The Children’s Book Review | July 3, 2014
Seriously, there are some VERY good novels on this list of best selling middle grade books; including Kevin Henkes’ The Year of Billy Miller and Sharon M. Draper’s Out of My Mind. The list also features books by super-talents Kate DiCamillo, Katherine Applegate and R.J. Palacio.
The Children’s Book Review’s Best Selling Middle Grade Book
The Year of Billy Miller
By Kevin Henkes
Award-winning, nationally bestselling author Kevin Henkes introduces second-grader Billy Miller in this fast-paced and funny story about friendship, sibling rivalry, and elementary school. The Year of Billy Miller includes black-and-white art by Kevin Henkes and is perfect for fans of the Ramona books, Frindle, by Andrew Clements, and the Clementine series.
When Billy Miller has a mishap at the statue of the Jolly Green Giant at the end of summer vacation, he ends up with a big lump on his head. What a way to start second grade, with a lump on your head! As the year goes by, though, Billy figures out how to navigate elementary school, how to appreciate his little sister, and how to be a more grown up and responsible member of the family and a help to his busy working mom and stay-at-home dad. Newbery Honor author and Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes delivers a short, satisfying, laugh-out-loud-funny school and family story that features a diorama homework assignment, a school poetry slam, cancelled sleepovers, and epic sibling temper tantrums. Illustrated throughout with black-and-white art by the author, this is a perfect short novel for the early elementary grades.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Greenwillow Books | Sept. 17, 2013 | ISBN-13: 978-0062268129
Nationwide Best Selling Middle Grade Books
Frozen Junior Novelization (Disney Frozen)
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
Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
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
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
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
Out of My Mind
“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.
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. Happy summer reading!