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MIDDLE GRADE BOOKS PICKS (GRADES 6-8)

The Apprentice Witch Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781338118582
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chicken House - July 25th, 2017

This book drew me in from page one. I'll be the first to admit that I'm a sucker for books with magic but this book is so much more. This book creates a complete world that I want to live in and explore, full of fun friendships and magical mysteries. If you like stories about overcoming challenges, hysterical accidents, and danger you will love this book! -Eric


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Lemons Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781524700126
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown Books for Young Readers - May 2nd, 2017

There's magic when a grandfather/granddaughter bond is fused. There's joy in witnessing its bouncy development. Even if you're Lemonade Liberty Witt. Even if your grandfather is 'Charlie,' and he's part of your abrupt, unwanted, new life. Lem covers her broken heart with perfected eye-rolls, but her curiosity about (of all things) Bigfoot's possible existence, and the boy who's appointed himself CEO of the Bigfoot Detective Agency in the little town that uses the mythic creature's potential existence as its claim to fame gets the best of her. Savage's writing urges anticipation and voracious consumption. Her pure gift with metaphor and simile make her young characters' feelings nearly tangible. I was sorry when Lem's adventure was over. -Jennifer


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Real Friends Cover Image
By Shannon Hale, LeUyen Pham (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9781626727854
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - May 2nd, 2017

I have been a fan of Shannon Hale since her very first book but this might just be my favorite. Her frank and sometimes heartbreaking accounting of her childhood cut me to the quick on more than one occasion. I empathized with her, cheered with her, and loved every moment I spent reading this wonderful book. It is definitely a must-read for everyone. -Faith


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Nightlights Cover Image
By Lorena Alvarez (Illustrator)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781910620137
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Nobrow Press - March 14th, 2017

NIGHTLIGHTS is a visually stunning story about fear and imagination. Alvarez's whimsical and sometimes eerie illustrations tell the story of Sandy, and of the strange girl Morpie who takes perhaps too much interest in Sandy's art. An entirely enchanting all-ages comic. -Amy


Felix Yz Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780425288504
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - June 6th, 2017

This is a funny and sad book written in a journal format. Reading it, I immediately felt like the main character, Felix, was was writing all of his thoughts down just for me. Felix's journey is difficult, unusual (how could it not be, being fused with a fourth dimensional alien?), and relatable all at the same time. I truly loved the way Felix chronicles his journey with his unique and quirky sense of humor. Though this book has science fiction element,s it is really a tale of self-discovery and the difficulties of finding your place in the world. -Eric


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The Goat Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781554989164
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Groundwood Books - March 14th, 2017

If you like books where it's not obvious at the outset what the story is about, where the hum of discovery keeps you turning pages, you'll enjoy this middle grade. Set in a New York City apartment building, you get to know (and quickly care for) a large cast of characters, with shy newcomer Kid at the center. When the different threads begin to intersect, the reader will realize that we all may have more in common then you'd think. This is good writing: quick-paced, like a lengthy short story. Fleming quietly, subtly shows readers the payoff of facing one's fears. And the passages from the goat's point of view are sure to bring a grin to your face. -Emmy


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Thornhill Cover Image
By Pam Smy, Pam Smy (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781626726543
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Roaring Brook Press - August 29th, 2017

Told in the multimedia format popularized by author/illustrator Brian Selznick, THORNHILL is the parallel and intersecting story about two lonely young girls and the lengths that they will go to make a friend who understands them. This novel is haunting and grapples with sophisticated topics in an engrossing way. The illustrations are mesmerizing and the prose beautifully captures both the emotions and trauma of life. This book is recommended for a more mature reader who is ready to tackle a tale with deep resonance and lasting impact. -Kaitlyn


Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781454923459
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sterling Children's Books - September 5th, 2017

Dusti Bowling's charming middle grade novel is packed with diverse characters, mystery and humor. Aven is a spitfire of a character. Her spunky personality and can-do attitude is reminiscent of Anne Shirley -- one of the greatest literary heroines from my own childhood. She reminds us that it doesn't matter who you are or what your challenges are in life, if you try your best and believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything. -Brandi


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