Marvelous Middle Grade Reads

I am finally catching up with some of the great middle grade books I didn’t have a chance to read last year! Here are a few of my favorites:  

Wink by Rob Harrell
Fiction: grades 4-7
Touching and funny, this book is perfect for readers who enjoyed Wonder by R.J. Palacio or Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick.

 Ross Maloy just wants to be a normal seventh grader. He doesn’t want to lose his hair, or wear a weird hat, or deal with the disappearing friends who don’t know what to say to “the cancer kid.” But with his recent diagnosis of a rare eye cancer, blending in is off the table.  Based on Rob Harrell’s real life experience and packed with comic panels, this novel is hilarious, uplifting and unforgettable.

Also available as an ebook on Libby.

Show Me a Sign by Ann Clare LeZotte
Historical Fiction: Grades 4-6 
Inspired by the true history of a thriving deaf community on Martha’s Vineyard in the early 1800s, this book is a good match for readers who loved The War That Saved My Life by Kimbery Brubaker Bradley.   

Mary Lambert has always felt safe and protected on her home island of Martha’s Vineyard.  Her great-great-grandfather was an early English settler and the first deaf islander.  Now, over a hundred years later, many people there — including Mary — are deaf, and nearly everyone can communicate in sign language.  But recent events have brought danger to the island.  An unscrupulous young scientist arrives to study the island’s deaf residents, taking Mary as an unwilling subject for his experiments.

Also available as an ebook on Libby.

Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson
Novel in Verse: Grades 4 & up 
Woodson received the 2020 MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, and won the National Book Award and Newbery Medal for her autobiography, Brown Girl Dreaming.  She can be counted on to deliver a powerful story with beautiful language.  Her new book will appeal to her many fans, and also to readers who enjoyed Ghost  by Jason Reynolds. 

For as long as ZJ can remember, his dad has been everyone’s hero.  As a talented professional football star, he’s beloved to the neighborhood kids and millions of adoring sports fans.  But lately ZJ’s dad is having trouble remembering things, and seems to be angry all the time.  ZJ’s mom explains it’s because of all the head injuries his dad sustained during his career.  ZJ can understand that–but it doesn’t make the sting any less real when his own father forgets his name.

Also available as an audiobook and ebook on Libby.

The Magnificent Monsters of Cedar Street by Lauren Oliver
Fantasy: Grades 4-6
This adventure is a great pick for Harry Potter fans, especially those who could ace the Care of Magical Creatures exam.  

Cordelia Clay’s father is a veterinarian who saves and heals magical creatures.  Their home on Cedar Street is full to the brim with dragons, squelches,and diggles.  But their work must be kept secret.  Most of their neighbors aren’t welcoming to the type of “patients” they treat.  One morning, Cordelia discovers that her father has disappeared, along with nearly all the creatures.  Cordelia sets off to find them with only a handful of clues and an odd assortment of monsters to help her.  

Also available as an ebook on Hoopla.

Karen deWilde, Youth Service Librarian

Annotations from the publishers














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