Best Middle Grade Fiction 2019

All the Greys on Greene Street by Laura Tucker

All the Greys on Greene Street by Laura Tucker

A fresh mix of mystery, art and secrets, this book is full of vibrant colors and not just Greys.

The Best at It by Maulik Pancholy

The Best at It by Maulik Pancholy

Pancholy, an Indian-American actor, has written a compelling and heart-wrenching middle grade novel that deserves applause.

The Bridge to Home by Padma Venkatraman

The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman

Venkatraman has created a tale that doesn’t soften the dangers and difficulties of children living on the streets of India. At the same time though, she doesn’t allow the story to be dismal, instead she shows how the smallest things can give joy.

Extraordinary Birds by Sandy Stark-McGinnis

Extraordinary Birds by Sandy Stark-McGinnis

A heart-wrenching novel of abuse, recovery and learning to fly

Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy

Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy

This book is all about giving people second (and even third) chances, including yourself.

eventown by corey ann haydu

Eventown by Corey Ann Haydu

It is idyllic and eerie, a Stepford version of childhood. Horror is sidestepped neatly here, instead becoming a book about empowerment and making your own choices while asking important questions.

genesis begins again by alicia d. williams

Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams

In this debut novel, Williams writes with a strong voice, taking on difficult topics including verbal abuse, racism, skin tone, alcoholism and co-dependency in an unflinching way.

Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly

Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly

Inspired by Filipino folklore, this is an amazing novel by a Newbery-award winning author.

The Line Tender by Kate Allen

The Line Tender by Kate Allen

A brilliant debut that is rich, layered and shows that connection to nature can allow one to weather new storms.

Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds

Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds

This one deserves a medal. Period. It’s one of those books that reads so easily, since it’s written with such skill.

The Lost Girl by Anne Ursu

The Lost Girl by Anne Ursu

A grand adventure of a book full of magic and girl power.

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

Beautifully written with an amazing Syrian heroine at its center, this book is a great read.

Our Castle by the Sea by Lucy Strange

Our Castle by the Sea by Lucy Strange

Another brilliant read from a gifted author, this one offers an extraordinary perspective on World War II.

pay attention, carter jones by gary d. schmidt

Pay Attention, Carter Jones by Gary D. Schmidt 

Schmidt takes the spirit of Nanny McPhee and Mary Poppins and gives us a male version in Mr. Bowles-Fitzpatrick.

A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata

A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata, illustrated by Julia Kuo

Kadohata’s novel for children tells the untold story of Japanese Americans forced to repatriate to their country of origin and renounce their American citizenship. It also gives an unflinching look at the aftermath of World War II in Japan, particularly with its setting near Hiroshima.

The Story That Cannot Be Told by J. Kasper Kramer

The Story That Cannot Be Told by J. Kasper Kramer

Kramer’s middle-grade novel is nearly impossible to summarize because it is so layered and has such depth.

Strange Birds A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers by Celia C. Perez.jpg

Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers by Celia C. Perez

Perez’s writing is just as marvelous as in her first book. There is a freshness about it, one that allows readers to quickly enter the world that Perez has created for them.

The Year We Fell from Space by Amy Sarig King

The Year We Fell from Space by Amy Sarig King

A powerful look at divorce, grief and coming to terms with life.

2020 Quick Picks for Reluctant YA Readers

YALSA has announced the 2020 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list. The full list contains 64 titles and includes books “aimed at encouraging reading among teens who dislike to read for any reason.” This list tends to have great recommendations for library collections that may have been missed in review journals.

The panel also selected a Top Ten:

10 Blind Dates

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

Belly Up

Belly Up by Eva Darrows

The Haunted (The Haunted, #1)

The Haunted by Danielle Vega

Heroine

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

Kiss Number 8

Kiss Number 8 by Colleen AF Venable

Pumpkinheads

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell, art by Faith Erin Hicks

Two Can Keep a Secret

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus

The Unfortunates

The Unfortunates by Kim Liggett

Unpregnant (Unpregnant, #1)

UNpregnant by Jenni Hendricks and Ted Caplan

We Are Displaced

We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls around the World by Malala Yousafzai