Middle Grade

The Blackbird Girls

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The Blackbird Girls Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984837370
Availability: Available at Wholesaler
Published: Puffin Books - January 19th, 2021

I often find it hard to sink into a historical fiction MG title, but this one absolutely sucked me in. The Chernobyl disaster isn't something widely addressed in kids' lit, and this title handles it so well. The interwoven political and social dynamics are heartbreaking, but the friendship the two main characters develop despite everything is so lovely. (This is also now a Sydney Taylor Book Award Silver Medalist)


Amari and the Night Brothers

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Amari and the Night Brothers (Supernatural Investigations #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062975164
Availability: Available at Wholesaler
Published: Balzer + Bray - January 19th, 2021

Such an inventive spin on the magical school narrative. The fantastical world building is superb, yet is not used as an escape from real-world problems. Amari is an awesome hero with a heart of gold and a will of iron. I truly cannot wait for the next book in the series. There's so much potential!


Katie the Catsitter

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Katie the Catsitter Cover Image
By Colleen AF Venable, Stephanie Yue (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781984895639
Availability: In Stock-Click Title to See Store Inventory
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - January 5th, 2021

This book has all the bitter sweet friendship changes of Roller Girl plus the thrilling exploits, morally ambiguous antiheroes of a Catwoman comic. And so many cats!! Each one with their own special skills, and each one out to make trouble. It's delightful.


Julieta and the Diamond Enigma

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Julieta and the Diamond Enigma Cover Image
ISBN: 9781643790466
Availability: On Order at the Wholesaler
Published: Tu Books - June 30th, 2020

A missing diamond! Mystery across two continents (and several languages)! A tour around all of the neatest attractions of Paris, with plenty of shenanigans and sleuthing along the way. This story has tons of fun, plenty of fascinating tidbits, and my new favorite girl detective. Julieta immediately feels like a classic children's lit star!


Skunk and Badger

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Skunk and Badger (Skunk and Badger 1) Cover Image
By Amy Timberlake, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781643750057
Availability: In Stock-Click Title to See Store Inventory
Published: Algonquin Young Readers - September 15th, 2020

This charmingly quirky novel begs to be read aloud. Featuring illustrations by Jon Klassen, it's the perfect book for curling up around (with a bowl of popcorn, and maybe a chicken to cuddle). Like Frog & Toad or Wallace & Gromit, Skunk & Badger are certain to be beloved.


The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland

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The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making Cover Image
By Catherynne M. Valente, Ana Juan (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781250010193
Availability: In Stock-Click Title to See Store Inventory
Published: Square Fish - May 8th, 2012

I don't ordinarily enjoy YA nor middle grade books, but I LOVED this tumble into the psyche of a precocious 12 year old who dreams of escaping her boring life in Kansas. September forges her own path and makes her own decisions, all the while shaping her own future. For children who like dark adventures, Gaiman, and Dahl. For teens who like to be swept up in a journey alongside a fierce and perserverant heroine. For adults who like YA Fantasy and del Toro’s films, and for those who don't. 


Baba Yaga's Assistant

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Baba Yaga's Assistant Cover Image
By Marika McCoola, Emily Carroll (Illustrator)
It's Complicated--Contact Us for More Information
ISBN: 9781536213102
Published: Candlewick - June 2nd, 2020

Child-eating witches, clever girls...and a house on chicken legs! An adventure for graphic-novel loving kids and those who enjoy remixed fairytales and folklore.

[Note: Yes, I wrote this book, but I'm staff picking it as a December birthday present to myself and my grandmother, and in honor of her memory (the book is dedicated to her, and she did get to see it before she died). I was due to be born on my grandmother's birthday and she died the night before mine. She was the daughter of a bookstore owner, and grew up in the shop. Her love of books is one of her greatest gifts to me.]


The Girl Who Speaks Bear

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The Girl Who Speaks Bear Cover Image
ISBN: 9781338580839
Availability: Available at Wholesaler
Published: Scholastic Press - March 3rd, 2020

I found this to be the book equivalent of being wrapped in a warm blanket. Wintery woods, cozy cottages, warm beverages, loving friends and family. Sprinkled with fairy tales that may be more than they seem. A great, heartwarming adventure featuring a strong, brave girl on a quest to find herself.



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