In a few months, I can’t wait to share all the new books because there are so many great options that will appeal to many different kids and interests. This is one of those months.

Fair warning – it can be hard to decide what to read first!

New Intermediate Books, April 2022


family duo
Karina Yan Glaser

reality / homelessness
From the author of the Vanderbeeker series, Karina Yan Glaser creates a powerful and hopeful story with complex three-dimensional characters about grief, family, community and homelessness. When their family became homeless after her father died, Joan helped her little sister and mum who couldn’t work settle in at the Hueys. Despite being shocked by their new condition, Joan received goodwill from many at the shelter, including a music-loving boy named Jeremiah and Abella, who helped Joan find viola lessons. Then their eminent social worker named Mrs. G was fired for disagreeing with the city’s new homelessness policy. June helped organize a protest against forcing homeless people out of shelters without support. Through many ups and downs, including helping Jeremiah with music lessons and grieving for her father, Joan discovers that home is not a place and that family is not always blood.


last cartographer Christina Santornwater
fantasy
In a Thai-inspired world where caste determines your future, Sai’s new job as a map making assistant goes way beyond her role, which is why she can’t wait to join the ranks of map makers on a quest to find a new continent , maybe, find yourself a new home. During the journey, the map maker reveals his past hubris about mapping and claiming lands already inhabited that their war-hungry nations would then use and destroy. After a stowaways named Bo boarded the boat, Sai helped him survive by secretly giving him food and water. The map maker leaves the voyage, and Sai is slowly lured into believing the lies of the captain’s manipulative stepsister, culminating in a murderous rebellion. Surviving the shipwreck and encountering a strange continent and giant creatures, Bo and Sai realize there are secrets they’ll never tell anyone. Some places and creatures must be protected from human greed.


It’s the end of the world and I’m in a swimsuit
Justin A. Reynolds
adventure
With every stinky piece of clothing dirty and having to stay at home after a beach party because he needs to do laundry, Eddie uses quick cycles to do it quickly — until the power goes out unexpectedly. Eddie left the house to investigate and found four other children, but no one else. no parents. There are no children. nobody. It’s all very mysterious and suspenseful, especially when the street lights come back on — without electricity. what is going on? Cliff Hanger Alert – I can’t wait for the second book!


healer and witch
Nancy Waring
fantasy
When Sylvie began to use her unusual witch powers, her grandmother admonished her not to use them and to just continue her healing practice. Then, when her beloved grandmother died, Sylvie ignored this advice and used her witch magic to remove the cloud of sadness from her mom’s head, but also accidentally erased all knowledge and memory of Sylvie. To right her wrongs and learn to use her powers forever, Sylvie and a neighbor boy travel across medieval France in search of someone who can train her. They have to decide who to trust, not just because witches are hated and burned, but because some people are duplicitous and manipulative – something Sylvie has a hard time learning. Their journey shows Sylvie that she can get through hard times and most importantly, believe in herself. It was fun. *Sylvie defers romance/marriage hints until she’s older.


we are wolves
by Katrina Nestad
Historical Fiction / WWII
There aren’t many books about WWII from the German side, but this story is about a little girl and her family looting East Prussia after Hitler lost the war and the Russians took over. It’s about the gray areas of war, the impossible choices you have to make in order to survive, and how love wins. When Liesl and her siblings were separated from their mother, they survived by stealing and foraging, sometimes in the woods, sometimes in a borrowed house – until the Russians found it. Their stories are harrowing, thought-provoking, and ultimately stunning. Also, it’s based on real German children who escaped into the forests of Eastern Europe and became known as the Wolfskinder.

Winnie Zeng opens the legend
by Katie Zhao
Myth Fiction (Chinese)
Winnie is trying to navigate middle school and her parents’ high expectations, while an old family cookbook unlocks her sixth sense, the powers of a wizard, and the spirit of the old (grandmother) that entered their pet rabbit. Lao Lao told Winnie that she was a wizard who meant to fight evil spirits and send them back to the spirit world, but Winnie wasn’t interested – she demanded too much from her parents, and she wanted to beat her in piano and Chinese school her nemesis. Unfortunately, he’s another shaman, and they need to work together when demons attack, so she reluctantly accepts her powers and her new companion.


Pahua and the Soul Stealer
by Lori Lee
Mythic Adventure (Hmong)

Pahua always sees spirits, including her best friend the cat spirit she named Miv. When she accidentally unleashes an angry bridge spirit that stole her brother Matt’s soul, she knows she has to fix what she did or Matt will die. She travels to the spiritual realm to find Matt and the Angry Soul, as well as Miff and an irritable shaman training girl, whom she helps guide and saves her more than once. The journey to save her brother involves many near-deaths, cool Hmong mythological world-building, and opportunities to grow into herself. I love Pahua’s character – her loyalty to her brother, her kindness and compassion, and her bravery. superior.

Shinji and Auntie travel the world and innocently buy a coat statue at the market – a purchase that changes everything. He was kidnapped from his aunt’s ship by the Hightower Corporation, which wanted the statue’s magic, but Shinji had already established a connection with it. A company girl helps Shinji (along with her and her AI mouse) escape, and they turn to the mysterious and seemingly tattered Society of Explorers and Adventurers for help. The Society helps the children travel to Mexico, where they can return the Feathered Serpent statue to the Magic Fountain before the magic runs out of Shinji and the company’s thugs to catch up with them. An adventure from the first page, lots of science and magic, a large evil corporation, an ancient curse, a spy and an angry spider monster – it’s a captivating, exciting adventure that readers will love of.


hunter of the lost city
by Cali Wallace
Dystopian Fantasy*10+
Octavia is accidentally locked out of the city’s walls, and when a girl saves her life from a twisted magical creature, she learns that their city isn’t the only human city after all. Then, when she brings the lost human girl back to the city, its leader takes the girl captive for “disposition”. Octavia’s only option is to rescue her new friend and escape the city. They got help from others and learned that everything Octavia taught was incorrect. They find her friend’s family and her surviving sister in a city led by a healer who is actually a power-hungry witch who unleashes a magical plague on the world, and she The next target is the walled city of Octavia. This is a fascinating read to see what’s coming next!

New Middle School Books, March 2022

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