Middle grade novels may be my first love. There are so many great ones out there that I'll never get to them all, but here are five that I've read these past few weeks and enjoyed.
1. The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson - Matthew suffers from OCD. He hasn't been to school in a while and spends his time watching the goings-on in his neighborhood from his window. When a neighbor's grandson goes missing, Matthew is the last person who saw him. There's some suspense in this one which moves quickly and kept me interested until the last page.
2. Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart - I've loved everything by Gemeinhart. This one feels a little like Lord of the Flies for the elementary age reader. A group of boys is left without adult supervision at a residential facility they've been sent to on an island for a variety of crimes. Jonathan is the newest arrival, and readers will want to understand what this boy possibly could have done to end up in this reform school.
3. Gertie's Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley - Gertie's goal is to be the best fifth grader in the world so that the mother who left her when she was just a baby will know what she is missing out on. However, the addition of a new girl, Mary Sue, makes achieving this extra hard as she always seems to be in competition with Gertie.
4. Garvey's Choice by Nikki Grimes - a novel in verse, Garvey isn't the son his father wants him to be. His dad wants him to be athletic, but Garvey likes reading and science fiction and eating. Garvey has a lot of talents and finds joy in music.
5. Otherwise Known As Possum by Maria Laso - this novel was published after the author's death and was a book she worked on for years, which made it all that much more special to me as I read. Possum's mom and infant brother have died and Possum doesn't want things to change. She has enjoyed being home schooled by her mom, and is resistant to one big change coming her way: having to attend school. Set in the Depression era, this is a beautiful novel about a girl who learns how to accept what she is given and move on.
Reading any of these novels would be a fantastic way to spend a few hours. And if these novels won't add to your TBR at all, today is the big day: the announcement of this year's Newbery and Caldecott award winners. I've been looking forward to this day since last year's announcements, and may have to weigh in later with my thoughts. I'm expecting to add some titles to my TBR as well.