I've always read a lot of middle grade books, and there are so many great ones to choose from, I'm not in any danger of running out of them any time soon. Here are four more fantastic choices for that tween reader in your life:
Confusion is Nothing New by Paul Acampora - this one is short, yet has a lot going on. Ellie has never met her mother. When she finds out that she's died recently, it brings up a bunch of feelings Ellie has to deal with. She's a teenager who wants a mother-figure in her life. Acampora throws in a lot of 80s music references, which I loved, and some great friends. Acampora is also not a new to me author; he's got several books he's written that I've read: Defining Dulcie and I Killed The Mockingbird are two of my favorites he's written.
Breakout by Kate Messner- if it's possible, this author just keeps getting better. Messner's novel is loosely based on a real-life occurrence from a few summers ago, when some prisoners escaped a prison near the town where she lives. Messner tells the story in letters, journal entries, texts, newspaper articles, and pictures as Nora Tucker and her friends gather items for a time capsule. Messner even is able to weave in big issues like racism and discrimination.
The Miscalculation of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty - Lucy hasn't fit in with her peers since she was struck by lightning when she was eight. Her accident has left her with incredible math abilities, but it hasn't helped her social skills. She's been homeschooled for four years, but now her grandmother is sending her to middle school for a year with the goal of finding a friend (and maybe even reading a book that's not about math). Lucy does learn a lot in her time at school- even though some of the lessons are hard.
All Summer Long by Hope Larson- this is a graphic novel, which means it's pretty far out of my comfort zone. However, I really liked it. Bina is spending a summer by herself since her best friend, Austin, will be away at camp for a month. In that time, she manages to find things to do besides watch television (especially after her parents turn off her access), and starts hanging out with Austin's older sister. When Austin returns from camp, things aren't quite the same as before and the two friends have to learn to appreciate their differences and the growing and changing that's happening in their lives.
So, let me know if there are some great middle grade novels I need to add to my list.