It’s the middle of summer 2017. Are you ready to hear about the new book releases for 8 – 12 year olds? I’ve been reading a lot — and picked my favorites to share with you.
Summer 2017 New Releases for Ages 8 – 12 Years Old
Two Truths and a Lie by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson, illustrated by Lisa K. Weber NONFICTION
This book is GENIUS! It’s an impressive dare really for kids to read and figure out what is true and what is a lie. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how the authors engage the readers brains in such a way! I can’t resist their dare. And I hope most kids wouldn’t be able to either. Again, it’s a genius premise, one that promises to cementing knowledge of real and false because no answers are given. Know that readers will not just be reading and thinking deeply, but they’ll also doing research while they’re immersed in the book… (Because one must know if a prehistoric dinosaur “Bambi” exists, if the slyrking will take over your picnic, or if doctors really can implant a stimoceiver in the brain to control your behavior.) Readers can’t just walk away without doing the research to find the truth. Oh, and I must tell you that the conversational tone in which this book is written makes it flow smoothly. That, plus the addition of many illustrations and photographs make this one hard-to-put down nonfiction middle grade book. Teachers, take note!! Two Truths and a Lie has moved to the top of my favorite nonfiction books for elementary and middle school children ages 8 – 12.
Way of the Warrior Kid by Jocko Willink, illustrated by Jon Bozak REALISTIC
The Way of the Warrior Kid is a self-help book of sorts wrapped in a fictional story that is surprisingly engaging and interesting to read. Marc’s Navy SEAL Uncle Jake stays for the summer and in that time, transforms Marc’s life in three months. Marc starts out as a discouraged bad-at-math, weak, average kid who gets picked on by a bully but he decides to take his uncle’s advice and try a different approach. Marc learns discipline, persistence, daily habits, and even how to learn — and it transforms his life.
Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams – Garcia REALISTIC
Clayton feels happiest with his grandfather, playing the blues. But his mom hates everything about the blues because it was when her father left her as a child. When his beloved grandfather dies and his mom takes his harmonica, Clayton ditches school to find his grandfather’s band. Instead he encounters a gang of boys and ends up getting picked up by the police. This is a superbly crafted novel about grief, family, and forgiveness.
The Great Treehouse War by Lisa Graff REALISTIC
When Winnie’s parents divorce, they become obsessed with dividing everything up equally and outdoing each other. So, to make it fair (3 days per parent), Winnie spends Wednesdays by herself in her own treehouse. She loves this break from her out of control with celebrations parents. When she learns she’s in danger of flunking fifth grade, she decides to stay in her treehouse until her parents stop the madness. And her friends join her with their own demands. This is a fun-filled, entertaining story with heart!
Miles Morales by Jason Reynolds SUPERHERO
Miles’ spidey sense is wacking out when he’s at school, especially in his history class. Add to that, he’s worried he will turn out like his criminal uncle. So, Miles, who is Puerto-Rican and African American, stops being Spider Man. Until he discovers a chilling plot of men named Chamberlain who work under the control of The Warden. Now, he must use all his skills to save the world from a racist threat. You’ll love the diversity, the two-parent family, and the complexity of Mile’s character.
Code Name Flood Edge of Extinction by Laura Martin (book 2) SCI FI
Code Name Flood is a roller coaster adventure ride with many plot twists that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The friends find a secret underwater research station where they deliver the secret information from Sky’s father. Unfortunately, they’re soon betrayed and attacked. Fortunately, Sky survives and reunites with her grandfather who helps her try to rescue Todd’s village, held captive in NY by Noah. There they must fight for survival among the dinosaurs and the Noah soldiers. It won’t be easy. But it will be exceptionally entertaining for the readers.
Supernormal Sleuthing Service : The Lost Legacy by Gwenda Bond and Christopher Rowe MYSTERY / FANTASY
Stephan is a bit (a lot) overwhelmed when his grandmother dies and he learns the truth about himself (he’s half fae) and the world (there are a lot of magical creatures in it!). Stephan and his father move to a supernatural hotel where someone is frames Stephan for the theft of a most valuable cookbook, an important cookbook passed down from his grandmother to his father. He’s in trouble and danger. Fortunately, his two new friends are ready to help him figure out the truth of who really stole the cookbook.
The Unicorn in the Barn by Jacqueline K. Ogburn, illustrated by Rebecca Green FANTASY
Eric’s family is in a time of transition. His grandmother in nursing care, her house and barn sold to a vet who hires Eric to help around the stables, in particular with the secret magical creatures she cares for like the hurt unicorn who is pregnant, a squonk, and a cheshire cat as well as other regular animal patients. The vet and her daughter, Allegra, warn him of the danger of hunters and discovery. Eric wonders if the unicorn’s magic help heal his grandmother, learning that his grandmother knows more about the magical creatures than he thought.
Hero: Hurricane Rescue by Jennifer Li Shotz REALISTIC / ADVENTURE
Exciting and fast-paced, this is a easy-to-read, page-turning adventure perfect for animal and survival enthusiasts. Ben, Noah, and Ben’s dog Hero, a retired search and rescue dog, leave the safety of indoors during an oncoming hurricane to search for Ben’s missing friend, Jack. Hero leads the friends to Jack but their adventure gets more challenging from there. A mudslide, an alligator, a lost Scout troop with an injured leader, and lots more mean Hero must work hard to get the boys get safely home. Excellent!
Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls by Beth McMullen MYSTERY
Abigail’s mother unexpectedly sends her to boarding school — only to go missing. That’s when Abigail leaves school to search. When Abigail is brought back to the school, she learns that the school is a secret spy school for girls. The school starts her training so Abigail can be bait for her mother but is the school trying to help or hurt her mom? A fun adventure!
You May Already Be a Winner by Ann Dee Ellis
Now that her dad is gone, Olivia can’t go to school because her mom wants her to stay home to take care of her little sister. Olivia does a good job, planning out their day carefully, but she wants to go back to school. Excellent writing paired with a sweet story of a struggling family combine to make a wonderful, heart-warming story.
The Summer of Bad Ideas by Keira Stewart REALISTIC
Edie and her family are spending their summer in a small Florida town to clean out the house of her deceased grandma. Here Edie and her cousin discover a slightly reckless, totally outside of her comfort zone to-do list her grandma made when she was their age. Edie’s decision to try the things on the list and be braver, set her on a journey of self-discovery and maturity. Warm-hearted and lovely.
William Wenton and the Impossible Puzzle by Bobbie Peers FANTASY
William can’t help but solve the impossible puzzle — his brain just sees the answers to these things. But that puts him on the radar of the Institute, who the family’s been hiding from. William’s taken to the Institute which he learns his grandfather founded and there’s a dangerous man trying to find his grandfather’s work