A Trio of Mermaids, School Superheroes, and Carnival Magic: 10 New Middle Grade Books We Love

It’s summer! And with warmer temperatures come a brand new batch of middle grade books perfect for gearing up for summer reading. Whether resting on a hammock, at the beach, or inside on a rainy day, kids will love these new offerings that are sure to have them laughing, thinking, and dreaming big. Get ready to explore mermaid lagoons, magical carnivals, and Monet’s France, as well as small towns and mysterious school superheroes. 

Captain Superlative, by J.S. Puller
This debut novel follows twelve year old Janey, who is content to blend in and stay behind the scenes at Deerwood Park Middle School, until Captain Superlative appears, wearing a mask, rain boots, and a cape. The strange girl runs through the halls protecting victims from the school bully, Dagmar. When Janey uncovers the truth behind Captain Superlative’s mask, she discovers what it means to be a hero and friend.

Tiny Infinities, by J.H. Diehl
Alice’s summer is not turning out the way she expected it to. Her Dad moves out, and she retreats to a backyard tent to wait out his return. She’s trusted with a new babysitting charge, Piper, who is mute, or, at least, to everyone but Alice. And she meets a new friend who obsessed with the Science Fair. Through her summer of change, Alice comes to understand more about herself and the people around her.

The Length of a Stringby Elissa Brent Weissman
As her bat mitzvah draws near, Imani knows exactly what she wants as gift: to find her birth parents. Even if she loves her family and her Jewish community in Baltimore, she wants to know where she came from. When she uncovers her great grandmother Anna’s, diary from 1941, she discovers Anna was also adopted. As Anna’s story unfurls, both girls reconcile their own identities within their adoptive families in this powerful and unforgettable tale.

Carnival Magic, by Amy Ephron
In this stand-alone companion to The Castle in the Mist, readers discover a fantastical carnival world when a magical wind whisks siblings Tess and Max away during their vacation in South Devon, England. In their adventures, the pair will meet psychics and acrobats, and try to uncover the secret behind their own disappearance.

Bad Mermaids Make Waves, by Sibeal Pounder, illustrated by Jason Cockcroft
This brand new middle grade series follows a trio of smart and stylish mermaids who must save the day after their beloved queen of the Hidden Lagoon is fish-napped by a group of bad mermaids. Hilarious, magical, and full of fun, this new series is sure to have kids falling in love with mermaids Beattie, Mimi, and Zelda and their adventures.

A Good Day for Climbing Trees, by Jaco Jacobs, illustrated by Jim Tierney
In this funny, warm-hearted novel, we meet thirteen year old Marnus who is tired of feeling invisible, stuck between his heart-throb older brother and a smarty-pants younger sibling who has tricked him into doing the dishes all summer. When Leila shows up at his doorstep with a petition to save a tree, Marnus gets the chance to become the local hero he always wished he could be.

Ask Emma, by Sheryl Berk and Carrie Berk
In this brand new series from the bestselling authors of the Cupcake Club series, thirteen year old Emma Woods is ready to give advice on friendship, style, and cool to her classmates at Austen Middle School. When her advice blog goes live, she discovers that not everyone appreciates her help and she soon finds herself in a huge mess of trouble and the victim of cyber-bullying. Emma must find her voice and stand up for what she really believes in.

A Whale in Parisby Daniel Presley and Claire Polders
Set in France during World War II, a young girl named Chantal discovers a whale in the Seine while fishing for salmon. But, in German-occupied Paris, where people are starving and the Nazis want to impress Hitler, the whale, which Chantal names Franklin, is in danger. Chantal and Franklin set off on a dangerous voyage to return Franklin to the ocean where he belongs.

The Flourishing of Floralie Laurel, by Fiadnait Moser
Floralie Laurel, newly expelled from Mrs. Coffrey’s School for Young Girls, works as a flower seller in an English village, when she discover a hidden box of dried flowers and a letter from her estranged mother who disappeared years ago. If she can decode the message her mother left her, through a dictionary of flower meanings written by Claude Monet’s gardener, it will lead her to her Mama. But, her grandmother has other plans, to send her to an orphanage, and Floralie must set out for Monet’s house in France before the orphanage can turn her into a proper lady.

Rosetown, by Cynthia Rylant
For nine year old Flora Smallwood, life is full of surprises in Rosetown, Indiana, especially at the beloved bookshop, Wings and a Chair Used Books. As she deals with some not-so-nice surprises, like losing her dog, her parents separating, and fourth grade, which is nothing like third, she still manages to find some happy surprises, big and small, in town.

What new middle grade stories are you excited to share with your young reader this summer?

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