Ready for summer reading recommendations? Our book sleuths went on the hunt for new and classic middle-grade books to consider for your summer reading list. Find these and more adventures at your local library. While you’re there, ask the librarian about summer reading programs and activities.

Ready or Not! #1 (Abby in Between) by Megan E. Bryant, Ages 7-10

For nine-year-old Abby McAdams, everything seems to be changing. She’s not a grown-up yet, but she definitely doesn’t feel like a little kid anymore. She’s Abby, in between.

Her cousin and best friend, Zoe, has moved across the country, her mom is going back to work, and Abby is stuck in the only after-school activity still available—running—which she absolutely loathes. Her perspective on the world is changing, too, along with her body, which is morphing into something unfamiliar without her permission. Without her best friend by her side, she’s not sure she can handle it all.

Call of the Wild by Jack London, Ages 10-13

This classic tells the story of a dog named Buck, who is stolen from his family and home. Buck must quickly learn the harsh law of survival among the men and dogs of the gold-crazed North. His intelligence, courage, and cunning transform him into a feared leader. As wolves attack and men grow desperate, Buck must heed the call of the wild. Only the strong will survive.

 

 

The Lightcasters 1: Umbra Tales by Janelle McCurdy, Ages 8-12

Keeper of the Lost Cities meets Pokémon in this riveting first book in a middle-grade series about a girl who embarks on a treacherous journey with her mystical animal companions to save her family—and the entire kingdom. Twelve-year-old Mia McKenna has grown up in the darkness. It’s all she’s ever known, and she finds comfort in it. Like nearly all the cities in the Kingdom of Lunis, her home of Nubis was plunged into a forever night years ago by the shadowy Reaper King—a figure now only known in nightmares, a cautionary tale warning children to stay safe inside the tall city walls.

But all that changes when a mysterious cult storms Nubis, capturing everyone with the ability to protect it—including her parents, the rest of the umbra tamers, and their mystical, powerful creatures made of shadow and starlight.

The Tenth Mistake of Hank Hooperman, by Gennifer Choldenko, Ages 8-12

Coming June 11, 2024. Readers will be rooting for a happy ending for Hank in Newbery-Honor-winner Gennifer CCholdenko’sgripping story of a boy struggling to hold his family together when his mom doesn’t come home.

When eleven-year-old HHank’smom doesn’t come home, he takes care of his toddler sister, Boo, like he always does. But it’s been a week now. They are out of food, and Mom has never stayed away this long… Hank knows he needs help, so he and Boo seek out the stranger listed as their emergency contact.

But asking for help has consequences. It means social workers, a new school, and having to answer questions about his mom that he’s been trying to keep secret. And if they can’t find his mom soon, Hank and Boo may end up in different foster homes–he could lose everything.

Vegas Piece of the Sky by Jennifer Torres, Ages 8-12

Coming June 11, 2024. A meteorite comes crashing down on the lives of three middle schoolers, changing everything they know about family, friendships, and community in this charming and heartfelt novel with a light STEM touch.

The space rock is just the latest thing to land, uninvited, in Vega Lucero’s road-stop hometown. But when she discovers how much a chunk of the meteorite might be worth, she realizes it is exactly the treasure she is hoping to find—and maybe a way to convince her mom not to sell the family store to big city developers to help pay for her grandpa TTata’smedical expenses.

Determined to find more pieces of the sky somewhere in the perilous desert wilderness, stubbornly independent Vega must set aside her distrust of outsiders to team up with Jasper, a would-be rival—and her own tagalong cousin Mila—on an overnight adventure to find more meteorites before the professional hunters who have descended on Date City do. But along the way, she realizes that she’s not the only one with the weight of the world on her shoulders. Jasper and Mila have secrets and worries of their own that have brought them on this journey.