Our Middle Grade book spotlight this week is focused on books that have recently been added to our collection meaning they are new!!!! New books are the best; they have a new book smell and there is just something about being one of the first people to read it. There is a great mix of fiction titles; there is literally something for everyone! These books and more can be found by searching the catalog using the search tag #2023youthnewbooks 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 Underground Abductor by Nathan Hale-- In this volume, Hale introduces readers to Harriet Tubman, the African American woman who escaped from slavery and dedicated her life to helping hundreds of others reach freedom through the Underground Railroad. Hale describes Tubman's harrowing experiences within the broader context of slavery and its role in the nation's history, giving students a deeper appreciation for Tubman's ability to rise above her circumstances and help others do the same.
Iveliz Explains it All by Andrea Beatriz Arango--Seventh grader Iveliz looks forward to the new school year with optimism, hoping it will be the opportunity she's been waiting for to turn things around in her life. She vows not to get in any more fights at school and she will try to be happier. After all, her grandmother from Puerto Rico has moved in with them, and that will help to fill the hole that her father left when he walked away. However, her temper rears its ugly head and Iveliz gets into trouble again. Coupled with her grandmother's Alzheimer's and her mother's denial that she needs her medication to feel happier, Iveliz worries she'll never be able to accomplish her goals, especially when she's having trouble understanding and expressing what she's feeling.
Winston Chu vs. the Whimsies by Stacey Lee--According to those around him, twelve-year-old Winston Chu has trouble controlling his impulses, which often land him in trouble. However, on the day that he makes a shoofly pie in cooking class, one of his impulses, which leads to a dropped pie and a pair of startled burglars outside a curiosities shop, results in a reward. As an offer of thanks, Mr. Pang, the shop's owner, tells him he can choose anything in the shop, but that the first thing he touches will be the item he gets. When a magpie flies into the shop, startling Winston, he grabs a broom to shoo it out, and thus earns himself the "prize" of a broom and dustpan. Disappointed, Winston returns home and discards the objects in a closet. Soon after though, things begin disappearing around his home; then people begin disappearing, Winston thinks perhaps the broom and dustpan are the cause, and joins with friends to learn more about the possibly enchanted objects and Mr. Pang's shop.
Honey and Me by Meira Drazin--Milla Bloom admires the way her best friend Honey Wine seems to confidently and seamlessly glide through life. Her large family is boisterous and fun, very different from Milla's quiet household of four, and she's the perfect companion for navigating their close-knit Jewish neighborhood, where they attend bat mitzvahs, deliver meals to the elderly, and shop at thrift stores. So when Honey transfers to Milla's school where they'll attend the sixth grade together, Milla is thrilled. However, things don't work out quite as planned. Milla finds herself jealous of Honey's ability to make her own way. However, Honey's presence isn't all bad; it gives Milla motivation to break free of her shadow and with the help of a teacher and family, she finds a way to do so.
Big Tree by Brian Selznick--Louise and Merwin are two little sycamore seeds who are forced to leave their Mama tree because of fire. Now released into the unknown, they must navigate a world full of dangers to find a place to put down roots and grow into big trees. Meanwhile, a mysterious voice calls to Louise in her dreams, sending her and her brother on a mission to save life on Earth.
Bea and the New Deal Horse by L.M. Elliott--A couple of years into the Great Depression, thirteen-year-old Beatrice Davis and her eight-year-old sister, Vivian find themselves in a hayloft of a Virginia horse farm, abandoned by their father, who lost everything when the stock market crashed. Through a note, he tells them to appeal for help from the farm's owner, Mrs. Scott, whose daughter was friends with their deceased mother. At first, Bea and Viv try to stay hidden, but are soon found out when Bea intervenes in an episode with a feisty Chestnut horse. The stern Mrs. Scott allows them to stay in exchange for work, and when her only stable hand gets injured, Bea takes over working with the horses, including the talented, but skittish Chestnut. She soon learns of the horse farm's financial troubles and begins riding in competitions in the hopes of helping Mrs. Scott save the farm and secure a future for herself and Viv.