Welcome to day two of “Book Gifting 2019”! Yesterday, I focused on Early Chapter Books and Series, as well as Nonfiction and Activity books. Today, I’m excited to focus on some of the most popular Graphic Novels and Middle Grade Novels perfect for gifting your middle grade readers! Happy Book Gifting, everyone!
Guts – Raina Telgemeirer
From the rock star graphic novelist Raina Telgemeirer comes her latest book, Guts. This graphic memoir is targeted for middle grade/ young adult readers and explores the author’s issues with anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias. I love how this author manages to always touch on subjects important to this age group in a respectful and appropriate way. Heartfelt and compassionate with a sprinkle of humour. Likely the most popular graphic novel of 2019.
The New Kid – Jerry Craft
This FANTASTIC middle grade graphic novel is getting a lot of award buzz! It is an amazing book that approaches racism in an accessible & understandable way for young readers, while not holding back. Told through the eyes of a new grade 7 student who is one of only a handful of students of color in an elite private school. Great characters, lots of pop culture, funny, heartfelt… this one is a winner.
Minecraft Volume 1 (Graphic Novel) – R. Sfe Monster
Perfect book for anyone who enjoys middle grade graphic novels and playing Minecraft! It takes place partly in the real world and partly inside a Minecraft game. I can’t really imagine someone enjoying this who doesn’t know the game but those who do will make MANY connections!
Best Friends – Shannon Hale
So good. This standalone sequel to Real Friends dives in deep to Shannon’s grade 6 year and her struggles with friendships. Her friends aren’t always nice and she’s not always nice either. Why is friendship so hard? Open and frank discussions of tween friendship, anxiety, and how friendships change. Lots of connections here, I am certain! (I made a lot!)
Just Jaime – Terri Libenson
The last day of Grade 7. Friends. Frenemies. BFF’s. Exclusion. Inclusion. Cliques. Peer Pressure. Forgiveness. Acceptance. This book has all of these and then some! I made SO many connections to this book. Middle school? – Terri Libenson NAILS it!
Stargazing – Jen Yang
Moon and Christine are both Chinese, but while Christine’s family finds Chinese language school important and is part of a Chinese community, Moon and her mother don’t speak Chinese and are Buddhist. This new graphic novel from the author of Prince and the Dressmaker is a sweet story of friendship, cultural and religious identity, and belonging.
The Okay Witch – Emma Steinkellner
This book was recently awarded the School Library Journal Best Graphic Novel of 2019. Think Sabrina the Teenage Witch meets Roller Girl. It’s a hilarious story about a half-witch who has just discovered the truth about herself, her family, and her town all while trying to survive middle school. A unique, charmingly weird graphic novel filled with humor and heart.
Middle Grade Novels
Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever. – Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird asked very funny female writers for young people, ages 9-12, to create a story in any format they wanted – prose, memoir, poetry, or graphic novel format. The result of her edited anthology is a collection of hysterically funny, poignant, and heartfelt stories. Target would be grade 4-5 readers.
The Trials of Apollo – Book Four: The Tyrant’s Tomb – Rick Riordan
Fans of Rick Riordan will be excited to read this 4th enstallment in the Tyrant’s Tomb series. I will admit I have not read it in its entirety but love the way Riordan mixes contemporary with mythology and his fast-paced action. This book came out in September and was just awarded Reader’s Top Choice for MG Novel on Goodreads. Be prepared – it’s 448 pages!
Dear Sweet Pea – Julie Murphy
Sweet Pea is a 7th grader living in a small town struggling with the usual things—friends, school, and self-image. Her parents have just divorced and, in an effort to keep life “normal, live in almost identical houses on the same street. This is such a delightful story about growing up, figuring your way through friendships, facing challenging family changes like divorce and finding your voice. I loved the writing (hints of Kate De Camillo) and loved Sweet Pea. Endearing and empowering. Loved the advice columns sub-plot!
Look Both Ways – A Tale Told in Ten Blocks – Jason Reynolds
This book is a series of short stories linked together because all of the characters go to the same school. Some cross over and reappear, but this isn’t really about how they intersect but more about how they share the same common ground while living such vastly different lives. Great characters dealing with difficult issues: some very mature and ready to take on the world; others are just learning to be independent. Easy to read lots of connections.
The Strangers: Greystone Secrets #1 – Margaret Peterson Haddix
Ooooo…. how I love the first book in a new series! This one came out last April (now available in paperback – YES!) and is getting a LOT of buzz! This book is a thrilling adventure with lots of mystery, suspense, and many plot twists and turns. If your young reader enjoyed the City of Embers or A Wrinkle in Time – this is the perfect choice for them! Chess, Emma, and Finn Greystone come home from school to find their mother staring at her laptop, where there is a news recording of three children in Arizona who have been kidnapped. Three children who have the exact same first and middle names as they do and who share their birthdays. Their mother disappears…. and then it just never stops! Book #2 is scheduled to be released in April 2020.
Maybe He Just Likes You – Barbara Dee
This book explores the subject of #MeToo for the middle grade audience and the experiences of harassment and unwanted attention from classmates in an age-appropriate way. It is a heart-wrenching—and ultimately uplifting—novel. This one really hit me hard. A universally important and timely book.
Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake #2) – Victoria Schwab
In this sequel to City of Ghosts, Cassidy finds herself in another adventure involving ghosts, this time in charming yet very haunted city of Paris (first book was set in Edinburgh) where her parents are filming another episode of their TV show about the world’s most haunted locations. Perfect for fans of suspenseful ghost stories and paranormal adventures!
More to the Story – Hena Khan
Inspired by Louisa May Alcott’s classic, Little Women, and featuring four sisters from a modern American Muslim family, this is an incredibly wholesome and wonderful middle-grade story about illness, pursuing your ambitions, and family and sisterhood. This new book by the author of Amina’s Voice (I LOVED that book!) truly is a modern retelling of Little Women, filled with strong, charming characters and contemporary issues. LOVE this one!
Thanks for stopping by! Hopefully you found one or two great books to gift that special reader in your life!