It’s almost the end of 2017 yet there are still books to read. I’ve culled and found even more amazing middle grade books to recommend to you. If you’re looking for what to read next, try one of these. (Several are going on my BEST OF 2017 list!)
What to Read Next? More Exceptional Late Fall 2017 Chapter Books
Aven Green is used to making up creative stories for why she doesn’t have any arms. Especially now in Arizona where her parents are the new managers a rundown theme park. She befriends a boy at school who, like her, feels different and isolated from the other kids. His name is Connor and he has Tourette Syndrome. Together, he, another new friend named Zion, and Aven investigate a mysterious storage shed at the theme park which leads them to a mystery involving Aven’s past. This story is about restorative friendship, facing your fears, and discovering your true (significant) potential. I loved the physical and mental diversity shown with so much strength and compassion. This would be a GREAT read aloud for classrooms and for at home. There’s much to love and discuss!! (Added to my Physical Disabilities Book List
Not only did I learn a lot (a lot!!) about Indian history during the time of Gandhi, I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this incredible, passion-filled story. Anjali’s parents join the freedom movement against the British government. Through her parents, Anjali begins to see her world differently including the poverty-stricken caste of many people call “the Untouchables”. Other Indian families do not like the changes her family is making. Then, Anjali’s mom is thrown in jail! I couldn’t put this book down.
A winsome story of adventure and finding where you belong. Nicki leaves the group home to live with a family in the witness protection program. She likes her newest foster family and takes her role seriously. She must stay vigilant against potential threats, not stand out, and try to keep her kleptomania under control. As she grows closer to her new family, both their past and hers catch up to them.
The Magic Misfits
by Neil Patrick Harris and Alec Azam, illustrated by Lissy Marlin and Kyle Hilton
Carter’s had a rough life, even now after he runs away from his crook of an uncle and lands in a New England town. There he encounters unsavory carnival people who remind him of his uncle. At the town’s magic shop, Carter meets a young girl and her fathers who love magic just like him. He and his new kid friends set out to thwart the carnie’s plot to steal the world’s biggest diamond. And maybe in the process, his luck will turn around. Through the book are ciphers, codes, and tricks giving this already delightful story extra oomph. It’s an entertaining start to a magical new series.
by Tahereh Mafi
This beguiling story of Whichwood (which can be read independent of the first novel) captures the humanity of loneliness, love, and life’s purpose. It’s a beautiful story of a mordeshoor
girl with magic over the dead in a town that no longer values her work. Two young strangers appear on Laylee’s doorstep to help. They mostly fail. To succeed, they’ll need a second chance and help from their buggy friend and thousands of reanimated corpses. It’s not your average story, it’s better. Mafi’s prose takes you on a journey of it’s own — absolutely exquisite wordsmithing.
When Siri’s little sister, Miki, is stolen by pirates, Siri sets off on a harrowing journey to find and rescue her sister. The horrible journey isn’t easy but she eventually finally finds the hidden mysterious mine of the pirates only to be captured by the pirates herself. Very entertaining!
Pashmina is about a girl finding her place in the world. She travels to India to meet her extended family and finds answers about the magical shawl her mother owns. This is a lovely coming of age middle grade graphic novel conveyed in incredible, irresistible art.
I’m always looking for good sci-fi chapter books and this one is an entertaining selection. Max Tilt finds his great-great-great-grandfather Jules Verne’s notes that may help his parents not lose their house and pay their bills. He and his babysitter cousin end up on a wild adventure against and with a crocked man who wants to steal Verne’s secret treasure. After this novel, readers may want to try little Jules Verne.
I enjoyed this quick, entertaining chapter book about another Hero the rescue dog adventure. In this story, Ben’s dad is captured by escaped convicts. Ben and Hero set off to find Ben’s dad. Ben’s already injured and Hero’s too emotional to track the scent so they’re going to need help if they’re going to find his dad. Action from the first page to the last. Kids who love adventure and animals will love this book and series.
Owl learns that Jack Frost is her father, explaining the frost patterns on her skin. She ventures into the magical world of her father who denies her existence. She hopes to find a way to connect with her wild, irresponsible dad. In a plot agains Jack Frost, The Earl of October conspires to make Owl to burn out her powers. Can Owl’s friends stop her before she loses herself to her winter powers completely?
This is an interesting sci-fi story for middle-grade readers but did get confusing in parts. If you can just keep reading despite that, it could be a gateway book to more sci-fi and continuing on in the series. Daniel is a slave in the mines run by alien overlords. He escapes and ends up first on a space ship, then on a planet with the truthseekers. His main goal is to go back and rescue his friends. Unfortunately, when he does, his friends are not the same.