55 Most-Anticipated Middle Grade Books: January-June 2022

Today’s post is sponsored by Candlewick and The View from the Very Best House in Town by Meera Trehan!

Title The View From The Very Best House In Town
Author Meera Trehan
Intended Target Audience Middle Grade
Publication Date February 8th 2022 by Walker Books US
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Part thriller, part friendship story, part real estate listing, this witty and inventive debut explores the nature of friendship and home.

Sam and Asha. Asha and Sam. Their friendship is so long established, they take it for granted. Just as Asha takes for granted that Donnybrooke, the mansion that sits on the highest hill in Coreville, is the best house in town. But when Sam is accepted into snobbish Castleton Academy as an autistic “Miracle Boy,” he leaves Asha, who is also autistic, to navigate middle school alone. He also leaves her wondering if she can take anything for granted anymore. Because soon Sam is spending time with Prestyn, Asha’s nemesis, whose family owns Donnybrooke and, since a housewarming party gone wrong, has forbidden Asha to set foot inside. Who is Asha without Sam? And who will she be when it becomes clear that Prestyn’s interest in her friend isn’t so friendly?

Told from the points of view of Asha, Sam, and Donnybrooke itself, this suspenseful and highly original debut explores issues of ableism and classism as it delves into the mysteries of what makes a person a friend and a house a home.

There are few things I enjoy more than making and reading lists. It’s a silly, uncomplicated pleasure, but whether I’m composing a to-be-read list for the coming months or a simple list of which groceries to buy on my next shopping trip, lists allow me to organize my thoughts, create a plan to follow, which I find soothing, and they give me something to look forward to, which in our current climate feels like a minor miracle. That’s why I’m thrilled and excited to share today’s post, featuring the 55 middle grade books I’m most looking forward to in the first half of 2022 (January-June)!

Please Note: If you’re a middle grade author with a novel being published in the first half of 2022 and don’t see your book on this list, please don’t be hurt or upset! This list is 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 2022 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 2022, please check out this Goodreads list which includes over 200 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!

The publication dates listed below might be subject to change.



Publication Date January 4th 2022 by Scholastic Inc.
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A slice-of-life rom-com about pizza and first crushes that readers will gobble up!

Maya Reynolds has practically grown up in her family’s Brooklyn pizza shop, Soul Slice, and is a true city girl. When her family moves to a small town in Pennsylvania to open another pizza place, everything changes.

Being the new girl is hard enough. At Soul Slice 2.0, Maya is assigned delivery duty. And her first delivery is a disaster. Can you make a worse impression than tripping…and falling face-first into a rude boy’s pizza order?

When that same rude – and, okay, cute – boy shows up at her school, Maya’s convinced nothing can go right. But she may be in for some surprises. Could good friends, secret crushes, and creative pizza toppings turn Maya’s new home into her own slice of heaven?





Publication Date January 25th 2022 by HarperCollins
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Inspired by a terrifying true story, acclaimed author Guadalupe Garcia McCall creates a twisty tale about a boy desperately trying to survive in a new town with a secret past.

James always knew moving from Texas to Oregon was going to be horrible.. But no sooner have he and his family arrived in their “perfect” new home in their “perfect” new town than he starts getting mysterious letters from someone called the Keeper. Someone who claims to be watching him. Someone who is looking for “young blood.”

James and his sister, Ava, are obviously in danger. But the problem with having a history of playing practical jokes is that no one believes James — not even his parents. Now James and Ava need to figure out who is sending the letters before they become the next victims in their neighborhood’s long history of missing children.

Because one thing is clear: Uncovering the truth about the Keeper is the only thing that will keep them alive.





Publication Date January 25th 2022 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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A poignant, coming of age story about a Cuban-American girl trying to figure out where she belongs – both in her ballet-loving family and the wider world. Perfect for fans of Front Desk and Merci Suárez Changes Gears.

It’s a good thing Sofía Acosta loves dreaming up costumes, because otherwise she’s a ballet disaster — unlike her parents, who danced under prima ballerina Alicia Alonso before immigrating to the suburbs of New York. Luckily, when the Acostas host their dancer friends from Cuba for a special performance with the American Ballet Theatre, Sofía learns there’s more than dance holding her family together. Between swapping stories about Cuba and sharing holiday celebrations, the Acostas have never been more of a team.

Then Sofía finds out about the dancers’ secret plans to defect to the United States, and makes a serious mistake – she confides in her best friend, only to discover that Tricia doesn’t want “outsiders” moving to their community. Now Sofía wonders what the other neighbors in her tight-knit suburban town really think of immigrant families like hers. Sofía doesn’t want to make a scene, but if she doesn’t speak up, how will she figure out if her family really belongs?





Publication Date February 1st 2022 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Debut author Amina Luqman-Dawson pens a lyrical, accessible historical middle-grade novel about two enslaved children’s escape from a plantation and the many ways they find freedom.

Under the cover of night, twelve-year-old Homer flees Southerland Plantation with his little sister Ada, unwillingly leaving their beloved mother behind. Much as he adores her and fears for her life, Homer knows there’s no turning back, not with the overseer on their trail. Through tangled vines, secret doorways, and over a sky bridge, the two find a secret community called Freewater, deep in the swamp.

In this society created by formerly enslaved people and some freeborn children, Homer finds new friends, almost forgetting where he came from. But when he learns of a threat that could destroy Freewater, he crafts a plan to find his mother and help his new home.

Deeply inspiring and loosely based on the history of maroon communities in the South, this is a striking tale of survival, adventure, friendship, and courage.





Publication Date February 1st 2022 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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Packed with surprises, heart, and stories within stories, this irresistible novel from an award-winning author celebrates food, fortune, and family.

Welcome to the Golden Palace!

Maizy has never been to Last Chance, Minnesota…until now. Her mom’s plan is just to stay for a couple weeks, until her grandfather gets better. But plans change, and as Maizy spends more time in Last Chance (where she and her family are the only Asian Americans) and at the Golden Palace — the restaurant that’s been in her family for generations—she makes some discoveries. For instance:
• You can tell a LOT about someone by the way they order food.
• And people can surprise you. Sometimes in good ways, sometimes in disappointing ways.
• And the Golden Palace has secrets.

But the more Maizy discovers, the more questions she has. Like, why are her mom and her grandmother always fighting? Who are the people in the photographs on the office wall? And when she discovers that a beloved family treasure has gone missing — and someone has left a racist note — Maizy decides it’s time to find the answers.





Publication Date February 1st 2022 by Versify
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In this heartfelt middle-grade novel from debut author Nicole D. Collier, fifth-grader Jillian must learn to speak and break free of her shell to enter her school’s academic competition and keep her promise to her grandmother.

Fifth-grader Jillian will do just about anything to blend in, including staying quiet even when she has the right answer. After she loses a classroom competition because she won’t speak up, she sets her mind on winning her school’s biggest competition. But breaking out of her shell is easier said than done, and Jillian has only a month to keep her promise to her grandmother and prove to herself that she can speak up and show everyone her true self.

A warm and relatable middle-grade debut novel about family, friendship, and finding the confidence to break free from the crowd and be who you truly are.





Publication Date February 8th 2022 by Feiwel & Friends
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A clever young girl looking for adventure gets more than she bargained for when she stumbles into a nest of robbers in this tale baked with magic, fun, and friendship!

Evie Baker is a great story-teller, an avid prankster, and a fantastic baker. And while she loves her parent’s bakery, she has no plans to stay in their small town and become stuffy or static. Evie wants to go on adventures and she knows just what she needs to do it!

With her best friend, Cecily, by her side, Evie sets off into the Old Forest to find one of the Fel, a group of crow-like magical creatures who can’t lie. She is sure her family’s irresistible raspberry tart and a carefully crafted deal will get them to take her on a magical adventure ― without getting her eaten or worse. But the forest hides many dangers and when they finally find their Fel, they also discover a nest of robbers!

Having seen the Robber Lord’s face, Evie is whisked away into hiding for her own protection. But even in the queen’s own city, trouble has a way of finding her…

YA novelist Caitlin Sangster makes her middle-grade debut in A Baker’s Guide To Robber Pie, a fun fairytale filled with adventure, friendship, baking, and the power of a tale well-told.





Publication Date February 15th 2022 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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Calling all Raina Telgemeier fans! It’s back to school for Katie the Catsitter in this purr-fectly irresistible graphic novel series about friendship, heroes, and cats (lots of cats)!

Katie loves skating with the Wheelas and the fact that she’s officially a superhero sidekick. But now that school’s starting, everything’s changing. The Mousetress is getting blamed for things Katie knows she didn’t do. Sidekick training is NOT as exciting as she’d hoped. Katie’s best friend Beth is back in town and Beth’s new boyfriend is always hanging around (ugh!). Not to mention that all of Katie’s friends are mad at her. Fixing this will be harder than any skateboarding trick. But with the help of 217 slightly out of the ordinary cats, Katie’s going to try!

Can she clear the Mousestress’s name, uncover the real supervillain, and become the sidekick (and the friend) she’s always dreamed of being?





Publication Date February 15th 2022 by Delacorte Press
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When Autumn becomes the secret voice of the advice column in her middle school newspaper she is faced with a dilemma – can she give fair advice to everyone, including her friends, while keeping her identity a secret?

Starting Middle School is rough for Autumn after her one and only BFF moves to California. Uncertain and anxious, she struggles to connect with her new classmates. The two potential friends she meets could not be more different: bold Logan who has big ideas and quiet Cooper who’s a bit mysterious. But Autumn has a dilemma: what do you do when the new friends you make don’t like each other?

When Autumn is picked to be the secret voice of the Dear Student letters in the Hillview newspaper, she finds herself smack in the middle of a problem with Logan and Cooper on opposite sides. But before Autumn can figure out what to do, the unthinkable happens. Her secret identity as Dear Student is threatened. Now, it’s time for Autumn to find her voice, her courage, and follow her heart, even when it’s divided.





Publication Date February 22nd 2022 by Greenwillow Books
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The trick to all magic is: you can only see it if you know where to look.

The magic-infused town of Aldermere is the first place eleven-year-old Fin has ever felt safe — and she’ll do whatever it takes to save her home when she accidentally unleashes a shadow self who wreaks havoc everywhere she goes. Emily Lloyd-Jones’s middle grade debut is an enchanting exploration of self-discovery and finding the place you truly belong. Unseen Magic is for fans of A Wish In The Dark and A Tangle of Knots.

Aldermere is a town with its own set of rules: there’s a tea shop that vanishes if you try to force your way in, crows that must be fed or they’ll go through your trash, and a bridge that has a toll that no one knows the cost of. Some say that there may even be bigfoots wandering through the woods.

For Fin, Aldermere is her new home. But she’s worried that she’ll do something to mess it up — that she was the reason she and her mother have constantly moved from place to place for so long. When an upcoming presentation at her school’s science fair gives her increasing anxiety, Fin turns to magic to ease her fears. The cost is a memory, but there are things from her past Fin doesn’t mind forgetting. This will be the last time she relies on magic anyway, she’s sure.

Except things don’t go exactly as planned. And instead of easing her anxiety, Fin accidentally unleashes an evil doppelganger. Suddenly Aldermere is overrun with unusual occurrences — and Fin is the only one who knows why. She will have to face her fears — literally — to stop it.

Emily Lloyd-Jones crafts an atmospheric novel full of magic and mischief while exploring what it means to stand up to your fears and accept yourself. Unseen Magic will captivate readers of Anna Meriano’s Love, Sugar, Magic series and Natalie Lloyd’s A Snicker of Magic.





Publication Date March 1st 2022 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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This middle-school class clown’s hilarious online videos might get thousands of views…but is fame worth the price of friendship? A heartfelt story with multiple perspectives about the challenges of social media.

Meet Jack Reynolds. Making people laugh is his life’s work. Jack’s wacky MyTube channel is really starting to take off. The only problem is, for the truly epic posts, he needs a collaborator. And, well, he doesn’t exactly have any friends. So Jack has to swallow his pride and join the new afterschool club, Speed Friendshipping. But who would make the best partner in comedy?

• Brielle, Miss Perfect candidate for student body president?
• Mario, whose mom won’t even let him have a smart phone?
• Or Tasha, the quiet, mysterious girl with a shaved head and a crocheted hat for every day of the week?

One of these kids could help catapult Jack to internet fame…or even become a true friend. But what will it cost him to go viral?

This middle school novel explores themes of friendship, belonging, and the ways social media can put pressure on today’s kids.





Publication Date March 1st 2022 by Clarion Books
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In this modern take on Harriet The Spy, twelve-year-old Drew uses her true crime expertise to catch the cyberbully in her school — only to discover that family, friendship, and identity are the hardest mysteries to solve.

Drew Leclair knows what it takes to be a great detective. She’s pored over the cases solved by her hero, criminal profiler Lita Miyamoto. She tracked down the graffiti artist at school, and even solved the mystery of her neighbor’s missing rabbit. But when her mother runs off to Hawaii with the school guidance counselor, Drew is shocked. How did she miss all of the clues?

Drew is determined to keep her family life a secret, even from her best friend. But when a cyberbully starts posting embarrassing rumors about other students at school, it’s only a matter of time before Drew’s secret is out.

Armed with her notebooks full of observations about her classmates, Drew knows what she has to do: profile all of the bullies in her grade to find the culprit. But being a detective is more complicated when the suspects can be your friends. Will Drew crack the case if it means losing the people she cares about most?





Publication Date March 1st 2022 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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From the New York Times bestselling author of Front Desk comes a poignant middle grade novel about courage, hope, and resilience as an Asian American boy fights to keep his family together and stand up to racism during the initial outbreak of the coronavirus.

When the coronavirus hits Hong Kong, ten-year-old Knox Wei-Evans’s mom makes the last-minute decision to move him and his siblings back to California, where they think they will be safe. Suddenly, Knox has two days to prepare for an international move — and for leaving his dad, who has to stay for work.

At his new school in California, Knox struggles with being the new kid. His classmates think that because he’s from Asia, he must have brought over the virus. At home, Mom just got fired and is panicking over the loss of health insurance, and Dad doesn’t even know when he’ll see them again, since the flights have been cancelled. And everyone struggles with Knox’s blurting-things-out problem.

As racism skyrockets during COVID-19, Knox tries to stand up to hate, while finding his place in his new country. Can you belong if you’re feared; can you protect if you’re new? And how do you keep a family together when you’re oceans apart? Sometimes when the world is spinning out of control, the best way to get through it is to embrace our own lovable uniqueness.





Publication Date March 1st 2022 by Bloomsbury Children’s Books
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Highly-acclaimed author of Caterpillar Summer, Gillian McDunn explores boyhood in a funny, big-hearted story about a kid trying to find the best way to be his best self.

Elliott has been struggling since his closest friend moved away, and he’s not too sure where he fits into his own family, especially since his newly remarried dad and stepmom are expecting a baby. His grades aren’t too great, he’s always forgetting things, and he doesn’t really like sports. All together, the result is someone the complete opposite of his dad – a fact they’re both very aware of. Elliott’s only solace is cooking, where he can control the outcome, testing exciting recipes and watching his favorite cooking shows.

When he’s paired with the super smart and popular Maribel for a school-wide project, Elliott worries they won’t see eye to eye. But Maribel is also looking for a new way to show others her true self and this project could be the chance they’ve both been waiting for. Sometimes the least likely friends help you see a new side to things…and sometimes you have to make a few mistakes before you figure out what’s right.





Publication Date March 8th 2022 by Balzer + Bray
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From the author of Five Things About Ava Andrews comes a new middle grade stand-alone novel with STEM and activism themes, set against the backdrop of beautiful Zion National Park. With the perfect blend of humor and heart, this poignant story about family, grief, and changes beyond our control is perfect for fans of Rebecca Stead, Meg Medina, and Lynne Kelly.

When life doesn’t make sense, twelve-year-old amateur astronomer Tuesday Beals has always looked to the stars above Zion National Park, where she lives. Her beloved late uncle Ezra taught her astronomy, but now their special stargazing sites are all she has left of him, along with his ashes and a poem that may be a riddle.

Then a new housing development next door threatens to ruin the night skies and her favorite astronomy spots. Desperate to focus on something besides the growing uncle-sized chasm between her and her mother, the park archeologist, Tuesday takes up photography with her best friend, Carter, after they find an abandoned camera. With this new way of seeing the universe, she tries to solve her uncle’s riddle to save the land.

But one day, a photo reveals clues about an endangered animal — one that could halt construction. Will the discovery be enough to save the park and keep the rest of her world from falling apart?





Publication Date March 8th 2022 by Greenwillow Books
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Every day in Fawn Creek, Louisiana, is exactly the same — until Orchid Mason arrives. From Erin Entrada Kelly, the winner of the Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe and a Newbery Honor for We Dream of Space, this contemporary school story set in small-town Louisiana is about friendship, family, deception, and being true to yourself and your dreams.

There are twelve kids in the seventh grade at Fawn Creek Middle School. They’ve been together all their lives. And in this small factory town where everyone knows everything about everyone, that’s not necessarily a great thing.

There are thirteen desks in the seventh-grade classroom. That’s because Renni Dean’s father got a promotion, and the family moved to Grand Saintlodge, the nearest big town. Renni’s desk is empty, but Renni still knows their secrets; is still pulling their strings.

When Orchid Mason arrives and slips gracefully into Renni’s chair, the other seventh graders don’t know what to think. Orchid — who was born in New York City but just moved to Fawn Creek from Paris — seems to float. Her dress skims the floor. She’s wearing a flower behind her ear.

Fawn Creek Middle might be small, but it has its tightly knit groups — the self-proclaimed “God Squad,” the jocks, the outsiders — just like anyplace else. Who will claim Orchid Mason? Who will save Orchid Mason? Or will Orchid Mason save them?

Newbery Medal and Newbery Honor winner Erin Entrada Kelly explores complex themes centered on family, friendships, and staying true to yourself. Those Kids From Fawn Creek will enchant fans of Thanhhà Lai’s Inside Out & Back Again and Rebecca Stead’s The List of Things That Will Not Change.





Publication Date March 22nd 2022 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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Stranger Things meets Sideways Stories From Wayside School in this quirky supernatural middle grade novel from New York Times bestselling author Alyson Noël about a boy on an unlikely quest to uncover an enchanted book to defeat an unearthly nemesis.

When he first started seeing ghosts, Max mistakenly assumed everyone else could see them, too. Now, after years of being blamed for the pranks of mischievous spirits, Max is determined to do whatever it takes to make himself normal. But when he’s sent to spend the summer with his eccentric grandfather, Ramhart, being normal becomes impossible.

Here in Glimmerville, bakeries sell enchanted pies, the lake is infested with mermaids, the town’s beloved ghosts roam free, and Ramhart himself is celebrated as the world’s most famous monster hunter. At first, all Max wants is to survive the summer, but the more time he spends in Glimmerville, the more he starts to wonder if he’s finally found a place where he can truly be himself.

But when a supernatural attack steals Ramhart’s soul, Max — with the help of a few new friends — must go on a quest to find his grandfather’s renowned Field Guide, an enchanted book that contains all the knowledge Ramhart has gathered about defeating unearthly nemeses. And if they don’t find the book fast, Glimmerville will crumble into chaos, and Max will lose the only person who’s ever made him feel at home.





Publication Date March 22nd 2022 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Rain Reign meets Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter To The World in this heartfelt novel about a neurodivergent thirteen-year-old navigating changing friendships, a school trip, and expanding horizons.

Thirteen-year-old Ellen Katz feels most comfortable when her life is well planned out and people fit neatly into her predefined categories. She attends temple with Abba and Mom every Friday and Saturday. Ellen only gets crushes on girls, never boys, and she knows she can always rely on her best-and-only friend, Laurel, to help navigate social situations at their private Georgia middle school. Laurel has always made Ellen feel like being autistic is no big deal. But lately, Laurel has started making more friends, and cancelling more weekend plans with Ellen than she keeps. A school trip to Barcelona seems like the perfect place for Ellen to get their friendship back on track.

Except it doesn’t. Toss in a new nonbinary classmate whose identity has Ellen questioning her very binary way of seeing the world, homesickness, a scavenger hunt-style team project that takes the students through Barcelona to learn about Spanish culture and this trip is anything but what Ellen planned.

Making new friends and letting go of old ones is never easy, but Ellen might just find a comfortable new place for herself if she can learn to embrace the fact that life doesn’t always stick to a planned itinerary.





Publication Date March 22nd 2022 by Aladdin
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From The Desk of Zoe Washington meets Ways To Make Sunshine in this heartfelt middle grade novel about a determined young girl who must rely on her ingenuity and scientific know-how to save her beloved cat.

Twelve-year-old Mira’s summer is looking pretty bleak. Her best friend Thomas just moved a billion and one miles away from Florida to Washington, DC. Her dad is job searching and he’s been super down lately. Her phone screen cracked after a home science experiment gone wrong. And of all people who could have moved into Thomas’s old house down the street, Mira gets stuck with Tamika Smith, her know-it-all nemesis who’s kept Mira in second place at the school science fair four years running.

Mira’s beloved cat, Sir Fig Newton, has been the most stable thing in her life lately, but now he seems off, too. With her phone gone and no internet over the weekend at her strict Gran’s house, Mira must research Fig’s symptoms the old-fashioned way: at the library. She determines that he has “the silent cat killer” diabetes. A visit to the vet confirms her diagnosis, but that one appointment stretched family funds to the limit — they’ll never be able to afford cat insulin shots.

When Mira’s parents tell her they may have to give Fig up to people who can afford his treatment, Mira insists she can earn the $2,000 needed within a month. Armed with ingenuity, determination, and one surprising ally, can Mira save her best (four-legged) friend before it’s too late?





Publication Date April 5th 2022 by Scholastic Press
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Swindle meets Adventures In Babysitting in this action-filled comedy!

No parents. No rules. No curfew.

Things are about to get dangerous…

The grownups are out-of-town, and for Charley Decker that means one thing: a last epic weekend with her older brother Greg before he leaves for college. Bring on the burgers, milkshakes, and movie marathons!

So when Greg ditches Charley for a date night downtown, she’s kind of crushed. Worse, he gets their mom’s boyfriend’s super-expensive, super-rare Mustang towed and needs Charley’s help to get it back. What’s an unsupervised seventh grader to do? Grab her best friends, sneak into the city, pull off the ultimate car heist, and then make Greg pay, of course!

Only now the Mustang has a new feature in the trunk: a stowaway named Mitch who’s guarding a world-changing secret. And a pair of seriously big, seriously scary dudes are after him.

What follows is an all-night race around the clock as Charley and her friends try to dodge the twin terrors, save Mitch, fix a sibling squabble…and get the Mustang home before morning!





Publication Date April 5th 2022 by Scholastic Press
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A magical adventure for fans of Amari and The Night Brothers and Nevermoor, about three witchlings who must work together to do the impossible if they have any hope of earning their full powers.

Every year, in the magical town of Ravenskill, Witchlings who participate in the Black Moon Ceremony are placed into covens and come into their powers as full-fledged witches.

And twelve-year-old Seven Salazar can’t wait to be placed in the most powerful coven with her best friend! But on the night of the ceremony, in front of the entire town, Seven isn’t placed in one of the five covens. She’s a Spare!

Spare covens have fewer witches, are less powerful, and are looked down on by everyone. Even worse, when Seven and the other two Spares perform the magic circle to seal their coven and cement themselves as sisters, it doesn’t work! They’re stuck as Witchlings ― and will never be able to perform powerful magic.

Seven invokes her only option: the impossible task. The three Spares will be assigned an impossible task: If they work together and succeed at it, their coven will be sealed and they’ll gain their full powers. If they fail…Well, the last coven to make the attempt ended up being turned into toads. Forever.

But maybe friendship can be the most powerful magic of all…

With action-packed adventure, a coven of quirky witchlings, Claribel A. Ortega’s signature humor and girl-power vibes, you won’t be able to put down this middle grade Latine witch story.





Publication Date April 5th 2022 by Scholastic Press
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From the Edgar-nominated author Bruce Hale comes a hilarious story about a kid who likes to break the rules…until the rules try to break him.

Cooper just wants to spend the summer before 7th grade drawing and having adventures with his best friend, Nacho. Anything to keep his mind off the fact that his dad’s new girlfriend and his mom’s announcement that she’s going to start dating.

But when one of his adventures with Nacho goes too far, Cooper’s parents freak out. Either he joins the Boy Rangers, a dorky club that’s all about discipline and rules, or that dream cartooning camp at the end of his summer? Will get erased.

At first it’s not so bad – the troop is a disorganized mess. But then a new scoutmaster starts. Mr. Pierce is a gruff ex-Marine who’s never worked with kids before, especially not a ragtag team of misfits like Troop 19. As he tries turning them into a lean, mean, badge-earning machine, Cooper longs for freedom. He doesn’t want to break the rules, but the rules are going to break him!





Publication Date April 5th 2022 by Scholastic Press
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From the author of Stef Soto, Taco Queen comes this story about sisterhood, friendship, and the intricacies of blended families.

The Mendoza sisters need a do-over!

Raquel and Lucinda used to be inseparable. But ever since their parents split, Raquel has been acting like editor-in-chief of their lives. To avoid her overbearing sister, Lucinda spends most of her time with her headphones on, practicing her skating routine.

Then a pandemic hits, and the sisters are forced to spend the lockdown at their dad’s ranch house. Suddenly Raquel sees a chance to get back everything they’ve lost. If they can convince their mom to come along, maybe they can get their parents to fall in love again and give their family a second chance, a do-over.

But at the ranch, they get a not-so-welcome surprise: their dad’s new girlfriend and her daughter are already living there! Lucinda finds she actually likes them, which only makes Raquel more desperate to get rid of them. And as her Raquel’s schemes get more and more out of hand, Lucinda starts to wonder what they are really fighting for. Is trying to bring the Mendoza family back together really just tearing them further apart?





Publication Date April 5th 2022 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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When chance, or fate, throws two twelve-year-olds together on board a scientific research ship at the edge of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, it’s not all smooth sailing!

Jeremy “JB” Barnes is looking forward to spending the summer before seventh grade hanging on the beach. But his mother, a scientist, has called for him to join her aboard a research ship where, instead, he’ll spend his summer seasick and bored as he stares out at the endless plastic, microbeads, and other floating debris, both visible and not, that make up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Miles and miles away, twelve-year-old Sidney Miller is trying to come up with an alternate activity worthy of convincing her overprotective parents that she can skip summer camp.

When Jeremy is asked to find the contact information for a list of important international scientists and invite them to attend a last-minute Emergency Global Summit, he’s excited to have a chance to actually do something that matters to the mission. How could he know that the Sidney Miller he messages is not the famous marine biologist he has been tasked with contacting, but rather a girl making podcasts from her bedroom―let alone that she would want to sneak aboard the ship?

Consider The Octopus is a comedy of errors, mistaken identity, and synchronicity. Above all, it is a heartfelt story about friendship and an empowering call to environmental protection, especially to our young people who are already stepping up to help save our oceans and our Earth.





Publication Date April 5th 2022 by Scholastic Press
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From the award-winning author of George, a phenomenal novel about queerness past, present, and future.

Sam is very in touch with their own queer identity. They’re nonbinary, and their best friend, TJ, is nonbinary as well. Sam’s family is very cool with it…as long as Sam remembers that nonbinary kids are also required to clean their rooms, do their homework, and try not to antagonize their teachers too much.

The teacher-respect thing is hard when it comes to Sam’s history class, because their teacher seems to believe that only Dead Straight Cis White Men are responsible for history. When Sam’s home borough of Staten Island opens up a contest for a new statue, Sam finds the perfect non-DSCWM subject: photographer Alice Austen, whose house has been turned into a museum, and who lived with a female partner for decades.

Soon, Sam’s project isn’t just about winning the contest. It’s about discovering a rich queer history that Sam’s a part of – a queer history that no longer needs to be quiet, as long as there are kids like Sam and TJ to stand up for it.





Publication Date April 5th 2022 by Inkyard Press
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Packed with humor and heart, this debut middle grade series follows a girl finding her place in a brand-new world of private school and frenemies when her family moves to Hong Kong.

Holly-Mei Jones couldn’t be more excited about moving to Hong Kong for her mother’s job. Her new school is right on the beach and her family’s apartment is beyond beautiful. Everything is going to be perfect…right?

Maybe not. It feels like everywhere she turns, there are new rules to follow and expectations to meet. On top of that, the most popular girl in her grade is quickly becoming a frenemy. And without the guidance of her loving Ah-ma, who stayed behind in Toronto, Holly-Mei just can’t seem to get it right.

It will take all of Holly-Mei’s determination and sparkle (and maybe even a tiny bit of stubbornness) to get through seventh grade and turn her life in Hong Kong into the ultimate adventure!





Publication Date April 5th 2022 by Amulet Books
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From the award-winning author of Finding Mighty, a moving middle-grade novel about finding your place by following your heart.

Karthik Raghavan is good at remembering things. Like his bike routes. Or all the reasons he likes Juhi Shah — even if she doesn’t even know he exists. It doesn’t help that she seems to have a crush on his arch nemesis, Jacob Donnell, whose only job is to humiliate Karthik (and get his name wrong). Then Karthik’s luck changes when he secretly agrees to be in a play about the famous musician, Leonard Bernstein. But he can’t tell his parents. The family store is in jeopardy, and they need him delivering groceries on his bike to help save it. His mom is also worried about the Financial Crisis, and she’s convinced that studying hard and staying focused is the only way to succeed. But Karthik is having fun being Lenny. Besides, what if acting is Karthik’s special talent? And what if acting is the one way to catch Juhi Shah’s attention? With all the pressure from his family to succeed, will Karthik be able to really imagine and hope when he’s not sure what will happen next?





Publication Date April 12th 2022 by Candlewick
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Award-winning author Linda Williams Jackson pulls from her own childhood in the Mississippi Delta to tell the story of Ellis Earl, who dreams of a real house, food enough for the whole family—and to be someone.

It’s 1967, and eleven-year-old Ellis Earl Brown has big dreams. He’s going to grow up to be a teacher or a lawyer — or maybe both — and live in a big brick house in town. There’ll always be enough food in the icebox, and his mama won’t have to run herself ragged looking for work as a maid in order to support Ellis Earl and his eight siblings and niece, Vera. So Ellis Earl applies himself at school, soaking up the lessons that Mr. Foster teaches his class — particularly those about famous colored people like Mr. Thurgood Marshall and Miss Marian Wright — and borrowing books from his teacher’s bookshelf. When Mr. Foster presents him with a copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Ellis Earl is amazed to encounter a family that’s even worse off than his own — and is delighted by the Buckets’ very happy ending. But when Mama tells Ellis Earl that he might need to quit school to help support the family, he wonders if happy endings are only possible in storybooks.

Around the historical touchstone of Robert Kennedy’s southern “poverty tour,” Linda Williams Jackson pulls from her own childhood in the Mississippi Delta to tell a detail-rich and poignant story with memorable characters, sure to resonate with readers who have ever felt constricted by their circumstances.





Publication Date April 19th 2022 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Kelly Yang, readers will love this heartfelt and genuine story about building community, finding family, and the power of Black girl magic.

Bella “Unfadeable” Fades is determined to stay out of trouble. A wiser-than-her-years graffiti artist known for tagging walls and bridges in her Indianapolis neighborhood, the Land, Bella plans to spend her summer break laying low and steering clear of anyone who might tip off to social services that she’s living on her own.

But keeping a low profile is all but impossible when Bella discovers people in high places are trying to defund the Land. She has to find a way to fight back.

Getting involved will mean putting herself out there — making connections with unlikely friends and attracting potential enemies. But if Bella doesn’t put her trust in her neighbors and learn how to bring her community together, her home — and her future — will never be the same.





Publication Date April 26th 2022 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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An epic new fantasy series inspired by Chinese mythology that #1 New York Times bestselling author Kwame Mbalia calls “a hilarious tussle between homework, family, and heroism.” When a girl awakens the stuff of legends from an old family recipe, she must embrace her extraordinary heritage to save the world.

Winnie Zeng has two goals: survive her first year of middle school and outdo her stuck-up archnemesis, David Zuo. It won’t be easy, since, according to her older sister, middle school is the pits. Luckily, Winnie studied middle school survival tactics in comic books and anime, and nothing will stop her from being the very best student.

But none of Winnie’s research has prepared her to face the mother of all hurdles: evil spirits. When she makes mooncakes for a class bake sale, she awakens the stuff of legends from her grandmother’s old cookbook, spilling otherworldly chaos into her sleepy town.

Suddenly Winnie finds herself in a race against time, vanquishing demons instead of group projects. Armed with a magic cookbook and a talking white rabbit, she must embrace her new powers and legacy of her ancestors. Because if she doesn’t, her town — and rest of the world — may fall to chaos forever.





Publication Date April 26th 2022 by Quirk Books
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Packed with shocking twists, frightening monsters, and dark magic, this is a page-turning fantasy adventure for middle-grade fans of Holly Black and Tamora Pierce.

Twelve-year-old Octavia grew up believing the town of Vittoria was the only one left in the world. The sole survivors of a deadly magical war and plague, the people of Vittoria know there’s no one alive outside the town walls — except the terrible monsters that prowl the forest.

But then the impossible happens: Octavia meets another girl beyond the walls, someone who isn’t Vittorian. Everything she’s ever believed is thrown into question, and there’s no going back.

In her quest for the truth, Octavia discovers a world full of lies, monsters, and magic. She’ll have to use every scrap of her skill, wits, and courage to uncover what’s real about Vittoria and the rest of the world.





Publication Date April 26th 2022 by Walker Books US
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Nell is determined to find her beloved missing au pair in this vibrant adventure set in, and underneath, Paris.

Penelope Magnificent spends as little time as possible with her awful parents — a grocery-mogul father and a fashion-obsessed mother who loves expensive purses more than she does her daughter. But when they mention an important trip to Paris, Nell begs to come along. Paris holds something very dear to her: her old au pair Perrine — Pear — who lives there. Pear used to write to Nell every week, promising to come to her rescue, but recently the letters stopped.

With the help of a savvy bellboy named Xavier, Nell sets out from her parents’ ultra-fancy Parisian hotel to find her beloved Pear. But Pear’s old neighbors and coworkers are strangely tight-lipped. And as Nell’s search for the truth takes her and Xavier to some of the darkest, most mysterious parts of the city, a sinister plot comes to light involving the destruction of a cherished — and delicious — part of Parisian life.

Food, fashion, and intrigue abound in this delightful caper from the author of The Secret Starling.





Publication Date April 26th 2022 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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In her first novel since winning the Newbery Medal for When You Trap A Tiger, Tae Keller offers a gripping and emotional story about a girl who is alienated by her friends…for believing in aliens.

Sometimes middle school can make you feel like you’re totally alone in the universe…but what if we aren’t alone at all?

Thanks to her best friend, Reagan, Mallory Moss knows the rules of middle school. The most important one? You have to fit in to survive. But then Jennifer Chan moves in across the street, and that rule doesn’t seem to apply. Jennifer doesn’t care about the laws of middle school, or the laws of the universe. She believes in aliens — and she thinks she can find them.

Then Jennifer goes missing. Using clues from Jennifer’s journals, Mallory goes searching. But the closer she gets, the more Mallory has to confront why Jennifer might have run…and face the truth within herself.

Tae Keller lights up the sky with this insightful story about shifting friendships, right and wrong, and the power we all hold to influence and change one another. No one is alone.





Publication Date April 26th 2022 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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From the author of the critically acclaimed novel For Black Girls Like Me, Mariama J. Lockington, comes a coming-of-age story surrounding the losses that threaten to break us and the friendships that make us whole again.

Thirteen-year-old Andi feels stranded after the loss of her mother, the artist who swept color onto Andi’s blank canvas. When she is accepted to a music camp, Andi finds herself struggling to play her trumpet like she used to before her whole world changed. Meanwhile, Zora, a returning camper, is exhausted trying to please her parents, who are determined to make her a flute prodigy, even though she secretly has a dancer’s heart.

At Harmony Music Camp, Zora and Andi are the only two Black girls in a sea of mostly white faces. In kayaks and creaky cabins, the two begin to connect, unraveling their loss, insecurities, and hopes for the future. And as they struggle to figure out who they really are, they may just come to realize who they really need: each other.

In The Key Of Us is a lyrical ode to music camp, the rush of first love, and the power of one life-changing summer.





Publication Date April 26th 2022 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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For fans of Crenshaw and When You Trap A Tiger comes the extraordinary tale of a headstrong girl and the magical dictionary she hopes will explain the complicated feelings she can’t find the right words for — or erase them altogether.

Zia remembers the exact night the Shadoom arrived. One moment she was laughing with her best friends, and the next a dark room of shadows had crept into her chest. Zia has always loved words, but she can’t find a real one for the fear growing inside her. How can you defeat something if you don’t know its name?

After Zia’s mom announces that her grouchy Greek yiayia is moving into their tiny apartment, the Shadoom seems here to stay. Until Zia discovers an old family heirloom: the C. Scuro Dictionary, 13th Edition.

This is no ordinary dictionary. Hidden within its magical pages is a mysterious blue eraser shaped like an evil eye. When Zia starts to erase words that remind her of the Shadoom, they disappear one by one from the world around her. She finally has the confidence to befriend Alice, the new girl in sixth grade, and to perform at the Story Jamboree. But things quickly dissolve into chaos, as the words she erases turn out to be more vital than Zia knew.

In this raw, funny, and at times heartbreaking middle grade debut, Bree Barton reveals how — with the right kind of help – our darkest moments can nudge us toward the light.





Publication Date April 26th 2022 by Delacorte Press
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An hilarious coming-of-age story about home, friendship, and learning that sometimes the most exciting adventures happen behind-the-scenes.

Alex Davis is convinced that seventh grade is going to be his year. After spending all summer at skate camp, he knows he’ll finally be seen as one of the “cool kids”…until he’s mistakenly put in the wrong elective. Now, instead of taking a popular video games class with his friends, he’s stuck in Filmmaking with hipster teacher Pablo and a group of eccentric classmates.

But when it’s announced that their films will be entered in the school’s annual Golden Reel competition, Alex becomes determined to claim first prize and salvage his seventh-grade year.

With the help of his longtime crush, his best friend, and a peculiar new student, Alex sets out to make a masterpiece. Soon he discovers that someone is trying to sabotage his film and finds himself embroiled in a mystery — one that leads him and his crew to conniving classmates, traitorous teachers, and even corrupt city politicians!





Publication Date May 3rd 2022 by Chronicle Books
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A beautiful coming-of-age story for fans of Front Desk and Merci Suárez Changes Gears, this book celebrates identity, language, heritage, family, and the determination to follow one’s own inner light.

Have you ever been the best at something…only to lose it all?

Luz Véliz is a soccer star – or rather, she was a soccer star. With her serious knee injury, it’s unlikely she’ll be back on the field anytime soon. But without soccer, who is she? Even her dad treats her differently now — like he doesn’t know her or, worse, like he doesn’t even like her. When Luz discovers she has a knack for coding, it feels like a lifeline to a better self. If she can just ace the May Showcase, she’ll not only skip a level in her coding courses and impress Ms. Freeman and intriguing, brilliant Trevor — she’ll have her parents cheering her on from the sidelines, just the way she likes it.

But something — someone — is about to enter the Vélizes’ life. And when Solana arrives, nothing will be the same, ever again.

Unforgettable characters, family drama, and dauntless determination illuminate Luz’s journey as she summons her inner strength and learns to accept others and embrace the enduring connection of family. Through it all, Luz’s light is a constant — a guide for others, a path forward through the dark, and an ineffable celebration of her own eternal self.

This is the second novel by Pure Belpré Honor winner Rebecca Balcárcel!





Publication Date May 3rd 2022 by Clarion Books
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In this thrilling and hilarious middle grade adventure, a young Filipino-American boy must team up with his ancestor to break the curse that’s haunted their family for generations…or be trapped in an amulet forever.

Freddie Ruiz is cursed.

While other people may have bad days, Freddie and his family have had bad generations: from bird poop splatting on him during picture day to the many tumbles and trips that earned him the nickname Faceplant Freddie. He’s learned to lay low and keep himself out of trouble — which means no fun, no friends, and definitely no risks.

But when he discovers a family heirloom, a century-old amulet from the Philippines that’s supposed to bring good fortune, Freddie thinks his luck is finally about to change.

He couldn’t be more wrong. Because the spirit of Freddie’s cranky great-granduncle Ramon is trapped in the heirloom, and the evil spirits responsible for his death have returned with a vengeance. Now, Freddie and his cousin, Sharkey, have thirteen days to break the curse, or Freddie will join Ramon for an untimely afterlife in the amulet.





Publication Date May 3rd 2022 by Carolrhoda Books
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A pack of paints, a set of pens, and unlimited creativity throw two friends into an enchanted, fast-paced adventure.

ZuZu’s first summer without her best friend is looking pretty grim, until she meets new kid Andrew at a visit to the historic Mapleton Mansion. Together they stumble upon some enchanted art supplies and discover that the shapes they draw and paint can come to life. Their creations are harmless ― but ZuZu and Andrew aren’t the only ones with access to magic.

Soon, nightmarish half-machine, half-living creatures begin appearing around town, controlled by a power-hungry “caster” with a sinister mission. It’s up to ZuZu and Andrew to use their newfound abilities to protect their community.





Publication Date May 3rd 2022 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Marty doesn’t have much ― unlike his mom, who seems to hold on to everything. Life at home is tough, but Marty finds sanctuary down at the community garden with his eccentric grandad.

On Marty’s birthday, Grandad gifts him a seed. “There’s magic in seeds, you know. You can never tell what wonders are in them.” As it turns out, Grandad has a rather wonderful plan up his sleeve. It involves wishes, a pumpkin, and a trip all the way from England to Paris.

Funny, inspiring, and larger-than-life, Seed is a story about believing in dreams ― your own, and those of the people you love.





Publication Date May 3rd 2022 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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New York Times-bestselling author Dhonielle Clayton makes her middle-grade debut with a fantasy adventure set in a global magic school in the sky, perfect for fans of Rick Riordan, Soman Chainani, and Philip Pullman.

Eleven-year-old Ella Durand is the first Conjuror to attend the Arcanum Training Institute, a magic school in the clouds where Marvellers from around the world practice their cultural arts, like brewing Indian spice elixirs and bartering with pesky Irish pixies.

Despite her excitement, Ella discovers that being the first isn’t easy ― some Marvellers mistrust her magic, which they deem “bad and unnatural.” But eventually, she finds friends in elixirs teacher, Masterji Thakur, and fellow misfits Brigit, a girl who hates magic, and Jason, a boy with a fondness for magical creatures.

When a dangerous criminal known as the Ace of Anarchy escapes prison, supposedly with a Conjuror’s aid, tensions grow in the Marvellian world and Ella becomes the target of suspicion. Worse, Masterji Thakur mysteriously disappears while away on a research trip. With the help of her friends and her own growing powers, Ella must find a way to clear her family’s name and track down her mentor before it’s too late.





Publication Date May 10th 2022 by Algonquin Young Readers
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From 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 May 10th 2022 by Crown Books for Young Readers
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A summer ant farm grows into a learning experience for the entire family in this lyrical coming-of-age story from the award-winning author of Down To Earth.

Harvard is used to his father coming home from the hospital and telling him about all the babies he helped. But since he made the mistake at work, Dad has been quieter than usual. And now he is taking Harvard and his little brother, Roger, to Kettle Hole, Maine, for the summer. Harvard hopes this trip isn’t another mistake.

In the small town where he grew up, Dad seems more himself. Especially once the family decides to start an ant farm – just like Dad had as a kid! But when the mail-order ants are D.O.A., Harvard doesn’t want Dad to experience any more sadness. Luckily, his new friend Neveah has the brilliant idea to use the ants crawling around the kitchen instead. But these insects don’t come with directions. So the kids have a lot to learn – about the ants, each other, and how to forgive ourselves when things go wrong.





Publication Date May 17th 2022 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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It’s a summer of family, friendship, and fun fiascos in this semi-autobiographical novel that’s as irresistible as a fresh-baked cookie.

Eleven-year-old Ellis Johnson has the summertime blues. He dreamed of spending the summer of 1976 hanging out with friends, listening to music, and playing his harmonica. Instead, he’ll be sleeping on a lumpy pullout in Dad’s sad little post-divorce bungalow and helping bring Dad’s latest far-fetched, sure-to-fail idea to life: opening the world’s first chocolate chip cookie store. They have six weeks to perfect their recipe, get a ramshackle A-frame on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard into tip-top shape, and bring in customers.

But of course, nothing is as easy as Dad makes it sound, even with Grandma along for the ride. Like she says, they have to GIT — get it together — and make things work. Along the way, Ellis discovers a family mystery he is determined to solve, the power of community, and new faith in himself.

Partially based on Shawn Amos’s own experiences growing up the son of Wally “Famous” Amos in a mostly white area, and packed with humor, heart, and fun illustrations, this debut novel sings with the joy of self-discovery, unconditional love, and belonging.





Publication Date May 17th 2022 by Scholastic Press
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This humorous and heartfelt middle-grade debut by Nina Moreno with illustrations by Courtney Lovett is perfect for fans of Celia C. Pérez and Terri Libenson, and any reader still deciding what their passion in life is.

“Maybe I’m good at something I don’t even know about yet.”

Everyone in Maggie Diaz’s life seems to be finding their true passion. The one thing that defines them as a person. Her best friends Zoey and Julian are too busy to hang out after school thanks to band and comics club. Mom is finishing her last semester in college. And Maggie’s perfect older sister Caro is perfectly-perfect at sports and tutoring.

So Maggie cooks up a plan to join every club she can! But trying to fit in with type-A future leaders, gardening whizzes, and the fearless kids in woodshop is intimidating, exhausting, and seriously confusing. And juggling homework, friends, and all of her after-school activities is way harder than it looks.

Seventh grade is all about figuring out who you are – good thing Maggie Diaz has the perfect plan!





Publication Date May 24th 2022 by HarperCollins
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A heartfelt debut novel about a boy’s attempt to find himself in the history he loves — perfect for fans of Dear Sweet Pea and From The Desk Of Zoe Washington.

Amos Abernathy lives for history. Literally. He’s been a historical reenactor nearly all his life. But when a cute new volunteer arrives at his Living History Park, Amos finds himself wondering if there’s something missing from history: someone like the two of them.

Amos is sure there must have been LGBTQ+ people in nineteenth-century Illinois. His search turns up Albert D. J. Cashier, a Civil War soldier who might have identified as a trans man if he’d lived today. Soon Amos starts confiding in his newfound friend by writing letters in his journal — and hatches a plan to share Albert’s story with his divided twenty-first century town. It may be an uphill battle, but it’s one that Amos is ready to fight.

Told in an earnest, hilarious voice, this love letter to history, first crushes, and LGBTQ+ community will delight readers of Ashley Herring Blake, Alex Gino, or Maulik Pancholy.





Publication Date May 24th 2022 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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When new classmates Mattie and Mercedes meet and realize they have the same dad, the two team up in a Parent Trap–inspired misadventure to meet him for the first time in this sharp and poignant middle grade novel about the bonds that make a family.

Mattie Gomez feels directionless after being uprooted from her beloved Minnesota and forced to move in with her new stepfamily in California. So when she meets a girl at her new middle school who looks exactly like her, she’s not sure what to make of it.

But her doppelganger, the popular Mercedes Miller, doesn’t like it one bit.

Mercedes is used to getting what she wants, when she wants; Mattie would rather be invisible and blend into the background. Mercedes lives in a big empty house with her nanny; Mattie’s new home is packed-to-the-gills, twenty-four/seven chaos. Mercedes has a short fuse; Mattie is a planner. Though they may look alike, the two of them couldn’t be more different.

Soon enough, however, Mattie and Mercedes learn that they have at least one thing in common: a dad that neither of them has ever met. Determined to meet the father they’ve never known, these polar opposites suddenly have to work together to fake sleepovers, evade their friends, and plot daring escapes from school field trips in an effort to track down him down.

If only they could stop bickering long enough to get the show on the road.





Publication Date May 24th 2022 by Quill Tree Books
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Jules Machias, author of Indie Next List Pick Both Can Be True, delivers another inspiring story about how an unexpected friendship transforms the lives of two middle schoolers.

Avery Hart lives for the thrill and speed of her dirt bike and the pounding thump of her drum kit. But after she’s diagnosed with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a disease that affects her joints, Avery splits her time between endless physical therapy and worrying that her fun and independence are over for good.

Sarah Bell is familiar with worry, too. For months, she’s been having intense panic attacks. No matter how much she pours her anxiety into making art, she can’t seem to get a grip on it, and she’s starting to wonder if she’ll be this way forever.

Just as both girls are reaching peak fear about what their futures hold, their present takes a terrifying turn when their school is seemingly attacked by gunmen. Though they later learn it was an active shooter drill, the traumatic experience bonds the girls together in a friendship that will change the way they view their perceived weaknesses — and help them find strength, and more, in each other.





Publication Date May 31st 2022 by HarperCollins
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From acclaimed author Phil Stamper (The Gravity of Us and As Far As You’ll Take Me) comes a poignant coming-of-age, contemporary middle grade debut novel about finding your place, using your voice, and the true meaning of pride. Perfect for fans of Rick by Alex Gino and The Best At It by Maulik Pancholy.

Jake is just starting to enjoy life as his school’s first openly gay kid. While his family and friends are accepting and supportive, the same can’t be said about everyone in their small town of Barton Springs, Ohio.

When Jake’s dad hangs a comically large pride flag in their front yard in an overblown show of love, the mayor begins to receive complaints. A few people are even concerned the flag will lead to something truly outlandish: a pride parade.

Except Jake doesn’t think that’s a ridiculous idea. Why can’t they hold a pride festival in Barton Springs? The problem is, Jake knows he’ll have to get approval from the town council, and the mayor won’t be on his side. And as Jake and his friends try to find a way to bring Pride to Barton Springs, it seems suspicious that the mayor’s son, Brett, suddenly wants to spend time with Jake.

But someone that cute couldn’t possibly be in league with his mayoral mother, could he?





Publication Date May 31st 2022 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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From the acclaimed author of Tune It Out and Roll With It comes an inspirational and engaging middle grade book about a young girl who sets out to overcome her anxiety over the course of one life-changing summer.

Twelve-year-old June Delancey is kicking summer off with a bang. She shaves her head and sets two goals: she will beat her anxiety and be the lion she knows she can be, instead of the mouse everyone sees. And she and her single mama will own their power as fierce, independent females.

With the help of Homer Juarez, the poetry-citing soccer star who believes in June even when she doesn’t believe in herself, she starts a secret library garden and hatches a plan to make her dreams come true. But when her anxiety becomes too much, everything begins to fall apart. It’s going to take more than a haircut and some flowers to set things right. It’s going to take courage and friends and watermelon pie. Forget second chances. This is the summer of new beginnings.





Publication Date June 7th 2022 by Aladdin
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Perfect for fans of Stuart Gibbs and James Ponti, this hilarious and poignant middle grade sci-fi adventure set in 1980s Ohio follows a young girl who makes incredible discoveries about family and belonging while chasing a kidnapping robot.

It’s the summer of 1983, and one by one, the kids of Far Flung Falls are disappearing.

With sheer drop-offs at every turn, the woods behind Molly McQuirter’s house have always been a dangerous place — even before something big and metal started lurking in them. But when Molly’s little brother is snatched up before her eyes, she has no choice but to follow. Sure, Wally tends to ruin everything, and his finger practically lives up his nose, but she isn’t about to let him be abducted by some unknown enemy, especially since their mom ran off to Florida two years ago and their dad, who’s slowly morphing into a couch potato, won’t be any help. If Molly wants to protect the family she has left, Wally’s rescue is going to be up to her. So aided a crew of unusually determined pets, Molly sets off on Pink Lightning — her tricked-out bicycle — on a chase through the hills of southern Ohio.

Finding the robot culprit only creates more questions, however, and when the unlikely mastermind behind the robot is uncovered, a new story begins to unfold — one of lost love, family bonds, and some seriously weird science.





Publication Date June 7th 2022 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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Hatchet meets Raina Telgemeier’s Sisters in this adventurous and heartfelt middle grade tale of three warring sisters who find themselves lost in the wilderness and must learn to trust each other if they want to survive.

Sisters Abby, Emma, and Ollie have gone from being best friends forever to mortal enemies.

Thanks to their months-long feud, they are sent to Camp Unplugged, a girls’ camp deep in the heart of the Idaho mountains where they will go “back to nature” — which means no cell phones, no internet, and no communicating with the outside world. For two whole weeks. During that time, they had better learn to get along again, their parents tell them. Or else.

The sisters don’t see any way they can ever forgive each other for what they’ve done, no matter how many hikes and campfire songs they’re forced to participate in. But then disaster strikes, and they find themselves lost and alone in the wilderness. They will have to outrun a raging wildfire, make it through a turbulent river, escape bears and mountain lions and ticks. They don’t have training, or food, or enough supplies. All they have is each other.

And maybe, just maybe, it will be enough to survive.





Publication Date June 21st 2022 by Feiwel & Friends
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A middle grade novel by Kate Egan, Golden Ticket, explores friendship, academic anxiety, and what it means to be special.

“It’s practically like a private school,” Mrs. Silver said bitterly. “The best teacher, for such a tiny group of students. Who wouldn’t succeed in a class like that?” She took off her sunglasses to glare at the dad. “Those kids get picked out when they’re seven years old, and they get handed a golden ticket. Of course they become stars.”

Eleven-year-old Ash McNulty is one of the “gifted and talented” kids at her school, spending most of her day in a special class with a few other advanced students. As the end of fifth grade rolls around, she should be on top of the world. According to everyone, she’s going to rock junior high!

But Ash has a secret: She can’t keep up with her advanced classmates anymore. The minute she asks for help though, everyone will know she’s not who they think she is. She’s not so smart. She might not even be that special. And her parents will be crushed to discover the truth.

If Ash can win the Quiz Bowl, though, that will show everyone that she is still on top. If she gets a lucky break ahead of time, all the better.

Except that “lucky break” backfires…

And Ash is left to question everything she thought she knew about school, friends, and success.





Publication Date June 21st 2022 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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In this charming middle grade novel that’s perfect for fans of Tim Federle and Gordon Korman, Zadie is determined to spend the summer helping at the community theater — but things go hilariously awry!

Zadie loves Tae Kwon Do, comic books, and outer space. She also loves visiting the community theater that her mom runs, especially the lighting grid over the stage and the stage manager’s booth, which is filled with levers and buttons like a spaceship control panel. So when the family’s finances suffer a blow and Zadie has to give up her usual activities to spend the summer at the theater, she doesn’t mind too much. After all, she’s always wanted to tech a show.

She knows she’d be great at it, but her mom and the new stage manager are totally opposed to the idea of having a kid do tech. Instead, Zadie’s stuck handing out snacks and folding flyers. But the future of the theater rides on this show, and Zadie is determined to help. She’s going to make Spinderella the hit of the season — unless she accidentally turns it into a disaster.





Publication Date June 28th 2022 by Scholastic Press
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Sal and Gabi Break The Universe meets Supernatural in a heartfelt, hilarious adventure about a trio of tight-knit, monster-loving siblings from acclaimed author Zoraida Córdova.

It takes a special person to end up in detention on the last day of school.

It takes a REALLY special person to accidentally burn down the school yard while chasing a fire-breathing chipmunk.

But nothing about Valentina Salazar has ever been “normal.” The Salazars are protectors, tasked with rescuing the magical creatures who sometimes wander into our world, from grumpy unicorns to chupacabras…to the occasional fire-breathing chipmunk.

When Val’s father is killed during a rescue mission gone wrong, her mother decides it’s time to retire from their life on the road. She moves the family to a boring little town in upstate New York and enrolls Val and her siblings in real school for the first time.

But Val is a protector at heart and she can’t give up her calling. So when a mythical egg surfaces in a viral video, Val convinces her reluctant siblings to help her find the egg before it hatches and wreaks havoc. But she has some competition: the dreaded monster hunters who’ll stop at nothing to destroy the creature…and the Salazar family.





Publication Date June 28th 2022 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Reminiscent of Doll Bones, this deliciously eerie middle grade novel tells the story of a girl who must enter a world of ghosts, witches, and monsters to play a game with deadly consequences and rescue her aunt.

Evie Von Rathe lives in Blight Harbor — the seventh-most haunted town in America — with her Aunt Desdemona, the local paranormal expert. Des doesn’t have many rules except one: Stay out of the abandoned slaughterhouse at the edge of town. But when her aunt disappears into the building, Evie goes searching for her.

There she meets The Clackity, a creature who lives in the shadows and seams of the slaughterhouse. The Clackity makes a deal with Evie to help get Des back in exchange for the ghost of John Jeffrey Pope, a serial killer who stalked Blight Harbor a hundred years earlier. Evie must embark on a journey into a strange otherworld filled with hungry witches, penny-eyed ghosts, and a memory-thief, all while being pursued by a dead man whose only goal is to add Evie to his collection of lost souls.

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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!

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