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The United States Constitution Explained for Kids with Books

Bestselling Middle Grade Books | October 2020

The Children’s Book Review

The Children’s Book Review’s Best Selling Middle-Grade Book

This month, the book that tops off the best-selling middle-grade book list from our affiliate store is a book we featured in Three Kids Books That Explain the United States Constitution To Kids (and Their Grown-Ups): The Constitution Decoded by Katie Kennedy.

The Constitution Decoded- A Guide to the Document That Shapes Our NationThe Constitution Decoded: A Guide to the Document That Shapes Our Nation

Written by Katie Kennedy

Illustrated by Ben Kirchner

Contributor: Kermit Roosevelt

Publisher’s Synopsis: Be an active citizen. Know your Constitution!

Ever wonder why the president has a Cabinet? Why there’s such thing as trial by jury? Why someday you’ll have to pay income tax, or why there are no Dukes, Duchesses, Counts, or Countesses in the United States? Because the Constitution says so––and so much more. And now, in The Constitution Decoded, the ideas, concepts, and rules that make America are unpacked and explained in detail to help all of us, kids and parents too, become more informed citizens.

Written with impeccable clarity and illustrated in a style that brings America’s early days to life, this fascinating guide goes through the Constitution literally word by word, sentence by sentence, and idea by idea to give readers a true understanding of not only how the Framers envisioned the United States, but also why they made the choices they did. Here’s why, for example, the United States has three branches of government—legislative, executive, and judicial. It explains how bills become laws, why we have the right to free speech, how we can change the Constitution as our country evolves, and so much more.

Packed with historical context and figures, vocabulary, anecdotes, and trivia, this book is an accessible yet richly layered work that belongs in every family library.

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Ages 10+ | Publisher: Workman Publishing Company | ISBN-13: 978-1523510443

Nationwide Best Selling Middle-Grade Books

Here we have listed five books to feature from the nationwide best-selling hardcover middle grade list, as seen in The New York Times.

The Complete Cookbook for Young ChefsThe Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs

Written by America’s Test Kitchen Kids

Publisher’s Synopsis: Want to bake the most-awesome-ever cupcakes? Or surprise your family with breakfast tacos on Sunday morning? Looking for a quick snack after school? Or maybe something special for a sleepover? It’s all here. Learn to cook like a pro―it’s easier than you think.

For the first time ever, America’s Test Kitchen is bringing their scientific know-how, rigorous testing, and hands-on learning to KIDS in the kitchen!

Using kid-tested and approved recipes, America’s Test Kitchen has created THE cookbook every kid chef needs on their shelf. Whether you’re cooking for yourself, your friends, or your family, The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs has delicious recipes that will wow!

  • Recipes were thoroughly tested by more than 750 kids to get them just right for cooks of all skill levels―including recipes for breakfast, snacks and beverages, dinners, desserts, and more.
  • Step-by-step photos of tips and techniques will help young chefs feel like pros in their own kitchen
  • Testimonials (and even some product reviews!) from kid test cooks who worked alongside America’s Test Kitchen will encourage young chefs that they truly are learning the best recipes from the best cooks.

By empowering young chefs to make their own choices in the kitchen, America’s Test Kitchen is building a new generation of confident cooks, engaged eaters, and curious experimenters.

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Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Sourcebooks Explore | October 16, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1492670025

Becoming Muhammad AliBecoming Muhammad Ali

Written by James Patterson and Kwame Alexander

Illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile

Publisher’s Synopsis: Before he was a household name, Cassius Clay was a kid with struggles like any other. Kwame Alexander and James Patterson join forces to vividly depict his life up to age seventeen in both prose and verse, including his childhood friends, struggles in school, the racism he faced, and his discovery of boxing. Readers will learn about Cassius’ family and neighbors in Louisville, Kentucky, and how, after a thief stole his bike, Cassius began training as an amateur boxer at age twelve. Before long, he won his first Golden Gloves bout and began his transformation into the unrivaled Muhammad Ali.

Fully authorized by and written in cooperation with the Muhammad Ali estate, and vividly brought to life by Dawud Anyabwile’s dynamic artwork, Becoming Muhammad Ali captures the budding charisma and youthful personality of one of the greatest sports heroes of all time.
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Ages 9-12 | Publisher: jimmy patterson | 2020 | ISBN-13: October 5, 2020

The One and Only Bob

Written by Katherine Applegate

Illustrated by Patricia Castelao

Publisher’s Synopsis: Return to the unforgettable world of the Newbery Medal-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling novel The One and Only Ivan (soon to be a major motion picture!) in this incredible sequel, starring Ivan’s friend Bob!

Bob sets out on a dangerous journey in search of his long-lost sister with the help of his two best friends, Ivan and Ruby. As a hurricane approaches and time is running out, Bob finds courage he never knew he had and learns the true meaning of friendship and family.

Bob, Ivan, and Ruby have touched the hearts of millions of readers, and their story isn’t over yet. Catch up with these beloved friends before the star-studded film adaptation of The One and Only Ivan hits theaters in August 2020!

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Ages 8-12 | Publisher: HarperCollins | May 5, 2020 | ISBN-13: 978-0062991317

Refugee Alan GratzRefugee

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.

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Ages 9-12 | Publisher: Scholastic Press | July 25, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0545880831

Wonder

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.

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Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers | Jan. 7, 2012 | ISBN-13: 978-0316475174

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.

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! Tell us in the comments section which middle grade books are hits in your home. Have you read any on this list?

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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