The Children’s Book Review | February 3, 2015
This month, A Boy and a Bear in a Boat, by Dave Shelton, is still The Children’s Book Review‘s best selling middle grade book. And we’re very happy to add Brown Girl Dreaming to our selection from the nationwide best selling middle grade books, as they appear on The New York Times. This list also features books by super-talents R.J. Palacio and Rick Riordan.
The Children’s Book Review’s Best Selling Middle Grade Book
A Boy and a Bear in a Boat
By Dave Shelton
Publisher’s Synopsis: A boy and a bear go to sea, equipped with a suitcase, a comic book, and a ukulele. The bear assures the boy that they are traveling a short distance and it really shouldn’t take very long. But then they encounter “unforeseeable anomalies”: turbulent stormy seas! a terrifying sea monster! and the rank remains of The Very Last Sandwich. The odds are pitted against the boy and the bear and their boat.
Will the Harriet, their trusted vessel, withstand the violent lashings of the salty waves? And will anyone ever answer their message in a bottle?
Ages 7-10 | Publisher: Yearling | September 2013 | ISBN-13: 978-0449810606
Nationwide Best Selling Middle Grade Books
The One and Only Ivan
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
House of Robots
By James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein
Publisher’s Synopsis: In this new highly-illustrated series from James Patterson, an extraordinary robot signs up for an ordinary fifth grade class… and elementary school will never be the same!
It was never easy for Sammy Hayes-Rodriguez to fit in, so he’s dreading the day when his genius mom insists he bring her newest invention to school: a walking, talking robot he calls E–for “Error”. Sammy’s no stranger to robots–his house is full of a colorful cast of them. But this one not only thinks it’s Sammy’s brother… it’s actually even nerdier than Sammy. Will E be Sammy’s one-way ticket to Loserville? Or will he prove to the world that it’s cool to be square? It’s a roller-coaster ride for Sammy to discover the amazing secret E holds that could change family forever… if all goes well on the trial run!
Ages 8-12 | Little, Brown and Company | 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-0316405911
Brown Girl Dreaming
Publisher’s synopsis: Jacqueline Woodson, one of today’s finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.
Ages 10 and up | Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books | 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-0399252518
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
The Fourteenth Goldfish
Publisher’s synopsis: Believe in the possible . . . with this “warm, witty, and wise” novel from New York Times bestseller, three-time Newbery Honor winner Jennifer L. Holm.
Galileo. Newton. Salk. Oppenheimer.
Science can change the world . . . but can it go too far?
Eleven-year-old Ellie has never liked change. She misses fifth grade. She misses her old best friend. She even misses her dearly departed goldfish. Then one day a strange boy shows up. He’s bossy. He’s cranky. And weirdly enough . . . he looks a lot like Ellie’s grandfather, a scientist who’s always been slightly obsessed with immortality. Could this pimply boy really be Grandpa Melvin? Has he finally found the secret to eternal youth?
With a lighthearted touch and plenty of humor, Jennifer Holm celebrates the wonder of science and explores fascinating questions about life and death, family and friendship, immortality . . . and possibility.
Look for EXCLUSIVE NEW MATERIAL in the paperback—including Ellie’s gallery of scientists and other STEM-appropriate features.
“The Fourteenth Goldfishis a clever novel that offers depth with humor while intersecting science and childhood in a memorable story perfect for sharing aloud with boys or girls.”—The Children’s Book Review
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers | August 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-0-375-87064-4
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.
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 and Best Sellers! Which middle grade books are hits in your home?