The Children’s Book Review | August 8, 2014
This month, The Children’s Book Review‘s best selling middle grade book is an awesome backlist title that all info-happy kids should have in their home and school libraries. Our selection from the nationwide best selling middle grade books, as they appear on The New York Times, features books by super-talents Kate DiCamillo, Katherine Applegate, Sharon M. Draper and R.J. Palacio.
The Children’s Book Review’s Best Selling Middle Grade Book
Publisher’s Synopsis: The information age is upon us, baffling us with thousands of complicated state-of-the-art technologies. To help make sense of the computer age, David Macaulay brings us The New Way Things Work. This completely updated and expanded edition describes twelve new machines and includes more than seventy new pages detailing the latest innovations. With an entirely new section that guides us through the complicated world of digital machinery, where masses of electronic information can be squeezed onto a single tiny microchip, this revised edition embraces all of the newest developments, from cars to watches. Each scientific principle is brilliantly explained–with the help of a charming, if rather slow-witted, woolly mammoth.
Ages 12+ | Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers | Oct. 26, 1998 | ISBN-13: 978-0395938478
Nationwide Best Selling Middle Grade Books
By RH Disney
A #1 New York Times Bestseller!
Publisher’s synopsis: Walt Disney Animation Studios presents an epic tale of adventure and comedy with Frozen. When a prophecy traps a kingdom in eternal winter, Anna, a young dreamer, must team up with Kristoff, a daring mountain man, and his reindeer on the grandest of journeys to find Anna’s sister, the Snow Queen Elsa, and put an end to her icy spell. Encountering mystical trolls, a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Everest-like extremes, and magic at every turn, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom from destruction. Frozen: The Junior Novelization retells the whole exciting story and features eight pages of full-color scenes from the movie!
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: RH/Disney | Oct. 1, 2013 | ISBN-13: 978-0736431187
Publisher’s synopsis: Holy unanticipated occurrences! A cynic meets an unlikely superhero in a genre-breaking new novel by master storyteller Kate DiCamillo.
It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is the just the right person to step in and save him. What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry — and that Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the possibility of hope and the promise of a capacious heart. From #1 New York Times best-selling author Kate DiCamillo comes a laugh-out-loud story filled with eccentric, endearing characters and featuring an exciting new format — a novel interspersed with comic-style graphic sequences and full-page illustrations, all rendered in black-and-white by up-and-coming artist K. G. Campbell.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Candlewick Press | Sept. 24, 2013 | ISBN-13: 978-0763660406
Publisher’s synopsis: Winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Times bestseller, this stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendships. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the point-of-view of Ivan himself.
Having spent 27 years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.
The One and Only Ivan was hailed as a best book of the year by Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Amazon, demonstrating it is a true classic in the making. In the tradition of timeless stories like Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan’s unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope. An author’s note depicts the differences between the fictional story and true events.
Supports the Common Core State Standards
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: HarperCollins | Jan. 7, 2012 | ISBN-13: 978-0061992254
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
“If there is one book teens and parents (and everyone else) should read this year, Out of My Mind should be it.”—Denver Post
Publisher’s synopsis: Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom—the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow. In this breakthrough story—reminiscent of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly—from multiple Coretta Scott King Award-winner Sharon Draper, readers will come to know a brilliant mind and a brave spirit who will change forever how they look at anyone with a disability.
Ages 10 and up | Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers |May 1, 2012 | ISBN-13: 978-1416971719
This information for the best selling books was gathered from the New York Times Best Sellers list, which reflects the sales of books from 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.
If you have an info-happy kid that loves non-fiction books, take a look at our articles filed away in the Science Books category. We know you’ll enjoy the wonderful award-winning books in this list and we also encourage you to take your time perusing The Children’s Book Review for more Middle Grade books.