The Children’s Book Review | October 10, 2018
Last month we were honored to interview the award-winning creators M. T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin about how the two came to be paired on the unconventionally funny collaboration of The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge. This month, the book tops off the 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
Illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
Publisher’s Synopsis: Subverting convention, award-winning creators M. T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin pair up for an anarchic, outlandish, and deeply political saga of warring elf and goblin kingdoms.
Uptight elfin historian Brangwain Spurge is on a mission: survive being catapulted across the mountains into goblin territory, deliver a priceless peace offering to their mysterious dark lord, and spy on the goblin kingdom — from which no elf has returned alive in more than a hundred years. Brangwain’s host, the goblin archivist Werfel, is delighted to show Brangwain around. They should be the best of friends, but a series of extraordinary double crosses, blunders, and cultural misunderstandings throws these two bumbling scholars into the middle of an international crisis that may spell death for them — and war for their nations. Witty mixed media illustrations show Brangwain’s furtive missives back to the elf kingdom, while Werfel’s determinedly unbiased narrative tells an entirely different story. A hilarious and biting social commentary that could only come from the likes of National Book Award winner M. T. Anderson and Newbery Honoree Eugene Yelchin, this tale is rife with thrilling action and visual humor . . . and a comic disparity that suggests the ultimate victor in a war is perhaps not who won the battles, but who gets to write the history.
Read our exclusive interview: M. T. Anderson And Eugene Yelchin Discuss The Assassination Of Brangwain Spurge
Ages 10+ | Publisher: Candlewick | September 25, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0763698225
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
Written by Aisha Saeed
Publisher’s Synopsis: The compelling story of a girl’s fight to regain her life and dreams after being forced into indentured servitude.
Life is quiet and ordinary in Amal’s Pakistani village, but she had no complaints, and besides, she’s busy pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher one day. Her dreams are temporarily dashed when–as the eldest daughter–she must stay home from school to take care of her siblings. Amal is upset, but she doesn’t lose hope and finds ways to continue learning. Then the unimaginable happens–after an accidental run-in with the son of her village’s corrupt landlord, Amal must work as his family’s servant to pay off her own family’s debt.
Life at the opulent Khan estate is full of heartbreak and struggle for Amal–especially when she inadvertently makes an enemy of a girl named Nabila. Most troubling, though, is Amal’s growing awareness of the Khans’ nefarious dealings. When it becomes clear just how far they will go to protect their interests, Amal realizes she will have to find a way to work with others if they are ever to exact change in a cruel status quo, and if Amal is ever to achieve her dreams.
Ages 10+ | Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books | May 8, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0399544682
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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