Middle-Grade | Remarkable Reads 2021

Inspire kids with our Middle Grade Remarkable Reads featuring a carefully curated selection of our favorite books published this year. These titles have encouraged us, taken us to new places, and made us laugh. Whether you are a kid or an adult, these are must-reads we encourage everyone to add to their libraries.

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Nature's Treasures: Tales Of More Than 100 Extraordinary Objects From Nature (DK Treasures) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780744034950
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: DK Children - November 16th, 2021

This unique nature reference book has a fun, new approach that teaches children about nature through objects. 

From a fragile and beautiful bird egg to a glittering meteorite from space, discover more than 100 intriguing natural objects with fascinating tales to tell in this beautifully illustrated wildlife book for children.

"DK Books' For the Curious is an absolutely stunning series of science books for children. Each book introduces a topic in a beautiful and accessible way. Kids can use this book as a guide to explore the natural world around them. Great for ages 7+, it's a perfect gift for a budding biologist, or anyone who loves nature and wants a gorgeous book to add to their library." — Brandi, Children's Book Buyer

Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Life (DK Children's Anthologies) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780744039436
Availability: Backordered
Published: DK Children - November 2nd, 2021

Travel back to the time of dinosaurs and marvel at the wonders of prehistoric life!

From the Tyrannosaurus rex and saber-toothed cats, to woolly mammoths and ferns, this dinosaur book for kids is packed with a collection of amazing plants, dinosaurs and prehistoric animals. Every page will captivate young readers who are interested in fossils and natural history!

"Yet another gorgeous science book in the DK Books' For the Curious series; this time about dinosaurs! Dinosaur enthusiasts of any age will be thrilled to receive this remarkable book as a gift this season." — Brandi, Children's Book Buyer

Across the Desert Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316494748
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - October 12th, 2021

One girl sets out on a journey across the treacherous Arizona desert to rescue a young pilot stranded after a plane crash in this gripping story of survival, friendship, and rescue from a bestselling and award-winning author.

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Frankie & Bug Cover Image
ISBN: 9781534482531
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Aladdin - October 12th, 2021

Ten-year-old Bug is an ocean of surging emotions, roiling at a big brother whose sudden need for "space" leaves her summer plans in ruins. Then there's her new upstairs neighbor Frankie, in town for the season, a closed book who doesn't even want to be her best friend. Venice Beach in the 80's is lovely in its grittiness, seen through Bug's eyes. Roller skating, muscle beach, outdoor meals with her found family . . . watching Bug earn Frankie's trust, and witnessing his courage. This is a summer composed of tiny moments of understanding, each one tightening Bug's focus on truths she didn't see before, nudging her closer to growing up. When I finished the book, I felt like I'd grown along with her. — Emmy, Lead Children's Book Specialist

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Real-Life Tales of Black Girl Magic Cover Image
By Lilly Workneh (Editor), CaShawn Thompson (Foreword by), Jestine Ware (Text by), Diana Odero (Text by), Sonja Thomas (Text by), Lilly Workneh (Text by), Rebel Girls (Created by)
ISBN: 9781953424044
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Rebel Girls - September 28th, 2021

The latest installment in the New York Times bestselling Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls series, featuring 100 barrier-breaking Black women and girls who showcase the spirit of Black Girl Magic.

About Black Girl Magic
CaShawn Thompson, a proud third-generation native of Washington, DC, came up with the concept “Black Girls Are Magic” when she was a little girl growing up with her mother, grandmother, and aunts. It sprang forth fully formed from the mind of a poor little Black girl who didn’t yet have the words to describe the brilliance she saw in the women in her family, but had heard countless tales of fairies, witches, and magicians. It was just magic to her. And it still is. 

Black Girls Are Magic became wildly popular in 2013 after CaShawn began using the phrase online (it was later shortened to the hashtag #BlackGirlMagic) to uplift and praise the accomplishments, beauty, and other amazing qualities of Black women.

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Pony Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553508116
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - September 28th, 2021

Told in the style of a historical fiction with a supernatural realism angle we follow Silas, a young boy determined to rescue his father after some counterfeiters take him from their home. He's joined by a bald face pony, called Pony, and his ghostly companion, Mittenwool. After waiting years for a new book from Palacio, readers will not be disappointed. Though very different from Wonder, she has has given us another story that will touch your heart. — Brandi Stewart, Children's Book Buyer


Stamped (For Kids): Racism, Antiracism, and You Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316167581
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 11th, 2021

This chapter book edition of the groundbreaking #1 bestseller by luminaries Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds is an essential introduction to the history of racism and antiracism in America.

"One of the first things Reynolds will tell you [Stamped] is that it's "not a history book". This is correct. This is so much more than a history book. This book is a look at how interconnected the racist lies of the past and present are, and how if we want a truly equal and antiracist future we need to be explicitly antiracist in the face of segregationist and assimilationist thought." — Amy, Assistant Book Buyer

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The Elephant in the Room Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735229945
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Rocky Pond Books - March 2nd, 2021

Time has stopped for Sila ever since her mother was deported back to Turkey to fix her immigration paperwork. The longer her family is apart, the more Sila withdraws from life. When an equally lonely lottery winner strives to cheer her up, a serendipitous encounter with a circus owner presents a giant solution. Sloan shapes her imperfect, instantly-knowable characters with compassion. She shows the power of giving everyone (including yourself) a chance; and how the smallest connections can lead to magnificent, positive change. I loved the brief chapters offering a funny peek into the supporting characters' points of view, including those of Veda the elephant. Animal-lovers needn't worry—the just, joyful ending makes this one of the most hopeful books of 2021. — Emmy, Lead Children's Book Specialist

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Ground Zero Cover Image
ISBN: 9781338245752
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - February 2nd, 2021

Gratz's account of 9/11 is a heart-thumping, mad-paced survival story that you can't put down. Nine-year-old Brandon encounters one unimaginable horror after another as he descends from the 107th floor of the World Trade Center. His perspective alternates with Reshmina's, whose life in present day, war-torn Afghanistan remains affected daily by the events of 20 years before. Her grief and fear demands answers: why are her people caught in the middle between American soldiers and the Taliban? The emotional scars for both sides run deep, and for good reason. An unexpected twist will leave you raw, puzzling over what the war accomplished, and desperately wishing we'd come further in our shared understanding. — Emmy, Lead Children's Book Specialist