MG Books to Buy in January

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It’s almost 2020, which means we’ll get a ton of new MG books to knock our socks off! Check out this slideshow to find the ones we’re excited about here at Let’s Fox About It! You can also check out previous months’ or this month’s different genre roundups in our Lists category!

Martin McLean, Middle School Queen – Alyssa Zaczek

In this bighearted middle-grade debut, Martin McLean struggles to find his voice—and his inner diva—as he navigates friendship, family, first crushes, and a whole lot of glitter.

Martin McLean Middle School Queen CoverSeventh-grader Martin McLean has always been surrounded by people who can express themselves. His mother is an artist, his colorful Tío Billy works in theater, and his best friends Carmen and Pickle are outgoing and don’t care what other people think. But Martin can only find the right words when he’s answering a problem at a Mathletes competition—until his tío introduces him to the world of drag. In a swirl of sequins and stilettos, Martin creates his fabulous drag queen alter ego, Lottie León.

As Lottie, he is braver than he’s ever been; but as Martin, he doesn’t have the guts to tell anyone outside of his family about her. Not Carmen and Pickle, not his Mathletes teammates, and definitely not Chris, an eighth-grader who gives Martin butterflies. When Martin discovers that his first-ever drag show is the same night as the most important Mathletes tournament, he realizes that he can only pull off both appearances by revealing his true self to his friends—and channeling his inner drag superstar.

Amazon | Indiebound | Goodreads

The Deep and Dark Blue – Niki Smith

The Deep & Dark Blue CoverAfter a terrible political coup usurps their noble house, Hawke and Grayson flee to stay alive and assume new identities, Hanna and Grayce. Desperation and chance lead them to the Communion of Blue, an order of magical women who spin the threads of reality to their will.

As the twins learn more about the Communion, and themselves, they begin to hatch a plan to avenge their family and retake their royal home.While Hawke wants to return to his old life, Grayce struggles to keep the threads of her new life from unraveling, and realizes she wants to stay in the one place that will allow her to finally live as a girl.

Amazon | Indiebound | Goodreads

Race to the Sun – Rebecca Roanhorse

Race to the Sun CoverLately, seventh grader Nizhoni Begay has been able to detect monsters, like that man in the fancy suit who was in the bleachers at her basketball game. Turns out he’s Mr. Charles, her dad’s new boss at the oil and gas company, and he’s alarmingly interested in Nizhoni and her brother, Mac, their Navajo heritage, and the legend of the Hero Twins. Nizhoni knows he’s a threat, but her father won’t believe her.

When Dad disappears the next day, leaving behind a message that says “Run!”, the siblings and Nizhoni’s best friend, Davery, are thrust into a rescue mission that can only be accomplished with the help of Diné Holy People, all disguised as quirky characters. Their aid will come at a price: the kids must pass a series of trials in which it seems like nature itself is out to kill them. If Nizhoni, Mac, and Davery can reach the House of the Sun, they will be outfitted with what they need to defeat the ancient monsters Mr. Charles has unleashed. But it will take more than weapons for Nizhoni to become the hero she was destined to be . . .

Timeless themes such as the importance of family and respect for the land resonate in this funny, fast-paced, and exciting quest adventure set in the American Southwest.

Amazon | Indiebound | Goodreads

From the Desk of Zoe Washington – Janae Marks

From the Desk of Zoe Washington CoverUnaware that her incarcerated father has been writing her letters every year on her birthday, Zoe Washington intercepts the mail upon turning 12. After beginning a secret correspondence with the help of her grandmother, Zoe realizes that not only is the man she’s never met kind and caring, but he may be innocent of his crime.

Amazon | Indiebound | Goodreads

Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business – Lyla Lee

Fresh Off the Boat meets Junie B. Jones in this first novel in an adorable new chapter book series about Mindy Kim, a young Asian American girl who is starting a snack business!

Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business CoverMindy Kim just wants three things:
1. A puppy!
2. To fit in at her new school
3. For her dad to be happy again

But, getting all three of the things on her list is a lot trickier than she thought it would be. On her first day of school, Mindy’s school snack of dried seaweed isn’t exactly popular at the lunch table. Luckily, her new friend, Sally, makes the snacks seem totally delicious to Mindy’s new classmates, so they decide to start the Yummy Seaweed Business to try and raise money for that puppy!

When another student decides to try and sabotage their business, Mindy loses more than she bargained for—and wonders if she’ll ever fit in. Will Mindy be able to overcome her uncertainty and find the courage to be herself?

Amazon | Indiebound | Goodreads

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Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound, The Book Depository, The Ripped Bodice and Amazon are affiliate links. If you buy through those links, LFAI will make a small amount of money off of the sale.
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