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Middle Grade Contemporary

This is a selection of our current Middle Grade Contemporary titles. To find other titles or authors, or just to browse, please use the search box.

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Second Chances

- by Harriet Zaidman

Children's paperback $14.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $13.46

Thirteen-year-old Dale Melnyk finds himself stuck in an iron lung, desperately fighting for breath -- and wishing he could die. It is the worst outbreak of polio in the history of Winnipeg, and Dale is one of the many young victims being treated in the early 1950s. Second Chances follows Dale's slow and often agonizing struggle to regain his life, first of all to breathe on his own and then to regain the use of his limbs. Will he ever be able to play hockey again, he wonders? Dale comes to realize that he is doing better than a number of the other patients including Charlene, a young M�tis girl confined to a wheelchair but always trying to help their fellow patients. When Dale discovers his younger brother Brent is also in the polio ward because their father rejected the school program vaccine, a confrontation with his father becomes inevitable. Brent is not getting better and will be dealing with paralysis indefinitely.When Dale finally emerges from his recovery he must reassess what is most important in life -- a life that has been changed forever.

The Undercover Book List

- by Colleen Nelson

Children's hardcover $21.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $19.76

He's known as the class troublemaker. She's known as the bookworm. But when every note they send is anonymous, identity is suddenly what they make it. Between her father's posting overseas and her best friend Sienna's move to the other side of the country, seventh grade is looking lonely for Jane MacDonald. But Sienna has left her with one last trick: a hidden message in a library book--the perfect plot to start a secret club and find Jane a new book-loving friend. Tyson Flamand has problems of his own. Since the fourth grade he's had a reputation as a bad kid, and there's no point fighting it when teachers always think the worst. So when he finds an anonymous note in the library looking for a nerdy new friend, he knows he's the last person in the world it could be meant for. But something makes him answer it anyway, and Tyson finds himself pulled into a secret book club where being hidden may be the first step to being truly seen. With the insight of a veteran middle-school teacher, Colleen Nelson, author of the award-winning Harvey Comes Home and Sadia, weaves together two stories of identity, expectation, and the courage to challenge both. As their paths move ever closer, Jane and Tyson both discover their own self-reliance and their ability to overcome obstacles that seemed insurmountable.

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.

Harvey Holds His Own

- by Colleen Nelson

Children's paperback $15.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $14.36

Governor General's Award finalist Harvey Holds His Own delivers another satisfying story of heart, perseverance, and one incredible little dog, now in a new paperback format. Harvey, the West Highland Terrier hero of Harvey Comes Home, is back with his beloved Maggie. He is also back at Brayside retirement home, where he and Maggie now volunteer along with their friend Austin. There Maggie is drawn to a new resident, Mrs. Fradette, who tells stories of learning to fix cars as a twelve-year-old during the flood of 1950. Mrs. Fradette, with her bold fashion and love of poker, doesn't fit in among the beige cardigan- wearing, bridge-playing ladies of Brayside, but she doesn't seem to care. Maybe that's why Maggie likes her so much. Since seventh grade began, Maggie hasn't been fitting in well with her friends, either. Always alert for anything new--and with a nose that never misses a new scent--Harvey follows his instincts on a walk with Austin and discovers an abandoned newborn puppy in a pile of trash. Austin's heart almost breaks over the little puppy's plight, so he takes her to safety. Maggie and the Brayside residents and staff praise Harvey's heroic efforts, wishing that Austin could have his own dog. But the little puppy will need time to recover from her trauma before she can be adopted, and then there's another, even bigger obstacle: Austin's mom, who says no to pets. As fall edges toward winter, Harvey picks up an unfriendly scent in his backyard, and he will stop at nothing to keep Maggie and the others safe. But sometimes the little Westie is just too brave for his own good.

Con Quest!

- by Sam Maggs

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

"An awesome adventure that celebrates fandom--and what could be better than that?" --Nerdist

The debut novel from bestselling author Sam Maggs, Con Quest! is a comics convention adventure for young readers about fandom, family, and finding your place in the world!


Cat and Alex are excited to be at the world's most popular comics convention--and they're even more excited to compete in the Quest, a huge scavenger hunt run by their favorite nerdy celebrity. The big prize: a chance to meet him!

The twins ditch their older sister Fi and set off to find geeky clues, tackle nerdy challenges, and cross as many items as possible off their Quest list, which includes volunteering at an Artist Alley booth, gathering cosplayers in enough colors to make a double rainbow, and actually finding something healthy to eat in the convention center!

Can the twins work together even when they disagree on how to compete? Will Fi find Cat and Alex before their parents realize they're missing? Most importantly, can these ultimate fans complete the ultimate Quest?

An Imprint Book

"An absolute treasure, full of heart, fandom, and family."
--Marieke Nijkamp, New York Times-bestselling author of The Oracle Code

Unplugged

- by Gordon Korman

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

King of middle-grade Gordon Korman's new standalone novel full of mystery, humour, friendship . . . and alligators! Now in paperback.Jett Baranov is Silicon Valley's number one spoiled brat. The son of a billionaire tech genius, he has everything money can buy, which means he's in the habit of getting into a lot of trouble. When one of his stunts brings in the US Air Force, Jett's father sends him off to Oasis Mind and Body Wellness center where he'll be unplugged and disconnected from the outside world.

Of course Jett hates it instantly and does his best to get himself kicked out. But it's not as easy as he thinks. When Grace Atwater rescues a defenseless lizard, Jett is drawn into caring for the little guy with the help of Grace, Tyrell Karrigan and Brooklyne Feldman. But things aren't as they seem at Oasis. There's something going on with the head meditation pathfinder, Ivory -- something dangerous that threatens the future of all the guests at Oasis. And Jett is the only one who can put a stop to it.

Told in Gordon's now classic multi-voice style, Unplugged combines mystery, comedy, friendship . . . and don't forget about the crocodiles!

Butt Sandwich & Tree

- by Wesley King

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

From New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Wesley King comes a tender and grounded middle grade mystery about brothers, basketball, and a young boy on the autism spectrum.

Eleven-year-old Green loves his devoted older brother, Cedar, a popular basketball star, but that doesn't mean he wants to follow in his footsteps. He doesn't really care about sports or making friends. Still, eventually Green caves to pressure to try out for the basketball team. He may be tall like Cedar, but he's nowhere near as skilled.

And when a confrontation with the coach spurs Green to flee the court, his flight coincides with a priceless necklace going missing--making him the number one suspect. To clear Green's name, the two brothers team up to find the necklace, and along the way, they learn to appreciate their differences...and the things that bring them together.

Red Fox Road

- by Frances Greenslade

Children's paperback $11.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $10.79

A thirteen-year-old girl on a family vacation becomes stranded alone in the wilderness when the family's GPS leads them astray. A compelling survival story for ages 10 to 14, for fans of Hatchet and The Skeleton Tree.

Francie and her parents are on a spring road trip: driving from British Columbia, Canada, to hike in the Grand Canyon. When a shortcut leads them down an old logging road, disaster strikes. Their truck hits a rock and wipes out the oil pan. They are stuck in the middle of nowhere. Francie can't help feeling a little excited -- she'd often imagined how she'd survive if she got stranded in the bush, and now here they are. But will her survival skills -- building fires, gathering dandelion leaves and fir needles for tea -- be enough when hours stretch into days?

Water, Water

- by Cary Fagan

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

One morning Rafe wakes up to discover his bedroom is floating in a vast sea of water. An unforgettable middle-grade novel with elements of James and the Giant Peach meets Waterworld and The Road.

One morning Rafe wakes up to discover his bedroom is floating in a vast sea of water. Alone with only his dog for company, Rafe adapts to this strange new world by fishing cans of food out of the water and keeping watch. Boxes float by, as does a woman, playing her cello. Then, one day, Rafe fishes out a young girl, who joins him in his room -- they don't speak the same language, but together they will face this uncertain future together.
 
 

Moonwalking

- by Zetta Elliott

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

"This novel in verse, alternately narrated by two boys in 1980s Greenpoint, Brooklyn, one channeled by Elliott and one by Miller-Lachmann, eloquently tackles race, culture and life on the spectrum." -- The New York Times

For fans of Jason Reynolds and Jacqueline Woodson, this middle-grade novel-in-verse follows two boys in 1980s Brooklyn as they become friends for a season.


Punk rock-loving JJ Pankowski can't seem to fit in at his new school in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, as one of the only white kids. Pie Velez, a math and history geek by day and graffiti artist by night is eager to follow in his idol, Jean-Michel Basquiat's, footsteps. The boys stumble into an unlikely friendship, swapping notes on their love of music and art, which sees them through a difficult semester at school and at home. But a run-in with the cops threatens to unravel it all.

From authors Zetta Elliott and Lyn Miller-Lachmann, Moonwalking is a stunning exploration of class, cross-racial friendships, and two boys' search for belonging in a city as tumultuous and beautiful as their hearts.

The Unique Lou Fox

- by Jodi Carmichael

Children's hardcover $23.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $21.56

Award-winning author Jodi Carmichael, who has ADHD herself, affirms and celebrates those who struggle with their uniqueness and triumphantly discover its gifts It isn't easy being Louisa Elizabeth Fitzhenry-O'Shaughnessy--especially with dyslexia. She prefers Lou Fox, the dream name she'll use one day as a famous Broadway playwright. In the meantime, Lou is stuck in fifth grade with Mrs. Snyder, a total Shadow Phantom of a teacher who can spot a daydream from across the room but doesn't know anything about ADHD. Mrs. Snyder's constant attention is ex-cru-ci-a-ting. If only she would disappear. Fortunately, life isn't all a-tro-cious. There's The Haunting at Lakeside School, the play Lou is writing and directing for her two best friends. And soon she'll be a big sister at last. Nothing could ruin the joy of those things...right?

Camp Average

- by Craig Battle

Children's paperback $12.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $11.66

In the first book in a hit summer reading series for children ages 8 to 12, campers fight to lose like never before. This three-book series is great for sports fans and reluctant readers, with Camp Average shortlisted for provincial children's choice awards in Manitoba, Ontario, and Saskatchewan.

A group of 11-year-olds arrives to spend six weeks playing sports at Camp Avalon--which they affectionately call Camp Average, because they never win at any sport. And that's the way they like it. But this summer, new camp director Winston--who hates losing--has some hyper-competitive ideas about how to improve their performance, whether they want to or not!

Led by main character Mack and his friend Andre, the boys of Cabin 10 decide to reclaim their summer and revolt by losing spectacularly at every game they play, and especially at the big baseball tournament coming up with three nearby camps.

In a story full of plotting, planning, and plenty of push-ups, it's a full-court press on losing for the campers, strategic play-by-play for the camp director, and great teamwork on all sides. Who will come out on top? The first book in the critically acclaimed Camp Average series is a smart, funny summer read featuring a diverse group of realistic characters and a winning storyline.

Camp Average

- by Craig Battle

Children's paperback $11.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $10.76

In the final book of this hit summer reading series for ages 8 to 12, this summer is definitely not average. This three-book series is great for sports fans and reluctant readers, with Camp Average shortlisted for provincial children's choice awards in Manitoba, Ontario, and Saskatchewan. It's another summer at Camp Avalon--also known as Camp Average to its campers--only this year, things are anything but normal. Mack and Andre are spending the summer at rival Camp Killington, where the competitive campers seem intent on making them suffer. Meanwhile, at Camp Average, Miles is trying to keep the peace--which is not easy, due to obnoxious newcomer Garth and his pranks. On top of that, Miles has another impossible task on his plate: getting Mack and Andre back on home turf. Things come to a head when Mack and Andre are forced apart, and Cassie challenges Garth to a do-or-die ball hockey showdown. Will the Camp Average crew find their way back together and come out on top? In this third and final addition to the critically acclaimed Camp Average series, the campers rally to support each other and discover once more how teamwork and cooperation win.

Peter Lee's Notes from the Field

- by Angela Ahn

Children's paperback $11.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $10.79

Eleven-year-old Peter Lee has one goal in life: to become a paleontologist. But in one summer, that all falls apart. Told in short, accessible journal entries and combining the humor of Timmy Failure with the poignant family dynamics of Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Peter Lee will win readers' hearts.

Eleven year-old Peter Lee has one goal in life: to become a paleontologist. Okay, maybe two: to get his genius kid-sister, L.B., to leave him alone. But his summer falls apart when his real-life dinosaur expedition turns out to be a bust, and he watches his dreams go up in a cloud of asthma-inducing dust.
     Even worse, his grandmother, Hammy, is sick, and no one will talk to Peter or L.B. about it. Perhaps his days as a scientist aren't quite behind him yet. Armed with notebooks and pens, Peter puts his observation and experimental skills to the test to see what he can do for Hammy. If only he can get his sister to be quiet for once -- he needs time to sketch out a plan.
    

Front Desk (Front Desk #1) (Scholastic Gold)

- by Kelly Yang

Children's paperback $11.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $10.79

Four starred reviews and over ten best-of-year lists!* "Many readers will recognize themselves or their neighbors in these pages." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred reviewWinner of the Asian / Pacific American Award for Children's Literature!* "Many readers will recognize themselves or their neighbors in these pages." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred reviewMia Tang has a lot of secrets.Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests.Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they've been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed.Number 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language?It will take all of Mia's courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?Featuring exclusive bonus content!

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