The Children’s Book Review | July 3, 2015
It’s true, TCBR readers are fans of Star Wars! That’s why, this month, Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary – The Ultimate Guide to Characters and Creatures from the Entire Star Wars Saga 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 Katherine Applegate.
The Children’s Book Review’s Best Selling Middle Grade Book
Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary – The Ultimate Guide to Characters and Creatures from the Entire Star Wars Saga
Publisher’s Synopsis: From characters like Darth Maul and Yoda, to places like Naboo and Dexter’s Diner, to creatures like Jabba the Hutt and Ewoks, Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary chronicles every character, weapon, starship, droid, creature, and alien in the Star Wars universe.
The only comprehensive visual guide available — and now with a new, refreshed look — it features more than one thousand stills and digitally rendered pictures, making this the ultimate collector’s item for every Star Wars fan.
Ages 10 and up | Publisher: DK Children | September 2006 | ISBN-13: 978-0756622381
Nationwide Best Selling Middle Grade Books
The Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel
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
Counting by 7s
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
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.
This is such a great list of must-read middle grade books and so fun that it includes Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary – The Ultimate Guide to Characters and Creatures from the Entire Star Wars Saga. 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?