Earlier this week, I took a look at the November YA releases I’ve been waiting for—now it’s time to look at some of the middle grade releases!
Here are the six that I’m most looking forward to:
Wildings, by Eleanor Glewwe
Companion novel to Sparkers. Wildings is set a few years AFTER a revolution in which non-magic users overthrew their magical overlords, and I LOVE the idea of a story that deals with the aftermath—we so often see stories about revolutions themselves, but less so the rebuilding. This one sounds like it deals with the fact that systemic and ingrained prejudice remain even after a revolution has changed the rules, which, again, is something I haven’t seen dealt with a whole lot. It’s also a story about siblings and differences and loss and class and ethnicity, and it stars my favorite sort of heroine—a DIFFICULT one.
Nothing But Trouble, by Jacqueline Davies
Maggie, a sixth-grade engineer, teams up with the new girl in school—who is into Dadaism—to pull pranks and push back against the power of their strict new principal. Meanwhile, at home, she’s trying to deal with the aftereffects of the death of her father—she’s got her own grief to contend with, but as her mother has pretty much checked out, Maggie is also stuck trying to keep the household running smoothly. Sometimes quirkiness can be Too Much for me, but it sounds like this one is both laugh-out-loud funny and emotionally grounded.
The Cartographer's Daughter, by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Debut! This one was published as The Girl of Ink and Stars in the UK, and Hargrave’s writing has been compared to Philip Pullman’s—while I generally take comparison like that with several grains of salt, I will admit that that one made my ears perk right up! It’s a fantasy that incorporates mythology and history—specifically that of the Canary Islands—to tell a story about family and friendship, tradition and, judging by the descriptions I’ve read, the effects of colonialism.
The Friendship Experiment, by Erin Teagan
An aspiring scientist tries to navigate life by writing Standard Operating Procedures for every possible situation, but when her friends read her notebook, they are not very happy with her. That sounds a whole lot like what happens to Harriet M. Welsch in Harriet the Spy, and I am always here for books that remind me, in whatever way, of Harriet the Spy. Starred review.
The Dog, Ray, by Linda Coggin
With a dog both on the cover and in the title, I am immediately nervous. Because, as we all know, dogs so often Don’t Fare Well In Children’s Fiction. But! This is actually a book about a KID who dies and then is REINCARNATED as a dog. Except… oh no, I just now re-read the Kirkus review and it made me cry. But it really does sound like a good one. Starred review.
Under the Ashes, by Cindy Rankin
Along with Outrun the Moon and Invisible Fault Lines, this makes the third book dealing with the 1906 San Francisco earthquake that I’ve seen this year! This one is about a eleven-year-old transplant to the city who arrives shortly before the earthquake hits, and what she does to survive in the aftermath. Includes an appearance by Enrico Caruso!
As always, let me know if I’ve left off something crucial—I’d hate to miss out!In addition to running a library in rural Maine, Leila Roy blogs at Bookshelves of Doom and The Backlist, is currently serving on the Amelia Bloomer Project committee, is a contributor at Book Riot, hangs out on Twitter a lot—possibly too much—and watches a shocking amount of television. Her cat is a murderer.