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Middle Grade Books

Recommended books for middle grade readers (ages 6-12).


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Autumn Bird and the Runaway

- by Melanie Florence

Children's paperback $10.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $9.89

Two kids from different worlds form an unexpected friendship.Cody's home life is a messy, too-often terrifying story of neglect and abuse. Cody himself is a smart kid, a survivor with a wicked sense of humour that helps him see past his circumstances and begin to try to get himself out.

Autumn is, quite literally, on the other side of the tracks from him. Her home life is loving and secure, and she is "in" with the popular girls at school, even if she has a secret life as a glasses-wearing, self-professed comic book nerd at home. And even if the pressure to fit in at school requires hours of time spent making herself look "perfect."

Returning home from a movie one evening, Autumn comes across Cody, face down in the laneway behind her house. All Cody knows is that he can't take another beating from his father like the one he just narrowly escaped. He can't go home, but he doesn't have anywhere else to go either. Autumn won't turn her back on him, even if they never really were friends at school. She agrees to let him hide out in her dad's art studio at night.

Over the next couple of days of Autumn sneaking Cody food and bandages, his story comes out. And so does hers.

Told in alternating narratives, Autumn Bird and the Runaway is a breathtaking collaboration by two of Canada's finest writers of books for young readers. Infused with themes of identity, belonging and compassion, it's a story that reminds us that we are all more than our circumstances, and we are all more connected than we think.

The Fort

- by Gordon Korman

Children's hardcover $23.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $21.59

From the bestselling author of RESTART, the story of a middle-school "band of brothers" -- five friends who need to stick together after they set up a hideout in an abandoned bomb shelter and discover that the only way to be true friends is to reveal their secrets and help each other out.

The morning after Hurricane Leo rips through the town of Canaan, residents awaken to widespread destruction -- power outages, downed branches, uprooted trees, broken windows and damaged roofs. Four eighth-grade friends -- Evan, Jason, Mitchell, and CJ -- meet to explore the devastation. The tight-knit group is dismayed to find that Evan has brought along a stray -- Ricky, who is new to their town and school, and doesn't have any friends yet.

Ricky is the one to find the strange trap door that's appeared in the middle of the woods -- the door to an old bomb shelter, unearthed by the hurricane. Inside, the boys find a completely intact underground lair, complete with electricity, food, and entertainment (in the form of videocassettes). The boys vow to keep the place's existence to themselves.

Things soon get tense. Some bad locals keep snooping around. And what started out as a fun place to escape soon becomes a serious refuge for one of the kids who is trying to avoid an abusive home situation. In order to save the shelter, the friends must keep its secret... and in order to save themselves, they're going to have to share their individual secrets, and build the safest place they can.

The Bad Guys in Open Wide and Say Arrrgh! (The Bad Guys #15)

- by Aaron Blabey

Trade paperback $8.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $8.09

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE!"I wish I'd had these books as a kid. Hilarious!" -- Dav Pilkey, creator of Captain Underpants and Dog Man



They may look like Bad Guys, but these wannabe heroes are doing good deeds... whether you like it or not in this New York Times bestselling illustrated series.



WEIRD?! Nothing weird EVER happens in The Bad Guys. Like, you would NEVER see a chain-saw monster confronting a velociraptor who has eaten an elderly piranha, or the disturbing antics of a deranged dentist running amok with an oversized drill. NOPE. None of that nonsense here. So relax and be entirely unsurprised by the Bad Guys' next adventure!

My Kingdom of Darkness

- by Susan Tan

Children's paperback $7.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $7.19

Pets, hilarity, and plots for world domination come together in Pets Rule!, an early chapter book series perfect for fans of The Secret Life of Pets!Pick a book. Grow a Reader!

This series is part of Scholastic's early chapter book line, Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

Meet Ember, a rescue Chihuahua who has just been adopted by the Chin family. Ember is no ordinary dog: he thinks he is an evil overlord, destined to rule the world. He enlists the help of the other pets in the house, like Smelly Steve the hamster and Neo the canary, to take over the neighborhood. Their first mission is defeating Masher, the mean squirrel who lives next door. But to his shock, Ember finds himself growing attached to his "minions", the Chin family--especially Lucy. Does Ember still have what it takes to control of the neighborhood... and the world?

With laugh-out-loud humor, engaging artwork on every page, and nonstop action that will have readers rushing to turn the pages, Pets Rule is the just-right series for any emerging reader!

"This early chapter book expertly cultivates a larger-than-life pseudo-antihero... an infectiously silly series starter." -- Kirkus Reviews

Your Pal Fred

- by Michael C. Rex

Children's paperback $17.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $16.19

From the author/illustrator of Fangbone! and Goodnight Goon comes a zany and hilarious graphic novel that shines a light on the humanity inside all of us---even if you're a robot.

He's a super-nice kid in an ultra-mean world.
He believes even the worst people are good inside.
He'll always be there for you... even if you boot him out of your castle, pit him against a mechanical giant, put him on top of a pole in a lightning storm, and trap him in a booming dance party that lasts all night long.
He's Your Pal Fred.
 
In a brutal world far in the future where only the savage survive, a life-size toy suddenly activates. Fred was built to be a best buddy, and his relentless kindness never fades, even when everyone else is rude. Determined to make the world a better place, he has the bright idea to talk the two most powerful and battle-hungry warlords, Lord Bonkers and Papa Mayhem, into being friends. It's a mission doomed to fail, unless Fred can find a way to inspire everyone to play nice! 

Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun

- by Tola Okogwu

Children's hardcover $21.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $19.79

Black Panther meets X-Men in this action-packed and empowering middle grade adventure about a British Nigerian girl who learns that her Afro hair has psychokinetic powers--perfect for fans of Amari and the Night Brothers, The Marvellers, and Rick Riordan!

Onyeka has a lot of hair­--the kind that makes strangers stop in the street and her peers whisper behind her back. At least she has Cheyenne, her best friend, who couldn't care less what other people think. Still, Onyeka has always felt insecure about her vibrant curls...until the day Cheyenne almost drowns and Onyeka's hair takes on a life of its own, inexplicably pulling Cheyenne from the water.

At home, Onyeka's mother tells her the shocking truth: Onyeka's psycho-kinetic powers make her a Solari, one of a secret group of people with super powers unique to Nigeria. Her mother quickly whisks her off to the Academy of the Sun, a school in Nigeria where Solari are trained. But Onyeka and her new friends at the academy soon have to put their powers to the test as they find themselves embroiled in a momentous battle between truth and lies...

Cat's Cradle

- by Jo Rioux

Children's paperback $18.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $17.09

Jo Rioux (illustrator of M. T. Anderson's highly acclaimed The Daughters of Ys) makes her debut as a writer-illustrator in this fantasy-adventure graphic novel trilogy!

Suri loves monsters--studying their lore, telling stories about them (for a fee), and--she hopes--one day taming them. Unfortunately, no one takes an orphan street-urchin who travels with a merchant camp very seriously. But Suri's self-confidence, cleverness, and ambition serve her well when a mysterious new wagon joins her camp--holding something very big, very loud, and very monstrous.

And that's before Suri runs afoul of a treacherous family with its own beastly secret--and a prince hunting the greatest monster of all.

Wretched Waterpark

- by Kiersten White

Children's hardcover $22.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $20.69

A brand-new middle-grade mystery series that's spooky, creepy, and filled with gothic twists! Meet the Sinister-Winterbottom twins, who solve mysteries at increasingly bizarre summer vacation destinations in the hopes of being reunited with their parents--or at the very least finally finding a good churro.

"Like a big waterslide that you scream all the way down, only to laugh in relief and get right back on, this book is gothically hilarious and an absolute delight. If I have to die in a waterpark, I want to die in this one."--Holly Black, #1 NYT bestselling author of The Folk of the Air series

"Packed with wordplay and mock-gothic mystery, this first title in the Sinister Summer series is perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket, Edward Gorey and Roald Dahl."--Shelf Awareness


Meet the Sinister-Winterbottoms: brave Theo, her timid twin, Alexander, and their older sister, Wil. They're stuck for the summer with their Aunt Saffronia, who doesn't know how often children need to eat and can't use a smartphone, and whose feet never quite seem to touch the floor when she glides--er--walks.

When Aunt Saffronia suggests a week pass to the Fathoms of Fun Waterpark, they hastily agree. But the park is even stranger than Aunt Saffronia. The waterslides look like gray gargoyle tongues. The employees wear creepy black dresses and deliver ominous messages. An impossible figure is at the top of the slide tower, people are disappearing, and suspicious goo is seeping into the wave pool.

Something mysterious is happening at Fathoms of Fun, and it's up to the twins to get to the bottom of it. The mystery, that is. NOT the wave pool. Definitely NOT the wave pool. But are Theo and Alexander out of their depth?

Rise of the School for Good and Evil

- by Soman Chainani

Children's hardcover $23.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $21.59

The battle between Good and Evil begins.

Two brothers.

One Good.

One Evil.

Together they watch over the Endless Woods.

Together they choose the students for the School for Good and Evil.

Together they train them, teach them, prepare them for their fate.

Then, something happens.

Something unexpected.

Something powerful.

Something that will change everything and everyone.

Who will survive?

Who will rule the School?

The journey starts here. Every step is filled with magic, surprises, and daring deeds that test courage, loyalty, and who you really are. But they only lead you to the very beginning of the adventures that are THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL.

Harvey Takes the Lead

- by Colleen Nelson

Children's hardcover $22.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $20.66

The award-winning Harvey Stories are back with a new story of acceptance, understanding, and the loving comfort of everyone's favourite Westie. There's nothing quite like the loving companionship of a loyal dog. When Harvey's status as Brayside's comfort dog comes into question, the elderly residents are quick to stand up for him. Mr. Kowalski, a longstanding Brayside resident, is struggling with his wife's recent hospitalization. As Harvey watches over him, Mr. Kowalski shares stories of his youth during World War II--tales which fascinates Harvey's friend Austin. At the same time, the newly appointed Assistant Director Hilary Appleby, the person who wants to get rid of Harvey, also creates unreasonable rules which make the residents of Brayside miserable. The new school season for Austin and Harvey's owner Maggie proves to be harder than expected. Maggie's audition for the school play of Annie doesn't go as planned, with the role she wanted going to Ndidi, who rarely comes out to rehearsals. Austin, for his part, is battling  shame around not being able to afford a school trip. Award-winning author Colleen Nelson and illustrator Tara Anderson team up once again to deliver another engaging story where Harvey's exceptional nose leads Maggie and Austin to find resolution to the many challenges they face. Themes of acceptance, understanding, and intergenerational friendships are the strengths of this middle-grade novel.

Remarkably Ruby

- by Terri Libenson

Children's paperback $16.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $15.29

From bestselling author Terri Libenson, this is a story about how there's more to everyone than meets the eye.

Pride. Popularity . . . Poetry? Middle school.

Ruby and Mia are total opposites:

Ruby is a little awkward, not a "joiner," and loves to write poetry.

While Mia is type A, popular(ish), and wants to be class prez.

They used to be friends. But now they have nothing in common anymore. . . . Or do they?

Don't miss the rest of the Emmie & Friends series: Invisible Emmie, Positively Izzy, Just Jaime, Becoming Brianna, Truly Tyler, and You-Niquely You: An Emmie & Friends Interactive Journal!

Skandar and the Unicorn Thief

- by A.f. Steadman

Children's hardcover $22.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $20.69

Soar into a breathtaking world of heroes and unicorns as you've never seen them before in this fantastical middle grade debut perfect for fans of the Percy Jackson and Eragon series!

Skandar Smith has always yearned to leave the Mainland and escape to the secretive Island, where wild unicorns roam free. He's spent years studying for his Hatchery exam, the annual test that selects a handful of Mainlander thirteen-year-olds to train to become unicorn riders. But on the day of Skandar's exam, things go horribly wrong, and his hopes are shattered...until a mysterious figure knocks on his door at midnight, bearing a message: the Island is in peril and Skandar must answer its call.

Skandar is thrust into a world of epic sky battles, dangerous clashes with wild unicorns, and rumors of a shadowy villain amassing a unicorn army. And the closer Skandar grows to his newfound friends and community of riders, the harder it becomes to keep his secrets--especially when he discovers their lives may all be in graver danger than he ever imagined.

The Marvellers

- by Dhonielle Clayton

Children's hardcover $22.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $20.69

Dhonielle Clayton makes her middle-grade debut with a fantasy adventure set in a global magic school in the sky --an instant New York Times and #1 Indie Bestseller!

"The Marvellers deserves the highest compliment I can give a book: I want to live in this world." --Rick Riordan, #1 New York Times bestselling-author

Eleven-year-old Ella Durand is the first Conjuror to attend the Arcanum Training Institute, a magic school in the clouds where Marvellers from around the world practice their cultural arts, like brewing Indian spice elixirs and bartering with pesky Irish pixies.

Despite her excitement, Ella discovers that being the first isn't easy--some Marvellers mistrust her magic, which they deem "bad and unnatural." But eventually, she finds friends in elixirs teacher, Masterji Thakur, and fellow misfits Brigit, a girl who hates magic, and Jason, a boy with a fondness for magical creatures.

When a dangerous criminal known as the Ace of Anarchy escapes prison, supposedly with a Conjuror's aid, tensions grow in the Marvellian world and Ella becomes the target of suspicion. Worse, Masterji Thakur mysteriously disappears while away on a research trip. With the help of her friends and her own growing powers, Ella must find a way to clear her family's name and track down her mentor before it's too late.

"A marvelous gift of a novel! With fantastical twists at every turn, Clayton has created a world that readers won't want to leave." --Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Hate U Give and Concrete Rose

Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor

- by Xiran Jay Zhao

Children's hardcover $21.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $19.79

Percy Jackson meets Tristan Strong in this hilarious, action-packed middle grade contemporary fantasy that follows a young boy as he journeys across China to seal the underworld shut and save the mortal realm.

Zachary Ying never had many opportunities to learn about his Chinese heritage. His single mom was busy enough making sure they got by, and his schools never taught anything except Western history and myths. So Zack is woefully unprepared when he discovers he was born to host the spirit of the First Emperor of China for a vital mission: sealing the leaking portal to the Chinese underworld before the upcoming Ghost Month blows it wide open.

The mission takes an immediate wrong turn when the First Emperor botches his attempt to possess Zack's body and binds to Zack's AR gaming headset instead, leading to a battle where Zack's mom's soul gets taken by demons. Now, with one of history's most infamous tyrants yapping in his headset, Zack must journey across China to heist magical artifacts and defeat figures from history and myth, all while learning to wield the emperor's incredible water dragon powers.

And if Zack can't finish the mission in time, the spirits of the underworld will flood into the mortal realm, and he could lose his mom forever.

Osmo Unknown and the Eightpenny Woods

- by Catherynne Valente

Children's hardcover $23.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $21.59

"I loved every speck of it." --Kelly Barnhill, Newbery Medal-winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon

From New York Times bestselling author Catherynne M. Valente comes an inventive middle grade fantasy that follows a boy journeying away from the only home he's ever known and into the magical realm of the dead to fulfill a bargain for his people.

Osmo Unknown hungers for the world beyond his small town. With the life that Littlebridge society has planned for him, the only taste Osmo will ever get are his visits to the edge of the Fourpenny Woods where his mother hunts. Until the unthinkable happens: his mother accidentally kills a Quidnunk, a fearsome and intelligent creature that lives deep in the forest.

None of this should have anything to do with poor Osmo, except that a strange treaty was once formed between the Quidnunx and the people of Littlebridge to ensure that neither group would harm the other. Now that a Quidnunk is dead, as the firstborn child of the hunter who killed her, Osmo must embark on a quest to find the Eightpenny Woods--the mysterious kingdom where all wild forest creatures go when they die--and make amends.

Accompanied by a very rude half-badger, half-wombat named Bonk and an antisocial pangolin girl called Never, it will take all of Osmo's bravery and cleverness to survive the magic of the Eightpenny Woods to save his town...and make it out alive.

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