While trying to cheer up her depressed mother, twelve-year-old Sophie gets roped into doing a triathlon as part of a school project on risk-taking, and discovers she can see people’s thoughts in bubbles above their heads.
This middle-grade novel deals with important topics including depression, therapy, preteen insecurities, and more. While seeing people’s thoughts sounds exciting Sophie quickly learns that you may not want to know what other people are thinking- luckily she has some good friends on her side. For middle-grade readers who like their realistic fiction to have a feel-good ending and don’t mind some low fantasy elements.
You can find this novel in the Juvenile Fiction section at J COOPER.
Bradley Academy’s all-girl a cappella group used to be the pride of the sunshine state, but the Nightingales have recently fallen out of harmony. When a boy comes between Nightingales co-captains Lidia and Sidney, the a cappella group appears in dire straits, until new girl Julianna hopes to bring the group back to their former glory in time for the big state final.
The plot may sound familiar- girl finds herself falling for the guy her best friend has a crush on- but the a cappella aspect of the books makes it fun to read this book anyway. If you liked Glee or Pitch Perfect, this is the book for you. Characters frequently burst into song, and spend much of their time picking out songs for their performances- you’ll need to be keeping up with music from the radio and from musicals to catch all the references. For middle school tweens looking for a light and quick read- this could be the right choice!
You can find Turn It Up! in the Young Adult Fiction section at YA CALONITA.
Paper Things – Jennifer Jacobson
Paper Things is a thrilling novel by Jennifer Jacobson that tells the life of a nineteen-year-old Gage and his younger sister being homeless for six weeks. When Ari’s mother died four years ago, she had two final wishes: that Ari and her older brother, Gage, would stay together always, and that Ari would go to Carter, the middle school for gifted students. So, when nineteen-year-old Gage decides he can no longer live with their bossy guardian, Janna, Ari knows she must go with him. But it’s been two months, and Gage still hasn’t found them an apartment. He and Ari have been “couch surfing,” staying with Gage’s friend in a tiny apartment, crashing with Gage’s girlfriend and two roommates, and if necessary, sneaking into a juvenile shelter to escape the cold Maine nights. But all this jumping around makes it hard for Ari to keep up with her schoolwork, never mind her friendships, and getting into Carter starts to seem impossible. Will Ari be forced to break one of her promises to Mama?
This novel will engender empathy and understanding of a serious and all-too-real problem. Jacobson’s story is poignant but never preachy. — School Library Journal
Paper Things by Jennifer Jacobson is a heart-touching novel and is originally published on February 10, 2015. Paper Things is a Rebecca Caudill 2019 nominee and has won several awards such as, the ILA Social Justice Literature Award for Fiction winner, and Hudson Bookseller’s Best of Summer 2015. I would recommend Paper Things to a reader that is looking for a thrilling novel.
~Vishnu, Teen Blogger
You can find Paper Things on the Rebecca Caudill shelf during the 2018-19, and in the Juvenile Fiction section at J JACOBSEN.
Celebrate National Ice Cream Month by checking out these books with ice cream on the cover from our Juvenile Fiction section!
A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd JCD FIC LLOYD – The Pickles are new to Midnight Gulch, Tennessee, a town which legend says was once magic–but Felicity is convinced the magic is still there, and with the help of her new friend Jonah the Beedle she hopes to bring the magic back.
Sprinkle Sundays by Coco Simon J SIMON – When Allie and her mother move one town away after her parents’ divorce, Allie must find a way to stay close to her best friends Sierra and Tamiko.
The Chocolate Sundae Mystery by Gertrude Warner JPLWY WARNER – The Boxcar children investigate when ice cream and other items start disappearing from their favorite ice cream parlor.
Jerome, a twelve-year-old black boy, is shot. A white officer said he had a gun. No first aid is offered. Jerome dies, however, his story does not end. He comes back as a ghost and witnesses the events that unfold in the aftermath of his shooting and death. To follow Jerome’s journey in the afterlife, pick up a copy of Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J RHODES.
For this Throwback Thursday I recommend: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg.
Claudia and her brother run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she sees a statue so beautiful, she must identify its sculptor. To find out, she must visit the statue’s former owner, the elderly Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.
Originally published in 1967, this book won the Newbery Medal for excellence in children’s literature in 1968. This was also adapted into a movie as many of the classics that we highlighted have been. The main characters Claudia and Jamie make this a charming novel and an enjoyable mystery perfect for any reader who enjoyed The Westing Game by Raskin or Chasing Vermeer by Balliett.
This classic can be found in the Juvenile Fiction section at J KONIGSBURG.
GHOST – Jason Reynolds
Ghost is a young adult novel by Jason Reynolds which follows seventh-grader Castle “Ghost” Cranshaw as he joins a track team and struggles to deal with his past and his present. Ever since his father went to jail, Castle Cranshaw’s life suddenly switched directions. He was behind in school, always in trouble, and didn’t have the money for essential needs. One day, when Ghost impulsively challenges an elite sprinter to a race-and wins- the Olympic medalist track coach sees that he has something: crazy natural talent. Only with the dreams of playing ball, he unexpectedly joined the track team. Ghost doesn’t only get bullied in school for not having good clothes, but also on his track team (Defenders). Mainly because he doesn’t have running shoes. He then steals a pair of shiny sliver running shoes to shut down all the bullies. Eventually, coach finds out and plans to tell Ghost’s mother. Until he started begging not to. All the trouble-making, all the stealing, and all the bullying comes down to this one point in Ghost’s life. The first track meet of the season. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed and meld with the team, or will his past finally catch up to him?
Ghost by Jason Reynolds originally published on August 30, 2016, is one of the finalists for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Ghost is also the first book in Jason Reynolds’s explosive Track series about a fast but fiery group of kids who have a shot at the Junior Olympics, but have a lot to prove first-to each other, and to themselves. I would recommend this book to readers that are searching for a thriller, as well as meaningful book in their lives.
Another poignant, engaging, exciting novel that combines middle school, sports, and life lessons from Coretta Scott King Honor author Jason Reynolds – commonsensemedia.org
~Vishnu S., Teen Blogger
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J REYNOLDS.
Roller Girl is a very inspiring graphic novel about a girl named Astrid who decides to join a roller derby camp in the summer after she saw a roller derby game. She expects her best friend to also sign up, but she does not. Astrid deals with disappointment, friends, lies and getting a lot of bruises.
I loved this book. I have read it two and a half times, and I find it really inspiring. Around the time of when I read this book for the first time, I was scared to roller skate. But after a year, I had read this book again, and I went roller skating. I realized how accurate Roller Girl is. The book was right, when skating, you get a lot of bruises. I recommend this book to fans of the graphic novel Brave.
-Teen book blogger, Elizabeth N.
You can find Roller Girl in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC JAMIESON.
Today I Recommend Love, Penelope written by Joanne Rocklin and illustrated by Lucy Knisley.
Love, Penelope is an illustrated novel about a basketball loving girl named Penelope who can’t wait to welcome her new baby sister to the world. Penelope is in fifth grade and lives with her two mothers with happiness. Penelope writes every day in her journal about her life, addressing them all to her soon to be baby sister. Penelope and her friends face big problems and try to overcome them together, like fabrications (lies), school projects, heritage and family.
I loved this novel so much. Penelope is very lovable with the big words she uses and the jokes she and her friends tell. One of my favorite things in this novel has to be the fact that one of Penelope’s friend owns a goat. The goat helps calm down the girls by letting the girls pet itself and get milked. This book was very enjoyable and I recommend this book to anyone because it covers a lot of topics that is very diverse.
~Teen blogger, Elizabeth N.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J ROCKLIN.
Four students, with their own individual stories, develop a special bond and attract the attention of their teacher, a paraplegic, who chooses them to represent their sixth-grade class in the Academic Bowl competition.
This is a classic that isn’t as old as most that we have featured- it was published in 1996 and won the Newbery Award. Still this heartwarming tale about being kind, civil, and inclusive is undoubtedly a classic. My favorite part of the book was that it was written from multiple perspectives which allowed me to feel as though I was getting to know each of the students. This is perfect for upper elementary school readers who enjoy realistic fiction, and for those who enjoyed the recent Newbery winner Hello Universe by Erin Kelly Entrada.
You can find The View from Saturday in the Juvenile Fiction section at J KONIGSBERG.