Higuera is quickly making a name for herself in the middle-grade sci-fi world, and her books are meaningful, gripping, and full of depth. Leandro’s heart is so big, the reader can’t help but rally behind him. His determination and courage allows his small frame to make a big impact on everyone he encounters. Alebrijes will inspire young readers to fight for a better world, no matter how small they may feel.
This beautifully crafted novel-in-verse tells the story of six classmates from very different cultures debating one topic: changing their school’s mascot. It’s a timely topic that can be used in real life. Waters and Sorell created a novel that will get kids thinking and be able to see views from all different backgrounds. Middle school teachers, make sure to put this one on your list!
As someone who grew up reading her earlier series, I was super excited to see Wrede’s name come into the store in the form of The Dark Lord’s Daughter. It is full of the same conversational wit and divergence from “normal” tropes that we’ve come to love from Wrede’s work. When Kayla discovers she’s the heir to the dark throne, her whole family gets transported to another world. Magic and chaos ensue, so buckle up.
What would you do if your little sister became possessed by the ancient spirit of Death from another realm who causes the apocalypse, aka the end of the world as we know it? Oh, and you have to deal with your dad and his “new” family AND you just came out to your friend/crush who proceeds to ghost you? Creepy, funny, fast-paced, yet so endearing and wholesome. Percy Jackson fans, this one is for you.
Steinkellner, author of The Okay Witch series, has done it again. Between the engaging format and all the loveable characters, this was the most fun I’ve had reading a book all year! Welcome to Gumbling, a little town with quite a little bit of magic; but when real estate developers attempt to buy everyone out, Nell and her peers embark on a wild adventure to save their home, all while dealing with their not-so dreamy apprenticeships. A hilarious tale of friendship, family, and appreciating what you have.
JJ and Althea are stuck working their parent’s food truck and listening to their mom’s Filipino folktales during their after school time. Butwhat happens when the folklore becomes a little too real and they find out that they might have to be the ones to save their own family? Will they be up for the challenge? Read on to find out! For fans of Wizards of Waverly Place and Halloweentown.
In an Italian rennaissance inspired city full of stories—and secrets—Cinzia is taken in as an apprentice by the local printer, Mestra Aronne. When word spreads of the ruling family’s lies, the Lord Magistrate does everything he can to stop them. Yet with ink, paper, and a ton of courage, Cinzia and her newfound friends speak up and demand to be heard, reminding us that even though it’s scary to tell the truth, it makes our communities stronger. In a world of book banning, this is an excellent conversation starter on censorship. Bonus points for the neurodivergence and disability representation!