‘The Midnighters’ by Hana Tooke is a delightful middle grade historical fiction romp with a soupçon of the supernatural

Many children know the feeling of not fitting in and in "The Midnighters," author Hana Tooke explores that feeling through her main character, Ema, whose fantastic, incredibly dangerous journey in this novel finally leads to her finding acceptance and respect. Ema was born into a family of scientists, and while she absorbed much of their … Continue reading ‘The Midnighters’ by Hana Tooke is a delightful middle grade historical fiction romp with a soupçon of the supernatural

Two must-read middle grade novels are ‘Attack of the Black Rectangles’ and ‘Island of Spies’

Two books published in 2022 that on the surface seem quite different, but share an important theme, are "Attack of the Black Rectangles" by Amy Sarig King and "Island of Spies" by Sheila Turnage. Both are about children who are determined to deal with problems that they are told are best left to adults. One … Continue reading Two must-read middle grade novels are ‘Attack of the Black Rectangles’ and ‘Island of Spies’

‘Odder’ by Katherine Applegate is a poignant and thoughtful story filled with joy

Odder by Katherine Applegate In her newest novel, "Odder," we see why children's writer Katherine Applegate is a Newbery medalist and New York Times bestselling author—it's because her writing touches readers' hearts, fills us with emotion, and often shows us a new way of observing the world around us. In "Odder," we meet a sea … Continue reading ‘Odder’ by Katherine Applegate is a poignant and thoughtful story filled with joy

Middle grade fiction about pressing problems, prejudice, and social inequality

Good teachers and librarians know that literature can help inform children about social justice and other issues around the world. And there are many authors and many thoughtful middle grade books that open readers' minds about such problems. Here are some excellent choices that should be a part of classroom and school libraries. Two Degrees … Continue reading Middle grade fiction about pressing problems, prejudice, and social inequality

National Geographic Kids has some engaging and informative 2022 books kids will love

National Geographic Kids creates the kind of nonfiction books that kids of all ages (and adults, too) love to read. They are filled with facts, photographs, maps, charts, and lists, in addition to the nonfiction text features that elementary school students learn about -- like table of contents, indexes, glossaries, and pages with more information. … Continue reading National Geographic Kids has some engaging and informative 2022 books kids will love

Nonfiction biographies to inspire children

From the iconic Ruby Bridges and Colin Kaepernick to the lesser known Ethelda Bleibtrey (whom I had never heard of prior to reading this book), these nonfiction picture books will teach children about individuals from history whose determination, imagination, and strength impacted the world. So Much More to Helen! We've all heard of Helen Keller, … Continue reading Nonfiction biographies to inspire children

‘Spy School: Project X’ by Stuart Gibbs: Not just action and humor, also a beautiful depiction of disinformation

Spy School: Project X by Stuart Gibbs "Spy School: Project X" might just be my favorite novel in the "Spy School" series by acclaimed children's author Stuart Gibbs. It has all of the action and humor that the previous books in the series do, but in this one, Gibbs centers the plot on a disinformation … Continue reading ‘Spy School: Project X’ by Stuart Gibbs: Not just action and humor, also a beautiful depiction of disinformation

‘The Fort” by Gordon Korman is a thoughtful middle grade novel about secrets and what we hide from even our best friends

The Fort by Gordon Korman Gordon Korman has been writing books for a long time—since he was twelve years old, in fact. As he explains in the Author's Note, he wrote his first book in 7th grade as a fluke of an assignment. Scholastic published it two years later, and—luckily for middle grade readers and … Continue reading ‘The Fort” by Gordon Korman is a thoughtful middle grade novel about secrets and what we hide from even our best friends

Nonfiction animal picture books for back-to-school adventure and learning

Teachers love using picture books to teach concepts to students from kindergarten through middle school. Picture books are usually easy to understand, and the visuals help all kinds of learners access the information. They can be entertaining as well, so children learn reading is fun, not work. Here are some wonderful new picture books to … Continue reading Nonfiction animal picture books for back-to-school adventure and learning

‘Charlie Thorne and the Curse of Cleopatra’ by Stuart Gibbs is the next foray into the brilliant and exciting world of a young genius

Charlie Thorne and the Curse of Cleopatra by Stuart Gibbs "Charlie Thorne and the Curse of Cleopatra" by Stuart Gibbs is exactly the kind of middle grade fiction that teachers adore. And there are so many reasons to adore this clever and well-written adventure. The main character, Charlie, is a wonderful main character. She's smart, … Continue reading ‘Charlie Thorne and the Curse of Cleopatra’ by Stuart Gibbs is the next foray into the brilliant and exciting world of a young genius

‘Flirting with Fate’ by J. C. Cervantes is a lovely story of destiny, love, and family

Flirting with Fate by J. C. Cervantes While "Flirting with Fate" by J. C. Cervantes is a young adult fantasy about love and fate, it's not quite as light and frothy as that might indicate. It's a touching story, and I actually needed a tissue as I finished reading it because of the evocation of … Continue reading ‘Flirting with Fate’ by J. C. Cervantes is a lovely story of destiny, love, and family