Middle Grade Books about Grandparents

From the Desk of Zoe Washington Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780062875860
Availability: Backordered
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - January 5th, 2021

An Amazon Best Book of the Month * #1 Kids Indie Next List * A Junior Library Guild Selection * Four Starred Reviews

From debut author Janae Marks comes a captivating story full of heart, as one courageous girl questions assumptions, searches for the truth, and does what she believes is right—even in the face of great opposition. 

Zoe Washington isn’t sure what to write. What does a girl say to the father she’s never met, hadn’t heard from until his letter arrived on her twelfth birthday, and who’s been in prison for a terrible crime?

A crime he says he never committed.

Could Marcus really be innocent? Zoe is determined to uncover the truth. Even if it means hiding his letters and her investigation from the rest of her family. Everyone else thinks Zoe’s worrying about doing a good job at her bakery internship and proving to her parents that she’s worthy of auditioning for Food Network’s Kids Bake Challenge.

But with bakery confections on one part of her mind, and Marcus’s conviction weighing heavily on the other, this is one recipe Zoe doesn’t know how to balance. The only thing she knows to be true: Everyone lies.

"When Marcus tells Zoe he is innocent, and her grandmother agrees, Zoe begins to learn about inequality in the criminal justice system, and she sets out to find the alibi witness who can prove his innocence." (Publishers Weekly, "An Anti-Racist Children's and YA Reading List")


Something to Say Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062836717
Availability: Backordered
Published: Balzer + Bray - July 14th, 2020

From the author of A Good Kind of Trouble, a Walter Dean Myers Honor Book, comes another unforgettable story about finding your voice—and finding your people. Perfect for fans of Sharon Draper, Meg Medina, and Jason Reynolds.

Eleven-year-old Jenae doesn’t have any friends—and she’s just fine with that. She’s so good at being invisible in school, it’s almost like she has a superpower, like her idol, Astrid Dane. At home, Jenae has plenty of company, like her no-nonsense mama; her older brother, Malcolm, who is home from college after a basketball injury; and her beloved grandpa, Gee.

Then a new student shows up at school—a boy named Aubrey with fiery red hair and a smile that won’t quit. Jenae can’t figure out why he keeps popping up everywhere she goes. The more she tries to push him away, the more he seems determined to be her friend. Despite herself, Jenae starts getting used to having him around.

But when the two are paired up for a class debate about the proposed name change for their school, Jenae knows this new friendship has an expiration date. Aubrey is desperate to win and earn a coveted spot on the debate team.

There’s just one problem: Jenae would do almost anything to avoid speaking up in front of an audience—including risking the first real friendship she’s ever had.


Mañanaland Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781338157864
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Scholastic Press - March 3rd, 2020

Newbery Honoree Pam Muñoz Ryan weaves an entrancing tale of courage and self-discovery.

"Uniquely magical...Timely and timeless." -- New York Times

* "This tightly packed, powerful fantasy contains resonant truths." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Another unforgettable work from a master storyteller." -- Booklist, starred review

* "Richly tiered... wrenchingly real...compelling." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"A gem of a story with timely messages." -- School Library Journal

"Rich and relevant." -- The Horn Book

"A luminous embodiment of hope." -- Rita Williams-Garcia, Newbery Honor-winning author of One Crazy Summer and Clayton Byrd Goes Underground

"Mañanaland is that rare gift of a book." -- Francisco X. Stork, award-winning author of Disappeared


Maximiliano Córdoba loves stories, especially the legend Buelo tells him about a mythical gatekeeper who can guide brave travelers on a journey into tomorrow.

If Max could see tomorrow, he would know if he'd make Santa Maria's celebrated fútbol team and whether he'd ever meet his mother, who disappeared when he was a baby. He longs to know more about her, but Papá won't talk. So when Max uncovers a buried family secret--involving an underground network of guardians who lead people fleeing a neighboring country to safety--he decides to seek answers on his own.

With a treasured compass, a mysterious stone rubbing, and Buelo's legend as his only guides, he sets out on a perilous quest to discover if he is true of heart and what the future holds.

This timeless tale of struggle, hope, and the search for tomorrow has much to offer today about compassion and our shared humanity.


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Clean Getaway Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781984893000
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Yearling - January 5th, 2021

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone comes a timely middle-grade road-trip story through landmarks of the Civil Rights movement and the map they lay for contemporary race relations.

How to Go on an Unplanned Road Trip with Your Grandma:
Grab a Suitcase: Prepacked from the big spring break trip that got CANCELLED.
Fasten Your Seatbelt: G'ma's never conventional, so this trip won't be either.
Use the Green Book: G'ma's most treasured possession. It holds history, memories, and most important, the way home.

What Not to Bring:
A Cell Phone: Avoid contact with Dad at all costs. Even when G'ma starts acting stranger than usual.

Set against the backdrop of the segregation history of the American South, take a trip with this New York Times bestseller and an eleven-year-old boy who is about to discover that the world hasn't always been a welcoming place for kids like him, and things aren't always what they seem--his G'ma included.

"Truly a delight." -Christopher Paul Curtis, author of Newbery Medal winner Bud, Not Buddy


Into the Tall, Tall Grass Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781534449688
Availability: Unavailable to Order
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - April 6th, 2021

A girl journeys across her family’s land to save her grandmother’s life in this captivating and magical debut that’s perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish.

Yolanda Rodríguez-O’Connell has a secret. All the members of her family have a magical gift—all, that is, except for Yolanda. Still, it’s something she can never talk about, or the townsfolk will call her family brujas—witches. When her grandmother, Wela, falls into an unexplained sleep, Yolanda is scared. Her father is off fighting in a faraway war, her mother died long ago, and Yolanda has isolated herself from her best friend and twin sister. If she loses her grandmother, who will she have left?

When a strange grass emerges in the desert behind their house, Wela miraculously wakes, begging Yolanda to take her to the lone pecan tree left on their land. Determined not to lose her, Yolanda sets out on this journey with her sister, her ex-best friend, and a boy who has a crush on her. But what is the mysterious box that her grandmother needs to find? And how will going to the pecan tree make everything all right? Along the way, Yolanda discovers long-buried secrets that have made their family gift a family curse. But she also finds the healing power of the magic all around her, which just might promise a new beginning.

About the Author


Merci Suárez Changes Gears Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781536212587
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Candlewick - April 7th, 2020

“The realistic portrayal of a complex young Latina’s life is one many readers will relate to. . . . Medina cruises into readers’ hearts.” — School Library Journal (starred review)

Merci Suárez knew that sixth grade would be different, but she had no idea just how different. For starters, as strong and thoughtful as Merci is, she has never been completely like the other kids at her private school in Florida, because she and her older brother, Roli, are scholarship students. They don’t have a big house or a fancy boat, and they have to do extra community service to make up for their free tuition. So when bossy Edna Santos sets her sights on the new boy who happens to be Merci’s school-assigned Sunshine Buddy, Merci becomes the target of Edna’s jealousy. Things aren't going well at home, either: Merci’s grandfather and most trusted ally, Lolo, has been acting strangely lately — forgetting important things, falling from his bike, and getting angry over nothing. And Merci is left to her own worries, because no one in her family will tell her what's going on. Winner of the 2019 Newbery Medal, this coming-of-age tale by New York Times best-selling author Meg Medina gets to the heart of the confusion and constant change that defines middle school — and the steadfast connection that defines family.


Grandpa's Great Escape Cover Image
By David Walliams, Tony Ross (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9780062560902
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: HarperCollins - January 23rd, 2018

David Walliams, hailed as “the heir to Roald Dahl” by The Spectator, burst onto the American scene with the New York Times bestseller Demon Dentist. Now the UK’s #1 bestselling children’s author is back with this high-flying adventure about a boy and his grandfather, perfect for fans of Jeff Kinney and Rachel Renee Russell.

Grandpa is Jack’s favorite person in the world. It doesn’t matter that he wears his slippers to the supermarket, serves Spam a la Custard for dinner, and often doesn’t remember Jack’s name. But then Grandpa starts to believe he’s back in World War II, when he was a Spitfire fighter pilot, and he’s sent to live in an old folk’s home run by the sinister Matron Swine. Now it’s up to Jack to help Grandpa plot a daring escape!


The Mortification of Fovea Munson Cover Image
By Mary Winn Heider, Chi Birmingham (Illustrator)
$8.99
ISBN: 9781368008334
Availability: Unavailable to Order
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - June 4th, 2019

With a madcap sense of humor and a lot of heart (not to mention other body parts), The Mortification of Fovea Munson is a story about finding oneself, finding one's friends, and embracing the moment.

Fovea Munson is nobody's Igor. True, her parents own a cadaver lab where they perform surgeries on dead bodies. And yes, that makes her gross by association, at least according to everyone in seventh grade. And sure, Fovea's stuck working at the lab now that her summer camp plans have fallen through. But she is by no means Dr. Frankenstein's snuffling assistant!

That is, until three disembodied heads, left to thaw in the wet lab, start talking. To her. Out loud. And they need a favor.

"Equal parts screwball comedy, coming-of-age story, and tearjerker-I loved, loved, loved it!" -- Varian Johnson, author of The Parker Inheritance


Half a Chance Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780545035347
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Press - May 10th, 2016

A moving middle-grade novel from the Newbery Honor author of Rules.



When Lucy's family moves to an old house on a lake, Lucy tries to see her new home through her camera's lens, as her father has taught her -- he's a famous photographer, away on a shoot. Will her photos ever meet his high standards? When she discovers that he's judging a photo contest, Lucy decides to enter anonymously. She wants to find out if her eye for photography is really special -- or only good enough.



As she seeks out subjects for her photos, Lucy gets to know Nate, the boy next door. But slowly the camera reveals what Nate doesn't want to see: his grandmother's memory is slipping away, and with it much of what he cherishes about his summers on the lake. This summer, Nate will learn about the power of art to show truth. And Lucy will learn how beauty can change lives...including her own.
 


Same Sun Here Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780763664510
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Candlewick - August 6th, 2013

“Even better than reading a refreshingly honest story by one talented writer is reading one by two such writers.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Pen pals Meena and River have a lot in common: fathers forced to work away from home to make ends meet, grandmothers who mean the world to them, and faithful dogs. But Meena is an Indian immigrant girl living in New York City’s Chinatown, while River is a Kentucky coal miner’s son. With honesty and humor, Meena and River (each voice distinctly articulated by a separate gifted author) bridge the miles between them, creating a friendship that inspires bravery and defeats cultural misconceptions.


The Turtle of Oman Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9780062019783
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Greenwillow Books - May 3rd, 2016

Praised by the Horn Book as “both quiet and exhilarating,” this novel by the acclaimed poet and National Book Award Finalist Naomi Shihab Nye follows Aref Al-Amri as he says goodbye to everything and everyone he loves in his hometown of Muscat, Oman, as his family prepares to move to Ann Arbor, Michigan. This book was awarded a 2015 Middle East Book Award, was named a Notable Book by the American Library Association, and includes extra material by the author. This middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, especially during homeschooling. It’s a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.

 

Aref does not want to leave Oman. He does not want to leave his elementary school, his friends, or his beloved grandfather, Sidi. He does not want to live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where his parents will go to graduate school. His mother is desperate for him to pack his suitcase—but he refuses. Finally, she calls Sidi for help. But rather than pack, Aref and Sidi go on a series of adventures. They visit the camp of a thousand stars deep in the desert, they sleep on Sidi’s roof, they fish in the Gulf of Oman and dream about going to India, they travel to the nature reserve to watch the sea turtles. At each stop, Sidi finds a small stone that he later slips into Aref’s suitcase—mementos of home.

This accessible, exquisite novel shines with gentle humor and explores themes of moving, family, nature, and immigration. Naomi Shihab Nye has created what Kirkus called “a warm and humorous peek at the profound and mundane details of moving from one country to another—a perfect pick for kids on the move.” Features black-and-white spot art and decorations by Betsy Peterschmidt.


Walk Two Moons Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780064405171
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: HarperCollins - June 18th, 2019

In her own singularly beautiful style, Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech intricately weaves together two tales, one funny, one bittersweet, to create a heartwarming, compelling, and utterly moving story of love, loss, and the complexity of human emotion. This middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, especially during homeschooling. It’s a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.

 

Thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle, proud of her country roots and the "Indian-ness in her blood," travels from Ohio to Idaho with her eccentric grandparents. Along the way, she tells them of the story of Phoebe Winterbottom, who received mysterious messages, who met a "potential lunatic," and whose mother disappeared.

As Sal entertains her grandparents with Phoebe's outrageous story, her own story begins to unfold—the story of a thirteen-year-old girl whose only wish is to be reunited with her missing mother.


Sunny Side Up: A Graphic Novel (Sunny #1) Cover Image
By Jennifer L. Holm, Matthew Holm (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9780545741668
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Graphix - August 25th, 2015

Sunny Lewin has been packed off to Florida to live with her grandfather for the summer.  At first she thought Florida might be fun -- it is  the home of Disney World, after all.  But the place where Gramps lives is no amusement park.  It’s full of . . . old people.  Really old people.
 
Luckily, Sunny isn’t the only kid around.  She meets Buzz, a boy who is completely obsessed with comic books, and soon they’re having adventures of their own: facing off against golfball-eating alligators, runaway cats, and mysteriously disappearing neighbors.  But the question remains -- why is Sunny down in Florida in the first place?  The answer lies in a family secret that won’t be secret to Sunny much longer. . .


Gone Crazy in Alabama Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780062215895
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Quill Tree Books - September 6th, 2016

The Coretta Scott King Award–winning Gone Crazy in Alabama by Newbery Honor and New York Times bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of the Gaither sisters as they travel from the streets of Brooklyn to the rural South for the summer of a lifetime.

Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are off to Alabama to visit their grandmother Big Ma and her mother, Ma Charles. Across the way lives Ma Charles’s half sister, Miss Trotter. The two half sisters haven’t spoken in years. As Delphine hears about her family history, she uncovers the surprising truth that’s been keeping the sisters apart. But when tragedy strikes, Delphine discovers that the bonds of family run deeper than she ever knew possible.

Powerful and humorous, this companion to the award-winning One Crazy Summer and P.S. Be Eleven will be enjoyed by fans of the first two books, as well as by readers meeting these memorable sisters for the first time.

Readers who enjoy Christopher Paul Curtis's The Watsons Go to Birmingham and Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming will find much to love in this book. Rita Williams-Garcia's books about Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern can also be read alongside nonfiction explorations of American history such as Jason Reynolds's and Ibram X. Kendi's books.

Each humorous, unforgettable story in this trilogy follows the sisters as they grow up during one of the most tumultuous eras in recent American history, the 1960s. Read the adventures of eleven-year-old Delphine and her younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, as they visit their kin all over the rapidly changing nation—and as they discover that the bonds of family, and their own strength, run deeper than they ever knew possible.

“The Gaither sisters are an irresistible trio. Williams-Garcia excels at conveying defining moments of American society from their point of view.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Coretta Scott King Award winner * ALA Notable Book * School Library Journal Best Book of the Year * Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year * ALA Booklist Editors’ Choice * Shelf Awareness Best Book of the Year * Washington Post Best Books of the Year * The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books Blue Ribbon Book * Three starred reviews * CCBC Choice * New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing * Amazon Best Book of the Year


Roll with It Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781534442566
Availability: Usually Ships from Wholesaler in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - September 1st, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Best Middle Grade Book of 2019

“A big-hearted story that’s as sweet as it is awesome.” —R.J. Palacio, author of Wonder

In the tradition of Wonder and Out of My Mind, this big-hearted middle grade debut tells the story of an irrepressible girl with cerebral palsy whose life takes an unexpected turn when she moves to a new town.

Ellie’s a girl who tells it like it is. That surprises some people, who see a kid in a wheelchair and think she’s going to be all sunshine and cuddles. The thing is, Ellie has big dreams: She might be eating Stouffer’s for dinner, but one day she’s going to be a professional baker. If she’s not writing fan letters to her favorite celebrity chefs, she’s practicing recipes on her well-meaning, if overworked, mother.

But when Ellie and her mom move so they can help take care of her ailing grandpa, Ellie has to start all over again in a new town at a new school. Except she’s not just the new kid—she’s the new kid in the wheelchair who lives in the trailer park on the wrong side of town. It all feels like one challenge too many, until Ellie starts to make her first-ever friends. Now she just has to convince her mom that this town might just be the best thing that ever happened to them!


As Brave As You Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781481415910
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Subject to Availability)
Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - May 9th, 2017

Kirkus Award Finalist

Schneider Family Book Award Winner

Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book

In this “pitch-perfect contemporary novel” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), Coretta Scott King – John Steptoe Award-winning author Jason Reynolds explores multigenerational ideas about family love and bravery in the story of two brothers, their blind grandfather, and a dangerous rite of passage.

Genie’s summer is full of surprises. The first is that he and his big brother, Ernie, are leaving Brooklyn for the very first time to spend the summer with their grandparents all the way in Virginia—in the COUNTRY! The second surprise comes when Genie figures out that their grandfather is blind. Thunderstruck, Genie peppers Grandpop with questions about how he hides it so well (besides wearing way cool Ray-Bans).

How does he match his clothes? Know where to walk? Cook with a gas stove? Pour a glass of sweet tea without spilling it? Genie thinks Grandpop must be the bravest guy he’s ever known, but he starts to notice that his grandfather never leaves the house—as in NEVER. And when he finds the secret room that Grandpop is always disappearing into—a room so full of songbirds and plants that it’s almost as if it’s been pulled inside-out—he begins to wonder if his grandfather is really so brave after all.

Then Ernie lets him down in the bravery department. It’s his fourteenth birthday, and, Grandpop says to become a man, you have to learn how to shoot a gun. Genie thinks that is AWESOME until he realizes Ernie has no interest in learning how to shoot. None. Nada. Dumbfounded by Ernie’s reluctance, Genie is left to wonder—is bravery and becoming a man only about proving something, or is it just as important to own up to what you won’t do?