Middle Grade Books to Buy in May

1 of 13  

It’s a new month which means there are tons of great new books coming out! Here are some of the great books on the schedule for May 2019 with buy links to a variety of sites to make your life easy!

Small Mercies – Bridget Krone, Karen Vermeulen

Small Mercies CoverMercy lives in modern-day Pietermaritzburg, South Africa with her eccentric foster aunts―two elderly sisters so poor, they can only afford one lightbulb. A nasty housing developer is eying their house. And that same house suddenly starts falling apart―just as Aunt Flora starts falling apart. She’s forgetting words, names, and even how to behave in public. Mercy tries to keep her head down at school so nobody notices her. But when a classmate frames her for stealing the school’s raffle money, Mercy’s teachers decide to take a closer look at her home life.

Along comes Mr. Singh, who rents the back cottage of the house on Hodson Road. When he takes Mercy to visit a statue in the middle of the city, she learns that the shy, nervous “Mohandas” he tells stories about is actually Gandhi, who spent a cold and lonely night in the waiting room of the Pietermaritzburg train station over a hundred years ago. It marked the beginning of his life’s quest for truth…and the visit to his statue marks Mercy’s realization that she needs―just like Gandhi―to stand up for herself.

Mercy needs a miracle. But to summon that miracle, she has to find her voice and tell the truth―and that truth is neither pure nor simple.

Indiebound | The Book Depository | Amazon

Just South of Home – Karen Strong

 

Just South of Home CoverCousins Sarah and Janie unearth a tragic event in their small Southern town’s history in this witty middle grade debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Stella by Starlight, The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, and As Brave as You.

Twelve-year old Sarah is finally in charge. At last, she can spend her summer months reading her favorite science books and bossing around her younger brother, Ellis, instead of being worked to the bone by their overly strict grandmother, Mrs. Greene. But when their cousin, Janie, arrives for a visit, Sarah’s plans are completely squashed.

Janie has a knack for getting into trouble and asks Sarah to take her to Creek Church: a landmark of their small town that she heard was haunted. It’s also off-limits. Janie’s sticky fingers lead Sarah, Ellis, and his best friend Jasper to uncover a deep-seated part of the town’s past. With a bit of luck, this foursome will heal the place they call home and the people within it they call family.

Goodreads | Indiebound | The Book Depository | Amazon

 

Up for Air – Laurie Morrison

Up for Air CoverThirteen-year-old Annabelle struggles in school, no matter how hard she tries. But as soon as she dives into the pool, she’s unstoppable. She’s the fastest girl on the middle school swim team, and when she’s asked to join the high school team over the summer, everything changes. Suddenly, she’s got new friends, and a high school boy starts treating her like she’s somebody special—and Annabelle thinks she’ll finally stand out in a good way. She’ll do anything to fit in and help the team make it to the Labor Day Invitational, even if it means blowing off her old friends. But after a prank goes wrong, Annabelle is abandoned by the older boy and can’t swim. Who is she without the one thing she’s good at? Heartwarming and relatable, Up for Air is a story about where we find our self-worth.

Goodreads | Indiebound | The Book Depository | Amazon

Jaclyn Hyde – Annabeth Bondor-Stone, Connor White

Jaclyn Hyde CoverIn this reimagining of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a secret potion accidentally turns eager-to-please eighth grader Jaclyn into Jackie, a goblin-like monster who’ll do anything to win at everything she does–no matter how much chaos she creates along the way. 

Jaclyn Hyde is almost perfect. Whether she’s baking cookies for her classmates, building a replica Mt. Vesuvius for the science fair, or practicing her lines for Fog Island: The Musical, she almost never makes mistakes.

But when she discovers the last batch of perfection potion in an abandoned laboratory, Jaclyn decides that being almost perfect isn’t perfect enough anymore. But Jaclyn finds out that trying to be perfectly perfect isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it’s downright horrifying. The potion turns Jaclyn into Jackie, a goblin-like monster who’ll do anything to make sure Jaclyn comes out on top.

Suddenly, she’s wreaking havoc on the school play, stealing someone else’s brownies to pass off as her own, and even destroying someone’s painting to get herself crowned “Artist of the Week.” And that’s just the beginning. Jackie will stop at nothing to make sure everyone knows just how perfect Jaclyn really is.

So now, if Jaclyn wants to save her school, her friends, and herself from her perfectly horrifying alter-ego, she’s going to have to screw up her courage and risk it all–even if that means admitting that she never was as perfect as she seemed.

Goodreads | Indiebound | The Book Depository | Amazon

Just Jaime – Terri Libenson

Just Jaime CoverFriends. Frenemies. Middle school…

The last day of seventh grade has Jaime and Maya wondering who their real friends are.

Jaime knows something is off with her friend group. They’ve started to exclude her and make fun of the way she dresses and the things she likes. At least she can count on her BFF, Maya, to have her back . . . right?

Maya feels more and more annoyed with Jaime, who seems babyish compared to the other girls in their popular group. It’s like she has nothing in common with Jai anymore. Are their days as BFFs numbered . . . ?

Goodreads | Indiebound | The Book Depository | Amazon

Other Words for Home – Jasmine Warga

I am learning how to be
sad
and happy
at the same time.

Other Words for Home CoverJude never thought she’d be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her hometown start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives.

At first, everything in America seems too fast and too loud. The American movies that Jude has always loved haven’t quite prepared her for starting school in the US—and her new label of “Middle Eastern,” an identity she’s never known before. But this life also brings unexpected surprises—there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude might just try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is.

Goodreads | Indiebound | The Book Depository | Amazon

Jane Doe and the Cradle of All the Worlds – Jeremy Lachlan

Step inside. Don’t look back. Forward is the only way. Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights meets Mad Max in this unforgettable blockbuster adventure about the world between worlds.

Jane Doe and the Cradle of All Worlds CoverWhen a fierce quake strikes the remote island of Bluehaven, and her father disappears, Jane Doe is thrown headfirst into an epic quest to bring him home.

But this ain’t no ordinary rescue mission. Her father is lost in a place between worlds; a dangerous labyrinth of shifting rooms, infernal booby traps and secret gateways. And Jane has to find him fast, because someone else is searching for him, too. A man who knows her father’s secrets. A man who has an army.

With a pyromaniac named Violet and a trickster named Hickory by her side, Jane is about to discover that this adventure is even bigger on the inside than it looks…

This is the blockbuster adventure the worlds have been waiting for.

Goodreads | Indiebound | The Book Depository | Amazon

The Startup Squad – Brian Weisfield, Nicole C. Kear

Girls mean business in a brand-new middle grade series about friendship and entrepreneurship!

The Startup Squad CoverAll the great leaders had to start somewhere. And Theresa (“Resa” for short) is starting with the lemonade stand competition her teacher assigned to the class—but making it a success is going to be a lot harder than Resa thinks.

The prize: line-skipping tickets to Adventure Central. The competition: Val, Resa’s middle school nemesis. And the biggest obstacle to success: Resa’s own teammates. Harriet is the class clown, Amelia is the new girl who thinks she knows best, and Didi is Resa’s steadfast friend—who doesn’t know the first thing about making or selling lemonade. The four of them quickly realize that the recipe for success is tough to perfect—but listening to each other is the first step. And making new friends might be the most important one…

Goodreads | Indiebound | The Book Depository | Amazon

Pie in the Sky – Remy Lai

Pie in the Sky CoverWhen eleven-year-old Jingwen moves to a new country, he feels like he’s landed on Mars. School is torture, making friends is impossible since he doesn’t speak English, and he’s often stuck looking after his (extremely irritating) little brother, Yanghao.

To distract himself from the loneliness, Jingwen daydreams about making all the cakes on the menu of Pie in the Sky, the bakery his father had planned to open before he unexpectedly passed away. The only problem is his mother has laid down one major rule: the brothers are not to use the oven while she’s at work. As Jingwen and Yanghao bake elaborate cakes, they’ll have to cook up elaborate excuses to keep the cake making a secret from Mama.

Told in prose and graphic novel elements, this middle-grade novel is about a boy’s immigration experience, his annoying little brother, and their cake-baking hijinks!

Goodreads | Indiebound | The Book Depository | Amazon

The Stonewall Riots: Coming Out in the Streets – Gayle E. Pitman

The Stonewall Riots CoverThis book is about the Stonewall Riots, a series of spontaneous, often violent demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBTQ+) community in reaction to a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. The Riots are attributed as the spark that ignited the LGBTQ+ movement. The author describes American gay history leading up to the Riots, the Riots themselves, and the aftermath, and includes her interviews of people involved or witnesses, including a woman who was ten at the time. Profusely illustrated, the book includes contemporary photos, newspaper clippings, and other period objects. A timely and necessary read, The Stonewall Riots helps readers to understand the history and legacy of the LGBTQ+ movement.

Goodreads | Indiebound | The Book Depository | Amazon

Zenobia July – Lisa Bunker

The critically acclaimed author of Felix Yz crafts a bold, heartfelt story about a trans girl solving a cyber mystery and coming into her own.

Zenobia July CoverZenobia July is starting a new life. She used to live in Arizona with her father; now she’s in Maine with her aunts. She used to spend most of her time behind a computer screen, improving her impressive coding and hacking skills; now she’s coming out of her shell and discovering a community of friends at Monarch Middle School. People used to tell her she was a boy; now she’s able to live openly as the girl she always knew she was.

When someone anonymously posts hateful memes on her school’s website, Zenobia knows she’s the one with the abilities to solve the mystery, all while wrestling with the challenges of a new school, a new family, and coming to grips with presenting her true gender for the first time. Timely and touching, Zenobia July is, at its heart, a story about finding home.

Goodreads | Indiebound | The Book Depository | Amazon

Shipwreckers! The Curse of the Cursed Temple of Curses – Or – We Nearly Died. A Lot. – Scott Peterson, Joshua Pruett

Shipwreckers CoverWhen Dani and her big brother Mike find themselves aboard the ill-fated river expedition of careless adventurer, Captain Kevin, they must work together to save themselves and the captain from all manner of deadly trials and traps.

Complete with treacherous temples, ancient idols, and plenty of explosions, Shipwreckers is a big adventure that brings humor along for a dangerous and thrilling ride up the Amazon. In a place where laughter meets non-stop action, you’ll find Shipwreckers and its cast of soon-to-be fan-favorite characters.

GoodreadsThe Book Depository | Amazon

All The Ways Home – Elsie Chapman

Sometimes, home isn’t where you expect to find it.

All the Ways Home CoverAfter losing his mom in a fatal car crash, Kaede Hirano–now living with a grandfather who is more stranger than family–developed anger issues and spent his last year of middle school acting out.

Best-friendless and critically in danger repeating the seventh grade, Kaede is given a summer assignment: write an essay about what home means to him, which will be even tougher now that he’s on his way to Japan to reconnect with his estranged father and older half-brother. Still, if there’s a chance Kaede can finally build a new family from an old one, he’s willing to try. But building new relationships isn’t as easy as destroying his old ones, and one last desperate act will change the way Kaede sees everyone–including himself.

This is a book about what home means to us–and that there are many different correct answers.

Goodreads | Indiebound | The Book Depository | Amazon

1 of 13