2019 Middle Grade Books We're Avid About


Staff Pick Badge
The Line Tender By Kate Allen Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780735231603
Availability: May take several months to arrive, if available from publisher
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - April 16th, 2019

Holy fish, The Line Tender is beautiful. Allen's superb sense of humor and nuanced characters are so refreshing to read--Lucy's voice in particular is magnetic, and her grief is raw and real. Fans of Rebecca Stead and Ali Benjamin will find a lot to love here. — Julie


Staff Pick Badge
The Next Great Paulie Fink By Ali Benjamin Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316380881
Availability: May take several months to arrive, if available from publisher
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 16th, 2019

Caitlyn thought she had a handle on middle school--she understood the rules, the hierarchies, the order. But none of the rules make sense after she moves to a hippie school in rural Vermont with classmates who have known each other forever and seem to play by their own rules. Plus there are goats! There's also a student who transferred out just as Caitlin starts. His name is Paulie Fink and his class clowning is legendary. How can a new kid live up to him? How can anyone? This book is thoughtful and fun with characters that are as unique and wacky as being in 7th grade. — Julie


Staff Pick Badge
Other Words for Home: A Newbery Honor Award Winner By Jasmine Warga Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062747808
Availability: In our warehouse - should arrive/ship in 5-10 business days. (Currently not on our shelves.)
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 28th, 2019

In Other Words for Home, Warga's thoughtful, soaring verse lifts Jude right off the page and into readers' hearts as she faces down a new language, confronts ignorance, and makes new friends. This book is brimming with heart and bravery and should be required reading for everyone. — Hannah 


Staff Pick Badge
Pie in the Sky By Remy Lai, Remy Lai (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Remy Lai, Remy Lai (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781250314109
Availability: In our warehouse - should arrive/ship in 5-10 business days. (Currently not on our shelves.)
Published: Henry Holt and Co. BYR Paperbacks - May 14th, 2019

If books came in cake form (and WHY NOT, I ask?), Pie in the Sky would be the apple mille-feuille of the bunch. Lai masterfully mixes a story of grief, familial love/discord, and feeling alienated that will have readers both biting their nails and loudly guffawing. Jingwen helps us remember that growing up means forgiving yourself and others--even if letting go is the one thing you don't want to do. A delicious confection that will be devoured by fans of Raina Telgemeier, Vera Brosgol, and Shaun Tan. — Hannah


Staff Pick Badge
All the Greys on Greene Street By Laura Tucker Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780451479532
Availability: In our warehouse - should arrive/ship in 5-10 business days. (Currently not on our shelves.)
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - June 4th, 2019

While Ollie sticks to graphite grey in her drawings, Tucker's debut vibrates with vivid color in its strong sense of place and well-sketched characters. It has that timeless quintessence that evokes such classic New York City adventures as Harriet the Spy and The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler, and it is sure to delight fans of Rebecca Stead and Laura Marx. — Hannah 


Staff Pick Badge
My Jasper June By Laurel Snyder Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062836625
Availability: Backordered - may take several months
Published: Walden Pond Press - September 3rd, 2019

Laurel Snyder's latest middle grade novel is a pitch-perfect story of a girl dealing with loss, navigating friendship, and (re)learning to speak up for what she believes in. While it's not magical realism, suggestions of magic sparkle at the edges of the story--this theme parallels Leah's own coming of age in a world where she wants to believe in the fantastic but isn't so sure it still exists for her. — Janet