Middle-graders happily reading books.

Africa Studio/stock.adobe.com

2018’s Best Books for Kids - Middle Grades

Explore the world, make new friends and discover something about yourself you never, ever expected. The power to do all of these things and more can be found in the extraordinary magic of books, and you can share that awesome potential with your children each and every day. Our thoughtfully curated list is a great place to start...

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle* By Leslie Connor The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle*
By Leslie Connor
Mason Buttle is bullied. He’s big for his age, sweats all the time and can’t really read or write, and the story he’s been telling police about the death of his best friend Benny just doesn’t sound right. Months later questions about the boy’s demise are still unanswered, and Mason and his new friend Calvin are doing what they can to escape the taunting cruelty of the neighborhood boys. Then Calvin disappears, and Mason is again compelled to defend his truth. Ages 8-12
The Parker Inheritance*  By Varian Johnson The Parker Inheritance* 
By Varian Johnson
Candice’s parents got divorced, which is why she and her mom have left Atlanta for sleepy Lambert, South Carolina, and a summer spent in her late grandmother’s house. Bored and lonely, Candice pokes around the attic and discovers an old letter describing a treasure hidden somewhere in town – could it still be out there? And what does it have to do with Lambert’s racist history and Grandma Abigail’s shattered reputation? Candice and new buddy Brandon race against time to find out. Ages 8-12
Gone to Drift*  By Diana McCaulay Gone to Drift* 
By Diana McCaulay
With a violent, mostly absent father and a harried mom with little time for him, Lloyd cherishes his relationship with his grandfather. Maas is a gentle old soul who speaks to his grandson of life, culture, history and the sea, and when he fails to return home after a fishing trip Lloyd launches a desperate search for him in the streets, shores and alleyways of Kingston, Jamaica. But the closer Lloyd gets to the truth of what’s happened, the more dangerous his own circumstances become. Ages 8-12
Merci Suárez Changes Gears*  By Meg Medina Merci Suárez Changes Gears* 
By Meg Medina
Merci’s private school is as elite as they come, but the sixth-grader is there on a scholarship – something snooty Edna won’t let her forget. Merci takes the teasing in stride; she’s got bigger things to worry about, after all, like having to babysit her little twin cousins (All! The! Time!) and wondering why her beloved abuelo Lolo keeps forgetting things. No one will tell her what’s going on, and Merci is starting to worry. Ages 9-12
The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge* Written by M.T. Anderson; illustrated by Eugene Yelchin The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge* 
Written by M.T. Anderson; illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
Elvish historian Brangwain Spurge has been given a treacherous task: deliver an ancient artifact to the neighboring goblins in order to broker peace between their kingdoms (and also do a bit of spying). But from the moment he’s catapulted into unfriendly territory the plan goes horribly, hilariously awry, and Brangwain is left running for his life. Will he be able to see past his prejudices as he navigates his way back to safety? He’ll have to, if he wants to survive. Ages 10-12
It Wasn’t Me  By Dana Alison Levy It Wasn’t Me 
By Dana Alison Levy
Homophobic slurs and threats have been scrawled across Theo’s self-portraits in the student gallery, and while the amateur photographer would like to forget it ever happened, his teacher has other plans. Calling for a weeklong “Justice Circle” for Theo and the five students in the gallery at the time of the crime, Ms. Lewiston pushes the seventh-graders to a cathartic and eye-opening self-awareness that inextricably bonds the group in a way none of them could have imagined. Ages 10+
We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices: Words and Images of Hope*  Edited by Wade Hudson & Cheryl Willis Hudson We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices: Words and Images of Hope* 
Edited by Wade Hudson & Cheryl Willis Hudson
A well-considered collection of illustrated poems, essays, personal letters and stories from an eclectic group of writers that acknowledge, respect and celebrate racial/cultural/ethnic/religious diversity, this empowering anthology is a literary balm meant to soothe the souls of disenfranchised children of all walks of life and experience. Husband-and-wife team Wade and Cheryl Willis Hudson’s uplifting tome should be required reading for every child in America. Ages 8-12

*Available through the Miami-Dade Public Library system. 


For even more great titles to add to your child’s library, visit @thechildrenstrust on Facebook and search #MiamiBookFair2018!