragon’s power.

Jenna