65 Most-Anticipated Middle Grade Books: July-December 2022

Today’s post is sponsored by Stacy Nockowitz and The Prince of Steel Pier!

Title The Prince of Steel Pier
Author Stacy Nockowitz
Intended Target Audience Middle Grade
Publication Date September 1st 2022 by Kar-Ben Publishing
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A young teen falls in with the mob, and learns a lesson about what kind of person he wants to be.

In The Prince of Steel Pier, Joey Goodman is spending the summer at his grandparents’ struggling hotel in Atlantic City, a tourist destination on the decline. Nobody in Joey’s big Jewish family takes him seriously, so when Joey’s Skee-Ball skills land him an unusual job offer from a local mobster, he’s thrilled to be treated like “one of the guys,” and develops a major crush on an older girl in the process.

Eventually disillusioned by the mob’s bravado, and ashamed of his own dishonesty, he recalls words of wisdom from his grandfather that finally resonate. Joey realizes where he really belongs: with his family, who drive him crazy, but where no one fights a battle alone. All it takes to get by is one’s wits…and a little help from one’s brothers.

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 65 middle grade books I’m most looking forward to in the second half of 2022 (July-December)!

Please Note: If you’re a middle grade author with a novel being published in the latter 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 books being published in 2022, please check out this Goodreads list with nearly 400 middle grade books 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 July 5th 2022 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
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An eighth grader starts a podcast on climate activism and rallies her friends to create lasting change in their local community and beyond, in this companion to Dress Coded.

When Mary Kate Murphy joins a special science pilot program focused on climate change, the class opens her eyes to lots of things she never noticed before about her small suburban town: Kids waste tons of food at school without a second thought. Parents leave their cars running in the pick-up lane all the time. People buy lots of clothes they don’t really need. Some of her friends who live in the city and are bused to her school don’t always feel included. And the mayor isn’t willing to listen to new ideas for fixing it all. Mary Kate and her friends have big plans to bring lasting change to their community and beyond. And now is the time for the young people to lead and the leaders to follow — or get out of the way.





Publication Date July 5th 2022 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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In this fun middle grade adventure, a young girl and her two new friends brave the wilderness to find a castle, prove a local legend, and discover the true meaning of home.

Lin Moser is not looking forward to this summer. After living on the road all her life, hiking mountains and traveling through the country in an RV with her house-flipping parents, she’s now stuck in Newbridge, New Jersey for their longest stay yet. With Mom away on a year-long naturalist assignment, Lin has resigned herself to having the most boring summer ever. But then she finds out about a local legend: an ancient ruined castle in the woods that no one has been able to find. Hiking to this castle would be like a quest…such an amazing quest that Mom might even come home, and they could adventure together the way they used to.

Determined to create her own adventure, Lin sets off on her biggest one yet―braving the wilderness with her two new friends, seeking the castle, and maybe discovering a new idea of home along the way.

With her trademark humor and heart, Jess Rinker delivers a story of adventure and growing up in The Hike To Home.





Publication Date July 5th 2022 by Wendy Lamb Books
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Cracking the code isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in this scavenger hunt adventure from a Coretta Scott King Honor-winning author.

Chester Keene takes great comfort in his routines. Afterschool Monday to Thursday is bowling, and Friday, the best of days, is laser tag! But besides Friday laser tag, Chester has one other very special thing — he gets secret spy messages from his dad, who must be on covert government assignments, which is why Chester has never met him.

Then one day at lunch, Chester’s classmate, Skye, approaches him with a clue. They’ve been tasked with a complex puzzle-solving mission. Chester takes their assignments very seriously, but Skye treats it like a big game. Skye proves to be a useful partner and good company, even if her haphazard, free-wheeling ways are disruptive to Chester’s carefully curated schedule.

As Chester and Skye get closer to their final clue, they discover the key to their spy assignment: they have to stop a heist! But cracking this code may mean finding out things are not always what they seem.





Publication Date July 5th 2022 by Roaring Brook Press
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A story about a self-described ‘ditz’ who ends up on her school’s Quiz Quest team in a bid to prove she’s smart.

Marianne Blume knows she’s one of the stupid kids. After years of trying and trying and feeling like she’s always failing, she has mastered the art of turning off her brain whenever questions or lectures arise. She gets by in school on a combination of luck, deflection, and charisma ― that is, until she lands in the classroom of Mr. Garcia.

To avoid flunking Mr. Garcia’s class, Marianne joins her school’s Quiz Quest team, hoping the move will ingratiate her to him, the team’s coach. Can Marianne learn to be smart if she puts her mind to it? And what does it really mean to be ‘bright,’ anyway?

Bright is a readable and empowering story about bucking labels, overcoming preconceptions, and learning to find ― and uphold ― your own self-worth.





Publication Date July 12th 2022 by Margaret Ferguson Books
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Twelve-year-old Violet Crane is an only child in a lonely household who longs to be part of the gregarious family that’s just moved in next door.

With a mother struggling with anxiety, a father who recently moved out, and no siblings to commiserate with, socially awkward Violet Crane feels like she is starting middle school with less going for herself than that of your average kid.

When the rambunctious Walker family moves in next door, Violet can’t help but wish she could become a part of their household — everyone and everything seems so normal compared to her own.

After she meets them, Violet falls in love with all five Walker siblings and especially with Mrs. Walker, who is nothing like her own mother. Violet and Reggie, the black sheep of the Walker family, find that they have an easy understanding of each other, and it doesn’t hurt that they are in the same grade at school.

But then Violet overhears a conversation between Reggie and his mother in which she tells him that she doesn’t feel like Violet is an appropriate friend. Violet is devastated until she faces a truth – no person, family or friendship is perfect — and realizes just how lucky she is.





Publication Date July 12th 2022 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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A humorous, heartfelt, and fashion-filled contemporary novel about Macy Weaver, a young girl struggling with how to be her true self and make a best friend. Perfect for fans of From The Desk of Zoe Washington and Stand Up, Yumi Chung.

Eleven-year-old Macy Weaver knows relationships are complicated. Fresh off her latest friendship breakup, she’s spent most of her summer break on her own. So when Macy’s mother decides to go back to college three states away, Macy jumps on the chance to move — anything for a fresh start.

But Macy’s new home isn’t exactly what she expected. Her mother’s never around and her dad’s always working. Lonelier than ever, Macy sets her sights on finding a new best friend. When she meets Brynn, who’s smart and kind and already seems to have her whole life figured out — down to her future as a high fashion model — Macy knows she’s it. The only problem is that Brynn already has a BFF and, as everyone knows, you can only have one.

Resorting to old habits, Macy turns one small lie into a whole new life — full of fantastic fashion and haute couture — but it isn’t long before everything really falls apart. Ultimately, Macy must determine how to make things right and be true to herself — rather than chasing after the person she thinks she’s supposed to be.





Publication Date July 12th 2022 by Holiday House
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When bright and spirited Norvia moves from the country to the city, she has to live by one new rule: Never let anyone know you’re Ojibwe.

Growing up on Beaver Island, Grand-père told Norvia stories — stories about her ancestor Migizi, about Biboonke-o-nini the Wintermaker, about the Crane Clan and the Reindeer Clan. He sang her songs in the old language, and her grandmothers taught her to make story quilts and maple candy. On the island, Norvia was proud of her Ojibwe heritage.

Things are different in the city. Here, Norvia’s mother forces her to pretend she’s not Native at all — even to Mr. Ward, Ma’s new husband, and to Vernon, Norvia’s irritating new stepbrother. In fact, there are a lot of changes in the city: ten-cent movies, gleaming soda shops, speedy automobiles, ninth grade. It’s dizzying for a girl who grew up on the forested shores of Lake Michigan.

Despite the move, the upheaval, and the looming threat of world war, Norvia and her siblings — all five of them — are determined to make 1914 their best year ever. Norvia is certain that her future depends upon it…and upon her discretion.

But how can she have the best year ever if she has to hide who she truly is?

Sensitive, enthralling, and classic in sensibility (perfect for Anne of Green Gables fans), this tender coming-of-age story about an introspective and brilliant Native American heroine thoughtfully addresses assimilation, racism, and divorce, as well as everygirl problems like first crushes, making friends, and the joys and pains of a blended family. Often funny, often heartbreaking, The Star That Always Stays is a fresh and vivid story directly inspired by Anna Rose Johnson’s family history.





Publication Date July 12th 2022 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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A moving, voice-driven novel about friendship, responsibility, and fighting against unfair expectations, for fans of Rebecca Stead and Erin Entrada Kelly.

Max wishes he could go back in time to before he was diagnosed with ADHD, before he grew to be the tallest kid in his class, and before he and his best friends went into the woods in the middle of the night. Max doesn’t remember what happened after he left his friends Will and Joey and the older kids who took them there. He’s not sure if he wants to remember. Knowing isn’t going to make Joey talk to him again, or bring Will out of his coma.

When the local authorities run out of leads, Max realizes that without his help, they may never know what really happened to Will. Charged by the idea that he may be the key to uncovering the truth, Max pairs up with classmate and aspiring journalist Sam to investigate what really happened that night. But not everyone in the community wants that night to be remembered.





Publication Date July 12th 2022 by HarperCollins
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Facing a world dually altered by climate change and those who profit from it, Yolanda Cicerón will have to fight to save the last known beehive from extinction in this stirring new adventure by award-winning author Pablo Cartaya.

In a future shaken by climate disasters, Yolanda Cicerón knows that nature is something to be feared. While life in the Valley is brutal and harsh, Yoly dreams of leaving her farm to live in Silo — the most advanced town for miles around. But first, Yoly will need to prove she belongs in a place where only the smartest and most useful are welcomed.

Between her razor-sharp smarts and sheer determination, Yoly is well on her way until she discovers her family can no longer afford her schooling. When forced to take matters into her own hands, the closer she gets to securing her future, the more she uncovers the dangers lying inside Silo’s walls — ones that threaten the entire Valley.

As she cracks long-guarded secrets, Yoly, along with those closest to her, is put in grave peril and the only chance of surviving may lie in the rediscovery of a long-extinct species — the honeybee. Can the last surviving beehive be the key to pulling the Valley out from under Silo’s thumb, or will they destroy what remains of Yoly’s future?





Publication Date July 19th 2022 by Scholastic Press
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A sweet, tender middle-grade story of two boys finding first love with each other over a seaside summer.

Jeremy is not excited about the prospect of spending the summer with his dad and his uncle in a seaside cabin in Oregon. It’s the first summer after his parents’ divorce, and he hasn’t exactly been seeking alone time with his dad. He doesn’t have a choice, though, so he goes…and on his first day takes a walk on the beach and finds himself intrigued by a boy his age running by. Eventually, he and Runner Boy (Evan) meet – and what starts out as friendship blooms into something neither boy is expecting…and also something both boys have been secretly hoping for.





Publication Date July 19th 2022 by Christy Ottaviano Books
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What if you could write your dreams into reality with the stroke of a pen?

Sixth grade is off to a difficult start for Josephine Rose Silver. Her best friend, Violet, returns from camp with a new best friend; her parents refuse to grant her more independence; and her homeroom teacher, Ms. Kline, is full of secrets. When Ms. Kline unveils a collection of old Gothamite magazines and tells her students to build their writing skills by crafting short stories inspired by the iconic covers, J.R. discovers a peculiar power: The stories she writes come true. Soon J.R. is getting a cell phone, scoring game-winning goals, and triggering school cancellations. But it’s not long before she realizes that each new story creates as many conflicts as it does solutions. And when J.R. tries to write about her fallout with Violet, all of her problems converge.

With a pinch of magic, mystery, art history, and language arts woven into a journey of growth and self-confidence, this promising debut is a heartfelt and satisfying tribute to the power of words.





Publication Date July 26th 2022 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
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A traveling medicine show promises to cure all, but two kids learn it takes more than faith in the miraculous to fix things that are broken.

Thirteen-year-old Jack knows what cured his baby sister when his family thought she might never get well — Dr. Kingsbury’s “Miraculous Tonic.” Guaranteed to relieve maladies known to man or beast, Dr. Kingsbury’s potion can cure everything from pimples to hearing loss to a broken heart, and Jack himself is a witness to the miraculous results and the doctor’s kindness. When he had no money, the doctor didn’t turn him away but gave him the tonic for free along with a job — to travel with him from city to city selling his cure-all elixir.

When Dr. Kingsbury and Jack arrive in Oakdale, the town at first feels like any other they’ve been to. But it’s clear Oakdale is a town with secrets, and its citizens are slow to trust strangers.

Then Jack meets Cora, and a friendship neither expected starts to bloom. Together they uncover something else they didn’t expect — not only secrets about the town but also Dr. Kingsbury. As they race to discover the truth, they’ll have to decide who and what to believe before it’s too late.





Publication Date August 2nd 2022 by Delacorte Press
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An eerie, twisty ghost story about twelve-year-old Parker, who only wanted a summer of fun and new friendship, and the nightmare she finds instead.

Don’t forget your flashlight…

Parker Nelson can’t wait for summer camp. She’ll have fun and make amazing memories, far away from the bullies who made seventh grade unbearable.

But then something terrible happens: The mean girl who made life a living nightmare is in Parker’s cabin. Soon all the other girls turn on Parker, too — no one wants to be her friend. Except Jenny.

Jenny’s the only one who is willing to listen. The only one who understands. The only one who feels the same way Parker does: That there’s a deep, dark secret to making friends and she’s the only one who doesn’t know it.

But there’s something else Parker doesn’t know. Something bad happened at the camp a long time ago, and it just won’t stay buried…





Publication Date August 2nd 2022 by Aladdin
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A young boy must unravel a curse to save his family’s beloved Maine motel in this spooky middle grade novel sure to delight fans of Whispering Pines and The Peculiar Incident On Shady Street!

Twelve-year-old Parker has grown up in his family’s Home Away Inn, nestled on a wooded peninsula in Maine called Spruce Point. His best friend, Frankie, has been staying at the inn every summer for years with her family. Together, they’ve had epic adventures based out of a nearby old treehouse that serves as their official headquarters for Kids Confidential Meetings.

But lately, business at the inn hasn’t been great, and Parker is pretty sure he knows why. It’s long been rumored that Mrs. Gruvlig, one of the few year-rounders on Spruce Point, has unique abilities of the supernatural kind. And Frankie is absolutely sure she saw a ghost on Mrs. Gruvlig’s property! As more and more spooky happenings occur around the Point, Parker and Frankie are convinced Spruce Point has been officially cursed.





Publication Date August 2nd 2022 by Razorbill
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A queer tale about kid werewolves, big bad mistakes, and terrifying creatures in Natalie C. Parker’s exciting middle grade debut.

Little wolf, little wolf, here I come.

It’s the eve of the first full moon of summer and twelve-year-old Riley Callahan is ready to turn into a wolf. Nothing can ruin her mood: not her little brother Milo’s teasing, not Mama N’s smothering, and not even Mama C’s absence from their pack’s ceremony. But then the unthinkable happens — something that violates every rule of wolf magic — Riley and four other kids don’t shift.

Riley is left with questions that even the pack leaders don’t have answers to. And to make matters far worse, it appears something was awoken in the woods that same night.

The Devouring Wolf.

The elders tell the tale of the Devouring Wolf to scare young pups into obedience. It’s a terrifying campfire story for fledging wolves, an old legend of a giant creature who consumes the magic inside young werewolves. But to Riley, the Devouring Wolf is more than lore: it’s real and it’s after her and her friends.





Publication Date August 2nd 2022 by Scholastic Press
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Bestselling author Natalie Lloyd returns with her most personal book to date, a story about a girl who ― armed with her trusty, snazzy wheelchair ― refuses to let her brittle bone disease stand in the way of adventure.

Twelve-year-old homeschooled Olive is tired of being seen as “fragile” just because she has osteogenesis imperfecta (otherwise known as brittle bone disease) so she’s thrilled when she finally convinces her parents to let her attend Macklemore Elementary. Olive can’t wait to go to a traditional school and make the friends she’s always longed for, until a disastrous first day dashes her hopes of ever fitting in.

Then Olive hears whispers about a magical, wish-granting hummingbird that supposedly lives near Macklemore. It’ll be the solution to all her problems! If she can find the bird and prove herself worthy, the creature will make her most desperate, secret wish come true.

When it becomes clear that she can’t solve the mystery on her own, Olive teams up with some unlikely allies who help her learn the truth about the bird. And on the way, she just might learn that our fragile places lead us to the most wonderful magic of all…





Publication Date August 9th 2022 by Roaring Brook Press
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Funny and poignant, Amanda Panitch’s new middle-grade novel The Two Wrong Halves of Ruby Taylor is an exploration of mixed families, identity, hundred-year-old curses, and the terrifying challenge of standing up for yourself against your loved ones.

Of her two granddaughters, Grandma Yvette clearly prefers Ruby Taylor’s perfect ― and perfectly Jewish ― cousin, Sarah. They do everything together, including bake cookies and have secret sleep overs that Ruby isn’t invited to. Twelve-year-old Ruby suspects Grandma Yvette doesn’t think she’s Jewish enough. The Jewish religion is matrilineal, which means it’s passed down from mother to child, and unlike Sarah, Ruby’s mother isn’t Jewish.

But when Sarah starts acting out – trading in her skirts and cardigans for ripped jeans and stained t-shirts, getting in trouble at school – Ruby can’t help but be somewhat pleased. Then Sarah suddenly takes things too far, and Ruby is convinced Sarah is possessed by a dybbuk, an evil spirit…that Ruby may or may not have accidentally released from Grandma Yvette’s basement. Ruby is determined to save her cousin, but a dybbuk can only be expelled by a “pious Jew.” If Ruby isn’t Jewish enough for her own grandmother, how can she possibly be Jewish enough to fight a dybbuk?

Amanda Panitch writes with a humorous, irresistible, and authentic voice. This character-driven story with a magic twist about speaking up and finding your place in the world is for fans of Erin Entrada Kelly, Stacey McAnulty, and Greg Howard.





Publication Date August 9th 2022 by Delacorte Press
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Readers on the cusp of adolescence will find much to love in this middle grade novel from the author of the beloved Mr. Terupt series that follows three kids who come to realize that letting go of childhood means boldly taking risks to face the future while learning from the past.

Loretta and her twin brother, Waylon, are headed to middle school. Loretta has always been quick with her fists and her wits. Since Waylon is on the small side, Loretta doesn’t let anyone mess with him. But now she worries he won’t survive without her by his side. Her secret plan: bulk him up with muscle over the summer. Little does she know that Waylon has a plan of his own. He’ll show his sister he can take care of himself.

As each puts their strategy in motion, Loretta and Waylon spend the summer going into the woods behind their house, even sneaking there in the dead of night. That’s where they first encounter Louie, who is about their age but noticeably bigger. Louie is homeschooled, he explains when Loretta gives him the third degree. Loretta, Waylon, and Louie soon fall into a comfortable friendship and continue their nightly forest adventures. When they unearth a mysterious box, the past collides with the present, propelling the trio on a quest that will forever change their lives.

Rob Buyea’s spirited dual narrative drives this funny, touching brother-sister story, where even the best-laid plans sometimes backfire and feelings may get bruised, but family and friends always count. Letting go of childhood means boldly taking risks to face the future while learning from the past.





Publication Date August 9th 2022 by Peachtree
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Hitch a ride with 11-year-old Hazmat and her dad in their 18-wheeler, Leonardo, for a feel-good road trip across America that keeps on trucking!

Life on the road with Daddy is as good as gets for Hazmat. Together, they’ve been taking jobs and crisscrossing the US for years. Now Daddy’s talking about putting down roots — somewhere Hazmat can go to a real school and make friends. Somewhere Daddy doesn’t have to mail-order textbooks about “nature’s promise to all women.” Somewhere Mom’s ashes can rest on a mantel and not on a dashboard.

While everything just keeps changing, sometimes in ways she can’t control, Hazmat isn’t ready to give up the freedom of long-distance hauling. Sure the road is filled with surprises, from plane crashes and robo trucks to runaway hitchhikers and abandoned babies, but that all makes for great stories! So Hazmat hatches a plan to make sure Daddy’s dream never becomes a reality. Because there’s only one place Hazmat belongs: in the navigator’s seat, right next to Daddy, with the whole country flying by and each day different from the last.

Award-winning author Louise Hawes writes with an easy, conversational voice and an “I’ll never grow up” spirit that cheerfully thumbs its nose at traditional coming-of-age narratives. This heart-tugging, laugh-out-loud portrait of a father and daughter is a satisfying journey across modern America you won’t want to miss.





Publication Date August 16th 2022 by Katherine Tegen Books
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From the author of Ghost Girl comes another standalone spooky middle grade for fans of Nightbooks and Ghost Squad, about a terrifying house and the girl haunted by her experience with cancer, grief, and healing. Are you brave enough to step inside?

For as long as anyone could remember there wasn’t a house at the dead end of Juniper Drive…until one day there was.

When Jac first sees the House, she’s counting down to the five-year anniversary of her cancer diagnosis, when she hopefully will be declared NED, or “no evidence of disease.” But with a house appearing, and her hands shaking, and a fall off her bike, Jac is starting to wonder if these are symptoms — or if something stranger is happening.

Two classmates dare Jac and her friend Hazel to enter the House. Walking through the front door is the way in. It’s definitely not the way out. There’s something off about the House; Jac can feel it. The same way she knows it’s no coincidence that the House appeared for her five-year marker. It wants something from her. And she won’t be able to get out until she figures out what.





Publication Date August 16th 2022 by Penguin Workshop
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From the co-author of the #1 New York Times bestselling series The Magic Misfits comes a spectacularly spooky novel that will keep you up way past bedtime. Perfect for fans of Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark!

Amelia is cleaning out her grandmother’s attic when she stumbles across a book: Tales To Keep You Up At Night. But when she goes to the library to return it, she’s told that the book never belonged there. Curious, she starts to read the stories: tales of strange incidents in nearby towns, of journal entries chronicling endless, twisting pumpkin vines, birthday parties gone awry, and cursed tarot decks. And at the center of the stories lies a family of witches. And witches, she’s told, can look like anyone…

As elements from the stories begin to come to life around her, and their eerie connections become clear, Amelia begins to realize that she may be in a spooky story of her own…

With hair-raising, spine-chilling prose, Dan Poblocki delivers a collection of interconnected stories that, if you’re anything like Amelia, is sure to keep you up late in the night.





Publication Date August 16th 2022 by Delacorte Press
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From the author of the critically acclaimed novel When Life Gives You Mangos comes a captivating journey of love, loss, and letters.

When Brie was younger, her mama used to surprise her with treasure hunts around their island town. After she died three years ago, these became Brie’s favorite memories.

Now, on her twelfth birthday, her mama has another surprise: a series of letters leading Brie on one last treasure hunt.

The first letter guides Brie to a special place.

The next urges her to unlock a secret.

And the last letter will change life as she knows it.

In this poignant coming-of-age story of new memories, surprises, and moments of healing, Kereen Getten beautifully captures the edge of adolescence, when everything is thrilling, amazing, and terrifying in a way it will never be again.





Publication Date August 23rd 2022 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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From the critically acclaimed author of Midnight At The Barclay Hotel comes a thrilling new middle grade mystery novel inspired by Alcatraz Prison.

Tori, Marvin, and Noah would rather be anywhere else than on the seventh grade class field trip to Raven Island prison. Tori would rather be on the soccer field, but her bad grades have benched her until further notice; Marvin would rather be at the first day of a film festival with his best friend, Kevin; and Noah isn’t looking forward to having to make small talk with his classmates at this new school.

But when the three of them stumble upon a dead body in the woods, miss the last ferry back home, and then have to spend the night on Raven Island, they find that they need each other now more than ever. They must work together to uncover a killer, outrun a motley ghost-hunting crew, and expose the age-old secrets of the island all before daybreak.





Publication Date August 30th 2022 by Bloomsbury Children’s Books
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New York Times bestselling author J. Elle makes her middle grade debut in this magical new series about a Black girl who learns she’s a witch and must save her inner-city magic school from closing, perfect for fans of Wendy Mass.

Kyana Turner has just found out the family secret – she’s a witch! This means lessons every Saturday at Park Row Magick Academy, the magic school hidden in the back of her local beauty shop. Learning spells, charms, and potion recipes, and getting a wand made to match her hair’s curl pattern, Kyana feels like she’s a part of something really special. The hardest part will be keeping her magic a secret from non-Magick folks, including her BFF, Nae.

But when the school loses funding, Kyana is determined not to let it close. She comes up with a plan to win a huge cash prize in a baking competition. After all, she’s learned how to make the best desserts from her memaw. But as Kyana struggles to keep up with magic and regular school, prepare for the competition, and keep her magic secret, she wonders if it’s possible to save her friendships, too. And what will she do when, in the first round of competition, a forbidden dollop of whisks into her cupcakes?

J. Elle combines the perfect balance of real-world issues, magical mishaps, and a memorable voice to create real Black Girl Magic.





Publication Date August 30th 2022 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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Three best friends discover a haunted orphanage and get swept up in ghoulish shenanigans in this laugh-out-loud, spooky middle grade adventure for fans of Best Nerds Forever and the Fear Street series.

One haunted orphanage + two types of ghosts + three freaked-out friends = plenty of trouble.

Best friends Aldo, Pen, and Jasper are braced for a boring summer. And equally dull summer journal writing assignments.That is, until they see a slightly transparent boy with a bad haircut appear by the soccer field and then disappear into the woods beyond. The boys follow him and discover the long-abandoned Grauche Orphanage for Orphans, a house in the woods that is most definitely haunted.

But the ghosts are not the problem. They have been trapped at the orphanage by a cranky poltergeist who erupts into violent tantrums if they put even a spectral toe across the property line. The ghosts ask the boys to help free them — but who is the angry poltergeist and what does it want? To solve the mystery, the trio must investigate the orphanage’s dark past, evade Aldo’s ghastly older brother, borrow a skeptical librarian, and duck lots of flying furniture, all while failing to agree on almost anything. Can they defeat the evil entity and rescue the ghosts before their parents catch on and ground them for eternity?





Publication Date August 30th 2022 by Tundra Books
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Ghosts, pirates and family secrets — Stephen gets more than he bargained for when he seeks out adventure in the ghostly realm, for fans of When You Trap A Tiger.

Stephen loves pirates. What he doesn’t love is his name: Stephen Oh-O’Driscoll. He believes when his Korean mother and Irish father gave him this name, that it was just one cruel setup for being teased. Giving things the proper name is important, which is why Stephen thinks that it’s time to update the definition of “pirate.” They’ve got a bad rep, and maybe they deserve some of it, but Stephen still likes a few pirate traditions, like bandannas and eyepatches — he’s just not that into stealing things from people. He has the perfect new word: piventurate. A sailor who passionately seeks adventure. That’s what he wants to be.

When he gets suspended from school for doing proper piventurate-in-training things (using sticks to practice sword fighting), his mother doesn’t let him sit around doing nothing, instead she takes him to a museum. At the museum everything changes. Stephen finds himself in a strange new place, face-to-face with a real pirate. A pirate ghost.

Captain Sapperton needs Stephen’s help to cross to the other side, and his former ghost crew are intent on making sure Stephen follows through, whatever it takes. Stephen is about to discover the true meaning of piventurate, and much to his surprise, his adventure will not only take him farther into the ghostly realm, but also closer to home, where long-held family secrets reveal surprising ties to the spirit world.





Publication Date August 30th 2022 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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The Sandlot meets Esperanza Rising in this lyrical middle grade novel set in the 1930s about a strong-willed girl who finds her voice in a tale of moxie, peaches, and determination to thrive despite the odds.

When the skies dried up, Gloria thought it was temporary. When the dust storms rolled in, she thought they would pass. But now the bank man’s come to take the family farm, and Pa’s decided to up and move to California in search of work. They’ll pick fruit, he says, until they can save up enough money to buy land of their own again.

There are only three rules at the Santa Ana Holdsten Peach Orchard:
1. No stealing product.
2. No drunkenness or gambling.
3. And absolutely no organizing.

Well, Gloria Mae Willard isn’t about to organize any peaches, no ma’am. She’s got more on her mind than that. Like the secret, all-boys baseball team she’s desperate to play for, if only they’d give her a chance. Or the way that wages keep going down. The way their company lodgings are dirty and smelly, and everyone seems intent on leaving her out of everything.

But Gloria has never been the type to wait around for permission. If the boys won’t let her play, she’ll find a way to make them. If the people around her are keeping secrets, then she’ll keep a few of her own. And if the boss men at the Santa Ana Holdsten Peach Orchard say she can’t organize peaches, then by golly she’ll organize a whole ball game.





Publication Date September 1st 2022 by Kar-Ben Publishing
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A young teen falls in with the mob, and learns a lesson about what kind of person he wants to be.

In The Prince of Steel Pier, Joey Goodman is spending the summer at his grandparents’ struggling hotel in Atlantic City, a tourist destination on the decline. Nobody in Joey’s big Jewish family takes him seriously, so when Joey’s Skee-Ball skills land him an unusual job offer from a local mobster, he’s thrilled to be treated like “one of the guys,” and develops a major crush on an older girl in the process.

Eventually disillusioned by the mob’s bravado, and ashamed of his own dishonesty, he recalls words of wisdom from his grandfather that finally resonate. Joey realizes where he really belongs: with his family, who drive him crazy, but where no one fights a battle alone. All it takes to get by is one’s wits…and a little help from one’s brothers.





Publication Date September 1st 2022 by Albert Whitman & Company
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Anxiety has always made Ava avoid the slightest risk, but plunging headfirst into danger might be just what she needs.

Dad hasn’t even been dating his new girlfriend that long, so Ava is sure that nothing has to change in her life. That is, until the day after sixth grade ends, when Dad whisks her away on vacation to meet The Girlfriend and her daughter in terrifying Colorado, where even the squirrels can kill you! Managing her anxiety, avoiding altitude sickness, and surviving the mountains might take all of Ava’s strength, but at least this trip will only last two weeks. Right?





Publication Date September 6th 2022 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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From the author of All You Knead Is Love and How To Make Friends With The Sea, an upper middle grade contemporary story of survival and grief about two biracial Filipino cousins whose resilience is tested when one of them is lost at sea.

Cousins Coral and Isa are so close that they’re practically siblings; their mothers are sisters, and the two girls grew up on the same small island. When Coral and her parents leave on a months-long sea voyage amid the islands of Indonesia, Isa is devastated that they’ll be kept apart, and the two vow to write to each other no matter what.

Then the unthinkable happens, and Coral’s boat capsizes at sea, where her parents vanish. Washed up on a deserted island, alone and wracked by grief, she must find the strength within to survive, and find her way back home. Meanwhile, Isa is still on Pebble Island, the only one holding out hope that her beloved cousin is still alive.

Told in alternating points of view, this is a powerful story of loss and hope, love and family ― and the unexpected resilience of the human spirit.





Publication Date September 6th 2022 by Rick Riordan Presents
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Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents best-selling YA author Roseanne A. Brown’s middle grade debut about a pre-teen vampire slayer with a strong helping of Ghanaian folklore.

For most kids, catching fireflies is a fun summer activity. For twelve-year-old Serwa Boateng, it’s a matter of life and death.

That’s because Serwa knows that some fireflies are really adze, shapeshifting vampires from the forests of Southeastern Ghana. Adze prey on the blood of innocents, possessing their minds and turning them into hulking monsters, and for generations, slayers like Serwa and her parents have protected an unknowing public from their threats.

Serwa is the best adze slayer her age, and she knew how to use a crossbow before she could even ride a bike. But when an obayifo (witch) destroys her childhood home while searching for a drum, do Serwa’s parents take her with them on their quest to defeat her? No. Instead, they dump Serwa with her hippie aunt and cryptic-obsessed cousin in the middle of Nowheresville, Maryland “for her own safety.” Now, instead of crossbows and battle armor, she’s dealing with mean girls and algebra, and for the first time in her life she doesn’t have to carry a staff everywhere she goes, which is…kind of nice, actually.

Just as Serwa starts to get the hang of this whole normal girl who doesn’t punch vampires every day thing, an adze infiltrates her school. It’s up to her to whip some of her classmates into monster-fighting shape before all of them become firefly food. And when she uncovers a secret that upends everything she thought she knew about her family’s role in the slayer vs. adze war, Serwa will have to decide which side of herself – normal girl or slayer – is the right one.

After all, seventh grade is hard enough without adding vampires to the mix.





Publication Date September 6th 2022 by Scholastic Press
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A heartfelt middle-grade novel about ex-best friends, betrayals, and revenge that is best served sour.

Revenge is sweet!

For as long as she can remember, Mai has spent every summer in Mystic, Connecticut visiting family friends. And hanging out with her best-friend-since-birth, Zach Koyama, was always the best part.

Then two summers ago everything changed. Zach humiliated Mai, proving he wasn’t a friend at all. So when Zach’s family moved to Japan, Mai felt relieved. No more summers together. No more heartache.

But this year, the Koyamas have returned and the family vacation is back on. And if Mai has to spend the summer around Zach, the least she can do is wipe away the memory of his betrayal…by coming up with the perfect plan for revenge!

Only Zach isn’t the boy he used to be, and Mai’s memories of their last fateful summer aren’t the whole truth of what happened between them. Now she’ll have to decide if she can forgive Zach, even if she can never forget.





Publication Date September 6th 2022 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Twelve-year-old Daphne reconciles with her father, who left her stranded three years ago, and learns forgiveness one fall at a time in this heartwarming debut by Sally Engelfried. For fans of The ​First Rule of Punk.

Daphne doesn’t want to be stuck in Oakland with her dad. She wants to get on the first plane to Prague, where her mom is shooting a movie. Armed with her grandparents’ phone number and strict instructions from her mom to call them if her dad starts drinking again, Daphne has no problem being cold to him. But there’s one thing Daphne can’t keep herself from doing: joining her dad and her new friend Arlo at a weekly skate session.

When her dad promises to teach her how to ollie and she lands the trick, Daphne starts to believe in him again. He starts to show up for her, and Daphne learns things are not as black and white with her dad as she used to think. The way Daphne’s dad tells it, skating is all about accepting failure and moving on. But can Daphne really let go of her dad’s past mistakes? Either way life is a lot like skating: it’s all about getting back up after you fall.





Publication Date September 6th 2022 by Balzer + Bray
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A sweetly spooky ghost story about a Cuban American boy who befriends a pair of spirits and tries to break the curse on his island home…only to discover a seemingly lost piece of his family’s history in the process. This new middle grade standalone mystery from the author of the Muse Squad series is perfect for fans of Doll Bones and The Girl and The Ghost!

Frank Fernandez’s family never stays in one place for long. His parents renovate unusual buildings and turn them into homes, which means the family moves — a lot. This makes it hard for bookish Frank to make friends. So when his parents announce they’re moving to Spectacle Key, Florida, to live in a lighthouse — this time for good! — Frank is thrilled.

But Spectacle Key isn’t the perfect forever home they’d imagined. The lighthouse is falling apart. There are knocks on the door — but no one is there — and mysterious sighs and sniffles from nowhere. There’s even a creepy doll that seems to move on its own. Could Spectacle Key be haunted?

Then one day while exploring, Frank meets a girl in old-fashioned clothes, with no memory of who she is. What she does know, though, is that the island is under a curse — and she needs Frank’s help to figure out how to lift it. But what if learning the truth about Spectacle Key means losing the first real friend he’s ever had?





Publication Date September 6th 2022 by Bloomsbury Children’s Books
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From the beloved author of President Of The Whole Fifth Grade, a story about a young Black girl who summons the courage to fight against a discriminatory dress code–and stand up for herself.

Lotus Bloom just wants to express herself – with her violin, her retro style, and her peaceful vibe, not to mention her fabulous hair.

This school year, Lotus is taking her talent and spirit to the seventh grade at a new school of the arts. The one where she just might get to play under the famous maestro, a violin virtuoso and conductor of the orchestra. But Lotus’s best friend, Rebel, thinks Lotus should stay at their school. Why should this fancy new school get all the funding and pull the brightest kids out? Rebel wants Lotus to help her protest, but Lotus isn’t sure. If she’s going to be in the spotlight, she’d rather it be for her music.

Then, when boys throw paper wads and airplanes into Lotus’s afro, Lotus finds herself in trouble for a dress code violation. Lotus must choose – should she stay quiet and risk her beloved hair, or put aside her peaceful vibe and risk everything to fight back?

Inspired by real stories of Black girls fighting dress codes that discriminate against their hair and culture, beloved author Sherri Winston introduces a memorable character who finds her way to speak up for what’s right, no matter what it takes.





Publication Date September 6th 2022 by Scholastic Press
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Award-winning author Amy Sarig King takes on censorship and intolerance in a novel she was born to write.

When Mac first opens his classroom copy of Jane Yolen’s The Devil’s Arithmetic and finds some words blacked out, he thinks it must be a mistake. But then when he and his friends discover what the missing words are, he’s outraged.

Someone in his school is trying to prevent kids from reading the full story.

But who?

Even though his unreliable dad tells him to not get so emotional about a book (or anything else), Mac has been raised by his mom and grandad to call out things that are wrong. He and his friends head to the principal’s office to protest the censorship…but her response doesn’t take them seriously.

So many adults want Mac to keep his words to himself.

Mac’s about to see the power of letting them out.

In Attack of the Black Rectangles, acclaimed author Amy Sarig King shows all the ways truth can be hard… but still worth fighting for.





Publication Date September 13th 2022 by Balzer + Bray
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A suspenseful and atmospheric horror set in 1980s Oregon, perfect for fans of Stranger Things, Neil Gaiman, and Margaret Peterson Haddix, from New York Times bestselling author and the Decemberists’ lead singer/songwriter Colin Meloy.

Maybe Archie Coomes has been watching too many horror movies.

All of a sudden, the most ordinary things have taken on a sinister edge: a penny on a doormat. A man in a brown suit under a streetlamp. The persistent sound of an ax chopping in the middle of the night.

He keeps telling himself that this is Seaham, a sleepy seaside town where nothing ever happens. Or at least nothing did, until his dad’s construction company opened up the cliff beneath the old — some say cursed — Langdon place.

Soon, though, he and his friends can’t deny it: more and more of the adults in town are acting strangely. An ancient, long-buried evil has been unleashed upon the community, and it’s up to the kids to stop it before it’s too late…





Publication Date September 13th 2022 by Greenwillow Books
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Feeling left behind by both her sister and her best friend, Nolie tries her best to belong but soon finds herself at a moral crossroads. Set in the bustle of New York City during the Jewish High Holy Days, Where You’ve Got To Be is an accessible story about identities and relationships — the ones you keep and ones you let go. Pitch-perfect for tween readers who love Rebecca Stead, Holly Goldberg Sloan, and contemporary realistic stories.

Nolie’s sister, Linden, may be only fourteen months older than she is, but suddenly that feels longer than it ever has before. Linden is growing up. She cuts short their Cousins Week at Grandma’s beach cottage to focus on excelling in her ballet auditions, and she throws away the seashell necklace Grandma gave each of them — though Nolie secretly saves it. Even Nolie’s best friend, Jessa, is suddenly trying to act older and cooler, and she wants Nolie to be someone different, too.

With everything and everyone changing around her, Nolie starts to feel adrift. Should she be changing, too? Who does she want to be? One impulsive decision leads to another and another…until Nolie has a secret collection of things that don’t belong to her. Now, Nolie must face the fact that she may have ended up on the wrong path so she can start to find her way back.

This voice-driven read hits the sweet spot for readers of The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise and Finding Orion.





Publication Date September 13th 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 Colombian 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 from Colombia 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 September 13th 2022 by Inkyard Press
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Maud has grown up in a house made of gingerbread, wanting nothing more than to be a witch like Mother Agatha. But just like all of Agatha’s creations — from the magical house made of sweets to the chocolate mousse squirrel, right down to the little sugar mice — Maud will turn back into gingerbread if anything ever happens to Agatha. After a terrible fight, Maud storms off only to return home to learn that Hansel and Gretel, a pair of witch hunters, have pushed Agatha into the cottage’s oven.

To save herself and the other gingerbread creations, Maud will have to go into the dangerous forest of the Shadelands to find the First Witch’s spellbook. But with witch hunters on her trail and other people interested in the book for their own means, it’ll be far from easy. Can Maud claim the book and bring back the only mother she’s ever known…or will witch hunters capture her before she can save her gingerbread family?





Publication Date September 20th 2022 by Katherine Tegen Books
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In this page-turning middle grade series by New York Times bestseller Margaret Peterson Haddix, Colin and Nevaeh, whose parents own rival junk-removal businesses, uncover mysteries hidden in attics and basements and discover how trash can become treasure. In The Secret Letters, Colin and Nevaeh find vintage letters that lead to interlocking mysteries from the 1970s and ‘80s, and they learn about “women’s lib,” the ERA, and other social issues from that time in history — and the way echoes from that era affect Colin and Nevaeh themselves.

When Colin finds a shoebox full of letters hidden in a stranger’s attic, he knows he’s supposed to throw them away. That’s his summer job, getting rid of junk. But Colin wants to rescue the letters – and find out what really happened to best friends Rosemary and Toby way back in the 1970s.

Meanwhile, across town, Nevaeh also finds a mysterious letter. But this one reads like a confession to a crime. And Nevaeh knows her father, the “Junk King,” expects her to join the rest of the family in blaming a single suspect: his business rival, Colin’s mom.

But that’s not what Nevaeh wants, either.

Even as one set of letters bring Colin and Nevaeh together, the one Nevaeh found threatens to tear them apart. Is their new friendship as doomed as Rosemary and Toby’s?

Each book in the Mysteries of Trash and Treasure series will examine a different time period in history and make readers think about how we value the stuff we hold on to — and what it is that makes it valuable.





Publication Date September 20th 2022 by Bloomsbury Children’s Books
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In the world of the Vanquishers, vampires were history…until now.

Malika “Boog” Wilson and her best friends have grown up idolizing The Vanquishers, a group of heroic vampire hunters who wiped out the last horde of the undead decades ago. Nowadays, most people don’t take even the most basic vampire precautions – the days of garlic wreaths and early curfews long gone – but Boog’s parents still follow the old rules, much to her embarrassment.

When a friend goes missing, Boog isn’t sure what to think. Could it be the school counselor, Mr. Rupert, who definitely seems to be hiding something? Or could it be something more dangerous? Boog is determined to save her friend, but is she ready to admit vampires might not be vanquished after all?

No one ever expected the Vanquishers to return, but if their town needs protection from the undead, Boog knows who to call.

Inspired by Buffy The Vampire Slayer and The Watchmen, this adventure launches readers into an exciting new series.





Publication Date September 20th 2022 by Roaring Brook Press
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In a town slowly being destroyed by rising tides, one girl must fight to find a way to keep her community’s spirit from drowning.

For thirteen-year-old Jillian Robichaux, three things are sacred: bayou sunsets, her grandmother Nonnie’s stories, and the coastal Louisiana town of Boutin that she calls home.

When the worst flood in a century hits, Jillian and the rest of her community band together as they always do ― but this time the damage may simply be too great. After the local school is padlocked and the bridges into town condemned, Jillian has no choice but to face the reality that she may be losing the only home she’s ever had.

But even when all hope seems lost, Jillian is determined to find a way to keep Boutin and its indomitable spirit alive. With the help of friends new and old, a loveable golden retriever, and Nonnie’s storytelling wisdom, Jillian does just that in this timely and heartfelt story of family, survival, and hope.

In her stunning debut middle grade novel, Sarah Guillory has written a lush story about an indomitable girl fighting against the effects of climate change.





Publication Date September 27th 2022 by Aladdin
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From critically acclaimed author Barbara Dee comes a middle grade novel about a young girl who channels her anxiety about the climate crisis into rallying her community to save a local river.

Twelve-year-old Haven Jacobs can’t stop thinking about the climate crisis. In fact, her anxiety about the state of the planet is starting to interfere with her schoolwork, her friendships, even her sleep. She can’t stop wondering why grownups aren’t even trying to solve the earth’s problem — and if there’s anything meaningful that she, as a seventh grader, can contribute.

When Haven’s social studies teacher urges her to find a specific, manageable way to make a difference to the planet, Haven focuses on the annual science class project at the local Belmont River, where her class will take samples of the water to analyze. Students have been doing the project for years, and her older brother tells her that his favorite part was studying and catching frogs.

But when Haven and her classmates get to the river, there’s no sign of frogs or other wildlife — but there is ample evidence of pollution. The only thing that’s changed by the river is the opening of Gemba, the new factory where Haven’s dad works. It doesn’t take much investigation before Haven is convinced Gemba is behind the slow pollution of the river.

She’s determined to expose Gemba and force them to clean up their act. But when it becomes clear taking action might put her dad’s job — and some friendships — in jeopardy, Haven must decide how far she’s willing to go.





Publication Date September 27th 2022 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Ruby Finley vs. The Interstellar Invasion is a backyard adventure-mystery by debut children’s author K. Tempest Bradford. Perfect for fans of Clean Getaway, The Last Last Day of Summer, and Sideways School.

Eleven-year-old Ruby is a Black girl who loves studying insects and would do just about anything to be an entomologist, much to the grossed-out dismay of her Gramma. Ruby knows everything there is to know about insects so when she finds the weirdest bug she’s ever seen in her front yard, she makes sure no one is looking and captures it for further study.

But then Ruby realizes that the creature isn’t just a regular bug. And it has promptly burned a hole through her window and disappeared. Soon, random things around the neighborhood go missing, and no one’s heard from the old lady down the street for a week. Ruby and her friends will have to recover the strange bug before the feds do.

Ruby is the science hero we’ve all been waiting for!





Publication Date September 27th 2022 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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In this delightfully zany yet heartwarming novel, a young girl and her friends take Paris by storm.

Edie Berger is a prankster, the daughter of activists, and a revolutionary in her own right. Paris is Edie’s home and her favorite place in the world. But when her parents decide to travel the globe fighting for good causes, Edie is left in the care of Odette, her strict grandmother ― and, ultimately, shipped off to boarding school in England.

A school trip finds Edie back in the streets of Paris, exploring with her friends and forced to confront the grandmother who sent her away. But is there more to Odette than Edie realizes? Featuring madcap adventures, pastries, macarons, an intrepid army of first-years, a secret underground network of nuns, a truly excellent art heist, and lots of bravery, this is a story about loving with your whole heart and standing up for what you believe in.





Publication Date September 27th 2022 by Running Press Kids
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Perfect for fans of Dungeons & Dragons, Raina Telgemeier, and Jessica Kim, a heartfelt coming-of-age middle grade novel about finding your voice and believing in your best geeky self.

Riley Henderson has never taken a bus to school in her entire life. Or made an afterschool snack, or finished her homework on her own, or — ewww — done her own laundry. That’s what her older brother Devin was for.

But now Devin’s gone. He’s off in California attending a fancy college gaming program while Riley is stuck alone in Florida with her mom. That is, until a cool nerd named Lucy gives Riley no choice but to get over her shyness and fear of rejection and become friends. The best part is…both girls are into Dungeons & Dragons. In fact, playing D&D was something Riley and Devin used to do together, with Devin as the dungeon master, guiding Riley through his intricately planned campaigns.

So, of course, Riley is more than a little nervous when Lucy suggests that she run a campaign for them. For the chance at a friend, though, she’s willing to give it a shot. Soon, their party grows and with the help of her new D&D friends, Riley discovers that not only can she function without Devin, she kind of likes it. She figures out that bus thing, totes the clothes down to the laundry room and sets up her D&D campaigns right there on the slightly suspect folding table, makes her own snacks and dinner — the whole deal.

But when Devin runs into trouble with his program and returns home, it’s pretty clear, even to Riley, that since he can’t navigate his own life, he’s going to live Riley’s for her. Now she has to help Devin go back to college and prove to her mom that she can take care of herself…all before the upcoming Winter-Con.

It’s time to Roll For Initiative.





Publication Date October 4th 2022 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Stranger Things meets Fake Blood in this deliciously charming and spooky debut novel about one girl’s choice to save her vampire parents or do what’s right for the greater good.

Twelve-year-old human Sophie Dawes lives a good life in Hopetown. There, vampires and humans live in harmony and Sophie and her adoptive vampire moms are living (or unliving) proof. There are a lot of rules that vampires must follow to keep the humans they live around feeling safe, but if regular visits from child protective services and abiding by a nightly curfew keeps their family together, Sophie will do anything to stay with her loving vampire parents. But then, normal, law-abiding vampires begin to go rogue.

After Sophie’s own mother — the sweetest person she knows — goes rogue, Sophie decides it’s up to her to find a cure. But taking matters into her own hands might be way more than she bargained for if it means braving a secret council of vampires, executing epic heists, and facing the true bad guys head on. With her best friend by her side, Sophie will fight for hope, freedom and a family bonded by a love that’s thicker than blood.





Publication Date October 4th 2022 by Christy Ottaviano Books
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A clever and thought-provoking mystery that pays homage to classic Nancy Drew stories, perfect for fans of Wendy Mass and Trenton Lee Stewart.

Maizy always assumed she knew everything about her grandmother, Jacuzzi. So when a box full of vintage Nancy Drew books gets left at her mom’s thrift store, Maizy is surprised to find an old photo of her grandmother and two other women tucked beneath the collection. Stranger still, when Maizy shows the photo to Jacuzzi she feigns ignorance, insisting the woman is someone else. Determined to learn the truth — and inspired by the legacy of Nancy Drew — Maizy launches her own investigation with the help of new friends, Nell and Cam. What they discover not only points to the origins of the iconic series, but uncovers a truth from the past that will lead to self-discovery in the present, connecting three generations of women. 

This intergenerational mystery filled with literary history, friendship, and family secrets delivers a captivating tribute to the world’s most famous girl detective.





Publication Date October 4th 2022 by Scholastic Press
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A fresh and fun new spin on the Parent-Trap story, by Indies Introduce author Maleeha Siddiqui.

Ashar is busy with the ice hockey team, studying to get into the best school, and hanging out with his friends.

Shaheer and his father are always moving, following his dad’s jobs. Shaheer has given up hope of finding a place where he can put down roots, a place that feels like home.

The two boys have nothing in common.

But when they meet on Shaheer’s first day at his new school, it’s like looking in a mirror.

They quickly figure out that they’re twins, separated as babies. And they are determined to do whatever it takes ― including secretly switching identities ― to get to know the parent they’ve been separated from.

This is the story of two long-lost brothers who, while they might not like each other, just might need each other. Bhai For Now is by turns heartwarming and hilarious, and with an unforgettable Muslim family and friendship story at its core.





Publication Date October 11th 2022 by Candlewick
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From National Book Award winner Pete Hautman comes a mysterious modern-day fairy tale about developing a moral compass — and the slippery nature of conscience.

For Annie’s tenth birthday, her papa gives her a pad of paper, some colored pencils, and the Klimas family secret. It’s called the nuodeema burna, or eater of sins. Every time Annie misbehaves, she has to write down her transgression and stick the paper into a hidey-hole in the floor of their house. But Annie’s inheritance has a dark side: with each paper fed to the burna, she feels less guilty about the mean things she says and does. As a plague of rats threatens her small suburban town and the mystery of her birthright grows, Annie — caught in a cycle of purging her misdeeds — begins to stop growing. It is only when she travels to her family’s home country of Litvania to learn more about the burna that Annie uncovers the magnitude of the truth.

Gripping and emotionally complex, Pete Hautman’s inventive yarn for middle-grade readers draws on magical realism to explore coming of age and the path to moral responsibility.





Publication Date October 11th 2022 by Balzer + Bray
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From the acclaimed actor and Stonewall Honor–winning author of The Best At It, Maulik Pancholy, comes a new middle grade novel about a gay Indian American boy who learns the power of using his voice. For fans of Merci Suárez Changes Gears and Better Nate Than Ever.

Thirteen-year-old Nikhil Shah is the beloved voice actor for Raj Reddy on the hit animated series Raj Reddy in Outer Space. But being a star on TV doesn’t mean you have everything figured out behind the scenes…

When his mom temporarily moves them to the small town in Ohio where she grew up to take care of Nikhil’s sick grandfather, Nikhil feels as out of orbit as his character.

Nikhil’s fame lands him the lead in the school musical, but he’s terrified that everyone will realize he’s a fraud once they find out he can’t sing. And when a group of conservative parents start to protest, making it clear they’re not happy with an openly gay TV star being in the starring role, Nikhil feels like his life would be easier if only he could be Raj Reddy full-time.

Then Nikhil wakes up one morning and hears a crack in his voice, which means his job playing Raj will have to come to an end. Life on earth is way more complicated than life on television. And some mysteries — like new friendships or a sick grandparent or finding the courage to speak out about what’s right — don’t wrap up neatly between commercial breaks.





Publication Date October 11th 2022 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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In this middle grade contemporary fantasy by critically acclaimed author Akemi Dawn Bowman, a twelve-year-old biracial Japanese American girl grieves the loss of her beloved grandma and attempts to contact her beyond the grave.

Eliot is grieving Babung, her paternal grandmother who just passed away, and she feels like she’s the only one. She’s less than excited to move to her new house, which smells like lemons and deception, and is searching for a sign, any sign, that ghosts are real. Because if ghosts are real, it means she can find a way back to Babung.

When Eliot chases the promise of paranormal activity to the presumably haunted Honeyfield Hall, she finds her proof of spirits. But these ghosts are losing their memory, stuck between this world and the next, waiting to cross over. With the help of Hazel, the granddaughter of Honeyfield’s owner (and Eliot’s new crush), she attempts to uncover the mystery behind Honeyfield Hall and the ghosts residing within.

And as Eliot fits the pieces together, she may just be able to help the spirits remember their pasts, and hold on to her grandmother’s memory.





Publication Date October 11th 2022 by Candlewick
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A Latina teen spy goes undercover as a white girl to stop a white supremacist terrorist plot in a fast-paced middle-grade debut from a seasoned author of contemporary crime fiction.

In her debut for younger readers, Aya de León pits a teen spy against the ominous workings of a white nationalist. Fourteen-year-old Andréa Hernández-Baldoquín hails from a family of spies working for the Factory, an international organization dedicated to protecting people of color. For her first solo mission, Andréa straightens her hair and goes undercover as Andrea Burke, a white girl, to befriend the estranged son of a dangerous white supremacist. In addition to her Factory training, the assignment calls for a deep dive into the son’s interests — comic books and gaming — all while taking care not to speak Spanish and blow her family’s cover. But it’s hard to hide who you really are, especially when you develop a crush on your target’s Latino best friend.

Can Andréa keep her head, her geek cred, and her code-switching on track to trap a terrorist? Smart, entertaining, and politically astute, this is fast-paced upper-middle-grade fare from an established author of heist and espionage novels for adults.





Publication Date October 18th 2022 by Scholastic Press
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Fans of Judy Blume, The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, and The Penderwicks will love this funny, charismatic story of a Jewish girl striving to forge her own identity in the shadow of her fearless best friend. Winner of the Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award!

​​​​​​Milla and Honey have been best friends since forever. Milla envies Honey’s confidence, her charisma, and her big, chaotic family ― especially when they provide a welcome escape from Milla’s own small family and quiet house. In their close-knit Jewish community, the two girls do everything together, from delivering meals to an ill-tempered elderly neighbor, to shopping at a local thrift store, celebrating the holidays, and going to their first bat mitzvahs while studying for their own. So when Honey joins Milla’s school for sixth grade, why is it not as great as Milla expected? Can their friendship survive all the ups and downs the year has in store for them? And will Milla ever find the courage to step out of Honey’s shadow and into her own spotlight?

Charming, authentic, and wise, Honey and Me is a classic coming-of-age story filled with relatable middle school struggles, keen insight, and sparkling humor.





Publication Date October 18th 2022 by First Second
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A middle grade graphic novel about Marlene, a young girl who stops straightening her hair and embraces her natural curls.

Marlene loves three things: books, her cool Tía Ruby and hanging out with her best friend Camila. But according to her mother, Paola, the only thing she needs to focus on is school and “growing up.” That means straightening her hair every weekend so she could have “presentable”, “good hair”.

But Marlene hates being in the salon and doesn’t understand why her curls are not considered pretty by those around her. With a few hiccups, a dash of embarrassment, and the much-needed help of Camila and Tia Ruby, she slowly starts a journey to learn to appreciate and proudly wear her curly hair.





Publication Date October 18th 2022 by Clarion Books
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A funny, feminist, and queer contemporary middle grade debut about 12-year-old loner Hazel Hill, who after one of her classmates is harassed online, devises a plan to catch the school’s golden boy in the act.

Seventh grader Hazel Hill is too busy for friends. No, really. She needs to focus on winning the school-wide speech competition and beating her nemesis, the popular and smart Ella Quinn, after last year’s embarrassing hyperbole/hyperbowl mishap that cost her first place.

But when Hazel discovers Ella is being harassed by golden boy Tyler Harris, she has to choose between winning and doing the right thing. No one would believe that a nice boy like Tyler would harass and intimidate a nice girl like Ella, but Hazel knows the truth — and she’s determined to prove it, even if it means risking everything.

Deeply relatable and surprisingly humorous, Hazel Hill Is Gonna Win This One is a wonderfully empowering story about friendship, finding your voice, and standing up for what you believe in.





Publication Date October 18th 2022 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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A magical middle grade debut, inspired by Filipino folklore, about a ten-year-old girl who embarks on a quest in the world of gods and spirits to save her and her family from a sinister shadow god. Perfect for fans of The Girl Who Drank The Moon and When You Trap A Tiger.

Marikit is used to wearing recycled clothes. Her mother, the best seamstress in the barrio, has become an expert at making do ever since Marikit’s father and brother were lost at sea. But for her tenth birthday, all Marikit wants is something new. So when her mother gifts her a patchwork dress stitched together with leftover scraps from her workshop, Marikit vows to never wear it. That is, until the eve of her birthday, when shadow creatures creep into their home, attempt to take Marikit away, and upend the very life she knew.

When she’s swept away from the human world, Marikit discovers that her dress is a map, one lovingly crafted to lead her to safety in the magical lands of the Engkantos. She trudges through the enchanted lands of mythical creatures, making friends out of monsters and challenging gods. With the help of her friends, including an exuberant firefly and a cursed boy, Marikit journeys through the land of the Engkantos to find the key to saving her family, all without being eaten alive.





Publication Date October 18th 2022 by Quill Tree Books
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Wolf Hollow meets The Thing About Jellyfish in Danielle Binks’s debut middle grade novel set in 1999, where a twelve-year-old girl grapples with the meaning of home and family amidst a refugee crisis that has divided her town.

If you asked eleven-year-old Fred to draw a map of her family, it would be a bit confusing. Her birth father was never in the picture, her mom died years ago, and her stepfather, Luca, is now expecting a baby with his new girlfriend. According to Fred’s teacher, maps don’t always give the full picture of our history, but more and more it feels like Fred’s family is redrawing the line of their story…and Fred is feeling left off the map.

Soon after learning about the baby, Fred hears that the town will be taking in hundreds of refugees seeking safety from a war-torn Kosovo. Some people in town, like Luca, think it’s great and want to help. Others, however, feel differently, causing friction within the community.

Fred, who has been trying to navigate her own feelings of displacement, ends up befriending a few refugees. But what starts as a few friendly words in Albanian will soon change their lives forever, not to mention completely redrawing Fred’s personal map of friends, family, and home, and community.





Publication Date October 18th 2022 by Scholastic Press
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A whimsical, body positive adventure about a witch with no powers figuring out where her magic truly comes from.

Adelaide Goode has never been good enough. Everyone knows she’s the weakest witch born to the Goode family in centuries. And now her mom is betraying her in the worst way possible: abandoning her in Cranberry Hallow, where she has no friends at all, for three whole months! And she’s pushing her to compete in the town Halloween pageant! If Addie is going to be stuck in this town, her mother won’t get away so easy…so she sets off the curse that’s been haunting her family for centuries. But she doesn’t plan on the curse turning her bones to glass and setting a 300-year-old witch hunter after her.

With the aid of a monster-obsessed neighbor and a twitchy-nosed, furry friend, Addie must hunt down the ingredients necessary to break the curse before the stroke of midnight. And if she doesn’t…she might just erase magic from her family, and her town, forever.





Publication Date October 25th 2022 by Delacorte Press
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New York Times bestselling author Laura Sebastian makes her middle grade debut with an emotional fantasy adventure about four friends who journey through a magical, Everglades-inspired swampland to break a curse tied to the death of a loved one.

Best friends Cordelia and Larkin have always called the Glades — a peaceful swamp full of magical creatures — home. But when Oziris, Cordelia’s father and the leader of their village, dies unexpectedly, a dark curse sweeps over the land.

The girls know that the curse must be tied to Oziris’s death, and they’re determined to break its hold on their home and bring Oziris back to life. Together, Cordelia, Larkin, and their two little brothers set off into the wild Glades in search of an elusive and enigmatic witch who is rumored to have the power to reverse death.

The Glades are no longer a familiar and friendly place, though, and danger lurks around every corner. But on their journey, the children discover that the most difficult challenge isn’t wild marsh-maids or bogilisks or dragon-gators — it’s the grief threatening to consume them.





Publication Date October 25th 2022 by Quill Tree Books
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In this modern graphic novel retelling of Anne of Green Gables from graphic novelist Kathleen Gros, foster kid Anne Shirley finally lands in a loving home and befriends a girl who she may have more-than-friends feelings for.

Anne Shirley has been in foster care her whole life. So when the Cuthberts take her in, she hopes it’s for good. They seem to be hitting it off, but how will they react to the trouble that Anne can sometimes find herself in…like accidentally dyeing her hair green or taking a dangerous dare that leaves her in a cast?

Then Anne meets Diana Barry, a girl who lives in her apartment building, the Avon-Lea. The two become fast friends, as Anne finds she can share anything with Diana. As time goes on, though, Anne starts to develop more-than-friends feelings for Diana.

A new foster home, a new school, and a first-time crush — it’s a lot all at once. But if anyone can handle life’s twists and turns, it’s the irrepressible Anne Shirley.





Publication Date October 25th 2022 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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When perpetual new kid Robyn signs up her special needs dogs for agility training, she gets an unexpected lesson in friendship in this funny and moving novel from the author of We Could Be Heroes and Susie B. Won’t Back Down.

Robyn Kellen has been the new kid six times. She’s practically an expert on the subject and has developed foolproof rules to help her get by: Blend in, don’t go looking for trouble, and move on. Unfortunately, Robyn’s mom has a rule, too: Robyn must do an after-school activity.

When Robyn discovers a dog agility class, she thinks she’s found the perfect thing — but then her dogs, Sundae and Fudge, are rejected from the class. Sundae won’t do anything without Fudge, and Fudge is deaf and blind, and the instructor refuses to change the rules to fit their needs. Luckily, the instructor’s grandson, Nestor — a legend at Robyn’s new school — offers Robyn a deal: If she helps him with math, he’ll train Sundae and Fudge. Problem is, Robyn isn’t so great at math herself, so she’s forced to recruit the class outcast, Alejandra, to help.

Suddenly, Robyn finds herself surrounded by people who do anything but blend in — and sticking to her rules becomes harder than ever. But as Robyn learns how to adapt the rules of agility for Sundae and Fudge, she will find that some rules are worth breaking altogether.





Publication Date November 1st 2022 by Tundra Books
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For young detective Aggie Morton and her friend Hector, an opportunity to dig up fossils becomes even more thrilling when a corpse washes ashore in this fourth book in the Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen series, inspired by the life of Agatha Christie as a child and her most popular creation, Hercule Poirot.

After an invigorating but not exactly restful trip to a Yorkshire spa during which she survived a near brush with death and foiled a murderer, aspiring writer Aggie Morton and her friend Hector are thrilled to have the opportunity to stay at a camp by the sea and watch real paleontologists at work. The famed husband and wife team of the Blenningham-Crewes are about to become even more famous with the recovery of the fossilized bones of an ichthyosaur from the sea by Lyme Regis. This news has already caught the attention of an American millionaire, a British museum and a travelling circus owner, who each want the bones for their own collections.

Tensions are running high throughout the camp, from the cook, to the collectors, to the Blenningham-Crewes themselves, and become downright dangerous after Aggie and Hector make a discovery of their own: a body on the beach. Not a fossil, but a human body.





Publication Date November 8th 2022 by Clarion Books
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In this funny and heartfelt slice-of-life graphic novel for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Kayla Miller, when coding whiz Zoey goes from homeschooled to new school, she develops an app to help her make friends. Will the Cool Code help Zoey fit in? Or will it completely crash her social life?

In an attempt to fit in, Zoey develops an app called the Cool Code with a cute llama avatar that will tell her everything from what to say to what to wear based on pop culture algorithms she’s uploaded.

But when the app gives her ridiculous advice, awkwardness and hilarity ensues. With a few upgrades and a bit of debugging from the coding club, the app actually works — Zoey gets really popular…and gets her pulled in all kinds of directions, including away from her real friends.

Life’s most complicated choices…is there a code for that?





Publication Date November 8th 2022 by Dial Books
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Told in alternating points of view, this middle grade novel, following best friends Ronny and Jo, is about anxiety, being in over your head, and learning to accept help — even if you don’t know how to ask.

Eight hundred seventy-eight dollars. That’s how much Ronny needs by January 4th to make to keep his family’s only car from getting repossessed. Since a workplace injury disabled his dad and forced the family to move from their home into the apartment complex across the street, Ronny’s been learning all sorts of things — like what letters marked with Final Notice means and that banks can take cars away for being behind on payments.

His best friend Josefina Ramos is also counting down until the start of January when her life could change forever — that’s when she has her big cello audition at the prestigious music academy Maple Hill. Except she can’t play a solo performance without something disastrous happening and no one seems to hear her when she talks about how nervous she is.

As the countdown to the new year rolls ahead, Ronny and Jo learn what can happen to best-laid plans and how to depend on one another and their community when things get tough.





Publication Date November 15th 2022 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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A heartwarming novel about a girl who must learn to let go of the past and embrace the future, perfect for fans of Kate DiCamillo and Barbara O’Connor.

Eleven-year-old Mabel Cunningham is a quiet loner who only feels free to be herself when she’s “extreme treasure hunting” with her grampa — much to her perfectionist mother’s disapproval. Nothing excites Mabel more than discovering a heart find, an item that calls to her heart, and the maybes that come along with it.

But when her friendships start to crumble and her grampa suffers a stroke, Mabel quickly learns that real-life maybes are harder to handle than imagined ones. Desperate to change things back to the way they were, Mabel devises a plan that she believes will fix everything. Except bringing her plan to fruition means lying to her grampa and disappointing her mother.

Will Mabel learn that letting go of the past doesn’t mean letting go of her grampa and that embracing the future might be one of her most important heart finds yet?

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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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