So much fantastic middle grades fiction came out this past year. Here are the 10 that particularly captivated me:
1. Wild Robot – by Peter Brown
This quirky and charming story follows the adventures of Roz, a robot who wakes up alone on a wilderness island.
2. The Girl Who Drank the Moon – by Kelly Barnhill
This evocative fantasy tells the tale of an oppressed village, a enmagicked girl who drinks light from the moon, and a snarky witch.
3. When the Sea Turned to Silver – by Grace Lin
An exciting tale of adventure and discovery that features a variety of Chinese folk tales and beautifully rendered illustrations.
4. Wolf Hollow – by Lauren Wolk
At times rather brutal in its content, this book follows the compelling tale of a young girl caught up in the defense of an ostracized World War I veteran in small town Pennsylvania.
5. Anna and the Swallow Man – by Gavriel Savit
The haunting tale of a young girl and the stranger she meets as they both try to escape from Nazi-occupied Poland.
6. Paper Wishes – by Lois Stepahban
A moving story about a young Japanese-American girl in a World War II era internment camp.
7. Grayling’s Song – by Karen Cushman
An engaging journey-style fantasy, with a memorable cast of characters.
8. Full of Beans – by Jennifer Holm
A mischievous boy in Depression-era Florida tries to earn money and interacts with the “New Dealers” who come to implement changes in his town.
9. It Ain’t So Awful Falafel – by Firoozeh Dumas
The charming story of an Iranian girl adjusting to life in the states during the 1970s. Funny and serious at the same time, it explores the aftermath of the Iranian hostage crisis.
10. The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price – by Jennifer Maschari
This unusual and compelling story makes use of magical realism in its exploration of a young boy’s grief over losing his mother.