6 New Middle Grade Books (June 2022)
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If you’re looking for two thoughtful realistic books, read The Summer of June and Manatee Summer. And if you’re hoping to read exciting adventures with magic, mystery, or science, check out the other four titles on this list.
See which of these middle grade books made the best book list for the year?
>>BEST MIDDLE GRADE BOOKS OF 2022<<
6 New Middle-Grade Books (June 2022)
The Summer of June by Jamie Sumner
ANXIETY / REALISTIC
I ADORE and highly recommend this hopeful, realistically beautiful story about living with anxiety! June experiences severe anxiety which sometimes makes her pull out her hair and have panic attacks. That’s why she starts the summer by shaving her hair off completely– no chance of pulling it out. She spends her summer days at the library with her youth librarian mother. She meets a boy named Homer who shares his love of poetry with her and they gradually become friends but she hasn’t told him the truth about her anxiety. Her mom is her biggest supporter (she shaved her head in solidarity), her therapist’s gentle and firm care gets June the medication and guidance she needs, and her new and old friends from the library show June that many people care about her and accept her for who she is.
Manatee Summer by Evan Griffith
Gentle and poignant, this summer Peter is caretaking his grandpa with Alzheimer’s as well as documenting species in nature with his best friend Tommy. But the summer is filled with loss, not just because his grandfather doesn’t always recognize him but also because Tommy moves and the canal’s manatee gets hurt by a boat. Peter calls a manatee organization that takes the injured creature to a preserve to nurse it back to health. Despite all the loss, we also feel hope in the enduring power of relationships and the gift of helping others, human or animal.
Prince of Nowhere by Rochelle Hassan
I love the unique world-building in this adventure about friendship, family, and the choices we make. Roda’s city is surrounded by enchanted mist to keep the beasts away. She starts receiving mysterious letters that predict the future and give her directions which is how she finds an injured crow named Ignis who is actually a shapeshifting crow boy. When a magical comet arrives in the sky, events force she and Ignis to climb the misty ice dragon’s back to a magical place in the sky apart from time where they find a maniac prince and…in a surprising twist, her aunt Dora, who is not who Roda thought! Magic and secrets, betrayal and friendship, will the two friends be able to work together to escape…and fix what is broken?
Hana Hsu and the Ghost Crab Nation by Sylvia Liu
This is an excellent and exciting sci-fi story about a world where corporations control the world and at age 13, kids get “meshed” into the multiweb. Hana meets a mysterious hacker who makes her see that things aren’t always at they seem and that getting meshed might not be good. When Hana’s school friends get sicker and sicker, Hana discovers a conspiracy using kids as human experiments. Even worse, her mom is involved in it. With the help of a wise old man, two friends, and her sister, they work together to help the sick students and stop the corporation’s nefarious plans.
Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun by Tola Okogwu
Onyeka grows up in the UK but when her hair saves her best friend Cheyenne from drowning, Onyeka learns that her hair has magical powers. Her mom takes them back to their home country of Nigeria to search for Onyeka’s missing dad. Onyeka’s dropped off at the Academy of the Sun, a school for Solari where Onyeka is meant to train to use her powers safely. She struggles with fitting in because everyone has been training since they were much younger and don’t have the dizzy spells that Onyeka does. It’s an exciting adventure with culture, intrigue, and betrayal!
The Pear Affair by Judith Eagle, illustrated by Jo Rioux