Today, we bring you part 2 of our recommendations for great Middle Grade books — featuring books we couldn’t quite fit into our Middle Grade March schedule. (See part 1 here!)
Dork Diaries follows eighth grader Nikki Maxwell as she chronicles through text and sketches her move to a snooty new school; her epic battle with her mom for an iPhone; her enthusiasm for drawing and art; and a love/hate fascination with the new school’s queen bee, a girl named Mackenzie, who becomes Nikki’s rival in a schoolwide art competition. Nikki writes about friendships, crushes, popularity, and family with a unique and fresh voice that still conveys a universal authenticity. Nikki’s sketches throughout her diary add humor and spunk to the book, a surefire hit with tween girl readers.
In a bustling metropolis where magic is outlawed, a six-year-old child is found inside a locked bank vault. A scrap of paper reveals his name: Bran Hambric. The child remembers nothing of his life and only magic could have done this. But why would any mage risk breaking the law to do this?
All Jack Blank knows is his bleak, dreary life at St. Barnaby’s Home for the Hopeless, Abandoned, Forgotten, and Lost—an orphanage in the swampland of New Jersey. Covertly reading old comic books is Jack’s only solace. But his life changes forever when he meets an emissary from a secret country called the Imagine Nation, an astonishing place where all the fantastic and unbelievable things in the world originate. Including Jack.
Jack soon discovers that he has an amazing ability—one that could make him the savior of Imagine Nation and the world beyond…or the biggest threat they’ve ever faced.
Nilly is new to the neighborhood, but is quick to make friends: Doctor Proctor, an eccentric professor; and Lisa, who is teased by the twin terrors Truls and Trym. Nilly and Lisa help Doctor Proctor develop his latest invention, a powder that makes you fart. The powder makes Nilly and Lisa VERY popular at school when they sell it for 50c a bag. And they get revenge on Truls and Trym by giving them an extra strength dose of fart powder that shoots them up into a tree. All is good farty fun. Until someone steals the industrial-strength fart powder — that was supposed to make Doctor Proctor famous — to use for evil purposes…
Brittany Rush is the face of Gotta Have It candy bars, the hands of Write On pencils, the hair of Knot Me Not detangle spray and the voice of Mom, It’s Delicious! soups. Brittany has been appearing in commercials and print ads since her backside was the official derriere of Simply Dry Diapers. When Brittany showed up at a callback some girls would actually just get up and go home since they knew it was almost impossible to compete with her. However, a month after her twelfth birthday, Brittany’s mother tells her that the entire family is moving to Hong Kong for a year. Brittany is forced to take a brief but agonizing break from her commercial career. After a year of being just an anonymous kid in a foreign country, Brittany is more than ready to return stateside to her steady diet of go-see’s, auditions, callbacks and bookings in NYC. Within 48 hours of landing at JFK Brittany’s agent Judith Lister of the A Lister’s Agency has three go-see’s for Brittany. When she shows up to the first go-see, she expects the spotlight to start shining on her again but instead she finds that, in the year that she has been gone, she has changed from being the cute kid to watch out for to just one of the many pretty girls waiting her turn. Will Brittany be able to steal back her spotlight? Or will she discover there’s more to life than being a commercial success?
Magic, Djinn, Ogres, and Sorcerers. Thirteen-year-old Zardi loves to hear stories about fantastical beings, long banned from the kingdom of Arribitha. But anyone caught whispering of their powers will feel the rage of the sultan—a terrifying usurper who, even with his eyes closed, can see all.
When her own beloved sister is captured by the evil ruler, Zardi knows that she must go to any lengths to rescue her. Along with her best friend, Ridhan—a silver-haired, violet-eyed boy of mysterious origins—and an unlikely crew of sailors led by the infamous Captain Sinbad, Zardi ventures forth into strange and wondrous territory with a seemingly impossible mission: to bring magic back to Arribitha and defeat the sultan once and for all.
For the Comments: Share your favorite Middle Grade books!