Thursday, December 22, 2016

Another Handful of Middle Grade Titles

I've had some great middle grade novels come my way lately and I feel like I've been fairly quickly reading right through them.   These five that I've read most recently are well worth your time. 

The Warden's Daughter by Jerry Spinelli - to be published January 3, 2017 - you really can't go wrong with Spinelli.  This novel reminds me a bit of Al Capone Does My Shirts, with Cammie living with her prison warden father. Her mother died when she was an infant and Cammie looks to the female prisoners to provide that maternal relationship she is lacking. Set in the summer of 1959, Cammie is twelve which brings changes to groups of friends and lots of growing up things to contend with.

Threads by Ami Polonsky -Clara is twelve and grieving the death of her older sister, Lola, On a random trip to the mall she happens to look at purses and finds a letter inside of one asking for help.  A group of children is being forced to work in a purse factory in China(the same country where Lola was adopted from). Clara and her parents go on a trip back to China to make peace with Lola's passing while Clara intends to look for this girl she feels connected to after reading her note.

Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson - to be published on January 3, 2017 - set in 1955 in the South, Rose can't wait to move north and continue her education. However, her grandparents are sharecroppers and Rose is devastated when her grandmother decides that Rose won't be attending school any longer, but will be working in the field instead.  Add to all this, Emmett Till has just been murdered which brings to light the way black are treated in the South.

Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar -due out April 11, 2017 - although classified as a novel, Behar's story is semi-autobiographical about her coming from Cuba to the US with her family after Castro comes to power.  Ruth is ready to become American and is quickly learning English, hoping to move from the "dumb" class to the "smart class." Her dad has surprised her with go-go boots, and has bought their family a car.  But, the family is involved in a car accident that leaves Ruth in a body cast for almost a year as she recovers.  This book covers this span of time and the way Ruth and her family coped with this stressful time in their lives.

Family Game Night by Mary E Lambert -due out February 28, 2017 - Annabelle's mom is a hoarder and Annabelle doesn't want any of her friends to come near her house to see how she lives.  When their father leaves for a summer job commitment giving his wife an ultimatum about what she has let their house become, Annabelle and her sister call their grandmother to help. As the family works through cleaning their house, the real mental illness of hoarding is uncovered and dealt with.  This is a great middle grade novel about a problem that is finally being recognized.

I've got several more middle grade novels arriving at my house to read and I am hoping to get to a lot of them over this Christmas break.

What middle grade novels have you read lately that I need to add to my TBR?

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