The Children’s Book Review | August 3, 2015
This month, Connect the Thoughts, an innovative journal from Chronicle Books, is The Children’s Book Review‘s best selling middle grade book. And we’re very happy to share our selection of books picked from the nationwide best selling middle grade list, as they appear on The New York Times. This list features books by super-talents R.J. Palacio and Melissa de la Cruz.
The Children’s Book Review’s Best Selling Middle Grade Book
By Chronicle Books
Publisher’s Synopsis: Finally, the guided journal every kid is waiting for! Featuring a graph paper background with nine dots per page, users can connect dots around the space they choose for various topics. Quirky questions grouped in ten categories run throughout the book to inspire contemplation about everything from inside jokes with friends to designing a map. Best of all, the graph paper design encourages writing or drawing equally. Young thinkers will love creating the perfect time capsule of their life at this moment.
“An innovative and interesting way for kids to journal memorable moments in their lives. The pages are comprised of graph paper, which is a fun novelty, and the prompts require pause and reflection, an illuminating exercise within itself.”—The Children’s Book Review
Ages 8 and up | 120 pages | Chronicle Books | August 2013 | ISBN 978-1-4521-1225-1
Nationwide Best Selling Middle Grade Books
Written by Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher’s Synopsis: Evil tree. Bad Apple?
Twenty years ago, all the evil villains were banished from the kingdom of Auradon to the Isle of the Lost–a dark and dreary place protected by a force field that makes it impossible for them to leave. Stripped of their magical powers, the villains now live in total isolation, forgotten by the world.
Mal learns from her mother, Maleficent, that the key to true darkness, the Dragon’s Eye, is located inside her scepter in the forbidden fortress on the far side of the island. The eye is cursed, and whoever retrieves it will be knocked into a deep sleep for a thousand years. But Mal has a plan to capture it. She’ll just need a little help from her “friends.” In their quest for the Dragon’s Eye, these four kids begin to realize that just because you come from an evil family tree, being good ain’t so bad.
Isle of the Lost is the spell-binding prequel to Disney Descendants, A Disney Channel Original Movie Event this summer!
Ages 9-12 | Publisher: Disney-Hyperion | May 5, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1484720974
Written by Holly Goldberg Sloan
In the tradition of Out of My Mind, Wonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family.
Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life . . . until now.
Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.
Ages 10 and up | Publisher: Dial | August 29, 2013 | ISBN-13: 978-0803738553
Written by Linda Sue Park
Nya goes to the pond to fetch water for her family. She walks eight hours every day. Salva walks away from his war-torn village. He is a “lost boy” refugee, destined to cover Africa on foot, searching for his family and safety. Two young people . . . two stories. One country: Sudan.
This mesmerizing dual narrative follows two threads—one unfolding in 2008 and one in 1985—with one hopeful message: that even in a troubled country, determined survivors may find the future they are hoping for.
Ages 10 & up | Publisher: Clarion Books | Nov. 15, 2010 | 978-0547577319
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
Written by Boaz Yakin and Sheldon Lettich
Publisher’s synopsis: Now a major motion picture, this movie novelization tells the story of a canine hero.
When Justin’s older brother, Kyle, is killed in Afghanistan, Justin can’t believe that his brother is really gone. Except there’s one thing that Kyle left behind….
Max is a highly trained military canine who has always protected his fellow soldiers. But when he loses his handler and best friend, Kyle, Max is traumatized and unable to remain in the service.
He is sent home to America, where the only human he connects with is Justin, and he is soon adopted by Kyle’s family, essentially saving his life. At first Justin has no interest in taking care of his late brother’s troubled dog. However, the two learn to trust each other, which helps the four-legged veteran become his heroic self once more. As the pair start to unravel the mystery of what really happened to Kyle, they find more excitement—and danger—than they bargained for. But they might also find an unlikely new best friend—in each other.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: HarperCollins | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0062420398
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.
This is such a great list of must-read middle grade books and so fun that it includes the innovative journal Connect the Thoughts. We know 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?