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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.

The Battle For Perfect

- by Helena Duggan

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

Violet and Boy's perfectly creepy adventures are now in special editions with sumptuous sprayed edges for Halloween and Christmas! Things are quiet in the town that used to be Perfect until Violet and Boy uncover more trouble brewing. Five scientists are missing and Town is about to be taken over by a huge zombie army. Can Violet and Boy stop the army and save their friends? It's a matter of life or death! A highly charged finale to the series that began with A Place Called Perfect, which was Waterstones Book of the Month August 2017 and featured in the first WH Smiths Tom Fletcher book club. Over 100,000 copies of the series sold to date in the UK and Ireland (TCM, March 2020). Quirky imaginative adventure for girls and boys with echoes of Roald Dahl, Neil Gaiman and Tim Burton. "A creepy, magical tale of bravery and self-belief." The Sunday Express. Author Biography: Helena Duggan is from Kilkenny, a medieval, haunted city in the south of Ireland, which was the inspiration for Perfect. She has two lives; in one she's a graphic designer for her family lighting business. In the other she writes in a tree house at the bottom of her garden. She lives in a small house with her husband, their two young daughters and their dog Tinker.

The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane

- by Julia Nobel

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

For fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Blackthorn Key series comes an award-winning boarding school mystery about twelve year old Emmy, who's shipped off to a prestigious British school. But her new home is hiding a secret society ... and it may be the answer to Emmy's questions about her missing father.

With a dad who disappeared years ago and a mother who's a bit too busy to parent, Emmy is shipped off to Wellsworth, a prestigious boarding school in England, where she's sure she won't fit in.

But then she finds a box of mysterious medallions in the attic of her home with a note reading: These belonged to your father.

When she arrives at school, she finds the strange symbols from the medallions etched into walls and books, which leads Emmy and her new friends, Jack and Lola, to Wellsworth's secret society: The Order of Black Hollow Lane.

Emmy can't help but think that the society had something to do with her dad's disappearance, and that there may be more than just dark secrets in the halls of Wellsworth...Pick up the Black Hollow Lane series for your 5th grade and middle school students, kids 9-12, and young readers who love twisty mysteries with:Boarding schoolsSecret societiesCryptic lettersSecret relicsA fantastic group of friends

Here in the Real World

- by Sara Pennypacker

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

From the author of the highly acclaimed, New York Times bestselling novel Pax comes a gorgeous and moving middle grade novel that is an ode to introverts, dreamers, and misfits everywhere.

Ware can't wait to spend summer "off in his own world"--dreaming of knights in the Middle Ages and generally being left alone. But then his parents sign him up for dreaded Rec camp, where he must endure Meaningful Social Interaction and whatever activities so-called "normal" kids do.

On his first day Ware meets Jolene, a tough, secretive girl planting a garden in the rubble of an abandoned church next to the camp. Soon he starts skipping Rec, creating a castle-like space of his own in the church lot.

Jolene scoffs, calling him a dreamer--he doesn't live in the "real world" like she does. As different as Ware and Jolene are, though, they have one thing in common: for them, the lot is a refuge.

But when their sanctuary is threatened, Ware looks to the knights' Code of Chivalry: Thou shalt do battle against unfairness wherever faced with it. Thou shalt be always the champion of the Right and Good--and vows to save the lot.

But what does a hero look like in real life? And what can two misfit kids do?

From the Desk of Zoe Washington

- by Janae Marks

Children's hardcover $21.00 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $18.90

Amazon Best Book of the Month * #1 Kids Indie Next List * Parents Magazine Best Book of the Year * Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book of the Year * SLJ Best Book of the Year * Kirkus Best Book of the Year * Junior Library Guild Selection * Four Starred Reviews

From debut author Janae Marks comes a captivating story full of heart, as one courageous girl questions assumptions, searches for the truth, and does what she believes is right--even in the face of great opposition. 


Zoe Washington isn't sure what to write. What does a girl say to the father she's never met, hadn't heard from until his letter arrived on her twelfth birthday, and who's been in prison for a terrible crime?

A crime he says he never committed.

Could Marcus really be innocent? Zoe is determined to uncover the truth. Even if it means hiding his letters and her investigation from the rest of her family. Everyone else thinks Zoe's worrying about doing a good job at her bakery internship and proving to her parents that she's worthy of auditioning for Food Network's Kids Bake Challenge.

But with bakery confections on one part of her mind, and Marcus's conviction weighing heavily on the other, this is one recipe Zoe doesn't know how to balance. The only thing she knows to be true: Everyone lies.

"When Marcus tells Zoe he is innocent, and her grandmother agrees, Zoe begins to learn about inequality in the criminal justice system, and she sets out to find the alibi witness who can prove his innocence." (Publishers Weekly, "An Anti-Racist Children's and YA Reading List")

Amal Unbound

- by Aisha Saeed

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

A New York Times Bestseller!

Amal has big dreams, until a nightmarish encounter . . .

Twelve-year-old Amal's dream of becoming a teacher one day is dashed in an instant when she accidentally insults a member of her Pakistani village's ruling family. As punishment for her behavior, she is forced to leave her heartbroken family behind and go work at their estate.

Amal is distraught but has faced setbacks before. So she summons her courage and begins navigating the complex rules of life as a servant, with all its attendant jealousies and pecking-order woes. Most troubling, though, is Amal's increasing awareness of the deadly measures the Khan family will go to in order to stay in control. It's clear that their hold over her village will never loosen as long as everyone is too afraid to challenge them--so if Amal is to have any chance of ensuring her loved ones' safety and winning back her freedom, she must find a way to work with the other servants to make it happen.

The Ice Monster

- by David Walliams

Children's paperback $12.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $11.69

From No. 1 bestselling children's author, David Walliams comes his biggest and most epic adventure yet! Illustrated by the artistic genius Tony Ross. This is the story of a ten-year-old orphan and a 10,000-year-old mammoth... Read all about it! Read all about it! ICE MONSTER FOUND IN ARCTIC! When Elsie, an orphan on the streets of Victorian London, hears about the mysterious Ice Monster - a woolly mammoth found at the North Pole - she's determined to discover more... A chance encounter brings Elsie face to face with the creature, and sparks the adventure of a lifetime - from London to the heart of the Arctic! Heroes come in all different shapes and sizes in David Walliams' biggest and most epic adventure yet!

Me and Banksy

- by Tanya Lloyd Kyi

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

A Banksy-style protest against cameras in classrooms brings a group of middle-grade students together. For fans of Rebecca Stead, Susin Nielsen and Gordon Korman.

Dominica's private school is covered in cameras, and someone is hacking into them and posting embarrassing moments for the whole school to see. Like Ana picking her nose. When Dominica quickly changes her shirt from inside out in what she thinks is the privacy of a quiet corner in the library, she's shocked -- and embarrassed -- to discover a video has captured this and is currently circulating amongst her schoolmates. So mortifying, especially since over the past three years, they've had a half-dozen school talks about social media safety.

Who has access to the school security cameras and why are they doing this? Dominica and her best friends, Holden and Saanvi, are determined to find out, and in the process start an art-based student campaign against cameras in the classroom.

Bloom

- by Kenneth Oppel

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

The first book in bestselling author Kenneth Oppel's explosive new trilogy

It was just rain.

But after the downpour, odd black plants begin to shoot up.

Suddenly--

They. Are. Everywhere.

They take over fields and twine around houses. They bloom and throw off toxic pollen--and feed.

Strangely, three Salt Spring Island teens seem immune. Anaya, Petra and Seth. What's their connection? What's their secret? A week ago, they wouldn't have thought they had one.

But they'd better figure it out fast--the invasion has already begun.

The One and Only Ivan

- by Katherine Applegate

Children's paperback $12.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $11.69

The #1 New York Times bestselling and Newbery Award-winning novel The One and Only Ivan is now a major motion picture streaming on Disney+


This unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated book is told from the point of view of Ivan himself.  Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.

In the tradition of timeless stories like Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create an unforgettable story of friendship, art, and hope.

The One and Only Ivan features first-person narrative; author's use of literary devices (personification, imagery); and story elements (plot, character development, perspective).

This acclaimed middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 8, for independent reading, homeschooling, and sharing in the classroom.


Plus don't miss The One and Only Bob, Katherine Applegate's return to the world of Ivan, Bob, and Ruby!

The Wild Robot

- by Peter Brown

Children's paperback $12.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $11.69

Wall-E meets Hatchet in this New York Times bestselling illustrated middle grade novel from Caldecott Honor winner Peter Brown

Can a robot survive in the wilderness?

When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is all alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is--but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a violent storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island's unwelcoming animal inhabitants.

As Roz slowly befriends the animals, the island starts to feel like home--until, one day, the robot's mysterious past comes back to haunt her.

From bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator Peter Brown comes a heartwarming and action-packed novel about what happens when nature and technology collide.

The One and Only Bob

- by Katherine Applegate

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

A #1 New York Times bestseller!

Return to the unforgettable world of the Newbery Medal-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling novel The One and Only Ivan (soon to be a major motion picture!) in this incredible sequel, starring Ivan's friend Bob!

Bob sets out on a dangerous journey in search of his long-lost sister with the help of his two best friends, Ivan and Ruby. As a hurricane approaches and time is running out, Bob finds courage he never knew he had and learns the true meaning of friendship and family.


Bob, Ivan, and Ruby have touched the hearts of millions of readers, and their story isn't over yet. Catch up with these beloved friends before the star-studded film adaptation of The One and Only Ivan hits theaters in August 2020!

One and Only Bob is an instant #1 New York Times bestseller, embraced by new and old fans of Katherine Applegate's beloved One and Only Ivan. Great for summer reading or anytime! A Today show pick for "25 children's books your kids and teens won't be able to put down this summer!"