Recently in MG novels Category


wonderling.jpgWonderling (Candlewick Press, 2017) by Mira Bartók is a touching story perfect for the middle grade reader.

The wonderling is an 11-year-old groundling (part animal, part human) with only a number instead of a name. Number Thirteen has only one ear and is foxlike, but has not tale. He lives in the Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures run by Miss Carbunkle. Mistreated, overworked and bullied, he keeps his head down and does what he's told. But he yearns for something more. His life begins to bloom when he makes his first friend, a young bird groundling he defends. Trinket gives him a real name, Arthur, and through an invention of hers the two friends escape the home. And that's just the beginning of their adventures.

This book is Mira Bartók's first book for children and will be the first of a fantasy series. I just read on the author's website that a movie based on the book is in progress. Read more here. I'm looking forward to both.


FOXHEART.jpgFoxheart (Greenwillow Books, 2016) by Claire Legrand starts out with an unlikable main character that I grew to like a lot.

"For the first twelve years of her life, Girl had no name." Left at the Convent at age three, she wouldn't even talk for two years. Her gray hair made her unusual too and everyone was suspicious of the unusual. At age five when she wouldn't tell the sisters her name, her punishment was to be given no name. Of course, the other orphans made up names for her. Girl took advantage of this and acted like a pig when the girls called her one. Called herself Pigwitch Girl while stealing from a woman from town.

Though obnoxious on the outside, Girl yearns for her parents. When she's ten, a stray yellow dog becomes her sole friend and she names him Fox. She dreams about becoming the best thief in the Star Lands. But one night her whole life changes, and Girl has to run for her life.

I really enjoyed the story and the different characters we are introduced to and I loved the cover that hints to all kinds of things in the story. The book is a 2016 Junior Library Guild selection.

Author Claire Legrand has a number of other books that you can check out here. Three books are slated for 2018 and 2019.

A Face Like Glass

facelikeglass.jpgafacelikeglass.jpgA Face Like Glass (Amulet Books, 2017) by Frances Hardinge is set in a believable, yet very unique underground city of Caverna.

Neverfell doesn't remember anything before she was five when she ended up living and working with Cheesemaster Grandible as his cheese making apprentice. Her master makes her wear a mask whenever she meets anyone, which doesn't happen very often as she's never let outside his tunnels. At twelvish, Neverfell assumes the mask is because she's so ugly. But when Neverfell goes out into the city itself, others think her face is terrifying, but for a reason she could never imagine. Will Neverfell be able to solve the mystery of where she came from?

If you like middle grade fantasy, you should read this book.

The cover on the left is the cover of the book I read. The cover on the right is the UK version, which I like better. The book originally came out in 2012.

Author Frances Hardinge has written a number of other books. You can read about them in her library. Her bio made me laugh. She likes wearing black hats as you can see here.

The Someday Suitcase

someday_suitcase.jpgThe Someday Suitcase (Katherine Tegan Books, 2017) by Corey Ann Haydu is a touching story of friendship and loss.

Clover and Danny are like two sides of a coin. The pair are always together. They laugh and have good times; they help each other with their strengths. When in fifth grade science class, Clover learns about symbiosis, she's sure that's the perfect description for her and Danny. When Danny gets sick with a mysterious illness, only Clover can make him feel better. Clover's sure she's the one that will find a cure for him, too, but no one believes her as Danny gets weaker and weaker.

And, yes, the snow globe on the front of the book has a special significance.

I look forward to seeing what awards this book wins.

Corey Ann writes for teens and children--check out her books here. She shares her teenage diaries here on the blog "What My Former Self Can Tell Me Now."

The First Last Day

TheFirstLastDayLg.jpgThe First Last Day (Simon & Schuster/Aladdin, 2016) by Dorian Cirrone is an interesting take on the idea of not wanting summer to end. Who hasn't wanted that as a kid? Plus, there's a do over aspect. It's also a good read about friendship and choices.

Twelve-year-old Haleigh and Kevin have had a great time this summer at the Jersey shore. Tomorrow his mom is coming to get Kevin to take him home and Haleigh has to go home and get ready for another new school. When Haleigh finds a mysterious set of paints in her backpack and paints a picture of their last day, she wakes up to their last day again. And again, and again. What will she do about the time loop?

This book reminds me of the movie Groundhog's Day, except I can't remember why the time loop happened in the movie. And this story brings up some interesting issues that the movie didn't. The book has been translated into Finnish and has won a 2017 Florida Book Awards Gold Medal.

Dorian writes for kids and teens. Read about all her books here. And you really should read the longer version of her bio here--I bet it will make you smile.



A Face Like Glass

The Someday Suitcase

The First Last Day

Cloud and Wallfish

Rules for Thieves

Prisoner of Ice and Snow

Monster, Human, Other

Carrying Mason

The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan

Jelly Bean Summer

The Only Road

The Wolf's Boy

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook

Handbook for Dragon Slayers

Dying to Meet You

Iron Hearted Violet

The Girl Who Drank the Moon

Dead Boy

Ms. Bixby's Last Day

Towers Falling


The Seventh Wish

All Four Stars

Just My Luck

The Thief of Mirrors

The Inn Between


The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary

Counting Thyme

The Crossover

Sweet Home Alaska


How to Capture an Invisible Cat

The Year We Sailed the Sun

The Wrinkled Crown

Circus Mirandus

Dragon Slippers

Prisoner 88

Tuesdays at the Castle

Fuzzy Mud

Rhyme Schemer


The Last Child of Hamelin

The Cabinet of Earths

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer

Castle Hangnail

Moonpenny Island

Waiting for Unicorns

Loved It! - Fish in a Tree

Not Easy - The Truth about Twinkie Pie

Argh, Mateys - Hook's Revenge

Payback - Nickel Bay Nick

Saved by the Milk - Fortunately, The Milk

Born to Succeed - Every Day After

Captured by the Title - Also Known as Elvis

MG Adventure in Verse - May B.

Absolutely Almost

Out-of-this-World Adventure - Space Case

Discoveries and Escapes - Rooftoppers

A Wow Adventure

Dangerous Adventure - Badger Knight

Draw or Die - The Rithmatist

An Eggstraordinary Story - Under the Egg

A Butt-kicking Novel - 33 Minutes

Looking for Magic? - A Snicker of Magic

MG Mystery - Three Times Lucky

A Boy and an Elephant - Chained

Charming, Literally - Rose

Secret Agents - Junior Style - Double Vision

A Dark Story - Wooden Bones

Contemporary Fantasy or Magical Realism - Drizzle

Heartbreaker - The One and Only Ivan

Amazing Story - Wonder

Unexpected - The Hop

Anything But Typical

Words in the Dust, an amazing story

Historical MG in Verse - Inside Out and Back Again

Hysterically Funny - Fetching

Light-hearted Story - The Grand Plan to Fix Everything

Good and Creepy - The Cabinet of Wonders

Another time and now - Blessing's Bead

Just love this kid! - Okay for Now

A book with heart - Heart of a Shepherd

Really good story - Grounded

Wild Things

Family Story with Photographs - Finding Family

Halley's Comet and Hope - Selling Hope

One Strong Girl! - One Crazy Summer

Phew - almost missed this goodie - Schooled

Real or not real? - The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

Sympathetic Character - Windblowne

Humorous sheep and more - The Quest of the Warrior Sheep

Funny pet story - Guinea Dog

What Happened?! - No Passengers Beyond This Point

More History - The Fences Between Us

Historical for Boys - The Walls of Cartagena

Grown-upness is truly wasted on grown-ups - Cosmic

Something a bit different - Ashes

Fearful stuff - Countdown

Humor and Heart - How to Survive Middle School

Love the opening - Ratfink

More Humor Mixed with Mystery - Belly Up

What a sweet winner! - Moon Over Manifest

Incredible Story - out of my mind

Funny! - Fiona Finkelstein Meets Her Match

Shortlisted? - Mockingbird

Novel in Verse . . . for boys - Hate That Cat

Must Read Book - Escaping the Tiger

7th Grade - no laughing matter - Mackenzie Blue

Great First Line - How to Steal a Dog

Fantasy Sequel - yea! - The Timekeeper's Moon

Newbery honor book - The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Coming Out This Month! - Boys without Names

Great opening scene - The Middle of Somewhere

You thought you had it tough? - Sweetgrass Basket

Got voice? - Penny from Heaven & Elijah of Buxton

Sympathetic character - Ethan, Suspended

2009 Newbery Winner - The Graveyard Book

Calling Baseball Fans and others! - Keeping Score

Memorable story - Ways to Live Forever

Mystery to Solve - The Postcard

Wow! Really moving story! - The Mailbox

A 2009 Newbery honor book - Savvy

Don't miss this award winner! - Home of the Brave

Makes me smile - A Crooked Kind of Perfect

Puns galore - Punished!

Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time by Lisa Yee

Love this character! - Beka Cooper, Terrier

Make me laugh! Thor's Wedding Day & Queen Sophie Hartley

Arriving in March - Reaching for the Sun

Graphic Novel - Here Be Monsters

Novels in Verse - Seeing Emily

prepare to be amused - The Wee Free Men

The Sea of Trolls

The Schwa Was Here

LOL - Ruby Holler