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Go on an adventure with these middle-grade reads!

May 01, 2017

School is letting out, and your students are ready to dive into their summer reading! There’s humor, adventure, friendship, and self-discovery in these new titles—something for every reader!

By Melissa Savage

Ages: 8–12 years

This charming, voice-driven novel filled with adventure is about a girl who needs to rebuild her life with her estranged grandfather, and the quirky neighbor she befriends as they go on a search for Bigfoot.

Lemonade Liberty Witt’s mother always told her: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But now her mom is dead, and those lemons have grown so big that she’s forgotten her recipe. How do you make lemonade out of losing your only parent? Out of having to leave everything you know in San Francisco to move to the small town of Willow Creek, California? Out of having to live with a grandfather you’ve never even met? Especially when it’s in a town that smells like grass and mud and bugs. Not to mention the woolly beasts lurking in the woods. That’s right, Bigfoot. A ginormous wooden statue of the ugly thing stands right at the center of town. Some people in Willow Creek believe Bigfoot is real, hiding in the pine-filled forests. Everything is different there, and Lem just wants to go back home.

And then she meets eleven-year-old Tobin Sky, the CEO of Bigfoot Detectives Inc. and Bigfoot investigator for the town. Tobin invites Lem to be his assistant for the summer, and she reluctantly agrees. At least it will help pass the time until she can figure out her escape plan. Together, they try to capture a shot of the elusive beast on film and end up discovering more than they could have even imagined.

5 Worlds Books 1: The Sand Warrior
By Mark Siegel and Alexis Siegel; illustrated by Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, and Boya Sun

Ages: 8–12 years

Discover new worlds, new friends, and a new favorite series in this middle-grade graphic novel from bestselling, highly acclaimed author Mark Siegel. Think Star Wars meets Avatar: The Last Airbender!

Oona is the clumsiest student at the Sand Dancer Academy. It’s her older sister—the one who ran away—who’s supposed to light the beacons and save the worlds. So why can Oona create a Sand Warrior? An Tzu is an orphaned boy from the slums. He has lots of street smarts but no idea how to stop the illness that’s turning him invisible! And why do plants react to his music? Jax Amboy is THE star athlete of the 5 Worlds. If only he were human! A robot in disguise, he may hold the secret to why the Toki are invading.

Time is running out in the 5 Worlds. Can this unlikely trio rise to the challenge and face down the forces of evil in time to light the five beacons and save the worlds?

Beach Party Surf Monkey by Chris Grabenstein
Ages: 8–12 years

The second OUTRAGEOUS, fun-in-the-sun adventure in the hilarious, highly illustrated series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Chris Grabenstein, author of the Lemoncello series! There’s always something wacky happening when you live at a motel, and P.T. (named after P. T. Barnum, of course) has grown up at the world’s wackiest motel! When word gets out that the hottest teen idols in Hollywood (plus current YouTube sensation Kevin the Monkey) will be filming their next movie—Beach Party Surf Monkey—right in St. Pete Beach, P.T. and Gloria know that the Wonderland would be the PERFECT location. Now they just have to convince the producers! But when things start to go wrong (Crazed fans? Missing stars?!), it will take all of Gloria’s business genius and P.T.’s wild stories to save the day before the movie AND the Wonderland are both all washed up!

Hyacinth and the Secrets Beneath
By Jacob Sager Weinstein

Ages: 8–12 years

Magic is real. History is a big, fat lie. Introducing a middle-grade fantasy trilogy about the magical rivers that run through the sewers of London and shape our world in ways the history books won’t tell you about.

You’ve heard of the Great Fire of London? A baker left his oven burning and . . . wrong. The baker mixed hot and cold water. When Hyacinth Hayward mixes hot and cold water in her aunt’s London sink, she creates a fiery, magically charged drop of water that wiggles away into the sewers. That’s right before monsters in Royal Mail uniforms kidnap her mom. They tell her if she turns in the magical drop by midnight, she can get her mom back. Soon she learns that London was built on magical rivers that are now the city’s sewers—and somehow her family is connected to the magic. In the chase to recover the drop, Hyacinth encounters an intelligent giant pig in a bathing suit, a boy with amnesia, an adorable tosher (whatever that is), a sarcastic old lady, and a very sketchy unicorn. Hyacinth has to figure out who to trust so she can save her mom and, oh yeah, not cause another Great Fire.

The Many Worlds of Albie Bright
By Christopher Edge

Ages: 8–12 years

Fun science meets humor and heart in this adventure about a boy who is searching for his mother . . . in a parallel universe.

How far would you go to change your world? Stephen Albie Bright is named after his astrophysicist parents’ favorite scientists: Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein. When Albie’s mother dies of cancer, his father mentions that she might be alive in a parallel universe. So, armed with a box, a laptop, and a banana, Albie sets out to find his mother. What he discovers may or may not be what he’s looking for, but he does learn the answers to some pretty big questions. A poignant story with lots of humor and adventure, this extraordinary novel is for anyone who has ever been curious.

This Would Make a Good Story Someday
By Dana Alison Levy

Ages: 9–12 years

Pack up your suitcase and climb on board with the Johnston-Fischer family as they embark on a cross-country train trip that will be nothing short of epic!

In this journal-structured narrative, twelve-year old Sara Johnston-Fischer chronicles her cross-country train trip with her two mothers; her high-energy six-year-old sister, who carries around a Spartan gladiator figure as her stuffed animal; her rally-obsessed twenty-year-old sister, Laurel; and Laurel’s environmentally friendly boyfriend, Root. Along the way, they encounter a new family of friends and a lot of hilarity, embarrassments, laughs, and heartache.