Middle Grade Picks, Releasing Tuesday May 3:
|The Hidden Oracle (Rick Riordan)|
It's Rick Riordan, so you know we'll get 487 requests for it when it releases Tuesday. This is the first in Riordan's new series, The Trials of Apollo. Poor Apollo must live life as a powerless 14-year old boy when he makes his father, Zeus, angry. Thankfully, Apollo finds his way to Camp Half-Blood for help.
|Wolf Hollow (Lauren Wolk)|
I've seen massive early praise for this WWI-era title about a 12-year old Pennsylvanian girl who finds the courage to stand up for justice. I've read multiple reviews comparing Wolf Hollow's writing style with Harper Lee's classic To Kill A Mockingbird. Based on early reviews, I wouldn't be surprised to see Wolf Hollow nominated for literary book awards this year.
|Stick Cat: A Tale of Two Kitties (Tom Watson)|
Great for Stick Dog, Wimpy Kid, and Big Nate fans.
|Kid President's Guide to Being Awesome (Robby Novak, Brad Montague)|
I don't know...this kid looks both cute and annoying at the same time. But I can't argue with any young person sharing ways to be more awesome, and Robby Novak does offer some pretty sound advice about being one's best every day. Who couldn't use a boost in awesomeness every now and then?
|Lily & Dunkin (Donna Gephart)|
I've seen lots of early praise for this dual-narrative about a transgender girl and a bipolar boy. I won't be surprised to see this one on next year's middle school reading lists.
Moone Boy: The Fish Detective (Chris O'Dowd and Nick V. Murphy)
Martin wants a GameBoy, and his imaginary friend Sean suggests Martin get job to buy one. Maybe it's the imaginary friend/detective element, but this title reminds me a lot of Stephan Pastis' Timmy Failure series. Like Timmy Failure, Moone Boy looks like good silly fun that will get plenty of checkout at my school.
|The Screaming Statue (Lauren Oliver)|
Sequel to The Shrunken Head, book 1 in The Curiosity House series. Four friends try to avenge their friend's death, save their home, and unravel the secrets of their past.
|Swing Sideways (Nancy Turner Steveson)|
Another middle grade book receiving lots of positive early reviews and comparisons to Katherine Paterson's Bridge to Terabithia. Annie is spending the summer with her grandfather in the country, far away from school drama and her micro-managing mother. She meets a new friend and decides to try to find the ponies Annie's mother grew up riding in the hopes of mending a rift between Annie's mother and grandfather. Kleenex-alert! It's apparently very sad.