Middle Grade New Releases, Week of January 7, 2020

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY to these middle grade books making their rounds through our reviewers!

Thank you to @kidlitexchange for providing the review copies of these books. All opinions are our own.


NOTORIOUS – by Gordon Korman #gordonkormanimg_9421
January 7th 2020 ~ Balzer + Bray  @balzerandbray

Photo and Review by Jessica ~ originally on Instagram @librarian_fitz

Gordon Korman has done it again with this fantastic and hilarious novel.

Keenan and Zeebee live in a very interesting town on the Michigan and Canada border. Their town is a historically gangster town with rumored mob money hidden. The two work together to not only form a wonderful and unlikely friendship but to uncover the money and find out what exactly happens to Zeebee’s dog Barney.

While this book is hilarious (like almost all of Gordon Norman’s novels, I feel like the overall theme is friendship. Keenan wasn’t expecting to make a friend while he recovered from TB but a unlikely friendship was formed that forced the reader to see past the obvious.

I highly encourage all middle school and elementary librarian (and all middle grader readers) to get ready to purchase this fantastic novel set to release in January 2020, it’s going to be huge!

Overall, I felt that Notorious is going to be huge with #middlegrade readers and that students will fall in love with Zeebee. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5


img_9422DIANA PRINCESS OF THE AMAZONS – by Shannon and Dean Hale #deanhale #shannonhale
January 7th 2020 ~ DC Zoom #dczoom

Photo and Review by Natasha ~ originally on Instagram @knitting.librarian

Diana is eleven and lives on the island of Themyscira, with the Amazons. Her mother, Hippolyta made her out of clay and the gods gave her life. The result is that Diana is the only kid on the island and everyone, especially her mother the queen, is too busy to play with her. She also has doubts  that she is really an Amazon. When someone gives her some old clay, she makes a clay girl to be her friend and names her Mona. She can hardly believe it when Mona comes to life! They have fun playing and being silly until Mona’s suggestions become darker. Who is Diana’s new friend and will Diana be able to repair the damage she’s caused? The art is fun and colorful. I highly recommend this graphic novel for younger middle grade students who will enjoy this story of a girl who feels out of place trying to figure out who she is.


WONDER WOMAN: WARBRINGER (the graphic novel) – by Leigh Bardugo    @lbardugo

img_9423January 7th 2020 ~ DC Comics @dccomics

Photo and Review by Akossiwa ~ originally on Instagram @akossket

In her quest to prove to the other Amazons that she belonged, teenage Princess Diana crosses path with a Warbringer whose very presence threatens the lives of anyone on Themyscira. To save everyone involved she journeys into Man’s world.
I love how this complicated journey of self discovery and affirmation is wrapped into a setting of a world struggling for balance and on the brink of war. The constant presence of danger and the inability to fully distinguish enemies from foes makes this a fantastic page turner.
If you haven’t read the young adult adaptation yet (like me) then get a copy from your local library while you wait for the release of this graphic novel.


img_9420CLEAN GETAWAY – by Nic Stone  @nicstone
January 7th 2020 ~ Crown Books for Young Readers  #CrownBooksforYoung Readers

Photo and Review by Laura ~ originally on Instagram @librarianmsg

A road trip across the south, one unconventional Grandma (G’ma), plus plenty of secrets/mystery make this a fun (and funny) middle grade read to remember. William, Scoob to his friends and Scoob-a-Doob to his G’ma, gets in trouble at school and is stuck home on suspension when his grandmother shows up in a brand-new Winnebago to spirit him off on a surprise road trip. Surprise as in his father doesn’t know and they aren’t answering his phone calls. Scoob is mixed race and presents as Black, but his G’ma is white, which leads to plenty of problems and strange looks as they travel across the south. His G’ma gives him a copy of the Green Book that she and his G’pop used on a trip of their own back in 1963 to help them find safe places to go as an interracial couple. Scoob doesn’t know where they’re headed, but he is starting to notice his G’ma is acting strangely. What is their final destination and will they make it?

At just over 200 pages and with illustrations peppered throughout, this hits the #mglit sweet spot of grades 3 – 6. Highly recommended for all elementary and middle school libraries!


MOBY SHINOBI AND TOBY TOO!: SURF’S UP! – by Luke Flowers @lfcreativeimg_9425
December 26th 2019 ~ Scholastic Inc. @scholastic

Photo and Review by Emily ~ originally on Instagram @redpoppyreading

“Moby Shinobiand Toby, Too #1: Surf’s Up!” by Luke Flowers is another hit from Scholastic’s Acorn line of early readers! Moby and his dog Toby are always looking for adventure and for a way to help out. This book features four short chapters that follow Moby and Toby on a fun day at the beach! This book is written for 4-7 year-olds and my 5-year-old loved it.


img_9426BUMBLE AND BEE: DON’T WORRY BEE HAPPY – by Ross Burach  #rossburach
December 26th 2019 ~ Scholastic Inc. @scholastic

Photo and Review by Emily ~ originally on Instagram @redpoppyreading

We love the Scholastic Acorn line of early readers! Don’t Worry, Bee Happy by Ross Burach is another hit! Fun and hilarious, this book includes three short stories in comic strip form: Best Friends Picture Day, A Bad Case of the Hiccups, and The Waggle Dance. The stories all feature Bumble and Bee and their grumpy friend Froggy. This book is written for 4-6 year-olds and my 5-year-old loved it.


UNICORN DIARIES: BO’S MAGICAL NEW FRIEND – by Rebecca Elliot @rebecca_elliott_author

unicorn
December 26th 2019 ~ Scholastic Inc.  @scholastic

Good Reads Summary: This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

Bo Tinseltail loves going to Sparklegrove School with the other unicorns. Every unicorn has a magical power. Bo is a Wish Unicorn with the power to grant wishes. Bo has lots of friends, but one thing Bo wants more than anything is a best friend. When a new unicorn named Sunny Huckleberry pops into the forest, will Bo’s big wish finally come true? And what will Sunny’s Unicorn Power be? Discover this TWINKLE-TASTIC, full-color series from Rebecca Elliott, creator of the USA Today bestselling Owl Diaries series!


pugDIARY OF A PUG: PUG’S SNOW DAY – by Kyla May @kylamayillustratordesigner

December 26th 2019 ~ Scholastic Inc. @scholastic

Good Reads Summary: This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line, Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

It’s a snow day, and Bella is thrilled. There’s no school, so she and Bub can play outside all day. Trouble is, Bub does not like the snow – it’s slippery, freezing cold, and wet! What’s even worse, there’s a new kid next door, and he has a scary, monster-sized pet. Can Bub get past his fear of the snow and make a new friend at the same time?

With full-color artwork throughout, this funny and charming diary-format early chapter book is perfect for anyone who believes a furry pal is the best kind of friend.


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