September + October MUST have library additions!

 Reading Round-Up! 

Must have books for your middle grade classroom! 

Partly Cloudy by Tanita S. Davis 
On sale 9/7/21, Katherine Tegen Books 
Ages: 8-12 MG

Review: Partly Cloudy by Tanita S. Davis gives keen insight into the many microaggressions white people enact against Black people without a thought on their impact. Because of a terrible sixth grade year at school, and a few changes in the family situation, Madalyn begins to live with her great uncle Papa Lobo during the week. She attends a new school becoming the only Black student in her grade. While she makes new friends, one begins to say and do things that make Madalyn uncomfortable and Madalyn must decide how to have the uncomfortable conversation about race.

Teaching Points: Finding your voice, changing friendship, relatable fears and insecurities for middle grade kids, courage, discussing middle school struggles 


Looking for a Jumbie by Tracey Baptiste 

Illustrator: Amber Ren

On sale 9/21/21, Balzer + Bray

Ages: 4-8 PICTURE

Review: The best introduction to Jumbies (Caribbean mythical creatures) and all of the mystery they hold. All about believing in the unknown and not being afraid to push forward to find what you are looking for. Plus, the illustrations are gorgeous! 

Teaching Points: Courage, Caribbean folklore, spooky 


Major Makes History: From the Shelter to the White House by Jill Twiss (author of A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo)

Illustrator: Maribel Lechuga

On sale 9/28/21, Harper Collins

Ages: 4-8 PICTURE

Review: A feel good story from Major's perspective about how he was saved, but also how he saved President Biden.  

Teaching Points: Dogs POV, adopting animals, background info on Presidents and adopting dogs 


A Hundred Thousand Welcomes by Mary Lee Donovan

Illustrator: Lian Cho 

On sale 10/12/21, Greenwillow Books

Ages: 4-8 PICTURE

Review:  I love a story that shares insight into how other parts of the world live - in A Hundred Thousand Welcomes we are being welcomed from all over with compassion - and students need to see that. 

Teaching Points: Family, friendship, empathy, and welcoming others! 


THE MERMAID QUEEN book 4 in the Witches of Orkney middle grade fantasy series by Alane Adams

On Sale 10/12/21, SparkPress

Ages: 8-12 MG

Review:  Living in a household where my husband holds his standards high when it comes to Norse Mythology - I found him more engaged in discussions with this story as I discussed appearances of Thor, Odin, and Loki in this 4th installment to the Witches or Orkney. For students who are heavily influenced by historical events and fantasy based storytelling - this series is right up their alley! 

Teaching Points: Loyalty, commitment, girl power, very fantasy based, a part of a series. 


Keeping It Real by Paula Chase 

On sale 10/19/21, Greenwillow Books

Ages: 8-12 MG

Review: Mari and her best friend Justice are both go-getters who come from different sides of the tracks. Mari's family owns a business, Flexx Unlimited, which leaves Mari set for life; whereas, with Justice the only way he's going to make it out after they graduate is through scholarships and opportunities. Which when one arises at Flexx, an internship, Mari finds herself wanting to be doing something as well this summer since all of her friends seem to be working. Mari finds a way to get into her parents business to help out, but they are insistent she WORK - it won't be fun or all sunshine and rainbows just because of who she is. The other interns aren't thrilled with the work they've been given at first, but as time goes on some start to open up to the ideas of what they are doing. The only problem is, one girl, Kara, does not have a soft spot for Mari at all - then a big family secret drops that might change Mari's whole life trajectory.. or does it?

Teaching Points: Friendship, family, honesty, growing up - challenges/pains, very engaging for middle grade students 


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