What’s New in Middle Grade? More Good Books I’m Reading…June 2019

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Want more good middle-grade books to add to your to-read piles? I’m so excited to tell you about these new titles!


If you like science fiction and coding, check out The Ghost Network: Activate by I.I. Davidson!


If you just want a great adventure, you’ll like Elements of Genius: Nikki Tesla and the Ferret-Proof Death Ray by Jess Keating or The Last Last-Day-of-Summer by Lamar Giles.


If history is more your thing, don’t miss How High the Moon by Karyn Parsons.


Two very unique fantasy books you should consider are Maximillian Fly by Angie Sage and Oddmire Changeling by William Ritter.


And now, onward to the reviews…


Inventor Nikki Tesla joins a new school called the Genius Academy where she’s not the only genius and she’s supposed to start working well with others. (That will be hard!) When Nikki’s death ray is stolen from a locked safe, she and her classmates must collaborate to find it and hopefully, save the world. They follow clues around the world, thwart plots to divide their group, and capture the bad guy before he can use the death ray. Not only does this engrossing story feature smart kids who love STEM but the action and themes of friendship and growing up resonated and entertained me.
Also on these lists: 4th Grade Books in a Series, STEM Middle Grade Books


The Ghost Network: Activate
by I.I. Davidson
Jack and his friend are hackers who get taken to a top-secret tech school where dangerous secrets are hidden behind the STEM school facade. Not only are the kids in danger but there also seems to be a computer implanted inside their brains telling them what to do! The story intrigued me from the get-go but after about the middle, the action was so fast-paced and suspenseful, I was totally hooked.

The Last Last-Day-of-Summer
by Lamar Giles, illustrated by Dapo Adeola
If you’re a fan of wild and wacky stories, this is the book for you. Cousins Otto and Sheed accidentally stop time, freezing all the people in the town. Mostly. Because a sinister Mr. Flux on a gigantic beast can move about as can all the people related to time like A.M. and P.M.and Father Time. Throw in some unexpected plot twists and excellent writing and it adds up to a delightful adventure that just proves you should be careful what you wish for…

Important history is shared in this tender-hearted, historical fiction story that shows the dichotomy of a childhood that is both happy and sad with local events that are both fair and unfair. (Mostly unfair.) Ella lives with her grandparents but she’s always wanted to be with her singer-mom in Chicago. She gets to for a short time but is sent back when her mom gets a singing job in New York. Even though it’s not always the perfect happy ever after, Ella is glad to be back with her cousins, too. Then, their classmate is arrested and executed for the murder of two white girls without evidence and the town’s black community feels shock, sadness, and anger. Well-written and compelling.


Maximillian Fly
by Angie Sage
Although it’s a post-apocalyptic world with an evil ruler who controls the population on the domed city, this story focuses primarily on the blossoming of an abused cockroach/human named Max and the relationship between Max and two young children he rescues then loses again when they’re recaptured by the government where they’re sent to be killed with the other captured SilverSeed kids. It’s a sweet story set in a unique world.


by William Ritter
Redemption and family merge with magical creatures of good and not-so-good forces. Twin brothers, one of who is a changeling but doesn’t know, venture into the dangerous swamp to the goblin horde to finish the magic so they won’t die. Their devoted mother follows and fights for their future just as much or more than they do. I really like that there are two strong mothers in this story and the loyal bond of two not-related-by-blood brothers, plus it’s a great adventure that keeps you guessing!

Dear Justice League
by Michael Northrop
Each chapter is a letter from kids to each DC superhero plus a related short story. It will be entertaining fun for fans of the DC heroes.

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