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The materials on this page have varying degrees of LGBTQIA+ representation and would generally appeal to students in grades 3-5. The authenticity of LGBTQIA+ representation in these books has not been evaluated by the TDRL staff, and because of this, we highly recommend evaluating individual books for authentic representation before making recommendations to young people. Click on blue hyperlinks to see availability at the UNLV Teachers Development & Resources Library.
The Vanquishers by Kalynn BayronIn the world of the Vanquishers, vampires were history . . . until now. "A sharp vampire tale full of bite, heart, and humor." --Rena Barron, author of the Maya and the Rising Dark series "Boog and her friends will capture your heart in an instant." --Mark Oshiro, author of The Insiders Malika "Boog" Wilson and her best friends have grown up idolizing The Vanquishers, a group of heroic vampire hunters who wiped out the last horde of the undead decades ago. Nowadays, most people don't take even the most basic vampire precautions--the days of garlic wreaths and early curfews long gone--but Boog's parents still follow the old rules, much to her embarrassment. When a friend goes missing, Boog isn't sure what to think. Could it be the school counselor, Mr. Rupert, who definitely seems to be hiding something? Or could it be something more dangerous? Boog is determined to save her friend, but is she ready to admit vampires might not be vanquished after all? No one ever expected the Vanquishers to return, but if their town needs protection from the undead, Boog knows who to call. Inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Watchmen, this adventure launches readers into an exciting new series.
Publication Date: 2022-09-20
Moonflower by Kacen CallenderKacen Callender, National Book Award winner of King and the Dragonflies, delivers a stunning novel that invites readers into a child's struggles with mental health, and their journey to wholeness. Moon's depression is overwhelming. Therapy doesn't help, and Moon is afraid that their mom hates them because they're sad. Moon's only escape is traveling to the spirit realms every night, where they hope they'll never return to the world of the living again. The spirit realm is where they have their one and only friend, Wolf, and where they're excited to experience an infinite number of adventures. But when the realm is threatened, it's up to Moon to save the spirit world. With the help of celestial beings and guardians, Moon battles monsters and shadows, and through their journey, they begin to learn that a magical adventure of love and acceptance awaits them in the world of the living, too. This story of hope shows readers that our souls blossom when we realize that we are as worthy and powerful as the universe itself.
Publication Date: 2022-09-06
You Only Live Once, David Bravo by Mark OshiroFrom Mark Oshiro, award-winning author of The Insiders, this time-bending adventure is perfect for fans of Sal and Gabi Break the Universe and When You Reach Me. Middle school is the worst, especially for David Bravo. He doesn't have a single class with his best (okay, only) friend, Antoine. He has to give a class presentation about his heritage, but he's not sure how--or even if--he wants to explain to his new classmates that he's adopted. After he injures Antoine in an accident at cross-country practice, he just wishes he could do it all over. He doesn't expect his wish to summon a talking, shapeshifting, annoying dog, Fea, who claims that a choice in David's past actually did put him on the wrong timeline... and she can take him back to fix it. But when their first try (and the second, and the third) is a total disaster, David and Fea are left scrambling through timeline after timeline--on a quest that may lead them to answers in the most unexpected places. Coco meets Sliding Doors in this laugh-out-loud, heartwarming middle grade novel that explores how our choices make us who we are.
Publication Date: 2022-09-20
The Devouring Wolf by Natalie C. Parker"A perfect read for every kid and every kid at heart who's ever felt like they weren't enough. This story of family in all its many forms is as deliciously fun to read as it is deeply relevant." -Julie Murphy, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dear Sweet Pea A queer tale about kid werewolves, big bad mistakes, and terrifying creatures, perfect for fans of Katherine Arden and R.L. Stine. Little wolf, little wolf, here I come. It's the eve of the first full moon of summer and twelve-year-old Riley Callahan is ready to turn into a wolf.Nothing can ruin her mood- not her little brother Milo's teasing, not Mama N's smoth-ering, and not even Mama C's absence from their pack's ceremony. But then the unthink-able happens-something that violates every rule of wolf magic-Riley and four other kids don't shift. Riley is left with questions that even the pack leaders don't have answers to. And to make matters far worse, it appears something was awoken in the woods that same night. The Devouring Wolf. The elders tell the tale of the Devouring Wolf to scare young pups into obedience. It's a terrifying campfire story for fledging wolves, an old legend of a giant creature who consumes the magic inside young werewolves. But to Riley, the Devouring Wolf is more than lore- it's real and it's after her and her friends.
Publication Date: 2022-08-02
Answers in the Pages by David LevithanA bold, timely novel about speaking up and coming out as parents lobby to ban a beloved book from the school curriculum by New York Times-bestselling author David Levithan. When Donovan left his copy of The Adventurers on the kitchen counter, he didn't think his mom would read it--much less have a problem with it. It's just an adventure novel about two characters trying to stop an evil genius...right? But soon the entire town is freaking out about whether the book's main characters are gay, Donovan's mom is trying to get the book removed from the school curriculum, and Donovan is caught in the middle. Donovan doesn't really know if the two boys fall in love at the end or not--but he does know this: even if they do, it shouldn't matter. The book should not be banned from school. Interweaving three connected storylines, David Levithan delivers a bold, fun, and timely story about taking action (whether it's against book censors or deadly alligators...), being brave, and standing up for what's right.
Publication Date: 2022-05-10
The Science of Being Angry by Nicole MellebyFrom the acclaimed author of Hurricane Season, an unforgettable story about what makes a family, for fans of Hazel's Theory of Evolution and Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World. Eleven-year-old Joey is angry. All the time. And she doesn't understand why. She has two loving moms, a supportive older half brother, and, as a triplet, she's never without company. Her life is good. But sometimes she loses her temper and lashes out, like the time she threw a soccer ball--hard--at a boy in gym class and bruised his collarbone. Or when jealousy made her push her (former) best friend (and crush), Layla, a little bit too roughly. After a meltdown at Joey's apartment building leads to her family's eviction, Joey is desperate to figure out why she's so mad. A new unit in science class makes her wonder if the reason is genetics. Does she lose control because of something she inherited from the donor her mothers chose? The Science of Being Angry is a heartwarming story about what makes a family and what makes us who we are from an author whose works are highly praised for their presentation of and insights into the emotional lives of tweens.
Publication Date: 2022-05-10
The Best Liars in Riverview by Lin ThompsonIn the woods of a small Kentucky town, Aubrey sets off on a journey about growing up, self-discovery, and acceptance while searching for their missing best friend--perfect for fans of King and the Dragonflies and Three Times Lucky. Aubrey and Joel are like two tomato vines that grew along the same crooked fence--weird, yet the same kind of weird. But lately, even their shared weirdness seems weird. Then Joel disappears. Vanishes. Poof. The whole town is looking for him, and Aubrey was the last person to see Joel. Aubrey can't say much, but since lies of omission are still lies, here's what they know for sure: For the last two weeks of the school year, when sixth grade became too much, Aubrey and Joel have been building a raft in the woods. The raft was supposed to be just another part of their running away game. The raft is gone now, too. Aubrey doesn't know where Joel is, but they might know how to find him. As Aubrey, their friend Mari, and sister Teagan search along the river, Aubrey has to fess up to who they really are, all the things they never said, and the word that bully Rudy Thomas used that set all this into motion.
Publication Date: 2022-03-08
Rick Riordan Presents Tiger Honor (a Thousand Worlds Novel Book 2) by Yoon LeeBest-selling author Rick Riordan presents Yoon Ha Lee's second space opera inspired by Korean mythology, this time narrated by a nonbinary tiger spirit. "With a delightful mix of Korean mythology and science fiction, Lee expands on the intriguing world of his previous novel to create another exhilarating adventure with a new precocious protagonist."--Booklist Sebin, a young tiger spirit from the Juhwang Clan, wants nothing more than to join the Thousand World Space Forces and, like their Uncle Hwan, captain a battle cruiser someday. But when Sebin's acceptance letter finally arrives, it's accompanied by the shocking news that Hwan has been declared a traitor. Apparently the captain abandoned his duty to steal a magical artifact, the Dragon Pearl, and his whereabouts are still unknown. Sebin hopes to help clear their hero's name and restore honor to the clan. Nothing goes according to plan, however. As soon as Sebin arrives for orientation, they are met by a special investigator named Yi and Yi's assistant, a girl named Min. Yi informs Sebin that they must immediately report to the ship Haetae and await further instructions. Sebin finds this highly unusual, but soon all protocol is forgotten when there's an explosion on the ship, the crew is knocked out, and the communication system goes down. It's up to Sebin, three other cadets, and Yi and Min to determine who is sabotaging the battle cruiser. When Sebin is suddenly accused of collaborating with the enemy, the cadet realizes that Min is the most dangerous foe of all... Yoon Ha Lee brilliantly turns the tables on DRAGON PEARL in another unputdownable sci-fi adventure about what honor really means. Endorsed by Rick Riordan, author of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, soon to be a series on Disney+. Complete your middle grade fantasy collection with: Rick Riordan Presents: DRAGON PEARL by Yoon Ha Lee Rick Riordan Presents: RACE TO THE SUN by Rebecca Roanhorse Rick Riordan Presents: SAL AND GABI BREAK THE UNIVERSE by Carlos Hernandez Rick Riordan Presents: THE LAST FALLEN STAR by Graci Kim Rick Riordan Presents: PAHUA AND THE SOUL STEALER by Lori M. Lee
Publication Date: 2022-01-04
The Anti-Book by Raphael SimonFrom the New York Times bestselling author of The Name of This Book Is Secret comes a darkly funny story about a boy who wants the world to disappear. This fantastical quest for comfort and belonging was called "a surprisingly powerful, formula-breaking coming-of-age story" by the New York Times. Mickey is angry all the time: at his divorced parents, at his sister, and at his two new stepmoms, both named Charlie. And so he can't resist the ad inside his pack of gum: "Do you ever wish everyone would go away? Buy The Anti-Book! Satisfaction guaranteed." He orders the book, but when it arrives, it's blank--except for one line of instruction: To erase it, write it. He fills the pages with all the things and people he dislikes . . . Next thing he knows, he's wandering an anti-world, one in which everything and everyone familiar is gone. Or are they? His sister soon reappears--but she's only four inches tall. A tiny talking house with wings looks strangely familiar, as does the mysterious half-invisible boy who seems to think that he and Mickey are best buds. The boy persuades Mickey to go find the Bubble Gum King--the king, who resides at the top of a mountain, is the only one who might be able help Mickey fix the mess he's made. From Raphael Simon (a.k.a. beloved author Pseudonymous Bosch!) comes this Phantom Tollbooth for today's generation--a fantastical quest for comfort and belonging that will resonate with many, many readers.
Publication Date: 2021-04-06
Ben y and the Ghost in the Machine by K. A. HoltGeorge meets Ms. Bixby's Last Day in this inspiring, heartfelt novel-in-verse, the second in a new series from bestselling author K.A. Holt. This second book in a new series by K.A. Holt will appeal to fans of House Arrest, Rhyme Schemer, and Knockout, in addition to fans of Jason Reynolds's Track series. Ben Y's just about had it with school. Every corner she turns, she's being called "Benita," getting Dress Coded by Mr. Mann for some supposedly inappropriate item of clothing, or running into the ineffable, inescapable, indefinable Ace--who makes her feel weird, weirdly seen, and strangely at peace, all at once. Even her best buds--Ben B, Jordan J, and Javier; the kids under the stairs--are all far too content following the rules and making their school newspaper under the attentive direction of their beloved teacher, Ms. J. And home's no better. Last year, Ben Y's older brother died, and the family is still learning how to cope--if by coping you mean coming home to cry at lunch, or secretly building a friendship bracelet empire, or obsessively visiting a chatroom to talk to Benicio's ghost. When Benito suddenly starts typing back, Ben Y must act. But what happens when those very actions make Ben Y's deepest secrets impossible to hide? Readers will easily identify with the variety of funny, authentic lovable characters--not to mention the emphasis on a Minecraft-like game and fun visuals like online chats and doodles. Parents, kids, educators and librarians alike will love the way the book celebrates all the different ways to be smart--and recognizes all the different ways it's hard to be a kid. With a lovable cast of characters and raw, authentic emotion, this heartwarming, laugh-out-loud novel-in-verse tells an honest story about friendship, family, and personal identity that celebrates different types of intelligence and shows how every kid deserves to become their own "divergent" self. NEW UNDERSTANDING OF IDENTITY: The main character in this book is struggling to figure out how she defines herself, both on the inside and to others. It's a struggle many young readers will recognize from their own experiences. FRIENDSHIP ISSUES: This book navigates the difficulty of changing friendships, particularly when a new friend joins the group. It's an issue nearly every kid goes through in middle school, and will ring authentic to all young readers. POPULAR AUTHOR: K.A. Holt's books have been nominated for awards in over 30 states. She is popular on the school speaking circuit and presents keynote speeches throughout the year and all over the world, making her a trusted name and a favorite for middle grade readers. PERFECT FOR RELUCTANT READERS: Fewer words on each page make this book engaging and approachable for all different types of readers. The characters in the book also struggle with reading, but they are not shamed or looked down on for it, so readers with similar difficulties will feel understood. NEWSPAPER THEME: The kids in this story work on their school newspaper, turning their tech skills into something their teachers approve of--and something that allows them to stand up for what they believe in. MINECRAFT APPEAL: The characters in the book play Sandbox, which readers will instantly recognize as a fictionalized version of the immensely popular Minecraft, a game with over 74 million monthly players. Playing Sandbox is depicted as both cool and educational, which will uplift rather than shame young readers for playing video games, and inspire parents, teachers, and librarians to consider non-traditional approaches to traditional school. Perfect for: * Fans and players of Minecraft and other video games * Reluctant readers * Fans of Kari Holt * Educators
Publication Date: 2021-09-28
Deepest Breath by Meg GrehanAn accessible and beautifully written middle grade novel-in-verse by award-winning Irish author Meg Grehan about Stevie, a young girl reckoning with anxiety about the many things she has yet to understand--including her feelings about her friend Chloe. Perfect for fans of Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World, Star Crossed, and George. 11-year-old Stevie is an avid reader and she knows a lot of things about a lot of things. But these are the things she'd like to know the most: 1. The ocean and all the things that live there and why it's so scary 2. The stars and all the constellations 3. How phones work 4. What happened to Princess Anastasia 5. Knots Knowing things makes Stevie feel safe, powerful, and in control should anything bad happen. And with the help of her mom, she is finding the tools to manage her anxiety. But there's one something Stevie doesn't know, one thing she wants to understand above everything else, and one thing she isn't quite ready to share with her mom: the fizzy feeling she gets in her chest when she looks at her friend, Chloe. What does it mean and why isn't she ready to talk about it? In this poetic exploration of identity and anxiety, Stevie must confront her fears to find inner freedom all while discovering it is our connections with others that make us stronger.
Publication Date: 2021-02-16
Frankie and Bug by Gayle Forman"Joyful, occasionally heartbreaking, deeply moving." --R. J. Palacio, bestselling author of Wonder In the debut middle grade novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Gayle Forman comes a poignant and powerful coming-of-age story that follows a young girl and her new friend as they learn about family, friendship, allyship, and finding your way in a complicated world. It's the summer of 1987, and all ten-year-old Bug wants to do is go to the beach with her older brother and hang out with the locals on the boardwalk. But Danny wants to be with his own friends, and Bug's mom is too busy, so Bug is stuck with their neighbor Philip's nephew, Frankie. Bug's not too excited about hanging out with a kid she's never met, but they soon find some common ground. And as the summer unfolds, they find themselves learning some important lessons about each other, and the world. Like what it means to be your true self and how to be a good ally for others. That family can be the people you're related to, but also the people you choose to have around you. And that even though life isn't always fair, we can all do our part to make it more just.
The Greatest Superpower by Alex Sanchez; Brann Garvey (Illustrator)It's the summer before high school, and thirteen-year-old Jorge Fuerte wants nothing more than to spend his days hanging out with his fellow comic-book-obsessed friends. But then everything changes. His parents announce they're divorcing for a reason Jorge and his twin brother, Cesar, never saw coming--their larger-than-life dad comes out as transgender. Jorge struggles to understand the father he's always admired, but Cesar refuses to have anything to do with him. As Jorge tries to find a way to stay true to the father he loves, a new girl moves into the neighborhood: cool, confident, quirky Zoey. She tames Jorge's unruly terrier and enlists the terrier and Jorge in a dance routine for the back-to-school talent show. As the date of the show draws near, Jorge must face his fears and choose between being loyal to his brother or truthful about his family's secret. Although he's no superhero, Jorge already has the world's greatest superpower--if he decides to use it.
Publication Date: 2021-02-01
Hazel Bly and the Deep Blue Sea by Ashley Herring BlakeFor fans of Erin Entrada Kelly and Ali Benjamin comes a poignant yet hopeful novel about a girl navigating grief, trauma, and friendship, from Ashley Herring Blake, the award-winning author of Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World. Hazel Bly used to live in the perfect house with the perfect family in sunny California. But when a kayaking trip goes horribly wrong, Mum is suddenly gone forever and Hazel is left with crippling anxiety and a jagged scar on her face. After Mum's death, Hazel, her other mother, Mama, and her little sister, Peach, needed a fresh start. So for the last two years, the Bly girls have lived all over the country, never settling anywhere for more than a few months. When the family arrives in Rose Harbor, Maine, there's a wildness to the small town that feels like magic. But when Mama runs into an old childhood friend--Claire--suddenly Hazel's tight-knit world is infiltrated. To make it worse, she has a daughter Hazel's age, Lemon, who can't stop rambling on and on about the Rose Maid, a local 150-year-old mermaid myth. Soon, Hazel finds herself just as obsessed with the Rose Maid as Lemon is--because what if magic were real? What if grief really could change you so much, you weren't even yourself anymore? And what if instead you emerged from the darkness stronger than before?
Publication Date: 2021-05-25
Meow or Never: a Wish Novel by Jazz TaylorA heartwarming story of secret pets and secret crushes... and learning to take center stage! Avery Williams can sing, but that doesn't mean she can sing in front of people. She likes to stay backstage at her new school, which is where, to her surprise, she finds a cat tucked away into a nook. Avery names the stray Phantom and visits any time she's feeling stressed (which is a lot these days). As she sings to Phantom one day, her crush, Nic, overhears her and ropes Avery into auditioning for the school's musical. Despite her nerves, Avery lands the lead role! She knows she should be excited, but mostly Avery is terrified. Can Phantom help her through her stage fright? And what will happen if anyone finds out about her secret pet?
Publication Date: 2021-01-05
This Is Our Rainbow by Katherine Locke (Editor); Nicole Melleby (Editor)The first LGBTQA+ anthology for middle-graders featuring stories for every letter of the acronym, including realistic, fantasy, and sci-fi stories by authors like Justina Ireland, Marieke Nijkamp, Alex Gino, and more! A boyband fandom becomes a conduit to coming out. A former bully becomes a first-kiss prospect. One nonbinary kid searches for an inclusive athletic community after quitting gymnastics. Another nonbinary kid, who happens to be a pirate, makes a wish that comes true--but not how they thought it would. A tween girl navigates a crush on her friend's mom. A young witch turns herself into a puppy to win over a new neighbor. A trans girl empowers her online bestie to come out. From wind-breathing dragons to first crushes, This Is Our Rainbow features story after story of joyful, proud LGBTQA+ representation. You will fall in love with this insightful, poignant anthology of queer fantasy, historical, and contemporary stories from authors including: Eric Bell, Lisa Jenn Bigelow, Ashley Herring Blake, Lisa Bunker, Alex Gino, Justina Ireland, Shing Yin Khor, Katherine Locke, Mariama J. Lockington, Nicole Melleby, Marieke Nijkamp, Claribel A. Ortega, Mark Oshiro, Molly Knox Ostertag, Aisa Salazar, and AJ Sass.
Publication Date: 2021-10-19
Too Bright to See by Kyle LukoffA Newbery Honor Book * Winner of the Stonewall Book Award * A National Book Award Finalist "A gentle, glowing wonder, full of love and understanding." -The New York Times Book Review Cover may vary. It's the summer before middle school and eleven-year-old Bug's best friend Moira has decided the two of them need to use the next few months to prepare. For Moira, this means figuring out the right clothes to wear, learning how to put on makeup, and deciding which boys are cuter in their yearbook photos than in real life. But none of this is all that appealing to Bug, who doesn't particularly want to spend more time trying to understand how to be a girl. Besides, there's something more important to worry about: A ghost is haunting Bug's eerie old house in rural Vermont...and maybe haunting Bug in particular. As Bug begins to untangle the mystery of who this ghost is and what they're trying to say, an altogether different truth comes to light--Bug is transgender.
Publication Date: 2021-04-20
A Touch of Ruckus by Ash Van OtterlooA laugh-out-loud, ghostly Southern mystery that's perfect for fans of Cassie Beasley and Natalie Lloyd. Tennessee Lancaster has a hidden gift. She can pry into folks' memories with just a touch of their belongings. It's something she's always kept hidden -- especially from her big, chaotic family. Their lives are already chock-full of worries about Daddy's job and Mama's blues without Tennie rocking the boat. But when the Lancasters move to the mountains for a fresh start, Tennie's gift does something new. Instead of just memories, her touch releases a ghost with a terrifying message: Trouble is coming. Tennie wants to ignore it. Except her new friend Fox -- scratch that, her only friend, Fox -- is desperate to go ghost hunting deep in the forest. And when Tennie frees even more of the spirits, trouble is exactly what she gets... and it hits close to home. The ghosts will be heard, and now Tennie must choose between keeping secrets or naming an ugly truth that could tear her family apart. Magic and mayhem abound in this spooky story about family legacies, first friendships, and how facing the ghosts inside can sometimes mean stirring up a little bit of ruckus.
Publication Date: 2021-09-07
The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. (as Told to His Brother) by David LevithanNew York Times bestselling author David Levithan takes young readers on twisting journey through truth, reality, and fantasy and belief. Aidan disappeared for six days. Six agonizing days of searches and police and questions and constant vigils. Then, just as suddenly as he vanished, Aidan reappears. Where has he been? The story he tells is simply. . . impossible. But it's the story Aidan is sticking to. His brother, Lucas, wants to believe him. But Lucas is aware of what other people, including their parents, are saying: that Aidan is making it all up to disguise the fact that he ran away. When the kids in school hear Aidan's story, they taunt him. But still Aidan clings to his story. And as he becomes more of an outcast, Lucas becomes more and more concerned. Being on Aidan's side would mean believing in the impossible. But how can you believe in the impossible when everything and everybody is telling you not to?
Publication Date: 2021-02-02
Ana on the Edge by A. J. SassFor fans of George and Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World, a heartfelt coming of age story about a nonbinary character navigating a binary world. Twelve-year-old Ana-Marie Jin, the reigning US Juvenile figure skating champion, is not a frilly dress kind of kid. So, when Ana learns that next season's program will be princess themed, doubt forms fast. Still, Ana tries to focus on training and putting together a stellar routine worthy of national success. Once Ana meets Hayden, a transgender boy new to the rink, thoughts about the princess program and gender identity begin to take center stage. And when Hayden mistakes Ana for a boy, Ana doesn't correct him and finds comfort in this boyish identity when he's around. As their friendship develops, Ana realizes that it's tricky juggling two different identities on one slippery sheet of ice. And with a major competition approaching, Ana must decide whether telling everyone the truth is worth risking years of hard work and sacrifice.
Publication Date: 2020-10-20
Cattywampus by Ash Van OtterlooThe magical story of a hex that goes haywire, and the power of friendship to set things right!In the town of Howler's Hollow, conjuring magic is strictly off-limits. Only nothing makes Delpha McGill's skin crawl more than rules. So when she finds her family's secret book of hexes, she's itching to use it to banish her mama's money troubles. She just has to keep it quieter than a church mouse -- not exactly Delpha's specialty.Trouble is, Katybird Hearn is hankering to get her hands on the spell book, too. The daughter of a rival witching family, Katy has reasons of her own for wanting to learn forbidden magic, and she's not going to let an age-old feud or Delpha's contrary ways stop her. But their quarrel accidentally unleashes a hex so heinous it resurrects a graveyard full of angry Hearn and McGill ancestors bent on total destruction. If Delpha and Katy want to reverse the spell in time to save everyone in the Hollow from rampaging zombies, they'll need to mend fences and work together.Fans of A Snicker of Magic and The Witch Boy will love this funny, folksy, fresh debut from Ash Van Otterloo that proves sometimes it takes two witches to make the strongest magic happen.
Publication Date: 2020-08-04
The Derby Daredevils: Kenzie Kickstarts a Team by Kit Rosewater; Sophie EscabasseA highly illustrated middle-grade series that celebrates new friendships, first crushes, and getting out of your comfort zone Ever since they can remember, fifth-graders Kenzie (aka Kenzilla) and Shelly (aka Bomb Shell) have dreamed of becoming roller derby superstars. When Austin's city league introduces a brand-new junior league, the dynamic duo celebrates! But they'll need to try out as a five-person team. Kenzie and Shelly have just one week to convince three other girls that roller derby is the coolest thing on wheels. But Kenzie starts to have second thoughts when Shelly starts acting like everyone's best friend . . . Isn't she supposed to be Kenzie's best friend? And things get really awkward when Shelly recruits Kenzie's neighbor (and secret crush!) for the team. With lots of humor and an authentic middle-grade voice, book one of this illustrated series follows Kenzie, Shelly, and the rest of the Derby Daredevils as they learn how to fall--and get back up again.
King of the Dragonflies by Kacen CallenderWinner of the 2020 National Book Award for Young People's Literature! Winner of the 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction and Poetry! In a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy's grief takes him beyond the bayous of his backyard, to learn that there is no right way to be yourself. FOUR STARRED REVIEWS! Booklist School Library Journal Publishers Weekly The Horn Book Twelve-year-old Kingston James is sure his brother Khalid has turned into a dragonfly. When Khalid unexpectedly passed away, he shed what was his first skin for another to live down by the bayou in their small Louisiana town. Khalid still visits in dreams, and King must keep these secrets to himself as he watches grief transform his family. It would be easier if King could talk with his best friend, Sandy Sanders. But just days before he died, Khalid told King to end their friendship, after overhearing a secret about Sandy-that he thinks he might be gay. "You don't want anyone to think you're gay too, do you?" But when Sandy goes missing, sparking a town-wide search, and King finds his former best friend hiding in a tent in his backyard, he agrees to help Sandy escape from his abusive father, and the two begin an adventure as they build their own private paradise down by the bayou and among the dragonflies. As King's friendship with Sandy is reignited, he's forced to confront questions about himself and the reality of his brother's death. The Thing About Jellyfish meets The Stars Beneath Our Feet in this story about loss, grief, and finding the courage to discover one's identity, from the author of Hurricane Child.
Publication Date: 2020-02-04
The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca SteadEIGHT STARRED REVIEWS! The reassuring book kids and families need right now. "An absolute original . . . a story that kids will love." --R. J. Palacio, bestselling author of Wonder At a time when everything is changing for Bea and her family, the important things will always stay the same. A soon-to-be classic by the Newbery Award-winning author of When You Reach Me. After her parents' divorce, Bea's life became different in many ways. But she can always look back at the list she keeps in her green notebook to remember the things that will stay the same. The first and most important: Mom and Dad will always love Bea, and each other. When Dad tells Bea that he and his boyfriend, Jesse, are getting married, Bea is thrilled. Bea loves Jesse, and when he and Dad get married, she'll finally (finally!) have what she's always wanted--a sister. Even though she's never met Jesse's daughter, Sonia, Bea is sure that they'll be "just like sisters anywhere." As the wedding day approaches, Bea will learn that making a new family brings questions, surprises, and joy, and readers will discover why the New York Times called Rebecca Stead a "writer of great feeling." "An undeniably beautiful book." --The New York Times "No author writing today observes young lives with more clarity, tenderness, and grace." --Newbery Medalist Katherine Applegate, author of The One and Only Ivan "Stead truly understands the inner life of kids." --Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly, author of Hello, Universe and You Go First
Publication Date: 2020-04-07
Martin Mclean, Middle School Queen by Alyssa Zaczek; Risa Rodil (Illustrator)In this bighearted middle-grade debut, Martin McLean struggles to find his voice--and his inner diva--as he navigates friendship, family, first crushes, and a whole lot of glitter. "An amusing story that's bursting with diversity at every turn. . . . A tasty treat."--Kirkus (Starred review) Seventh-grader Martin McLean has always been surrounded by people who can express themselves. His mother is an artist, his colorful Tío Billy works in theater, and his best friends Carmen and Pickle are outgoing and don't care what other people think. But Martin can only find the right words when he's answering a problem at a Mathletes competition--until his tío introduces him to the world of drag. In a swirl of sequins and stilettos, Martin creates his fabulous drag queen alter ego, Lottie León. As Lottie, he is braver than he's ever been; but as Martin, he doesn't have the guts to tell anyone outside of his family about her. Not Carmen and Pickle, not his Mathletes teammates, and definitely not Chris, an eighth-grader who gives Martin butterflies. When Martin discovers that his first-ever drag show is the same night as the most important Mathletes tournament, he realizes that he can only pull off both appearances by revealing his true self to his friends--and channeling his inner drag superstar. "Amazing, fierce, and very inspirational . . . this book will inspire kids to express themselves." --Desmond is Amazing "Never, in a million years, did I ever expect to read a story about an actual drag kid! It was amazing and inspiring and perfect for kids like me!" --Nemis Quinn Mélançon Golden, aka Lactatia "A beautiful story of coming of age and self-realization . . . I love this book." --E! the Dragnificent
Publication Date: 2020-01-07
Pepper's Rules for Secret Sleuthing by Briana McDonaldNancy Drew meets Harriet the Spy in this action-packed and heartfelt debut middle grade following an overzealous amateur sleuth as she investigates a shocking family secret--and unravels the mystery of her developing feelings for girls. Rule One: Your loyalty is to the case. Amateur detective Pepper Blouse has always held true to this rule, even if it meant pushing people away. But when the results of Pepper's latest case cost her any hope of the girl she likes returning her feelings, she decides that maybe she should lay low for a while. That is, until her Great Aunt Florence passes away under mysterious circumstances. And even though her dad insists there's nothing to investigate, Pepper can't just ignore rule fourteen: Trust your gut. But there's nothing in the rulebook that could've prepared her for the family secrets her investigation uncovers. Maybe it's time to stop playing by the rules.
Publication Date: 2020-09-29
Rick by Alex GinoRicks gone along with his best friend Jeff even when Jeffs acted like a bully and a jerk. But now Rick wants his own life to be... understood. Even if it means breaking some old friendships and making some new ones. As they did in their groundbreaking novel George, in Rick, award-winning author Alex Gino explores what it means to search for your own place in the world... and all the steps you and the people around you need to take in order to get where you need to be.
Publication Date: 2020-04-21
Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe (a Sal and Gabi Novel, Book 2) by Carlos HernandezBest-selling author Rick Riordan presents Carlos Hernandez's sequel to the critically acclaimed Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, a brilliant sci-fi romp with Cuban influence. Among many other challenges, Sal and Gabi have to try to make everything right with our world when there is a rogue Gabi from another universe running loose. Sal Vidon doesn't want to live a Mami-free life. Pulling different versions of his mother from other universes is how he copes with missing his own, who died years ago. But Sal's father, a calamity physicist, is trying to shut down all the wormholes Sal creates, because Papi thinks they are eroding the very fabric of our world. All of Papi's efforts are in vain, however, because a Gabi from another universe has gone rogue and is popping up all over the place, seeking revenge for the fact that her world has been destroyed. While Sal and Gabi work together to keep both Papi and Rogue Gabi under control, they also have to solve the mystery of Yasmany, who has gone missing from school. Could it have something to do with the wormhole in the back of his locker? Readers who enjoyed Sal and Gabi Break the Universe will relish being back in the world of Culeco Academy and the Coral Castle along with such unforgettable characters as American Stepmom, the Gabi-Dads, Principal Torres, and the sassy entropy sweeper. With multiple Sals and Gabis in charge, it's no wonder this sequel offers even more hilarious weirdness and love than the first book.
Publication Date: 2020-05-05
Second Dad Summer by Benjamin Klas; Fian Arroyo (Illustrator)Jeremiah just wants a normal summer with his dad. But his dad has moved in with his new boyfriend Michael who serves weird organic food and is constantly nagging him. Worst of all, Michael rides a bicycle decorated to look like a unicorn. This is not the summer Jeremiah wanted. But Jeremiah soon learns that being a family comes in many surprising forms.
Publication Date: 2020-08-04
A Song Only I Can Hear by Barry JonsbergWhen Rob starts getting mysterious texts from an unknown number, he has to make a decision--stay under the radar, or risk being exposed in a way he's not prepared for--in this "stirring" (Booklist) middle grade novel that's perfect for fans of Wonder. Rob Fitzgerald is determined to impress Destry Camberwick, the perfect new girl who he's devastatingly in love with. But that's a difficult task for a painfully shy wallflower who's prone to panic attacks and would rather hang out with his granddad all day. That is, until he starts getting mysterious text messages from an unknown number with challenges designed to encourage him to venture outside his comfort zone. Is Rob Fitzgerald on the road to getting the girl? Or will fear keep him out of the spotlight forever? Powerful, moving, and full of heart and humor, A Song Only I Can Hear is a delightful novel about dreaming big, being brave, and marching to the beat of your own drum.
Publication Date: 2020-04-07
The Unbelievable Oliver and the Sawed-In-Half Dads by Pseudonymous Bosch; Shane Pangburn (Illustrator)Oliver is new to the magical arts. In fact, he has only performed one act so far, and that one was interrupted by a theft-in-progress that he, his friends the twins Teenie and Bea, and his wisecracking rabbit, Benny, managed to thwart. Now Oliver has been hired for an even more important gig- a wedding. Teenie and Bea's fathers are finally getting married, and Oliver is supposed to entertain at the rehearsal brunch. He has chosen the classic sawed-in-half trick, which will be especially amusing when he calls up the grooms as volunteers. What could go wrong? Except that weddings are supposed to be about bringing people together, not splitting them up . . . and before the trick is over, one of the fathers will have disappeared. Luckily, Oliver seems to be a better sleuth than a magician!
Publication Date: 2020-05-12
The Magic Misfits: the Fourth Suit by Neil Patrick HarrisThe Misfits must work together to fend off mysterious attacks in this magical finale to the #1 New York Times bestselling Magic Misfits series from acclaimed and wildly popular celebrity Neil Patrick Harris! Ridley Larsen is everything you want in a friend. She's tough as nails, she's fiercely loyal, and she's smart as a whip. But she can be a harsh critic, which has put her position with the Magic Misfits on the rocks, even as the threat of the group's longtime enemy Kalagan looms large. Ever since his recent appearance in Mineral Wells, the kids know that a showdown with the vicious magician is imminent. They must first deal with a series of odd instances and random attacks, though, all of which they use to bring themselves closer to discovering where Kalagan may be hiding, and the nature of his true identity. But can Ridley finally master her temper and put her essential magical skills to good use? She'll do anything to protect her friends, and when the time comes, she'll find that the Magic Misfits are strongest when they all work together. Join the Magic Misfits as they discover adventure, friendship, and more than a few hidden secrets in this finale of the unique and surprising series. Whether you're a long-time expert at illusion or simply a new fan of stage magic, hold on to your top hat!
Publication Date: 2020-09-15
The Moon Within by Aida SalazarA stunning debut told with the sensitivity, humor, and brilliant verse of new talent Aida Salazar. Celi Rivera's life swirls with questions. About her changing body. Her first attraction to a boy. Her best friend's exploration of what it means to be genderfluid. But most of all, her mother's insistence she have a moon ceremony when her first period arrives. It's an ancient Mexica ritual that Mima and her community have reclaimed, but Celi would rather do just about anything than talk about herself like that with other people. Can she find the power within herself to take a stand for who she wants to be?
Publication Date: 2019-02-26
Summer of a Thousand Pies by Margaret DillowayA heartfelt contemporary middle grade novel about a girl who must try to save her aunt's failing pie shop, perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish, Fish in a Tree--and The Great British Baking Show. When Cady Bennett is sent to live with the aunt she didn't even know she had in the quaint mountain town of Julian, she isn't sure what to expect. Cady isn't used to stability, after growing up homeless in San Diego with her dad. Now she's staying in her mother's old room, exploring the countryside filled with apple orchards and pie shops, making friends, and working in Aunt Shell's own pie shop--and soon, Cady starts to feel like she belongs. Then she finds out that Aunt Shell's shop is failing. Saving the business and protecting the first place she's ever really felt safe will take everything she's learned and the help of all her new friends. But are there some things even the perfect pie just can't fix? Summer of a Thousand Pies is a sweet and satisfying treat of a novel full of friendship, family, and, of course, pie.
Publication Date: 2019-04-16
The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James by Ashley Herring BlakeTwelve-year-old Sunny St. James navigates heart surgery, reconnecting with her lost mother, first kisses, and emerging feelings for another girl in this stunning, heartfelt novel--perfect for fans of Ali Benjamin and Erin Entrada Kelly. When Sunny St. James receives a new heart, she decides to set off on a "New Life Plan": 1) do awesome amazing things she could never do before; 2) find a new best friend; and 3) kiss a boy for the first time. Her "New Life Plan" seems to be racing forward, but when she meets her new best friend Quinn, Sunny questions whether she really wants to kiss a boy at all. With the reemergence of her mother, Sunny begins a journey to becoming the new Sunny St. James. This sweet, tender novel dares readers to find the might in their own hearts.
Publication Date: 2019-03-26
Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life by Beverley Brenna; Tara Anderson (Illustrator)It's not every day you encounter a hamster experiencing an existential crisis, but Sapphire has spent her short pet-store life convinced that she's waiting for...something. At first she thinks it's to be FREE, but it may be possible that life has a greater purpose in store--a purpose Sapphire will discover thanks to a nine-year-old girl whose family is changing in ways she doesn't quite understand. Jeannie's dad has moved out, her mom is always tired and snappish, and her older brother just wants to play video games in his room all day. Jeannie doesn't understand what's going on, but she knows one thing: she really, REALLY wants a hamster. Her mom promised she could buy one with her Christmas money, but it's been WEEKS since the holidays and Jeannie's beginning to worry she'll never get her pet. But maybe if she does, her dad will come to visit. Maybe a hamster will make everything better.Narrated by Jeannie and Sapphire in alternating chapters, Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life is a touching middle-grade novel by award-winning author Beverley Brenna that explores themes of family, friendship, togetherness, and self-identity. With a cast that includes a transgender neighbor, a father coming out as gay, and a realistic protagonist who will appeal to fans of Ramona Quimby, Brenna's latest offering is an age-appropriate introduction to some difficult subjects that also abounds with humor and poignancy.
Publication Date: 2019-02-22
To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan; Meg WolitzerFrom two extraordinary authors comes a moving, exuberant, laugh-out-loud novel about friendship and family, told entirely in emails and letters. Avery Bloom, who's bookish, intense, and afraid of many things, particularly deep water, lives in New York City. Bett Devlin, who's fearless, outgoing, and loves all animals as well as the ocean, lives in California. What they have in common is that they are both twelve years old, and are both being raised by single, gay dads. When their dads fall in love, Bett and Avery are sent, against their will, to the same sleepaway camp. Their dads hope that they will find common ground and become friends--and possibly, one day, even sisters. But things soon go off the rails for the girls (and for their dads too), and they find themselves on a summer adventure that neither of them could have predicted. Now that they can't imagine life without each other, will the two girls (who sometimes call themselves Night Owl and Dogfish) figure out a way to be a family?
Publication Date: 2019-02-12
Hurricane Child by Kheryn CallenderCaroline Murphy is a Hurricane Child. Being born during a hurricane is unlucky, and twelve-year-old Caroline has had her share of bad luck lately. She's hated and bullied by everyone in her small school on St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, a spirit only she can see won't stop following her, and -- worst of all -- Caroline's mother left home one day and never came back. But when a new student named Kalinda arrives, Caroline's luck begins to turn around. Kalinda, a solemn girl from Barbados with a special smile for everyone, becomes Caroline's first and only friend -- and the person for whom Caroline has begun to develop a crush. Now, Caroline must find the strength to confront her feelings for Kalinda, brave the spirit stalking her through the islands, and face the reason her mother abandoned her. Together, Caroline and Kalinda must set out in a hurricane to find Caroline's missing mother -- before Caroline loses her forever.
Publication Date: 2018-03-27
Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World by Ashley Herring BlakeA Stonewall Children's & Young Adult Honor Book! In the wake of a destructive tornado, one girl develops feelings for another in this stunning, tender novel about emerging identity, perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish. When a tornado rips through town, twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen's house is destroyed and her family of five is displaced. Ivy feels invisible and ignored in the aftermath of the storm--and what's worse, her notebook filled with secret drawings of girls holding hands has gone missing. Mysteriously, Ivy's drawings begin to reappear in her locker with notes from someone telling her to open up about her identity. Ivy thinks--and hopes--that this someone might be her classmate, another girl for whom Ivy has begun to develop a crush. Will Ivy find the strength and courage to follow her true feelings? Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World exquisitely enriches the rare category of female middle-grade characters who like girls--and children's literature at large.
Publication Date: 2018-03-06
Elle of the Ball by Elena Delle DonneFrom 2015 WNBA MVP, 2016 Olympic gold medalist, and global ambassador to the Special Olympics Elena Delle Donne comes the first novel in a brand-new middle grade series with as much heart as there is game. Elle Deluca is a seventh grader who is tall--not just sort of tall. She's six feet tall. And for a twelve-year-old girl, this means that her basketball team has high hopes for her changing positions and becoming their starting center. But a new position is not the only footwork she has to learn. Her class's dance unit in gym is coming up, and that means she has to learn ballroom dance steps with a boy much shorter than her--and perform publically for a grade. In the first book in WNBA MVP and Olympic gold medalist Elena Delle Donne's Hoops series, Elle must figure out a way to remain herself when others want her to be someone else.
Publication Date: 2018-03-13
Alan Cole Doesn't Dance by Eric BellTo heartwarming cheer, Alan Cole came out to his school. But now what? In this follow-up novel to Alan Cole Is Not a Coward, Eric Bell deftly explores with nuance and humor how the first step to complete self-acceptance may mean actually putting your feet on the dance floor. This laugh-out-loud and poignant tale is perfect for fans of Gary Schmidt and Jerry Spinelli. Alan Cole has a problem: Ron McCaughlin. Ever since Alan revealed he's gay, Ron has been bullying Alan with relentless fury. Alan can't tell his parents why he's really coming home with bruises--because they still don't know the truth about him. Yet buoyed by the support of his classmates and with his friends Zack and Madison by his side, Alan thinks he can withstand the bullying and--just maybe--break through to Ron. But all things come to a head when Alan's father asks that he take June Harrison to the upcoming Winter Dance. Never mind that Alan has two left feet, does not like girls, and might be developing feelings for a new boy at school. This resounding tale about friendship, family, and the many meanings of bravery will leave readers rooting for Alan and his gang of proud misfits once more.
Publication Date: 2018-10-09
P. S. I Miss You by Jen Petro-RoyA heartbreaking--yet ultimately uplifting--epistolary novel about family, religion, and having the courage to be yourself. "P.S. I Miss You is so moving! Evie'squiet strength and fierce determinationare an inspiration. " --Ann M. Martin, author ofRain Reign and the Baby-Sitters Club "Jen Petro-Roy has created a character with the potential to beas iconic as Judy Blume's Margaret." --Erin Dionne, author ofNotes from an Accidental Band Geek Evie is heartbroken when her strict Catholic parents send her pregnant sister, Cilla, away to stay with a distant great-aunt. All Evie wants is for her older sister to come back. Forbidden from speaking to Cilla, Evie secretly sends her letters. Evie writes about her family, torn apart and hurting. She writes about her life, empty without Cilla. And she writes about the new girl in school, June, who becomes her friend, and then maybe more than a friend. Evie could really use some advice from Cilla. But Cilla isn't writing back, and it's time for Evie to take matters into her own hands. P.S. I Miss Youby Jen Petro-Roy is a heartfelt middle grade novel dealing with faith, identity, and finding your way in difficult times. "A touching story of sisterly devotion and self-discovery.Readers will cheer on Jen Petro-Roy's sweet, strong protagonistas she overcomes challenging family circumstances toembrace her own identity." -- Barbara Dee, author ofStar-Crossed "A heartbreaking but empowering story that's impossible to forget... Readers will love Evie's smart, funny voice and will recognize themselves in her worries, her questions, and her hopes." --Kate Messner, author ofThe Seventh Wish
Publication Date: 2018-03-06
The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue; Caroline Hadilaksono (Illustrator)Sumac Lottery is nine years old and the self-proclaimed "good girl" of her (VERY) large, (EXTREMELY) unruly family. And what a family the Lotterys are: four parents, children both adopted and biological, and a menagerie of pets, all living and learning together in a sprawling house called Camelottery. Then one day, the news breaks that one of their grandfathers is suffering from dementia and will be coming to live with them. And not just any grandfather -- the long dormant "Grumps," who fell out with his son so long ago that he hasn't been part of any of their lives. Suddenly, everything changes. Sumac has to give up her room to make the newcomer feel at home. She tries to be nice, but prickly Grumps clearly disapproves of how the Lotterys live: whole grains, strange vegetables, rescue pets, a multicultural household... He's worse than just tough to get along with -- Grumps has got to go! But can Sumac help him find a home where he belongs?
Publication Date: 2017-03-28
Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee"Star-Crossed delighted me! Barbara Dee has a light touch and a pitch-perfect middle school voice. This book will have you laughing and groaning in sympathy with crush-addled Mattie and eagerly turning pages. Mattie and her classmates charmed me with their kindness, their humor, their uncertainty, their devotion to one another and to Shakespeare! Barbara masterfully sprinkles the bard's words over the narration and stirs the troubles of Romeo and Juliet into the plot. And those Shakespearian insults! Be sure to read Star-Crossed or you'll miss out." --Gail Carson Levine, author of Ella Enchanted Mattie is chosen to play Romeo opposite her crush in the eighth grade production of Shakespeare's most beloved play in this Romeo and Juliet inspired novel from the author of Truth or Dare. Mattie, a star student and passionate reader, is delighted when her English teacher announces the eighth grade will be staging Romeo and Juliet. And she is even more excited when, after a series of events, she finds herself playing Romeo, opposite Gemma Braithwaite's Juliet. Gemma, the new girl at school, is brilliant, pretty, outgoing--and, if all that wasn't enough: British. As the cast prepares for opening night, Mattie finds herself growing increasingly attracted to Gemma and confused, since, just days before, she had found herself crushing on a boy named Elijah. Is it possible to have a crush on both boys AND girls? If that wasn't enough to deal with, things backstage at the production are starting to rival any Shakespearean drama! In this sweet and funny look at the complicated nature of middle school romance, Mattie learns how to be the lead player in her own life. "Barbara Dee's Star-Crossed is a love story, a rallying cry for girl-power, and a Shakespeare lover's dream come true. When I finished reading, I had a huge smile on my face and a lightness in my heart." --Nora Raleigh Baskin, author of Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story "Star-Crossed takes the drama, humor, friendships, misunderstandings, and romance of Romeo and Juliet and transforms them perfectly to the middle school stage. One word about this honest, heartfelt middle grade novel for the theater geek in each of us? Encore!" --Donna Gephart, author of Lily and Dunkin "Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee cleverly draws from Romeo and Juliet, providing readers with an insightful introduction to Shakespeare while exploring the complexities of young love. Readers will root for this relationship." --Ami Polonksy, author of Gracefully Grayson
Publication Date: 2017-03-14
This Would Make a Good Story Someday by Dana Alison LevyFrom the author of The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher comes an epic cross-country train trip for fans of Dan Santat's Are We There Yet? and Geoff Rodkey's The Tapper Twins. Pack your suitcase and climb on board with the Johnston-Fischer family. Sara Johnston-Fischer loves her family, of course. But that doesn't mean she's thrilled when her summer plans are upended for a surprise cross-country train trip with her two moms, Mimi and Carol; her younger sister, Ladybug; her older sister, Laurel; and Laurel's poncho-wearing activist boyfriend, Root. And to make matters worse, one of her moms is writing a tell-all book about the trip . . . and that means allllll, every ridiculous and embarrassing moment of Sara's life. Sara finds herself crisscrossing the country with a gaggle of wild Texans. As they travel from New Orleans to Chicago to the Grand Canyon and beyond, Sara finds herself changing along with the landscape outside the train windows. And she realizes that she just might go home reinvented.
Publication Date: 2017-05-16
The Best Man by Richard PeckNewbery Medalist Richard Peck tells a story of small-town life, gay marriage, and everyday heroes in this novel for fans of Gary Schmidt and Jack Gantos. Archer Magill has spent a lively five years of grade school with one eye out in search of grown-up role models. Three of the best are his grandpa, the great architect; his dad, the great vintage car customizer,; and his uncle Paul, who is just plain great. These are the three he wants to be. Along the way he finds a fourth--Mr. McLeod, a teacher. In fact, the first male teacher in the history of the school. But now here comes middle school and puberty. Change. Archer wonders how much change has to happen before his voice does. He doesn't see too far ahead, so every day or so a startling revelation breaks over him. Then a really big one when he's the best man at the wedding of two of his role models. But that gets ahead of the story. In pages that ripple with laughter, there's a teardrop here and there. And more than a few insights about the bewildering world of adults, made by a boy on his way to being the best man he can be.
Publication Date: 2016-09-20
The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island by Dana Alison LevyLove the TV show Modern Family? Wait until you meet the family Fletcher! With two dads, four adopted brothers, two cats, and one pug, the Fletchers will have you laughing out loud! Welcome to Rock Island, Where Time Stands Still! The Fletchers are back on Rock Island, home of all their best summer memories. But from the first day they arrive, it's clear that this year, things have changed. FIRST, a giant fence is blocking their beloved lighthouse. SECOND, they have new neighbors. THIRD, who the heck is the weird artist guy who's never actually painting? And FOURTH, there's now an ice cream truck! Can the island stay the same even with these crazy transformations? Over the course of the summer, the Fletchers will learn that sometimes, even in a place where time stands still, the wildest, weirdest, and most wonderful surprises await. A JLG Selection! "There is constant action and delightful humor, but there are also realistic present-day problems and happy solutions. An old-fashioned summer adventure set in a very modern world, this lively family tale will leave readers impatient for more. "--Kirkus, Starred "While the other story lines reach satisfying resolutions, this one-- about a young African American male struggling to figure out his identity in the largely white landscape of Rock Island--leaves room for thought-provoking, timely discussion.--Horn Book "A must-have middle grade family story with contemporary sensibilities."--SLJ, Starred "Lots of kids will want to take this along on their summer vacations."--Booklist
The Real Riley Mayes by Rachel Elliott (Illustrator)Funny and full of heart, this debut graphic novel is a story about friendship, identity, and embracing all the parts of yourself that make you special. Fifth grade is just not Riley's vibe. Everyone else is squaded up--except Riley. Her best friend moved away. All she wants to do is draw, and her grades show it. One thing that makes her happy is her favorite comedian, Joy Powers. Riley loves to watch her old shows and has memorized her best jokes. So when the class is assigned to write letters to people they admire, of course Riley's picking Joy Powers! Things start to look up when a classmate, Cate, offers to help Riley with the letter, and a new kid, Aaron, actually seems to get her weird sense of humor. But when mean girl Whitney spreads a rumor about her, things begin to click into place for Riley. Her curiosity about Aaron's two dads and her celebrity crush on Joy Powers suddenly make more sense. Readers will respond to Riley's journey of self-discovery and will recognize themselves in this character who is less than perfect but trying her best. And creative kids will recognize themselves in her love of art and drawing. While often funny and light, Riley's exploration of what it feels to be an outsider and how hard it can be to make a friend break your heart in the best way. And with all of Riley's hijinks and missteps, this story is laugh-out-loud funny from start to finish.
Publication Date: 2022-05-03
Rabbit Chase by Elizabeth LaPensée; K. C. Oster (Illustrator); Aarin Dokum (Translator)A BookRiot Don't-Miss 2022 Queer Graphic Novels & Memoirs * "Rabbit Chase is a welcome intersectional work for today's youth."--Traci Sorell, award-winning author of We Are Still Here! and At the Mountain's Base Anishinaabe culture and storytelling meet Alice in Wonderland in this coming-of-age graphic novel that explores Indigenous and gender issues through a fresh yet familiar looking glass. Aimée, a non-binary Anishinaabe middle-schooler, is on a class trip to offer gifts to Paayehnsag, the water spirits known to protect the land. While stories are told about the water spirits and the threat of the land being taken over for development, Aimée zones out, distracting themselves from the bullying and isolation they've experienced since expressing their non-binary identity. When Aimée accidentally wanders off, they are transported to an alternate dimension populated by traditional Anishinaabe figures in a story inspired by Alice in Wonderland. To gain the way back home, Aimée is called on to help Trickster by hunting down dark water spirits with guidance from Paayehnsag. On their journey, Aimée faces off with the land-grabbing Queen and her robotic guards and fights the dark water spirits against increasingly stacked odds. Illustrated by KC Oster with a modern take on their own Ojibwe style and cultural representation, Rabbit Chase is a story of self-discovery, community, and finding one's place in the world. "This Indigenous spin on Alice in Wonderland is a powerful story of identity and the rich gifts of community and culture."-Mary Beth Leatherdale, award-winning author and co-editor of #NotYourPrincess
Publication Date: 2022-04-05
Paranorthern by Stephanie CookeA witch named Abby and her three friends--a wolf-girl, a ghost, and a pumpkinhead--band together to try and save their supernatural town from an invasion of rabid (but adorable!) chaos bunnies in this enchanting middle-grade graphic novel for fans ofMaking Friends, The Okay Witch, and Lumberjanes. It's fall break in the supernatural town of North Haven, and young witch Abby's plans include pitching in at her mom's magical coffee shop, practicing her potion making, and playing board games with her best friends--a pumpkinhead, a wolf-girl, and a ghost. But when Abby finds her younger sister being picked on by some speed demons, she lets out a burst of magic so strong, it opens a portal to a realm of chaos bunnies. And while these bunnies may lookcute, they're about to bring the a-hop-ocalypse (and get Abby in a cauldronful of trouble) unless she figures out a way to reverse the powerful magic she unwittingly released. What's a witch to do? In this deliciously humorous, cozy, and bewitching graphic novel, sometimes the most of powerful magic comes from our connections to family and friends (but kicking bunny butt is great, too).
Publication Date: 2021-07-13
The Accursed Vampire by Madeline McGrane (Illustrator)*Named a Rainbow Book List Title* A spooky and funny graphic novel perfect for fans of The Witch Boy and Real Friends Dragoslava is a vampire kid. It has its perks, but sometimes being stuck as a kid forever can be a pain in the neck. And that's not even the worst part. A few centuries ago, Drago was cursed by a witch. If they don't complete every task she sets, they will be turned into worms. When the witch wants a spellbook from Baneberry Falls, Drago sets off with their immortal friends. But mysteries await in this sleepy Midwestern town, and Drago must figure out if the keepers of the spellbook have a hidden agenda, like everyone else they've ever known. One thing's for sure: after this accursed mission, Drago's immortal life will never be the same again!
Publication Date: 2021-07-27
Beetle and the Hollowbones by Aliza Layne (Illustrator); Natalie Riess (Colorist (comics)); Kristen Acampora (Colorist (comics))An enchanting, riotous, and playfully illustrated debut graphic novel following a young goblin trying to save her best friend from the haunted mall--perfect for fans of Steven Universe and Adventure Time. In the eerie town of 'Allows, some people get to be magical sorceresses, while other people have their spirits trapped in the mall for all ghastly eternity. Then there's twelve-year-old goblin-witch Beetle, who's caught in between. She'd rather skip being homeschooled completely and spend time with her best friend, Blob Glost. But the mall is getting boring, and B.G. is cursed to haunt it, tethered there by some unseen force. And now Beetle's old best friend, Kat, is back in town for a sorcery apprenticeship with her Aunt Hollowbone. Kat is everything Beetle wants to be: beautiful, cool, great at magic, and kind of famous online. Beetle's quickly being left in the dust. But Kat's mentor has set her own vile scheme in motion. If Blob Ghost doesn't escape the mall soon, their afterlife might be coming to a very sticky end. Now, Beetle has less than a week to rescue her best ghost, encourage Kat to stand up for herself, and confront the magic she's been avoiding for far too long. And hopefully ride a broom without crashing.
Publication Date: 2020-08-04
The Deep & Dark Blue by Niki SmithThe Witch Boy meets The Legend of Korra in this breathtaking, epic graphic novel. After a terrible political coup usurps their noble house, Hawke and Grayson flee to stay alive and assume new identities, Hanna and Grayce. Desperation and chance lead them to the Communion of Blue, an order of magical women who spin the threads of reality to their will. As the twins learn more about the Communion, and themselves, they begin to hatch a plan to avenge their family and retake their royal home. While Hawke wants to return to his old life, Grayce struggles to keep the threads of her new life from unraveling, and realizes she wants to stay in the one place that will allow her to finally live as a girl. This title will be simultaneously available in paperback.
Publication Date: 2020-01-07
Dungeon Critters by Natalie Riess; Sara GoetterNatalie Riess and Sara Goetter'sDungeon Critters is a middle-grade graphic novel about a gang of adorable animal friends on a D&D style dungeon crawl. Quests! Plots! Evil Plants! Magic and mayhem! Join the Dungeon Critters--a tight-knit squad of animal companions--on a wild adventure investigating a sinister botanical conspiracy among the furry nobility. As they risk their lives traveling through haunted dungeons, swamps, and high society balls--they also come closer together as friends. Motivated by rivalries, ideals, and a lust for adventure, these critters navigate not only perils and dangers of the natural world, but also perils and dangers...of the heart!
Publication Date: 2020-09-29
The Tea Dragon Tapestry by K. O'NeillJoin Greta and Minette once more for the heartwarming conclusion of the award-winning Tea Dragon series! Over a year since being entrusted with Ginseng's care, Greta still can't chase away the cloud of mourning that hangs over the timid Tea Dragon. As she struggles to create something spectacular enough to impress a master blacksmith in search of an apprentice, she questions the true meaning of crafting, and the true meaning of caring for someone in grief. Meanwhile, Minette receives a surprise package from the monastery where she was once training to be a prophetess. Thrown into confusion about her path in life, the shy and reserved Minette finds that the more she opens her heart to others, the more clearly she can see what was always inside. Told with the same care and charm as the previous installments of the Tea Dragon series, The Tea Dragon Tapestry welcomes old friends and new into a heartfelt story of purpose, love, and growth.
Publication Date: 2021-06-01
Glitch by Sarah Graley (Illustrator)From comics rising star Sarah Graley, a fresh and funny middle-grade graphic novel featuring a girl who must save a virtual world... and her own! Izzy has an incredible secret -- she can enter the world of her new video game! She meets Rae, a robot who says Izzy is destined to save Dungeon City from the Big Boss. How is this possible?! And how can she fight for this virtual world when she's got a whole real life to keep up with: her family (though she could do without her mom's annoying cat), and her best friend, Eric. Things get even weirder when Izzy loses a life while inside the game, and she starts to worry about what might happen if she gets a Game Over for good. Meanwhile, Eric has been super upset with Izzy since she's been keeping secrets and bailing on their plans. Can Izzy survive Dungeon City and save their friendship?
Publication Date: 2019-05-14
The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O'Neill"A lovely, gentle fantasy." -- KIRKUS Revisit the enchanting world of Tea Dragons with an all-new companion story to the two-time Eisner Award-winning graphic novel The Tea Dragon Society! Rinn has grown up with the Tea Dragons that inhabit their village, but stumbling across a real dragon turns out to be a different matter entirely! Aedhan is a young dragon who was appointed to protect the village but fell asleep in the forest eighty years ago. With the aid of Rinn's adventuring uncle Erik and his partner Hesekiel, they investigate the mystery of his enchanted sleep, but Rinn's real challenge is to help Aedhan come to terms with feeling that he cannot get back the time he has lost. Critically-acclaimed graphic novelist Katie O'Neill delivers another charming, gentle fantasy story about finding your purpose, and the community that helps you along the way. "Gentle, inclusive, and heartwarming, The Tea Dragon Festival will bewitch existing fans and new readers alike." - Jen Wang (The Prince and the Dressmaker)
Publication Date: 2019-09-17
The Midwinter Witch by Molly Knox OstertagAster can't wait for the Midwinter Festival, where all the magical families gather for a competition and a happy reunion. This year, he wants to compete as a witch instead of a shapeshifter -- but he's not sure he can find the courage. Without a family to call her own, Ariel is tagging along to the festival with the Vanissens. She thinks the whole thing is silly...until she decides to enter the tournament herself. Now the beloved tradition is fraught with conflict, and no one knows who to trust -- least of all the mysterious witch who shows up out of nowhere saying she's Ariel's aunt. The acclaimed world created in The Witch Boy and The Hidden Witch comes to a thrilling conclusion in this powerful graphic novel by rising star Molly Knox Ostertag.
Publication Date: 2019-11-05
Estranged #2: the Changeling King by Ethan M. Aldridge (Illustrator)Enter a world of faerie magic and epic adventure in this spellbinding sequel to Estranged--a rich fantasy graphic novel perfect for fans of Amulet. After years of pretending to be human, the changeling Edmund Carter has assumed his rightful role as Cinder, king of the World Below. But not everyone at the royal palace is happy about his return. Meanwhile, Ed is adjusting to human life in the World Above. His birth family treats him with a kindness he never knew growing up in the Fay court, but Ed misses the sense of purpose he had as a knight. When a mysterious new threat emerges in the World Below, Cinder must call on Ed and their older sister, Alexis, for help. But nothing can prepare them for the family secret that awaits at the end of their perilous quest. With over two hundred pages of gorgeous watercolor paintings, The Changeling King invites readers on an epic journey through a magical world--one they will not soon forget.
Publication Date: 2019-10-01
The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad SellPerfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier, Awkward, and All's Faire in Middle School, this graphic novel follows a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary cardboard into fantastical homemade costumes as they explore conflicts with friends, family, and their own identity. "A breath of fresh air, this tender and dynamic collection is a must-have." --Kirkus, Starred Welcome to a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary boxes into colorful costumes, and their ordinary block into cardboard kingdom. This is the summer when sixteen kids encounter knights and rogues, robots and monsters--and their own inner demons--on one last quest before school starts again. In the Cardboard Kingdom, you can be anything you want to be--imagine that! The Cardboard Kingdom was created, organized, and drawn by Chad Sell with writing from ten other authors: Jay Fuller, David DeMeo, Katie Schenkel, Kris Moore, Molly Muldoon, Vid Alliger, Manuel Betancourt, Michael Cole, Cloud Jacobs, and Barbara Perez Marquez. The Cardboard Kingdom affirms the power of imagination and play during the most important years of adolescent identity-searching and emotional growth. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS * THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY * SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL * "There's room for everyone inside The Cardboard Kingdom, where friendship and imagination reign supreme." --Ingrid Law, New York Times bestselling author of Savvy "A timely and colorful graphic novel debut that, like its many offbeat but on-point characters, marches to the beat of its own cardboard drum." --Tim Federle, award-winning author of Better Nate Than Ever
Publication Date: 2018-06-05
The Legend of Korra by Michael Dante DiMartino; Irene Koh (Illustrator)A pompous developer plans to turn the new spirit portal into an amusement park, potentially severing an already tumultuous connection with the spirits. What's more, the triads have realigned and are in a brutal all-out brawl at the city's borders - where hundreds of evacuees have relocated! In order to get through it all, Korra and Asami vow to look out for each other - but first, they've got to get better at being a team and a couple!
Publication Date: 2017-08-08
The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill (Artist)The Tea Dragon Society is the two-time Eisner Award-winning gentle fantasy that follows the story of a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons. Winner of the 2018 Eisner Award for Best Publication for Kids Winner of the 2018 Eisner Award for Best Webcomic ALA Rainbow List (2018) 2018 Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kids Comics Winner Amazon.com's Best Comics & Graphic Novels (2017) School Library Journal's Top 10 Graphic Novels (2017) "A manga-flavored fairy tale just the right length to pair with a cup of tea." -- Hope Larson (A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel) "Undeniably whimsical and extremely cute." -- Kirkus From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes THE TEA DRAGON SOCIETY, the beloved and charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons. After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives--and eventually her own. BONUS CONTENT: Included in this gorgeous, oversized hardcover is "Extracts from the Tea Dragons Handbook", explaining more about the creatures with illustrations of all the dragon breeds not seen in the graphic novel. And don't miss Aquicorn Cove, Katie O'Neill's adorable follow-up to The Tea Dragon Society.
Publication Date: 2017-10-31
The Witch Boy by Molly Knox OstertagIn thirteen-year-old Aster's family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn't shifted . . . and he's still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be. When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help -- as a witch. It will take the encouragement of a new friend, the non-magical and non-conforming Charlie, to convince Aster to try practicing his skills. And it will require even more courage to save his family . . . and be truly himself.
Publication Date: 2017-10-31
Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O'Neill (Artist)A sweet and positive fairy tale in which two princesses meet and embark on an adventure to overcome their own personal obstacles. 2014 Cybils Awards Finalist 2014 Autostraddle Comic Art Award for Favorite Graphic Novel 2017 ALA Rainbow Book List Top Ten 2018 Sakura Medal Nominee "It's super cute, super queer, and feminist as all get out." -- BookRiot When the heroic princess Amira rescues the kind-hearted princess Sadie from her tower prison, neither expects to find a true friend in the bargain. Yet as they adventure across the kingdom, they discover that they bring out the very best in the other person. They'll need to join forces and use all the know-how, kindness, and bravery they have in order to defeat their greatest foe yet: a jealous sorceress, who wants to get rid of Sadie once and for all. Join Sadie and Amira, two very different princesses with very different strengths, on their journey to figure out what "happily ever after" really means--and how they can find it with each other. Don't miss Katie O'Neill's next queer fantasy, The Tea Dragon Society, in stores now!