The Children’s Book Review | May 24, 2019
This month, the book that tops off the best selling middle grade book list from our affiliate store is the amazing Newbery Medal winner The One and Only Ivan.
Also listed are the 5 books we selected from the nationwide best-selling hardcover middle grade list, as seen on The New York Times. All of these books are wonderful choices for tweens and middle schoolers.
The Children’s Book Review’s Best Selling Middle Grade Book
Written by Katherine Applegate
Illustrated by Patricia Castelao
Publisher’s Synopsis: Winner of the 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.
Ages 8-12 | HarperCollins | January 17, 2012 | 978-0061992278
Nationwide Best Selling Middle Grade Books
Written and Illustrated by Jeff Kinney
Publisher’s Synopsis: Get ready for a whole new look into Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid! Introducing the newest Wimpy Kid author—Rowley Jefferson! Rowley’s best friend Greg Heffley has been chronicling his middle-school years in thirteen Diary of a Wimpy Kid journals . . . and counting. But it’s finally time for readers to hear directly from Rowley in a journal of his own. In Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid, Rowley writes about his experiences and agrees to play the role of biographer for Greg along the way. (After all, one day Greg will be rich and famous, and everyone will want to know his life’s story.) But Rowley is a poor choice for the job, and his “biography” of Greg is a hilarious mess. Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson’s Journal offers readers a new way to look at the Wimpy world—one fans won’t want to miss!
Ages 9-12 | Publisher: Harry N. Abrams | April 9, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1419740275
Publisher’s Synopsis: For anyone who loves cats, dogs (or both!), James Patterson’s most pawsome story ever is set in a society defined by the oldest rivalry in the world: katts versus doggs!
Oscar is a happy dogg—a rambunctious kid who loves being a Dogg Scout. Thanks to his family, he knows that snobby katts are good for nothing but chasing up trees.
Molly is a clever katt who just knows she’s destined for fame and fortune as an actress. She comes from a family of well-bred katts who despise drooly, disgusting doggs!
For their whole lives, Oscar and Molly have been told that katts and dogs hate each other. One day, they each get hopelessly lost in the woods, but those lifelong prejudices flare up when they cross paths. Slowly, they realize that the only way to survive and find their way home is to…work together?!
Ages 8-11 | Publisher: jimmy patterson | April 1, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-0316411561
Written by Alan Gratz
Publisher’s Synopsis:JOSEF is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world . . .
ISABEL is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety in America . . .
MAHMOUD is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe . . .
All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers — from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, shocking connections will tie their stories together in the end.
This action-packed novel tackles topics both timely and timeless: courage, survival, and the quest for home.
Ages 9-12 | Publisher: Scholastic Press | July 25, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0545880831
Written by Fred Rogers
Illustrated by Luke Flowers
Publisher’s Synopsis: For the first time ever, 75 beloved songs from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and The Children’s Corner are collected in this charmingly illustrated treasury, sure to be cherished by generations of children as well as the millions of adults who grew up with Mister Rogers.
It’s you I like.
It’s not the things you wear,
It’s not the way you do your hair—
But it’s you I like.
From funny to sweet, silly to sincere, the lyrics of Mister Rogers explore such universal topics as feelings, new siblings, everyday life, imagination, and more. Through these songs—as well as endearing puppets and honest conversations—Mister Rogers instilled in his young viewers the values of kindness, self-awareness, and self-esteem. But most of all, he taught children that they are loved, just as they are. Perfect for bedtime, sing-along, or quiet time alone, this beautiful book of meaningful poetry is for every child—including the child inside of every one of us.
Ages 6-8 | Publisher: Quirk Books | March 19, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1683691136
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
This information for the best selling books was gathered from the New York Times Best Sellers list, which reflects the sales of hardcover middle grade books from the 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 are sure that 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! Tell us in the comments section which middle grade books are hits in your home. Have you read any on this list?