February Picks - Middle Grade Readers

A Crack in the Sea Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780399545191
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - January 3rd, 2017

An enchanting historical fantasy adventure perfect for fans of Thanhha Lai’s award-winning Inside Out and Back Again

No one comes to the Second World on purpose. The doorway between worlds opens only when least expected. The Raft King is desperate to change that by finding the doorway that will finally take him and the people of Raftworld back home. To do it, he needs Pip, a young boy with an incredible gift—he can speak to fish; and the Raft King is not above kidnapping to get what he wants. Pip’s sister Kinchen, though, is determined to rescue her brother and foil the Raft King’s plans.

This is but the first of three extraordinary stories that collide on the high seas of the Second World. The second story takes us back to the beginning: Venus and Swimmer are twins captured aboard a slave ship bound for Jamaica in 1781. They save themselves and others from a life of enslavement with a risky, magical plan—one that leads them from the shark-infested waters of the first world to the second. Pip and Kinchen will hear all about them before their own story is said and done. So will Thanh and his sister Sang, who we meet in 1978 on a small boat as they try to escape post-war Vietnam. But after a storm and a pirate attack, they’re not sure they’ll ever see shore again. What brings these three sets of siblings together on an adventure of a lifetime is a little magic, helpful sea monsters and that very special portal, A Crack in the Sea


Batman's Guide to Being Cool (the Lego Batman Movie) Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781338112108
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Inc. - December 27th, 2016

LEGO(R) Batman(R) blasts his way into theaters February 10, 2017, with an all-star voice cast and out-of-this-world animation.

Based on the success of the hilarious POB, Emmet's Guide to Being Awesome.

The LEGO Movie hit screens in February 2013 and went on to gross more than $450 million at the box office worldwide! That stunning success has spawned three follow-ups: The LEGO Batman Movie (Spring 2017), The LEGO Ninjago Movie (Fall 2017), and The LEGO Movie Sequel (2018).

In The LEGO Batman Movie, Will Arnett returns as the brooding voice of LEGO Batman and is joined by Michael Cera (Robin), Zach Galifianakis (The Joker), Rosario Dawson (Batgirl), Ralph Fiennes (Alfred), and more!

This film is sure to be as hilarious and as loved by families as the first film in the franchise.


Flying Lessons & Other Stories Cover Image
By Ellen Oh (Editor)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781101934593
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown Books for Young Readers - January 3rd, 2017

Whether it is basketball dreams, family fiascos, first crushes, or new neighborhoods, this bold anthology—written by the best children’s authors—celebrates the uniqueness and universality in all of us.

In a partnership with We Need Diverse Books, industry giants Kwame Alexander, Soman Chainani, Matt de la Peña, Tim Federle, Grace Lin, Meg Medina, Walter Dean Myers, Tim Tingle, and Jacqueline Woodson join newcomer Kelly J. Baptist in a story collection that is as humorous as it is heartfelt. This impressive group of authors has earned among them every major award in children’s publishing and popularity as New York Times bestsellers.

From these distinguished authors come ten distinct and vibrant stories.

“There’s plenty of magic in this collection to go around.” -Booklist, Starred

“A natural for middle school classrooms and libraries, this strong collection should find eager readers”
-Kirkus, Starred

“Inclusive, authentic, and eminently readable, this collection of short stories is an excellent addition for libraries and classrooms.”-School Library Journal, Starred

”Thought provoking and wide-ranging, this first anthology from WNDB should not be missed."
-Publishers Weekly, Starred


Hogwarts: A Cinematic Yearbook (Harry Potter) Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781338149241
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Inc. - January 31st, 2017

Imagine your first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! What would it be like to ride on the Hogwarts Express from King's Cross station, shop in Diagon Alley, be sorted into one of the four Hogwarts houses, attend a Potions class and try out for Quidditch? Packed with fun activities and pictures from the eight Harry Potter films, including an 8-page fold-out Hogwarts Diary and full-page character posters. Anything can happen at Hogwarts!


Horizon Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780545916776
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Inc. - March 28th, 2017

A race for survival from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Uglies!

This harrowing tale of supernatural menace kicks off a new series from the visionary mind of #1 New York Times bestselling author Scott Westerfeld.

When a plane crash-lands in the arctic, eight young survivors step from the wreckage expecting to see nothing but ice and snow. Instead they find themselves lost in a strange jungle with no way to get home and little hope of rescue.

Food is running out. Water is scarce. And the jungle is full of threats unlike anything the survivors have ever seen before -- from razor-beaked shredder birds to carnivorous vines and much, much worse.

With danger at every turn, these eight kids must learn to work together to survive. But cliques and rivalries threaten to tear them apart. And not everyone will make it out of the jungle alive.

BONUS! In the Horizon multiplatform experience, you're not just reading about the castaways, you're one of them. Join the race for survival in the FREE game, available on your browser and as an app.


Journey Through Ash and Smoke Cover Image
By Kate Messner, Kelley McMorris (Illustrator)
$5.99
ISBN: 9780545909785
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Press - January 31st, 2017

Local Author!

Ranger, the time-traveling golden retriever with search-and-rescue training, is back. This time, he goes to Viking Age Iceland!

Ranger is a time-traveling golden retriever with search-and-rescue training. In this adventure, he goes to Viking Age Iceland, which proves to be tough terrain for Ranger to navigate. Usually it's Ranger's job to save the day before he can return to his family, but he meets a girl named Helga who rescues him more than once. And when a nearby volcano threatens to erupt and Helga's new baby brother or sister starts to come early, they must journey through ash and smoke to find Helga's father. But if Helga doesn't need Ranger's help, how will he ever get home?


Me and Marvin Gardens Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780545870740
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - January 31st, 2017

The first middle-grade novel from YA superstar Amy Sarig (A.S.) King is a boy-meets-animal story like no other.

Obe Devlin has problems. His family's farmland has been taken over by developers. His best friend Tommy abandoned him for the development kids. And he keeps getting nosebleeds, because of that thing he doesn't like to talk about. So Obe hangs out at the creek by his house, in the last wild patch left, picking up litter and looking for animal tracks.

One day, he sees a creature that looks kind of like a large dog, or maybe a small boar. And as he watches it, he realizes it eats plastic. Only plastic. Water bottles, shopping bags . . . No one has ever seen a creature like this before, because there's never been a creature like this before. The animal -- Marvin Gardens -- soon becomes Obe's best friend and biggest secret. But to keep him safe from the developers and Tommy and his friends, Obe must make a decision that might change everything.

In her most personal novel yet, Printz Honor Award winner Amy Sarig King tells the story of a friendship that could actually save the world.


My Diary from the Edge of the World Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781442483880
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Aladdin Paperbacks - January 10th, 2017

Told in diary form by an irresistible heroine, this “heartfelt, bittersweet, and ever-so-clever coming-of-age fantasy” (School Library Journal, starred review) named one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of the Year from the New York Times bestselling author of the May Bird trilogy sparkles with science, myth, magic, and the strange beauty of the everyday marvels we sometimes forget to notice.

Spirited, restless Gracie Lockwood has lived in Cliffden, Maine, her whole life. She’s a typical girl in an atypical world: one where sasquatches helped to win the Civil War, where dragons glide over Route 1 on their way south for the winter (sometimes burning down a T.J. Maxx or an Applebee’s along the way), where giants hide in caves near LA and mermaids hunt along the beaches, and where Dark Clouds come for people when they die.

To Gracie it’s all pretty ho-hum…until a Cloud comes looking for her little brother Sam, turning her small-town life upside down. Determined to protect Sam against all odds, her parents pack the family into a used Winnebago and set out on an epic search for a safe place that most people say doesn’t exist: The Extraordinary World. It’s rumored to lie at the ends of the earth, and no one has ever made it there and lived to tell the tale. To reach it, the Lockwoods will have to learn to believe in each other—and to trust that the world holds more possibilities than they’ve ever imagined.


Short Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780399186219
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dial Books - January 31st, 2017

In this heartwarming and funny middle-grade novel by the beloved author of Counting by 7s, Julia grows into her sense of self while playing a Munchkin in a summer stock Wizard of Oz.

Julia is very short for her age, but by the end of the summer she’ll realize how big she is inside, where it counts. This is the summer she gets cast as a Munchkin in a regional theater production of The Wizard of Oz. She hasn’t ever thought of herself as a performer, but she is instantly enamored of the director, Shawn Barr, who notices her can-do attitude and who believes in the potential of his Munchkin chorus—a motley crew of kids (plus the only three actual little people who were available). As Julia becomes friendly with the poised and wise Olive—an adult with dwarfism who doesn’t let her size define her—and with a deeply artistic neighbor named Mrs. Chang, her own sense of herself as an artist grows, and Julia finds that she no longer wants to fade into the background. It’s a lucky break, then, when Shawn Barr chooses her to also play the role of one of the flying monkeys! Bubbling over with humor and tenderness, this is an irresistible story of self-discovery and of the role models who forever change us.


The Ethan I Was Before Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062433381
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - January 24th, 2017

Ali Standish’s wonderfully captivating debut is a stirring tale of friendship, forgiveness, and ultimately hope.

Ethan had been many things: Adventurer. Boston Red Sox fan. Sidekick to his big brother, Roddie. Coconsipirator with his best friend, Kacey.

But that was before. Before the accident and the great loss that filled his life. Before his family moved from Boston to the small beachside town of Palm Knot, Georgia.

Palm Knot may be tiny, but it’s home to possibility and second chances. It’s also home to Coralee, a girl with a big personality and even bigger stories. A girl who may be just the friend Ethan needs. But Ethan isn’t the only one with secrets, and Coralee’s are catching up with her. Ethan must decide if he can trust Coralee, or if what she’s hiding might be putting both their lives at risk.


The Uncommoners #1: The Crooked Sixpence Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780553498431
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown Books for Young Readers - January 31st, 2017

Welcome to a world where nothing is quite as it seems…

When their grandmother Sylvie is rushed to the hospital, Ivy Sparrow and her annoying big brother Seb cannot imagine what adventure lies in store. Soon their house is ransacked by unknown intruders, and a very strange policeman turns up on the scene, determined to apprehend them…with a toilet brush.

Ivy and Seb make their escape only to find themselves in a completely uncommon world, a secret underground city called Lundinor where ordinary objects have amazing powers. There are belts that enable the wearer to fly, yo-yos that turn into weapons, buttons with healing properties, and other enchanted objects capable of very unusual feats.

But the forces of evil are closing in fast, and when Ivy and Seb learn that their family is connected to one of the greatest uncommon treasures of all time, they must race to unearth the treasure and get to the bottom of a family secret…before it’s too late.

Debut novelist Jennifer Bell delivers a world of wonder and whimsy in the start of a richly uncommon series.

“An auspicious trilogy opener.” -Kirkus Reviews


The Warden's Daughter Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780375831997
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - January 3rd, 2017

From Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli (Maniac Magee, Stargirl) comes the “moving and memorable” (Kirkus Reviews, starred) story of a girl searching for happiness inside the walls of a prison.

Cammie O’Reilly lives at the Hancock County Prison—not as a prisoner, she’s the warden’s daughter. She spends the mornings hanging out with shoplifters and reformed arsonists in the women’s excercise yard, which gives Cammie a certain cache with her school friends.

But even though Cammie’s free to leave the prison, she’s still stuck. And sad, and really mad. Her mother died saving her from harm when she was just a baby. You wouldn’t think you could miss something you never had, but on the eve of her thirteenth birthday, the thing Cammie most wants is a mom. A prison might not be the best place to search for a mother, but Cammie is determined and she’s willing to work with what she’s got.

“Jerry Spinelli again proves why he’s the king of storytellers” (Shelf Awarenss, starred) in this tale of a girl who learns that heroes can come in surprising disguises, and that even if we don’t always get what we want, sometimes we really do get what we need.

Praise for the works of Jerry Spinelli:

“Spinelli is a poet of the prepubescent…. No writer guides his young characters, and his readers, past these pitfalls and challenges and toward their futures with more compassion.” —The New York Times

“It’s almost unreal how much the children’s book still resonates.” —Bustle.com on Maniac Magee


Staff Pick Logo
Train I Ride Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062455734
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - January 24th, 2017

A poignant middle grade debut, perfect for fans of books like Counting by 7s and The Thing About Jellyfish, about a girl who travels by train from Los Angeles to Chicago and learns along the way that she can create a family of her own.

Rydr is on a train heading east, leaving California, where her gramma can’t take care of her anymore, and traveling to Chicago to live with an unknown relative. She brings with her a suitcase, memories both happy and sad, and a box containing something very important.

As Rydr meets her fellow passengers and learns their stories, her own past begins to emerge. And as much as Rydr may want to forget about her life in California, on the train she finds that maybe her past can help her deal with her present. And maybe hope and forgiveness are all around her and, most important, within her, if she’s willing to look for it.


Yours Truly Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781442471863
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - January 31st, 2017

Another wild mystery needs to be solved and it’s up to the Pumpkin Falls Private Eyes to solve it in this hilarious follow up to the heartwarming middle grade mystery, Absolutely Truly.

Even Truly Lovejoy has to admit that teeny-tiny Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire, has its charms—like the annual maple festival, where tourists flock from all over to sample the local maple syrup, maple candy, maple coffee, and even maple soap! But when someone tries to sabotage the maple trees on her friend Franklin’s family farm, Truly has to rally the Pumpkin Falls Private Eyes to investigate.

Meanwhile, she uncovers another, more personal mystery under the floorboards of her very own home—a diary written centuries ago by her namesake, the original Truly Lovejoy…and it might just prove her family’s ties to Pumpkin Falls run deeper than anyone ever could have imagined.