45 Most-Anticipated Middle Grade Books: July-September 2024

Today’s post is sponsored by Sally J. Pla and Invisible Isabel!

Title Invisible Isabel
Author Sally J. Pla
Intended Target Audience Middle Grade
Publication Date July 9th 2024 by Quill Tree Books
Find It On GoodreadsAmazonChaptersBlackwell’sBarnes & NobleIndieBound

From award-winning author Sally J. Pla comes an illustrated middle grade novel about introverted Isabel Beane, who learns to speak up to quiet her worries. This thoughtful, earnest story is perfect for fans of Elana K. Arnold and Leslie Connor.

Isabel Beane is a shy girl who lives in a home full of havoc and hubbub and hullabaloo. With five siblings, there is always too much too much-ness.

At school, there’s a new girl who is immediately popular, but she’s also not very nice to one person — Isabel.

Isabel has never felt more invisible. She begins to get bombarded by fears, like being abandoned by her classmates and taking the upcoming Extremely Important standardized test. Her fears feel like worry-moths that flutter in her belly. With every passing day, they seem to get stronger and stronger. How can Invisible Isabel make people listen?

I look forward to making Pop! Goes The Reader’s most-anticipated lists every single year! While being a mood reader means I’m not always able to strictly stick to a to-be-read list, it’s exciting to explore what’s being published in the months ahead. Posts like this help me better organize my thoughts and decide what I ideally want to prioritize and read first, not to mention give me lots to look forward to!

Please Note: If you’re a middle grade author with a novel being published in 2024 and don’t see your book on one of Pop! Goes The Reader’s Most-Anticipated lists, please don’t be hurt or upset! These lists are entirely subjective and based on my own personal reading taste. My favourite genres are contemporary and realistic fiction fiction, horror and historical fiction, which is why you won’t see many books outside of these genres on this list. While I try my best to remain up-to-date about upcoming releases, it’s also entirely possible that I simply haven’t learned about your book yet! If you’re the author of a 2024 middle grade novel that you think might make a good fit for me and Pop! Goes The Reader, please don’t hesitate to reach out – I would love to hear from you!

For even more wonderful middle grade novels being published in 2024, please check out this Goodreads list which currently includes over 300 MG novels being published this year for you to choose from. Hopefully you’ll be able to find the perfect book for you. Happy reading!

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The publication dates listed below might be subject to change.

Publication Date July 2nd 2024 by Tundra Books
GoodreadsAmazonChaptersBlackwell’sBarnes & NobleIndieBound

Benji Zeb has to balance preparing for his bar mitzvah, his feelings for a school bully, and being a werewolf in this heartfelt, coming-of-age novel for middle-grade readers. For fans of Don’t Want To Be Your Monster and Too Bright To See.

Benji Zeb has a lot going on. He has a lot of studying to do, not only for school but also for his upcoming bar mitzvah. He’s nervous about Mr. Rutherford, the aggressive local rancher who hates Benji’s family’s kibbutz and wolf sanctuary. And he hasn’t figured out what to do about Caleb, Mr. Rutherford’s stepson, who has been bullying Benji pretty hard at school, despite Benji wanting to be friends (and maybe something more). And all of this is made more complicated by the fact that, secretly, Benji and his entire family are werewolves who are using the wolf sanctuary as cover for their true identities!

Things come to a head when Caleb shows up at the kibbutz one night…in wolf form! He’s a werewolf too, unable to control his shifting, and he needs Benji’s help. Can anxious Benji juggle all of these things along with his growing feelings toward Caleb?

Publication Date July 9th 2024 by Quill Tree Books
GoodreadsAmazonChaptersBlackwell’sBarnes & NobleIndieBound

From award-winning author Sally J. Pla comes an illustrated middle grade novel about introverted Isabel Beane, who learns to speak up to quiet her worries. This thoughtful, earnest story is perfect for fans of Elana K. Arnold and Leslie Connor.

Isabel Beane is a shy girl who lives in a home full of havoc and hubbub and hullabaloo. With five siblings, there is always too much too much-ness.

At school, there’s a new girl who is immediately popular, but she’s also not very nice to one person — Isabel.

Isabel has never felt more invisible. She begins to get bombarded by fears, like being abandoned by her classmates and taking the upcoming Extremely Important standardized test. Her fears feel like worry-moths that flutter in her belly. With every passing day, they seem to get stronger and stronger. How can Invisible Isabel make people listen?

Publication Date July 16th 2024 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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A heartfelt middle grade story about changing friendships, peer pressure, and the courage to speak up when lines are crossed, perfect for fans of Starfish and Finally Heard.

Sophie Valentine would rather be at home, doing school virtually. Instead, she’s waiting in a crowded middle school building for her best friend, Eve, who’s finally back after an extended absence, which only Sophie knows the truth about.

But when Eve returns, things aren’t the same. First, Eve stops walking to school with her in the morning. Then, she’s ditching Sophie to hang out with the Crash Crew, a group of popular kids notorious for their social media dares. Eve seems to fit right in, but Sophie is devastated: Did she just lose her best friend?

When rumors surface that Eve is hiding a painful secret she didn’t share with Sophie, Sophie is spurred on an investigation to discover what — or who — caused the incident behind Eve’s sudden change…and why all clues lead back to the Crash Crew. Using lessons from her forensics class and the help of a new friend, Sophie will have to uncover the truth before more harm is done.

Publication Date July 16th 2024 by Candlewick
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In a funny and charming fantastical romp, overlooked Princess Marigold is nothing like her perfect, just-returned sister — so she runs away to an evil wizard’s tower to prove her wickedness.

Princess Marigold — who hadn’t yet been born when the remarkable Princess Rosalind was kidnapped — is eleven when the unthinkable happens: her older sister escapes her captivity and comes home. Marigold has always known she’s not as good, sweet, or kind as the sister everyone adores, but amid the celebration of Rosalind’s return, Marigold realizes something new: if Princess Rosalind is good, then Princess Marigold must be wicked. And there’s no place for wickedness in the kingdom. When Marigold tries to find a new place for herself in an evil wizard’s fortress, though, the results are disastrous.

Before she’s even learned to cackle or scowl properly, she gets tangled up in a magical plot to ruin all the Cacophonous Kingdoms. Is Marigold too wicked to make things right? Or can she — with the help of a kitchen boy, a well-dressed imp, and a grumpy blob of glop — find her own way to restore peace? This endearing fantasy will have princess and anti-princess fans alike chuckling and cheering.

Publication Date July 16th 2024 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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Gordon Korman meets Scooby-Doo when anxiety-prone middle schoolers try a mindfulness app that has them face their fears all-too-literally in this spooky and humorous middle grade adventure.

FACE YOUR FEARS! That’s what the meditation app with the cheesy name De-stress-o-rama is telling Lena to do. She’s one of seven always-worried middle schoolers trying out this new app to see if it can help students handle stress. But something is going wrong — very, very wrong.

The group’s fears are becoming all too real, first lurking and dangling, then chasing them around and threatening to swallow them whole. From a stubborn inky blob that is fear of the dark, to the queasy giant in sweaty underpants that is fear of public speaking, monsters are invading Cranberry Bog Middle School! Can Lena’s group of worriers figure out how to conquer their fears before the whole school is swarmed?

Publication Date July 23rd 2024 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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A funny, relatable middle school drama about two Colombian American girls who have always been BFFs — until sixth grade turns everything upside down.

Luchy Zapata is starting middle school, and she’s muy excited. She and her two best friends, Cami and Mateo, will finally be at the same school. Luchy and Mateo will be in art class together, and she and Cami can try out for the same soccer team! As long as they’re all together, Luchy can handle anything.

But Cami has been acting weird ever since she got back from visiting family in Colombia. She’s making new, “cool” friends who just seem mean. And suddenly, everything about Luchy and Mateo is too immature for her.

Luchy is determined to help Cami remember how special their friendship is. They’ve been BFFs their whole lives, and that can’t just disappear in a poof of glitter! But…what if Cami doesn’t even want to be friends anymore?

Publication Date July 23rd 2024 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
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Twelve-year-old Gus Greenburg can see ghosts; in fact, he uses this paranormal superpower to help them “go on.” But when Gus and his mom move into an old mansion on the mysterious and remote Nameless Island, he meets a ghost that’s set out to hurt him. Bestselling author Carly Anne West weaves a spooky and thrilling series opener in this spine-tingling tale about mystery, family, and all things paranormal.

After his dad goes missing and his mom is hired to restore an old building called the Rotham Manor, twelve-year-old Gus Greenburg and his mom move to a quaint, secluded island called Nameless. Gus was hoping for a new start on the island (despite throwing up on the boat ride there…twice), but a mysterious ghost has another idea. Throw in a mean kid who hides rats in the manor, two new friends, an eclectic island chef who’s competing to be on a reality TV show, and Gus’s power to talk to the dead…well, that’s a lot of chaos for one kid!

Gus needs to find out the identity of the mysterious ghost – and fast – or else he might be doomed to the same lethal fate.

That is, if the island’s signature “Heavenly Hash” dish doesn’t get to him first.

The Ghosts of Nameless Island is the first book in a new trilogy from bestselling author Carly Anne West. It’s infused with Carly Anne West’s signature wit and humor, and spooky enough for fans of Claribel Ortega’s Ghost Squad, Scott Cawthon’s Five Night’s At Freddy’s, and Carly’s own Hello Neighbor series. This book also features black-and-white spot illustrations throughout.

Publication Date July 30th 2024 by Clarion Books
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It’s 1942, and the United States is at war. Henry Hamilton is an inquisitive twelve-year-old who dreams of being a reporter. Pursuing a story for his school newspaper, Henry’s investigation soon leads to a mysterious room inside his town’s famous Biltmore Mansion. The mystery only grows deeper when he uncovers the secret of the room’s contents. As Henry pursues the story, hoping for his first real scoop, he encounters spies, dark forests, hidden tunnels, enemy saboteurs, famous artists, and even a long-dead president of the United States.

Based on a true event, this middle grade mystery features a WWII home front setting complete with frightening blackouts and great uncertainty; the timeless fascination of Biltmore House, the Vanderbilt family mansion; and the intrigue of the Nazis as art thieves, all woven into the empowering story of a boy who aspires to publish the truth.

Publication Date July 30th 2024 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Knives Out meets Finding Orion in this funny and heartwarming middle grade mystery by award-winning author Kristin O’Donnell Tubb about a girl investigating the recent death of her uncle only to find the healing power of family.

Chloe Alvarez has never been to the reading of a last will and testament before, but she hopes it is just like the movies. Lies! Intrigue! The reading of her Uncle Will’s will is standard, until he announces his gift for Chloe: his African grey parrot, Charlie.

Uncle Will was Chloe’s best friend. Without him, she’s left with only her memories of them together — which come to her in snapshots — and her new friend, Charlie. The parrot has a vast vocabulary, and soon Chloe hears her say something odd: It was murder, followed by homicide and cyanide. Chloe becomes convinced her uncle Will’s death was foul play. Why else wouldn’t he have told anyone in the family — especially Chloe — that he was sick?

With the help of her family, Chloe begins the investigation to uncover Uncle Will’s murderer. The suspects: His nosy neighbor. An ex-girlfriend. A rude landlord. A loan shark. But it all leads to more questions than answers. Did someone really kill Uncle Will? Or could this journey help reunite Chloe’s grieving family?

Publication Date July 30th 2024 by Walden Pond Press
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The Walter Award Honor–winning author of Root Magic returns with a terrifying story in the Southern Gothic tradition, inspired by the hoodoo practice of hair burning.

At night, Roddie still dreams of sitting at his mother’s feet while she braids his Afro down. But that’s a memory from before. Before his mom died in a tragic accident. Before he was taken in by an aunt he barely knows. Before his aunt brought him to Dogwood House, the creepiest place Roddie has ever seen. It was his family’s home for over a hundred years. Now the house — abandoned and rotting, draped in Spanish moss that reminds him too much of hair — is his home too.

Aunt Angie has returned to South Carolina to take care of Roddie and reconnect with their family’s hoodoo roots. Roddie, however, can’t help but feel lost. His mom had never told him anything about hoodoo, Dogwood House, or their family. And as they set about fixing the house up, Roddie discovers that there is even more his mother never said. Like why she left home when she was seventeen, never to return. Or why she insisted Aunt Angie always wear her hair in locs. Or what she knew of the strange secrets hidden deep within Dogwood House — secrets that have awoken again, and are reaching out to Roddie…

Publication Date August 6th 2024 by Penguin Workshop
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From debut author Erin Becker comes an action-packed but tender novel about first romance, queer identity, and learning how to be brave when it matters the most.

On the soccer field, Magic Mel is in her element. She’s ready to lead her team to victory at the city championship in her new role as captain. Off the field, however, is a totally different story. Mel can’t get a handle on her class presentation, her friend group has completely dissolved, and her ex-friend-current-teammate, Tory, is being the worst. The only place she feels like herself is in her text conversations where she shares her secret poetry with BTtoYouPlease.

Tory McNally, on the other hand, is keeping everything together, thank you very much. So what if her mom is more preoccupied with her craft projects and new husband than her, or that she’s down to one IRL friend because of annoying, overly peppy “Magic” Mel? She’s perfectly fine, and even when she maybe isn’t, she’s got NotEmilyD to text with.

As the championships loom closer, everything around Mel and Tory starts to get more and more complicated: the dynamics on the field, the rift between their friend group, and, as they connect anonymously online, maybe even their feelings for each other…

Publication Date August 6th 2024 by Feiwel & Friends
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The Beanstalk Murder – a middle grade fantasy novel by P. G. Bell – involves a young witch in training, her archenemy, the kingdom of giants, and a huge murder mystery!

Anwen Sedge, a young Meadow Witch apprentice, lives in a rural village that hasn’t seen giants since the Great Beanstalk War. So it’s quite a surprise when one drops from the sky and squishes the village flat. It’s an even bigger surprise when Anwen discovers that he was dead BEFORE he hit the ground. This is a murder! The only solution is for Anwen and her arch nemesis, Cerys (who’s the best at High Magic and won’t let anyone forget it) to send a plea for help to the giants’ kingdom, using a magic beanstalk.

But the beanstalk backfires, shooting the two rivals into the giants’ kingdom before crumbling to dust! There, they make a terrible discovery – the murdered giant was none other than the king. And the giants have no magic of their own to get the girls home. Trapped in the royal palace and surrounded by intrigue, Anwen decides to use her Meadow Witch skills to unmask the killer, despite Cerys’s doubts in her.

With the help of a few new friends and her reluctant rival, can Anwen figure out who murdered the king before the killer strikes again?

Publication Date August 6th 2024 by HarperCollins
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Get ready for some spooky fun in the first installment of this all-new middle grade series from author Steve Behling, featuring side-splitting illustrations throughout by Robb Mommaerts!

Wen Wyler (aka Waffles) is 11 years old and is forced to spend the summer in Maine with his grandpa, a former Hollywood make-up and special effects artist for classic horror films. Ever seen THE BEAST WITH A THOUSAND TOES, GLAARG! Or its sequel GLAARG! AGAIN!? If so, then you might be familiar with his work.

Wen, a horror movie aficionado, is persuaded to go when he finds out that part of the summer will be spent helping his Grandpa sort through and organize his basement filled with props. Grandpa’s young neighbor, Tanya, has already been corralled into helping and together they dig in until Wen accidentally brings one of the props to life.

Mummy Man is a good guy, but the other creatures AREN’T so good. It’s up to Wen, Tanya, and Mummy Man (and his pet turtle, Frank) to stop the creatures from turning the town into the nexus for an all-out monster invasion.

Publication Date August 6th 2024 by Aladdin
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A boy moves to a Halloween-themed town only to realize there may be more to the tourist trap than meets the eye in this fast-paced romp of a middle grade novel perfect for fans of The Last Kids On Earth and Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library!

When Caleb’s mom decides they are moving to her childhood home in Wisconsin, Caleb is not thrilled. Moving schools, states, and time zones would be bad enough, but Mom’s hometown is Samhain, a small and ridiculously kitschy place where every day is Halloween.

Caleb is not a fan of Halloween when it only happens once a year, so Halloween-obsessed Samhain is really not the place for him. How is he supposed to cope with kids wearing costumes to school every single day? And how about the fact that the mayor is so committed to the bit that City Hall is only open from sundown to sunup to accommodate his so-called vampirism? Sure enough, Caleb becomes an outcast at school for refusing to play along with the spooky tradition like the other sixth graders. Luckily, he manages to find a friend in fellow misfit Tai, and just in time, because things are getting weird in Samhain…or make that weirder.

But there’s no way the mayor is an actual vampire, and their teacher absolutely cannot really be a werewolf — right? Caleb discovers Samhain is so much stranger than he ever could have imagined. As one of the only people who realizes what’s happening, can he save a town that doesn’t want saving?

Publication Date August 6th 2024 by Shadow Mountain
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What if you lived in a world without books?

After a devastating Blight killed off all the trees, paper is worth more than just about anything. Juni’s parents died when she was young, so now it’s just her and Grandpa Edgar. When she’s not in school, Juni and her friends Doler and Quaze turn to plifting — scavenging for any paper they can find. If Juni can find enough paper, she can pay for the health care Grandpa needs.

So when Juni discovers a book — the first one she’s ever seen — hidden in a box in her grandpa’s closet, she’s both surprised and elated thinking of the money she could get for it. That all changes when she decides to read the book. Beyond opening her imagination, the book contains clues that point to what could be the last library on Earth.

The library’s location has been hidden for more than a hundred years, but Juni and her friends are not the only ones looking for it. Ullred O’Donnell, head of R&D for Novexus, a megacorporation that replaced the government and now controls all information, is desperate to find the library as well. With an army of vicious robot dogs at his command, Ullred warns Juni to abandon her quest — or else.

Juni and her friends must find the library and share it with the world before Novexus claims it as their own. If reading one book could change Juni’s life, what would access to thousands — or millions — of books do?

Publication Date August 6th 2024 by Delacorte Press
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This spine-tingling ghost story follows a tween girl who’s being literally haunted by loneliness until a new friendship upends her life. From the bestselling author of the Paola Santiago series!

Sadie Rivera has been haunted all her life by a vengeful ghost — a ghost that doesn’t want her to make any friends. The moment she tries? Cue exploding lightbulbs, chilling gusts of wind, and slamming doors.

Last year, Sadie got fed up. Last year, she made a best friend, Anna. So when the ghost caused an accident that killed her best friend, Sadie knew it was all her fault.

Which is why she’s not going to make any friends this year at her new school. At least until mysterious cool girl Mal shows up, and the ghost doesn’t bother her for once. But Mal wants Sadie all to herself — and she’ll do anything to make sure it stays that way.

Publication Date August 6th 2024 by Scholastic Press
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A chilling middle grade horror debut featuring a Black, autistic protagonist who uncovers dark secrets plaguing her new school.

Blythe Academy isn’t a normal school. Eva can tell – there’s something off, something wrong. She learns that fifty years ago part of the school collapsed, killing a classroom of students and their teacher. Things haven’t been the same since.

Soon, Eva’s having unnerving visions and terrifying run-ins with ghosts. She doesn’t think the collapse was just a tragic accident. It was caused by a malevolent force, and that force is back and hungry for more. Will Eva be able to discover the truth of Blythe Academy and save lives…or will it be too late?

Publication Date August 20th 2024 by HarperCollins
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A friendship hypothesis — and one failed experiment — leads one girl to investigate the science of middle school friendship makeups and breakups in this hopeful and heartwarming story from Tanita S. Davis, author of Partly Cloudy and Serena Says.

Rylee Swanson is beginning eighth grade with zero friends.

A humiliating moment at the end-of-seventh-grade pool party involving a cannonball, a waterlogged updo, and some disappearing clothes has Rylee halfway convinced she’s better off without any friends — at least friends like those.

The one question Rylee can’t shake is…why?

When a group assignment in journalism pairs Rylee with science geek DeNia Alonso, DeNia’s annoyingly know-it-all, nerdy personality is both frustration and fuel to Rylee’s search for answers. Together they conduct research, run surveys, and write their way toward even more questions about what makes friendships — and breaks them. Between her shaky new partnership with DeNia, an annoying brother, and a friend from the past, Rylee’s got a lot to think about. But the more she learns, the more Rylee wonders: Could there be a science to friendship? And can it keep her from losing friends ever again?

With warmth, heart, and resonance, Tanita S. Davis’s deep dive into middle school friendships is perfect for fans of Dear Friends, Let’s Pretend We Never Met, and The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl.

Publication Date August 20th 2024 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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The past has come calling in the town of Hush, and for one girl, that means facing her ghosts. Perfect for fans of the satisfyingly scary Small Spaces quartet!

Maddie Maverick likes to win. Whether it’s track team races or one-liners she delivers on her parents’ home renovation show, Maddie knows that if she puts in the work, she’ll always come out on top. But things take a turn when her ghost-hunting nana passes away, and Maddie and her twin sister, Nat, discover that Nana left them an unexpected inheritance: They can now see ghosts just like she did.

While Nat is totally on board to try to help some spirits find peace, a ghostly calling is just not Maddie’s speed. So when history comes back to haunt their town, and the story of a decades-old train crash rears its ugly head, Maddie wants nothing to do with the ghosts of days long gone. But one ghost in particular won’t go away, and Maddie might just be the only one with the power to help her — that is, if she can survive the Night Train herself.

In this eerie tale by beloved author Lorelei Savaryn, one girl’s determination to bring long-hidden secrets to light might just change her town — and herself — forever.

Publication Date August 20th 2024 by Aladdin
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Netflix’s Wednesday meets Jodi Lynn Anderson’s The Memory Thief in this creepy and high-stakes middle grade adventure about a girl’s quest to save her cursed brother that takes her through perilous, monster-filled woods.

The Grimsbane women have been hunting witches and monsters for generations — ever since the Watcher, the most powerful witch in the Midwest, cursed the Grimsbane men to die untimely and unusual deaths. Part-time skater, full-time troublemaker Anna Grimsbane may be only twelve, but she’s been learning about hunting her whole life and is tired of waiting to do the real thing. She and her twin brother Billy are about to turn thirteen, the age the curse takes hold, and Anna wants to be on the front lines fighting to break it.

Only hours before he’ll become an accident-prone walking disaster, Billy runs away to find the Watcher himself. The Grimsbane women are all out on patrol, leaving it up to Anna and her friends Suvi and Rosario to find Billy before his recklessness hastens his demise. But the woods are crawling with cryptids, most of whom hate humans, and all of whom hate the Grimsbanes, and the deeper Anna gets into the forest, the clearer it is that reading about witch hunting is no replacement for practical experience.

Anna feels in over her head, especially as she starts to suspect she knows much less about her family history than she’d thought. As she races against the clock to find Billy before midnight, it becomes all too evident that he isn’t the only Grimsbane at risk for a grisly death tonight.

Publication Date August 20th 2024 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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The Baby-Sitters Club meets Stranger Things in this eerie middle grade novel about friendship, fitting in, and the afterlife, following a girl who discovers she’s not the only one at her new school who can see ghosts.

Wednesday Thomas sees ghosts. But that doesn’t mean she has to talk to them.

After a terrifying experience in an Arizona state park with a wicked ghost, Wednesday and her mother Olivia sell their RV and move back south to the family home in Alton, Georgia. Wednesday’s determined not to use her gift anymore — until she meets a group of girls who also know about the spirit realm.

There’s free-spirited Miki Okada and Southern belle Danni-Lynn Porter who seem to know about the ghosts who roam the school’s hallways, popular girl Alexa Scott who tells Wednesday to stay away from Miki and Danni-Lynn and not draw attention to herself, and mysterious neighbor Violet Delgado who died last year but still haunts the house across the street. Wednesday feels these girls have some kind of shared history, but it isn’t until Miki gives her an official invitation to the Dead Club that she starts to understand there’s a lot more going on with the ghosts in Alton and the girls who can see them.

And when another malevolent ghost threatens to harm Wednesday, it will take the help of new friends both living and dead to save her and banish the evil being to the spirit realm where it belongs.

Publication Date August 27th 2024 by Union Square Kids
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A hilarious ghost story about a group of thirteen-year-old boys whose friendship is tested by supernatural forces, secret crushes, and a hundred-year-old curse.

When Aidan Cross yeeted his very secret journal into the house on Yeet Street, he also intended to yeet his feelings for his best friend, Kai, as far away as possible.

To Aidan’s horror, his friends plan a sleepover at the haunted house the very next night. Terrance, Zephyr, and Kai are dead set on exploring local legend Farah Yeet’s creepy mansion. Aidan just wants to survive the night and retrieve his mortifying love story before his friends find it.

When Aidan discovers an actual ghost in the house (who happens to be a huge fan of his fiction), he makes it his mission to solve the mystery of Gabby’s death and free her from the house. But when Aidan’s journal falls into the wrong hands, secrets come to light that threaten the boys’ friendship. Can Aidan embrace the part of himself that’s longing to break free…or will he become the next victim to be trapped in the haunted house forever?

Publication Date August 27th 2024 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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For younger fans of Witchlings and Eva Evergreen comes a light-hearted and whimsical middle grade fantasy about a young girl who must save her witch aunt from an uncommonly voracious hat.

Where dragons take flight, through the dark of the night. Where the fire ignites, you will find the light.

Aunt Cauldroneyes is always looking into cauldrons. She’s found everything from giggling moons to troll nose rings, but when she looks inside a purple cauldron one stormy night, she finds a girl with blue freckles.

The old witch raises the girl and names her Spella. They live in Hungry Snout Forest in a crooked house with doors enchanted to smell like chocolate. In the attic full of floating fabric and biting buttons, Aunt Cauldroneyes teaches Spella how to make magical hats for creatures like unicorns and dragons, giants and goblins.

When Spella turns eight, she receives an invitation to Dragon’s Knob, a school for wand witchery and wizardry. But on the very night Spella is set to leave, a stranger appears with a growling hat that swallows Aunt Cauldroneyes and steals her away!

To rescue her aunt, Spella must go up into a sky full of dragons and to her new school. With protesters outside the gates threatening the school’s academic freedom and a deepening mystery within the walls, Spella and her new friend Tolden are thrust into the mystery of her aunt’s disappearance and a long-buried secret hidden somewhere in the school.

Publication Date August 27th 2024 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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From award-winning author Hilary McKay comes an enchanting illustrated middle grade novel in the spirit of Matilda about a lonely orphan who dreams of escaping her ghastly aunt and uncle.

Rosa has always believed there is magic in the world. Or at least, she hopes there is. She lost her parents when she was four, and her aunt and uncle moved into her home not long after, transforming it from a messy place of love and warmth to a cold world of business. Their approach to family is as phony as the plastic grass they sell, keeping Rosa at arm’s length and tucking her in at night by locking her in her room.

Now eleven, Rosa’s loneliness threatens to overwhelm her. Her only solace is the magic she sees around her, particularly in a cat named Balthazar who comes to — and through — her window. When all the teachers at her school win the lottery and quit their jobs, Rosa’s aunt and uncle seize the opportunity to put an evil plan into action. They whisk Rosa away to Venice, intending to abandon her there. Luckily for Rosa, there are cats in Venice — and a laughing boy in a gondola and a family making sure she is fed.

In Rosa’s darkest hour, can the magic she’s never lost faith in save the day?

Publication Date August 27th 2024 by Aladdin
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The legend of the Pied Piper meets Sal and Gabi Break The Universe with a touch of Coraline in this spooky and suspenseful middle grade adventure about a boy whose wish goes horribly wrong and his fight to reunite with his real family.

Sam Windsor’s parents and younger siblings, Grayson and Addie, are his whole world, so when his parents announce they’re separating, Sam is devastated. He’d do anything to make his parents change their minds and keep the family together. When a stranger offers a flute made of bone that supposedly grants the player’s wish, Sam doesn’t really believe it will work but figures he has nothing to lose.

Surprisingly, the wish on the skeleton flute comes true. The next day, his parents are happily in love, with no plans for his dad to leave. But there’s a major problem: his parents’ relationship isn’t the only thing in his life that has changed, and some of the changes are definitely for the worse.

Caught in a world full of unintended consequences and familiar strangers, Sam has limited options for returning to his old life — worries, challenges, and all. Can he track down the mysterious man who gave him the flute and undo his wish?

Publication Date September 3rd 2024 by Scholastic Press
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From Natalie Lloyd, bestselling author of A Snicker of Magic and Hummingbird, comes a heart-expanding adventure about the magic of family, friendship, and the lengths we go for the people we love.

Eleven-year-old Roxie was excited to start sixth grade…until a mortifying incident at a pool party turns her into a middle school laughingstock. Roxie can’t imagine enduring a full year of bullying and body shaming, so when her country music star Granny invites Roxie to join her on tour, she jumps at the chance to leave her troubles behind. But then Granny – who’s been struggling with memory loss – goes missing, leaving Roxie without an escape plan…and without her best friend.

Grayson doesn’t mind being sent to yet another foster home. Her older sister, Beanie, is about to turn eighteen, which means she’ll be able to become Grayson’s guardian. It won’t be long until they live in the same house again. It won’t be long until they get to be a real family. But when Beanie’s birthday finally arrives, she doesn’t show up to collect Grayson. She doesn’t respond to calls or texts. It’s almost like she’s just…vanished.

Roxie knows Granny would never leave without saying goodbye. And Grayson is certain Beanie would never abandon her. So when the new friends learn about the Witching Wind that “steals” what people love most, Roxie and Grayson are certain they’ve discovered the truth. Granny and Beanie didn’t just disappear – they were taken. And it’s up to Roxie and Grayson to outwit the Witching Wind before it’s too late.

Publication Date September 3rd 2024 by Quill Tree Books
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A perfectly average boy uncovers a supernatural secret about his family that could put his whole town in grave danger — if it doesn’t make him die of embarrassment first — in this mysterious and funny middle grade debut from New York Times bestselling author Z Brewer.

Viktor Valentine can’t think of a better way to end his summer vacation than playing All the Vampires Everywhere, his favorite video game, with his best friend, Damon. Yet his parents, who make cringey jokes and call him dorky nicknames, seem set on ruining his plans. Viktor knows he can’t really compete with Damon’s “cool” friends — so their epic video game playing is the best Viktor can do to come close to being cool in Damon’s eyes.

But then Viktor slowly starts to realize that his parents may be hiding something from him. They’re acting very suspicious; they sneak out after midnight and return with bloody mouths. But he’s probably just played too many video games. After all, vampires aren’t real…right?

Seventh grade is tough enough without having to figure out if your family has fangs. And to make matters worse, the new girl that moved in across the street seems particularly interested in things that go bump in the night. Can Viktor protect his family, or will his sleuthing come back to bite him?

Publication Date September 3rd 2024 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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An 11-year-old podcaster-turned-sleuth teams up with the new kid in the building to find their missing neighbor! A captivating adventure perfect for fans of When You Reach Me and Only Murders In The Building.

Eleven-year-old Roya is the superintendent’s kid in her regal Brooklyn apartment building, so she knows pretty much everything there is to know about its residents. An aspiring reporter, she even hosts a secret podcast about the lives of the building’s tenants. It’s a good distraction from the problems in her own life.

But when Katya Petrov, one of her favorite tenants, goes missing, Roya discovers an eerie connection to Grandmother’s Predictions, an antique fortune-telling machine at Coney Island. “Grandmother” has been linked to multiple disappearances in the Petrov family over the last century. Now, with the help of a new friend who’s just moved in, it’s up to Roya to make her own headlines as she searches for Katya and attempts to break the Petrov curse once and for all.

Publication Date September 3rd 2024 by Sourcebooks Young Readers
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From the author of The Doughnut Fix comes another funny, heartfelt book about overcoming the fear of letting down the people you love and the amazing things that can come from a summer of nothing going your way.

Milo Bloom, chess prodigy, has a secret: he doesn’t want to play chess anymore. So he blows a major tournament on purpose instead of telling anyone. If no one knows he wants to quit, then no one can be disappointed.

The problem is, winning that tournament was a ticket to chess camp, and the loss means his summer plans are shot. Enter Roxie, a girl he’s never met, who shows up at his door to tell him he and his mom will be spending the summer at her house…what?

Surprise! Before Milo knows what’s hit him, he’s living at Roxie’s house, where creepy cats rule, meat products are banned, and Roxie, who doesn’t seem to understand the concept of personal space, won’t give him a second alone.

But when Milo and Roxie stumble across two people playing a fascinating game they’ve never seen before, they become determined to learn the ancient game of Go. Between late-night library adventures and creating a Go club at their camp, Milo and Roxie form an unexpected friendship, but none of that matters if Milo can’t face his fears and tell his mom how he really feels.

Publication Date September 3rd 2024 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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A spooky yet heartwarming adventure about one girl’s journey into the land of the undead, and the unexpected family she finds along the way. Perfect for fans of Nevermoor and the hit series Wednesday.

On Halloween, it is always wise to expect the unexpected, but no amount of planning could have prepared Eve for that particular night. Fleeing an unpleasant orphanage, she’s saved by someone who she never believed was real…the fabled Pumpkin King himself.

Throwing caution aside, Eve accepts the offer to become his daughter and is whisked away to the misty Hallowell Valley — home to witches and vampires, ghosts and goblins, and all that go bump in the night. But just when she believes she’s found her place among the undead, a sinister scheme unearths itself, threatening to take everything from Eve unless she can stop it.

From debut author Steven Banbury comes a cozy, magical adventure sure to delight anyone who loves the tricks of Halloween as much as the treats of autumn.

Publication Date September 3rd 2024 by Aladdin
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In the tradition of Nancy Drew, four kids and one grandfather in Miami tackle a decades-old mystery in this first book in the action-packed and funny Sherlock Society middle grade series from New York Times bestselling, Edgar Award–winning author James Ponti!

Siblings Alex and Zoe Sherlock take their last name as inspiration when choosing a summer job. After all, starting a detective agency has to be better than babysitting (boring), lawn mowing (sweaty), or cleaning out the attic (boring and sweaty). Their friends Lina, an avid bookworm, and Yadi, an aspiring cinematographer, join the enterprise, and Alex and Zoe’s retired reporter grandfather offers up his sweet aquamarine Cadillac convertible and storage unit full of cold cases.

The group’s first target is the long-lost treasure supposedly hidden near their hometown Miami. Their investigation into the local doings of famed gangster Al Capone leads them to a remote island in the middle of the Everglades where they find alarming evidence hinting at corporate corruption.

Together with Grandpa’s know-how and the kids’ intelligence — plus some really slick gadgets — can the Sherlock Society root out the conspiracy?

Publication Date September 3rd 2024 by Aladdin
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Haunted Mansion meets the ultimate escape room in this tense and twisty middle grade horror following four kids who must beat a series of games to make it out of a haunted house.

The creepiest place in Barret Eloise’s small town is the abandoned Raithfield Manor, a decrepit house surrounded by rumors of ghosts and kids going missing. So she certainly never planned on stepping foot inside. But when her history teacher gives her a group project to research a local landmark, the manor is the location her group chooses. Determined to ace the project and fix her awkward first impression on her assigned partners — which include her former friend Helena, smart and confident Wayne, and school basketball star Ridge — Barret Eloise isn’t about to let some tall tales scare her off.

When the kids first enter the house, it seems to be nothing more than an empty building. But when the sun goes down, the doors and windows lock, sealing them inside. Even worse, the room they’re in transforms into an all-too-real game of The Floor is Lava. It doesn’t take long for the group to realize the mansion is a maze of childhood games. Win the game and you keep moving forward, lose and you disappear. And complicating it all is a worrying revelation — they are not alone in the house.

If Barret Eloise wants to make it home, she and her dysfunctional group are going to have to learn to work together quickly.

Publication Date September 10th 2024 by Tundra Books
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Evan Park has always faced obstacles in getting his father’s approval, but an actual obstacle race has some surprising results. A new middle-grade novel from the author of the critically acclaimed Peter Lee’s Notes From The Field.

Unlike his dad, Evan Park does not like team sports — no matter how hard he tries. And when an accident causes Evan to break his wrist, he is determined that once he heals, he’ll work on finding his thing. Alone.

Inspired by his athletic physiotherapist, Evan decides to compete in an upcoming Dominator Ninja: Junior Edition competition. It will be part rehab, part fun. If he trains hard enough, he’ll finally have something to put on his empty shelf in the family trophy cabinet. Maybe that would make his dad proud of him for once.

But klutzy Evan strikes again, reinjuring his wrist. There’s no way he can compete in Dominator Ninja now — he can’t even hold chopsticks. When his sister encourages him to look beyond a solo competition, they discover a local family race that is more about the experience than the results. Can Evan shift his perspective to rally the whole family to do this event…together?

Publication Date September 10th 2024 by Delacorte Press
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A ripped from the headlines middle grade novel about a group of students who must fight book banning at their school to save their club…and their world as they know it.

No matter what was going on in Molly’s life at home, she always had book club at school. Whether she’s dealing with a death in the family or her parent’s breaking the news they want to move she is able to read a new book and escape life…even if it is just for a little bit.

But when someone anonymously notifies school boards about a controversial book in the classroom, her favorite teacher Ms. Lewsiton is suspended…and book club is a banned for the immediate future.

With weeks until graduation, Molly has never felt more lost. She knows she needs to do something – anything – to prove to everyone that the books they read with Ms. Lewsiton are more important than the adults may realize.

With her group of friends, Molly will fight to save her book club from writing their favorite author to protests on the football field. Molly will discover that standing up for what you believe in is only half the battle…but will she find she is fully ready to make a change for readers just like her?

Publication Date September 10th 2024 by Margaret Ferguson Books
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After living in the public library for the last eleven years, Essie must learn to adapt to a world that’s not as perfect as the stories she’s grown up with in this heartfelt middle grade novel from Newbery Honor author Polly Horvath.

Essie has grown up in the public library, raised in secret by the four librarians who found her abandoned as a baby in the children’s department. With four mothers and miles of books to read, Essie has always been very happy living there.

But now that she is eleven, Essie longs for a little more freedom…and maybe a friend her own age. She seems to get her wish when her moms let her go by herself to the mall. On her second trip there, she meets G.E., a mysterious boy who looks so much like her she can’t help but think they may be twins. Maybe he was raised by four dads in the appliance section of the department store. Maybe his story is intertwined with hers, and their happy ending is as one big family. But as she gets to know G.E. better, she learns that nothing is as simple as it seems in her stories — not even her own past.

With her signature warmth and offbeat humor, Newbery Honor author Polly Horvath invites book lovers to sit back in their own library nooks and check out a whimsical adventure perfect for readers trying to find their place in the world.

Publication Date September 10th 2024 by Candlewick
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In an exciting wilderness adventure, three cousins are cut off from their parents by a huge earthquake — and must hike long and treacherous mountain trails back to safety, with only each other to rely on.

During a hiking trip with their parents in the mountains of California, cousins Owen, Vivian, and Amy are finally allowed to camp for one night at a little lake all on their own. But when a massive earthquake blocks their return path, there’s only one way home: the long way around, through a wilderness filled with fierce animals, raging rivers, unstable weather, and high passes. The hardest challenges the cousins face, however, are the troubles they’ve brought with them: bold Vivian’s fear of starting middle school and of changes she can’t control, Owen’s lingering emotional scars from a car accident, and Amy’s desire to live in stories rather than in boring regular life. Drawing on courage and humor, the cousins weather storms, make the most of dwindling rations, and face their deepest fears in order to bring each other safely home.

This gripping contemporary novel from celebrated author Anne Nesbet is bursting with excitement, rich natural settings, and characters who will have readers rooting for them all the way.

Publication Date September 17th 2024 by Heartdrum
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A living legend roosting in the backyard. An unmissable game. A hair-raising mystery. A road trip full of adventure and danger. And all the overlapping circles that connect us throughout Creation.

Melanie “Mel” Roberts and Ray Halfmoon may be from different Indigenous Nations, but the friends have become like siblings since the Robertses moved in with the Halfmoons. And they soon welcome a distinguished guest: Great-grandfather Bat, whose wing is injured, has taken refuge in their old oak tree.

A rematch of the legendary Great Ball Game is coming up, with Bat as the star player. Grampa Charlie Halfmoon offers to drive Bat from Chicago down to the traditional playing field outside Macon, Georgia, and Mel and Ray are determined to help out.

Together, they all set off on a road trip — facing adventure, danger, and a hair-raising mystery — on the way to the historic game.

With loving care and boisterous humor, acclaimed author Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee) tells a modern folklore story about friendship, embracing the unexpected, and all the overlapping circles that connect us throughout Creation. Perfect for fans of Kate DiCamillo, Brian Young, and Elana K. Arnold!

Publication Date September 17th 2024 by Roaring Brook Press
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Perfect for fans of Star Fish and From The Desk of Zoe Washington, a nuanced middle grade from the author of The Prettiest about two girls ― one “bad” and one “good” ― who join forces against book banning and censorship.

Rose is a good girl. She listens to her parents and follows every rule. After all, they’re there for a reason ― right? And adults always know best.

Talia, the new girl from New York City, doesn’t think so. After only a week at school, her bad reputation is already making enemies. First on the list: Charlotte, Rose’s lifelong best friend.

So why can’t Rose stop wondering what it would be like to be Talia’s friend? And why does Rose read a banned book that she recommends? Rose doesn’t know. But the forbidden book makes her ask questions she’s never thought of in her life. When Talia suggests they start a banned book club, how can Rose say no?

Pushing against her parents, her school, and even Charlotte opens a new world for Rose. But when some of Talia’s escapades become more scary than exciting, Rose must decide when it’s right to keep quiet and when it’s time to speak out.

Publication Date September 17th 2024 by HarperCollins
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In this magical middle grade adventure by Cindy L. Rodriguez, a Guatemalan American girl fights to stop her cursed worry dolls before they blanket her friends and neighbors in anxiety — and the grief she carries over the loss of her father. Perfect for fans of The Doll People and The Total Eclipse of Nester Lopez!

Lola Reyes doesn’t want to leave Guatemala, a place full of warmth and sun, laughter and music — where her abuela and prima and tíos and tías surround her with love. Back in Sunnyside, it’s cold. There’s schoolwork and chores. And her mama transforms into Lola’s super-serious school principal, Dr. Reyes.

Back at home…Lola can see, crystal clear, the empty place where Pop used to be. So Lola decides to bring a little bit of Guatemala — and Pop — back with her. She discovers his box of childhood worry dolls and sneaks them into her luggage, ignoring the warnings on the box not to use them. Later, when she tells them all her worries, from her friendship woes to the way Mama won’t talk about how sad she is, the worry dolls come to life. Worse — they escape.

Lola has to enlist her neighbor and nemesis, Chance Townsend, to recapture the dolls because she discovers they’re cursed. And as they absorb worries, they’ll grow bigger and bigger. If Lola can’t find a way to stop them, they’ll burst, releasing all the worries they’ve absorbed a hundredfold on everyone in town. But when breaking the curse might mean confronting her own anxieties and grief, will Lola be able face her emotions before it’s too late?

Publication Date September 17th 2024 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
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The game is on in this fun-filled middle grade debut about chess, girl power, and performance anxiety in sports, perfect for fans of Kelly Yang and Celia C. Pérez!

The clock is ticking for May Li, whose middle-school chess team just earned a victory at the state championship — and with it, a ticket to nationals. What’s even more exciting is that May got an award for being the top female player and a splashy feature in the biggest chess magazine in the country.

May should be thrilled. But some of her teammates, including her supposed-to-be-friend Ralph, aren’t too pleased with the attention she’s getting — and they’re even questioning her skills. Backed into a corner, but not one to back down, May makes a move as bold as any of her chess tactics: She bets Ralph she can win the school’s internal tournament and be chosen as team captain for nationals.

The crown is May’s for the taking…except she’s starting to crumble under the weight of everyone’s expectations. Anxious feelings begin to affect her performance and, what’s worse, eat away at her love for the game. Now May is left to wonder: Can you still play for fun when you’re playing to win?

Publication Date September 17th 2024 by Allida
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An empowering story from #1 New York Times bestseller and Newbery medalist Linda Sue Park starring a young snorkeling enthusiast who draws inspiration for fighting climate change from interacting with her pesty little brother.

Snorkeling is the best! Gracie loves floating above underwater reefs, watching colorful fish dart in and out of the coral. She convinces her parents to let her plan a family vacation to Roatán, Honduras, where they can snorkel together. She even makes a new friend there. Now, if only her irritating little brother would leave her alone, everything would be perfect.

Things come to a screeching halt when Gracie hurts her leg, and all her carefully made plans start to come apart. Worse still, she learns the reef itself is in serious danger. Gracie wants to help the reef…but she’s just a kid. How can she possibly make a difference?

Inspired by her own experience, Newbery medalist Linda Sue Park tells the engaging tale of a young girl learning how to impact a cause she cares about while navigating the ups and downs of sibling relationships and turning disappointment into opportunity.

Publication Date September 17th 2024 by Algonquin Young Readers
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A powerful story about family, fútbol, and playing like a girl, perfect for fans of Front Desk, The Academy, and, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret from the award-winning author of Furia.

At thirteen years old, Valeria “Magic” Salomón is already the best soccer player her town has ever seen. She has talent in spades and an abuelo whose tough-love coaching and lessons about “strength and honor” have made her the star of the Overlords, the top boys’ team in the state.

But everything changes at the State Cup semi-final when Valeria gets her first period while Wearing. White. Shorts. After her team is unexpectedly eliminated, she goes from their secret weapon to their scapegoat. Soon, she doesn’t have a team at all anymore. She’s not sure she has a relationship with her grandfather either.

Valeria’s a fighter, however. And with the help of her grandmother and support of her cheerleader BFF, she finds herself on a girls’ team for the first time. But the Amazons aren’t exactly excited to have her there. After all, Valeria’s spent years ignoring their existence. With the next tournament looming on the horizon, Valeria has a month to figure out her place on her new team and learn how to play like a girl.

The award-winning author of Furia returns to the world of “the beautiful game” in this uplifting, heartfelt novel about family, self-confidence, and the power of second chances.

Publication Date September 10th 2024 by HarperCollins
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From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of A Rover’s Story and Other Words For Home comes an extraordinary story about two friends, a ghost, a missing painting, and a turtle named Agatha. The perfect next read for fans of The Swifts, Kate DiCamillo, and Erin Entrada Kelly.

A painting has been stolen…!

When Rami sees a floating girl in the museum, he knows he has seen her somewhere before. Then he realizes: She looks just like the girl in the painting that has gone missing. But how does her appearance connect to the theft?

Agatha the turtle knows — she has been watching from the garden. But she can’t exactly tell anyone…can she?

Will Rami, with the help of his classmate, Veda, be able to solve the mystery? The clues are all around them, but they’ll have to be brave enough to really look.

This is a whimsical, moving story about the universal desire to be seen and understood and how art can help us find connection, even when we are at our loneliest.

Publication Date September 17th 2024 by Delacorte Press
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In this middle-grade mystery, eleven year old Charlie moves from NYC to Florida only to find herself in the haunted Winklevoss Manor. To her surprise, she’s not alone — she’s joined by three mischievous ghosts cursed for snatching a dead man’s diamond.

After twelve-year-old Charlie moves from New York City to sweaty, sticky Florida, she’ll do anything to get back home.

Even if it involves ghosts.

Winklevoss Manor, Charlie’s new house, is a towering Victorian mansion famous for one thing—it’s haunted. Three ghosts — Ada, Arthur, and Guff — live there, and not by choice. They’re trapped, cursed for stealing a dead man’s diamond. A diamond that, just like the ghosts, is still in the house. And this gets Charlie thinking…

Maybe if she can find the diamond and sell it, Charlie’s family could have enough money to move back to the city. But lifting the curse isn’t that simple, especially when she’s pitted against the school bully and three unruly spirits. It’s frightening to think about, but what if the only way to get rid of the ghosts and curses is by doing what Charlie fears the most — confronting the past that haunts her?

Publication Date September 24th 2024 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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In this hair-raising and hilarious novel by New York Times bestselling author Chuck Wendig, a boy must face his many fears to save his town from a cursed videotape — before “The Scariest Movie Ever Made” devours his friends and family.

Ethan Pitowski is afraid of everything. Luckily, his best friends don’t mind, and when their entire class gets invited to watch a long-buried horror movie at the most popular boy in school’s house, Ethan’s friends encourage him to join in the fun. But when the “scariest movie ever made” reveals itself to be not just a movie about a monster, but a movie that is a monster, only a terrified Ethan escapes its clutches. Now he must find a way to stop the monster and save his friends (and also, um, get their heads back).

With his signature balance of kid-friendly horror and humor, Chuck Wendig crafts a spookily heartfelt novel about anxiety, friendship, and finding your unique voice and inner strength.

Publication Date September 24th 2024 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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The riveting second book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Door Of No Return trilogy stars Kofi’s granddaughter, Charley, who’s set on becoming the first female pitcher to play professional ball but who soon has to contend with the tensions about to boil over in her segregated town.

You can’t protect her from knowing. The truth is all we have.

12-year old Charley Cuffey is many things: a granddaughter, a best friend, and probably the best pitcher in all of Lee’s Mill. Set on becoming the first female pitcher to play professional ball, Charley doesn’t need reminders from her best friend Cool Willie Green to know that she has lofty dreams for a Black girl in the American South.

Even so, Nana Kofi’s thrilling stories about courageous ancestors and epic journeys make it impossible not to dream big. She knows he has so many more to tell, but according to her parents, she isn’t old enough to know about certain things like what happened to Booker Preston that one night in Great Bridge and why she can never play on the brand-new real deal baseball field on the other side of town.

When Charley challenges a neighborhood bully to a game at the church picnic, she knows she can win, even with her ragtag team. But when the picnic spills over onto their ball field, she makes a fateful decision.

A child cannot protect herself if she does not know her history, and Charley’s choice brings consequences she never could have imagined.

In this thrilling second book of the Door Of No Return trilogy, set during the turbulent segregation era, and the beginning of The Great Migration, Kwame Alexander weaves a spellbinding story of struggle, determination, and the unflappable faith of an American family.

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Hi! I’m Jen! I’m a thirty-something introvert who loves nothing more than the cozy comfort of home and snuggling my two rescue cats, Pepper and Pancakes. I also enjoy running, jigsaw puzzles, baking and everything Disney. Few things bring me more joy than helping a reader find the right book for them!