Book description: Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers!
The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear—sometimes things she shouldn’t—but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her as she is. After some trouble, she is finally able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become “El Deafo, Listener for All.” And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she’s longed for.
Cosmoe says: I dig graphic novels, so I want to read this. It looks mega funny! I also like that it's about a kid who has to figure out how to deal with something that makes her different from everyone else. We all have something about ourselves that we think makes us weird, right? Well, except me, of course. I have a LOT of somethings that make me weird!!! Anyway, I want to see how Cece deals with her situation and how it all turns out!
Book description: Kenny Wright is a kid with a secret identity. In his mind, he's Stainlezz Steel, super-powered defender of the weak. In reality, he's a chess club devotee known as a "Grandma's Boy," a label that makes him an easy target for bullies.
Then Kevin gets detention for the first time, and he is assigned the nearly impossible task of teaching one of the school’s biggest bullies, Ray-Ray, how to play chess. During their weeks of playing together, the two boys learn things about each other that lead to an unlikely friendship.
Cosmoe says: This is another cool-looking graphic novel that I want to read. I like that it deals with bullying because lots of kids have to deal with stinky stuff like that, and I want to see what happens with Kevin and Ray-Ray.
Book description: Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon over Mississippi, she can't really sing. Instead she's the set designer for the drama department's stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen. And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!
Princess Dagger says: This book is a graphic novel and it looks like a good book for middle-school kids and older. The graphics are pretty amazing, and the story sounds great. I think Callie seems like a way-cool kid I'd be friends with!
Book description: Serafina lives secretly in the basement of the grand Biltmore Estate. She and her father, the estate's maintenance man, have lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember. She has learned to prowl through the darkened corridors at night, to sneak and hide, using the mansion's hidden doors and secret passageways.
But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows the clues to follow. A terrifying man in a black cloak stalks Biltmore's corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of Biltmore's owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak's true identity before all of the children vanish one by one.
Princess Dagger says: I love a good mystery! This one sounds like it might get a little creepy, but I'm okay with that. I don't scare easily because I'm the SUPER AWESOME Princess Dagger. Duh! I also like that the book takes place in 1899 -- I dig books that take place a long time ago, in places or times I don't know anything about.
Book description: August "Auggie" Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face.
Wonder begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.
Humphree says: I bet everyone's surprised that I picked this book because I'm a fun-loving dude, but I think it looks really interesting. Big dudes like good books, too, you know. I want to know all about Auggie and find out how going to school works out for him.
Book description: Kyle Keeley is the class clown and a huge fan of all games—board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the construction of the new town library.
Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot as one of twelve kids invited for an overnight sleepover in the library, hosted by Mr. Lemoncello and riddled with lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors stay locked. Kyle and the other kids must solve every clue and figure out every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route!
Humphree says: This book sounds way fun. I want to see how the library's books and video games come together -- like, will books be turned into video games somehow? Sounds pretty awesome! We need to get ourselves an interactive library on our ship. I gotta talk to F.R.E.D. about that.
Cosmoe, Princess Dagger, and Humphree
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PPS: We've written tons of posts about awesome middle-grade books. Check them out:
6 awesome middle-grade books for adventure lovers
Image credit: "Bookshelf Spectrum 1.0: mission accomplished" by Pietro Bellini is licensed under CC BY 2.0.