The Children’s Book Review | September 5, 2018
For the month of August, Ginger Rue’s Aleca Zamm is a Wonder tops off our best selling middle grade book list from our affiliate store. Also listed are the 5 books we selected from the nationwide best-selling hardcover middle grade list, as seen on The New York Times. All of these books are wonderful choices for tweens and middle schoolers—they each have their own empowering message of either accepting the differences of others or to embracing what makes us each individually special.
The Children’s Book Review’s Best Selling Middle Grade Book
Written by Ginger Rue
Publisher’s Synopsis: Meet the wonder-full Aleca Zamm, an ordinary ten-year-old with an extraordinary ability: she can stop time!
Aleca Zamm has finally reached double digits and she still doesn’t have a “thing”—a special talent or ability that will make her stand out. Her best friend, Maria, has a thing (swim team); her sister, Dylan, has a thing (singing); and even her former BFF Madison has a thing (soccer). But Aleca? No. Thing.
Until the day of her tenth birthday when Aleca discovers she can stop time just by saying her name. Suddenly, Aleca has a thing…and life is about to get a lot more interesting!
It turns out that being a Wonder (as her eccentric Aunt Zephyr, who is also a Wonder, calls it) comes with a few caveats, and that stopping time doesn’t go undetected by other Wonders or those who may be searching for them. With her new mentor Aunt Zephyr by her side, Aleca discovers that being special comes with special challenges she never expected.
Ages 7-10 | Publisher: Aladdin | 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1481470605
Nationwide Best Selling Middle Grade Books
Written by Alan Gratz
Publisher’s Synopsis:JOSEF is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world . . .
ISABEL is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety in America . . .
MAHMOUD is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe . . .
All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers — from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, shocking connections will tie their stories together in the end.
This action-packed novel tackles topics both timely and timeless: courage, survival, and the quest for home.
Ages 9-12 | Publisher: Scholastic Press | July 25, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0545880831
Publisher’s Synopsis: “With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering,” announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he’s got mad beats, too, that tell his family’s story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood from Kwame Alexander (He Said, She Said 2013).
Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story’s heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.
Read The Children’s Book Review’s review of The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander.
Ages 10 and up | Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers | 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-0544107717
Written and Illustrated by Peter Brown
Publisher’s Synopsis: When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. Why is she there? Where did she come from? And, most important, how will she survive in her harsh surroundings? Roz’s only hope is to learn from the island’s hostile animal inhabitants. When she tries to care for an orphaned gosling, the other animals finally decide to help, and the island starts to feel like home. Until one day, the robot’s mysterious past comes back to haunt her….
Heartwarming and full of action, Peter Brown’s middle-grade debut raises thought-provoking questions about the environment, the role technology plays in our world, and what it means to be alive.
Ages 8-11 | Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers | Apr. 5 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0316381994
Written by Katherine Applegate
Publisher’s Synopsis: Trees can’t tell jokes, but they can certainly tell stories. . . .
Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood “wishtree”―people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red’s branches. Along with her crow friend Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red’s hollows, this “wishtree” watches over the neighborhood.
You might say Red has seen it all. Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red’s experiences as a wishtree are more important than ever.
Funny, deep, warm, and nuanced, Wishtree is Newbery Medalist and New York Times–bestselling author Katherine Applegate at her very best―writing from the heart, and from a completely unexpected point of view.
This book has Common Core connections.
Ages 10-14 | Publisher: Feiwel & Friends | 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1250043221
Written by R.J. Palacio
Publisher’s synopsis: “Wonder” is the funny, sweet and incredibly moving story of Auggie Pullman. Born with a terrible facial abnormality, this shy, bright ten-year-old has been home-schooled by his parents for his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the stares and cruelty of the outside world. Now, for the first time, Auggie is being sent to a real school – and he’s dreading it. The thing is, Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, underneath it all? Through the voices of Auggie, his big sister Via, and his new friends Jack and Summer, “Wonder” follows Auggie’s journey through his first year at Beecher Prep. Frank, powerful, warm and often heart-breaking, “Wonder” is a book you’ll read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers | Jan. 7, 2012 | ISBN-13: 978-0375869020
This information for the best selling books was gathered from the New York Times Best Sellers list, which reflects the sales of hardcover middle grade books from the books sold nationwide, including independent and chain stores. It is correct at the time of publication and presented in random order. Visit www.nytimes.com for their most up-to-date and complete list.
This is such a great list of must-read middle grade books. We are sure that you’ll enjoy each one and we also encourage you to take your time perusing The Children’s Book Review for more Middle Grade books and Best Sellers! Which middle grade books are hits in your home?
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