HomeBooks by AgeAges 9-12Best Selling Middle Grade Books | May 2015
Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters

Best Selling Middle Grade Books | May 2015

The Children’s Book Review | May 3, 2015

It’s true TCBR readers are fans of Greek myths! That’s why, this month, the National Geographic Treasury of Greek Mythology 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

Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & MonstersTreasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters 

Written by Donna Jo Napoli; Illustrated by Christina Balit

Publisher’s Synopsis: The new National Geographic Treasury of Greek Mythology offers timeless stories of Greek myths in a beautiful new volume. Brought to life with lyrical text by award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli and stunning artwork by award-winning illustrator Christina Balit, the tales of gods and goddesses such as Zeus, Aphrodite, Apollo, and Athena and heroes and monsters such as Helen of Troy, Perseus, and Medusa will fascinate and engage children’s imaginations.

National Geographic completes the book with embellishments of each story: sidebars for each god, goddess, hero, and monster link the myths to constellations, geography, history, and culture to help young readers connect the stories to real life events, people, and places. A family tree and a “cast of characters” profile page help make relationships between the characters clear, and a mapping feature adds to the fun and fascination. Resource notes and ample back matter directing readers to more information round out this luminous book. Sure to dazzle all those intrigued with the fantastic tales of Greek mythology and enchant new readers, this vibrant book will soon become a family keepsake.

School Library Journal Best Books of 2011

Eureka! Silver Honor Books—California Reading Association

Capitol Choices 2012 list of Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens

2012 Notable Children’s Books—ALSC

Ages 8-12 | Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books | September 2011 | ISBN-13: 978-1426308444

Nationwide Best Selling Middle Grade Books

The One and Only Ivan By Katherine ApplegateThe One and Only Ivan 

By Katherine Applegate

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 KirkusSchool 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

The Crossover by Kwame AlexanderThe Crossover

By Kwame Alexander

Publisher’s Synopsis: “With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering,” announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he’s got mad beats, too, that tell his family’s story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood from Kwame Alexander (He Said, She Said 2013).

Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story’s heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.

Read The Children’s Book Review’s review of The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander.

Ages 10 and up | Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers | 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-0544107717

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline WoodsonBrown Girl Dreaming

By Jacqueline Woodson

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

Wonder

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

OutOfMyMindOut of My Mind 

By Sharon M. Draper

“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! 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?

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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