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Middle Grade Book Spotlight--Alphabet Titles pt. 3 (M-R)

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Our Middle Grade book spotlight this week is the third part of a series we have been working through over the course of our past spotlights!  Over the next few weeks, we will be working our way through the alphabet as we use letters for inspiration as each title starts with the next letter in order.  This week we are moving on to the third part of the alphabet with books that start with a M through R giving us six amazing books to explore; we have everything from nonfiction to graphic novels, some of our new titles, and fantasy historical fiction.  Next week, we will pick up with the letter S for our final part of the alphabet.  These books and more can be found by searching the catalog using the search tag #youthatoz as well as on Libby and Hoopla.  Check back next week for a new Middle Grade book spotlight and if you have any book suggestions, please let us know!!

The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis--When Digory and Polly try to return the wicked witch Jadis to her own world, the magic gets mixed up and they all land in Narnia where they witness Aslan blessing the animals with human speech.

Night Sky by Howard Schneider--Kid-friendly field guide for exploring the night sky. Discusses constellations of different regions of the sky, meteor showers, and types of stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Includes a glossary, index, and sighting charts.

The Orphan Band of Springdale by Anne Nesbet--Due to the financial strain and worldwide tension from World War II, eleven-year-old Augusta “Gusta” Hoopes Neubronner leaves her parents in New York City for her grandmother’s orphanage in Springdale, Maine. The only thing of value she brings with her is a beautiful French horn, an instrument she got from her father, which she refuses to sell no matter what. As she struggles to adjust, she becomes inspired by a story her mother told her about a coin-like “Wish” that her sea-captain grandfather hid. And as the war rages, she is faced with other strange occurrences, like watching patriotism turn to prejudice, and alien registration drives, and family secrets.

Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa by Julian Randall--In this middle-grade fantasy duology, twelve-year-old Pilar Ramirez lives with her Mami and Abuela in Chicago. An aspiring documentary filmmaker, she decides to investigate the disappearance of a relative named Natasha, who vanished during the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic years ago. When Pilar hears that a professor at the university has been working on disappearances under Trujillo, Pilar arranges to meet him. However, when she arrives, the professor isn't in his office. Pilar snoops around his office and finds a folder with her cousin's name on it, and in it a single page that magically transports Pilar to the island of Zafa. Here she joins the fight against the Dominican mythological boogeyman, El Cuco, to uncover the truth about her cousin. The book features Spanish words and phrases sprinkled throughout the text.

Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis--Queen Eleanor of Albion is banished to a tiny island convent when her sister claims the throne. Already residing on the island is Margaret, a young orphan girl, whose life is forever altered by the regal Eleanor. As the two get closer, Eleanor struggles with the true purpose of her banishment, and when Eleanor's life is threatened, Margaret is forced to make a devastating choice between loyalty and treason.

Ravenfall by Kalyn Josephson--Thirteen-year-old psychic Annabella Ballinkay has been struggling to find a way to use her ability to foresee death, which she considers useless, to help her family run Ravenfall Inn, the gigantic, magical bed and breakfast establishment that exists between the human world and the Otherworld. When fourteen-year-old Colin Pierce comes to the Inn to find his missing older brother and stop the monster that killed his parents, Anna's chance to help someone with her ability arrives at last. Soon, however, the young teens find themselves in over their heads as the monster seems intent on killing Colin and opening the veil between the Otherworld and the human on Halloween night, dooming humanity as they know it.