Spring is on its way and with it comes an exciting batch of middle grade books from new authors whose first books will be out in the world this season. From medieval Scotland to the fantasy world of martial arts figure skating, featuring kids trying to save the world as they know it or find ways to fit into the world their stuck in, here’s a handy list of spring books from brand new voices in children’s literature.
Krista Kim-Bap, by Angela Ahn
When 11 year old Krista has to do a Heritage Month project for class, she’s conflicted about becoming the “Korean Ambassador” of her school. As she sorts through new friends and an old friend who has always been by her side, Krista learns what it means to fit in and be true to herself. Out in April.
Tiny Infinities, by J.H. Diehl
Alice’s summer is not what she expected it to be. 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 is obsessed with Science Fair. Through her summer of change, she comes to understand more about herself and the people around her. Out in May.
The Battle of Junk Mountain, by Lauren Abbey Greenberg
Shayne loves spending her summers in coastal Maine, but this summer, it feels like everything has changed. Her best friend is drifting away and her grandmother’s hobby as a collector has morphed into hoarding. Shayne must battle to save her friendships, help her grandmother, and hold onto the memories of summer. Out in April.
The Science of Breakable Things, by Tae Keller
When Natalie’s science teacher, Mr. Neeley, suggests that she join an egg drop competition, Natalie has her questions and hypotheses ready to confront the challenge at hand. But she also finds herself questioning her botanist mother’s fall into depression and tries to find ways to inspire her mother to love life again. This tender novel handles a tough topic with grace and heart.
Every Shiny Thing, by Cordelia Jensen and Laurie Morrison
This dual narrative tells the story of two new friends, Lauren, in prose, and, Sienna, in verse. While Lauren struggles with her parents’ decision to send her brother to a boarding school for teens on the autism spectrum, Sienna moves into a foster home in Lauren’s wealthy neighborhood. Sienna agrees to help Lauren raise money for a good cause, but the plan takes a turn when Lauren finds herself righting some wrongs with some wrongdoing of her own. Out in April.
P.S. I Miss You, by Jen Petro-Roy
When Evie’s pregnant sister, Cilla, is sent away by her strict Christian parents, Evie begins writing her sister secret letters. As she writes about family and life, she begins to wonder about her feelings for the new girl at school who becomes her friend and, then, maybe more than a friend. This touching and heartfelt story, written all in letters, asks important questions about faith and identity.
Hurricane Child, by Kheryn Callender
Being born during a hurricane is considered unlucky and hurricane child, Caroline, is feeling that bad luck all around her. She’s bullied and friendless in her small school in St. Thomas, her mother has left home, and a spirit won’t stop following her. When Kalinda, a new girl from Barbados, becomes Caroline’s first friend and crush, the two set out to find Caroline’s mother and set things right.
The Boy from Tomorrow, by Camille DeAngelis
In this spine-tingling tale, twelve year olds Josie and Alec both live at 444 Sparrow Street. They share a room and a bed. They’re just one hundred years apart. Meeting through a hand-painted talking board, the two friends must help one another across time to change the past without disrupting the future. Out in May.
Evangeline of the Bayou, by Jan Eldredge
Evangeline Clement is a huntress in training, learning magic and honing her monster-hunting skills. When she and her grandmother are called to New Orleans for an unusual case, they uncover a terrifying secret that tests the bonds of friendship and family and sets Evangeline off on a terrific adventure. Out in May.
Peasprout Chen, Future Legend of Skate and Sword, by Henry Lien
In this wildly original fantasy, Peasprout Chen is one of the first students from her rural country to attend Pearl Famous Academy of Skate and Sword, where she plans to become a legend of wu liu, the art of martial arts figure skating. When the school is vandalized, Peasprout is blamed, so she sets off to uncover the true vandal, all while competing for top ranking in her deadly but beautiful sport. Out in April.
The Zanna Function, by Daniel Wheatley
In this science fiction adventure, Zanna Mayfield is admitted to the prestigious St. Pommeroy’s school for gifted children where she discovers she’s a Scientist, someone able to see and bend the basic functions of the universe, like velocity, gravity, and chemical reactions. When a mysterious stranger tries to keep her out of school, Zanna must learn to master every function, including the one that defines her, in order to finish her first year. Out now.
The Mad Wolf’s Daughter, by Diane Magras
In this action-packed adventure set in medieval Scotland, youngest daughter Drest must save her family after invading knights capture her war-band of brothers and father, the Mad Wolf of the North. Hunted by bandits and aided by witches, Drest’s wild adventures take her through hostile villages and forests, where she learns that her family’s freedom might come at too high a price. Out now.
The Inventors at No. 8, by A.M. Morgen
New friends Ada and George are whisked off on a cross-continent journey in Ada’s hand-built flying machine. Together (with a precocious orangutan and a pirate’s son, of course) they must change orphan George’s bad luck and recapture a family heirloom, while trying to find Ada’s long-lost father. Out in May.
Nadya Skylung and the Cloudship Rescue, by Jeff Seymour and Brett Helquist
Nadya Skylung tends a cloud garden that keeps the cloudship Orion afloat. When pirates attack and capture the ship’s crew, Nadya and the other ship’s orphans must find a way to rescue the ship and save the only family she’s ever known in this imaginative fantasy adventure. Out in May.
What new middle grade novels are you excited to read this spring?