Gift Guide: For The Voracious Little Reader

 

If you've got a kiddo who flies through books like their treats on Halloween, try one of these literary gems.

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From the Desk of Zoe Washington By Janae Marks Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780062875860
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - January 5th, 2021

Recommended for middle grade readers (8-12 years old).

Zoe Washington isn't sure what to write. What does a girl say to the father she's never met, hadn't heard from until his letter arrived on her twelfth birthday, and who's been in prison for a terrible crime?

A crime he says he never committed.

Could Marcus really be innocent? Zoe is determined to uncover the truth. Even if it means hiding his letters and her investigation from the rest of her family. Everyone else thinks Zoe's worrying about doing a good job at her bakery internship and proving to her parents that she's worthy of auditioning for Food Network's Kids Bake Challenge.

But with bakery confections on one part of her mind, and Marcus's conviction weighing heavily on the other, this is one recipe Zoe doesn't know how to balance. The only thing she knows to be true: Everyone lies.


The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street By Karina Yan Glaser Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781328499219
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Clarion Books - September 4th, 2018

Recommended for middle grade readers (8-12 years old).

The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st Street. It's practically another member of the family. So when their reclusive, curmudgeonly landlord decides not to renew their lease, the five siblings have eleven days to do whatever it takes to stay in their beloved home and convince the dreaded Beiderman just how wonderful they are.

And all is fair in love and war when it comes to keeping their home.


That Thing about Bollywood By Supriya Kelkar Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781534466746
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - May 10th, 2022

Recommended for middle grade readers (8-12 years old).

You know how in Bollywood when people are in love, they sing and dance from the mountaintops? Eleven-year-old Sonali wonders if they do the same when they're breaking up. The truth is, Sonali's parents don't get along, and it looks like they might be separating.
Sonali's little brother, Ronak, is not taking the news well, constantly crying. Sonali would never do that. It's embarrassing to let out so many feelings, to show the world how not okay you are. But then something strange happens, something magical, maybe. When Sonali gets upset during a field trip, she can't bury her feelings like usual--instead, she suddenly bursts into a Bollywood song-and-dance routine about why she's upset!

The next morning, much to her dismay, Sonali's reality has shifted. Things seem brighter, almost too bright. Her parents have had Bollywood makeovers. Her friends are also breaking out into song and dance. And somehow, everyone is acting as if this is totally normal.

Sonali knows something has gone wrong, and she suspects it has something to do with her own mismanaged emotions. Can she figure it out before it's too late?


Margie Kelly Breaks the Dress Code By Bridget Farr Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780316461580
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - July 26th, 2022

Recommended for middle grade readers (9-12 years old).

Margie Kelly's perfect skirt was dress-coded on her very first day of middle school. Upset and embarrassed, Margie spends the whole day in oversized gym shorts, setting the tone for the whole day. Everything that could go wrong, certainly does! But when Margie realizes that the dress code is only applied to the girls and not the boys, she gets mad. Really mad. The dress code is keeping girls from learning. The boys act like they rule the school. And the teachers turn a blind eye. Something has to change! And then Margie comes up with the best idea. She'll plan a school-wide protest. As Margie moves forward with her plans, she comes to realize that her own privilege is part of the problem, and not everyone's voices are being heard. Will Margie make meaningful change for all students?


Hazel Hill Is Gonna Win This One By Maggie Horne Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780358664703
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Clarion Books - October 18th, 2022

Recommended for middle grade readers (8-12 years old).

Seventh grader Hazel Hill is too busy for friends. No, really. She needs to focus on winning the school-wide speech competition and beating her nemesis, the popular and smart Ella Quinn, after last year's embarrassing hyperbole/hyperbowl mishap that cost her first place.

But when Hazel discovers Ella is being harassed by golden boy Tyler Harris, she has to choose between winning and doing the right thing. No one would believe that a nice boy like Tyler would harass and intimidate a nice girl like Ella, but Hazel knows the truth--and she's determined to prove it, even if it means risking everything.

Deeply relatable and surprisingly humorous, Hazel Hill Is Gonna Win This One is a wonderfully empowering story about friendship, finding your voice, and standing up for what you believe in.


Staff Pick Badge
Muse Squad: The Cassandra Curse By Chantel Acevedo Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780062947703
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - June 8th, 2021

Recommended for middle grade readers (9-12 years old).

Callie Martinez-Silva didn't mean to turn her best friend into a pop star. But when a simple pep talk leads to miraculous results, Callie learns she's the newest muse of epic poetry, one of the nine Muses of Greek mythology tasked with protecting humanity's fate in secret.

Whisked away to Muse Headquarters, she joins three recruits her age, who call themselves the Muse Squad. Together, the junior muses are tasked with using their magic to inspire and empower--not an easy feat when you're eleven and still figuring out the goddess within.

When their first assignment turns out to be Callie's exceptionally nerdy classmate, Maya Rivero, the squad comes to Miami to stay with Callie and her Cuban family. There, they discover that Maya doesn't just need inspiration, she needs saving from vicious Sirens out to unleash a curse that will corrupt her destiny.

As chaos erupts, will the Muse Squad be able to master their newfound powers in time to thwart the Cassandra Curse... or will it undo them all?


Staff Pick Badge
Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire By John August Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781250294258
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Square Fish - January 8th, 2019

Recommended for middle grade readers (9-12 years old).

Arlo Finch is a newcomer to Pine Mountain, Colorado, a tiny town of mystery and magic, but he's already attracted the attention of dark and ancient forces. At first he thinks these increasingly strange and frightening occurrences are just part of being in Rangers, the mountain scouting troop where he learns how to harness the wild magic seeping in from the mysterious Long Woods.

But soon Arlo finds himself at the center of a dangerous adventure, where he faces obstacles that test the foundations of the Ranger's Vow: Loyalty, Bravery, Kindness, and Truth.


Frankie & Bug By Gayle Forman Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781534482548
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Aladdin - October 25th, 2022

Recommended for middle grade readers (9-12 years old).

It's the summer of 1987, and all ten-year-old Bug wants to do is go to the beach with her older brother and hang out with the locals on the boardwalk. But Danny wants to be with his own friends, and Bug's mom is too busy, so Bug is stuck with their neighbor Philip's nephew, Frankie.

Bug's not too excited about hanging out with a kid she's never met, but they soon find some common ground. And as the summer unfolds, they find themselves learning some important lessons about each other, and the world.

Like what it means to be your true self and how to be a good ally for others. That family can be the people you're related to, but also the people you choose to have around you. And that even though life isn't always fair, we can all do our part to make it more just.


Double, Double, Twins and Trouble (Witches of Peculiar #1) By Luna Graves Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781665914260
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Aladdin - July 19th, 2022

Recommended for elementary readers (7-10 years old).

There are monsters among us...and they're just trying to survive middle school! In Peculiar, Pennsylvania, the supernatural kids attend Y.I.K.E.S.S.S. (Yvette I. Koffin's Exceptional School for Supernatural Students), run by Yvette herself. From goblins to ghosts to werewolves and witches, the students learn the ins and outs of doling out the scares and blending in with the humans they live among.

Mostly, the system works, but there's occasionally a young monster who shakes things up--a pubescent werewolf who displays some suspicious body hair on the community basketball court or a scatterbrained ghost who goes through a door instead of opening it. But Peculiar has never seen a potential PR disaster quite like the Maleficent twins!

While Bella and Donna's magic is powerful, they don't quite have a handle on their (witch)craft yet. Can they get through the sixth grade without turning the mailman into a toad, burning down the town with hellfire, or turning all the liquid on earth into Cherry Lemonade Jell-O?


Happy Narwhalidays (A Narwhal and Jelly Book #5) By Ben Clanton Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780735262515
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Tundra Books - September 8th, 2020

Recommended for elementary readers (5-8 years old).

It's the festive season in the world wide waters, and Narwhal is looking forward to cozying up with a good book, singing and partying with his pod pals, and enjoying some warm waffle pudding. But most of all he's excited about the arrival of the Merry Mermicorn.


Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen By Debbi Michiko Florence, Elizabet Vukovic (Illustrator) Cover Image
$5.99
ISBN: 9780374308346
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - July 11th, 2017

Recommended for elementary readers (6-9 years old).

Eight-year-old Jasmine Toguchi is a flamingo fan, tree climber, and top-notch mess-maker!

She's also tired of her big sister, Sophie, always getting to do things first. For once, Jasmine wishes SHE could do something before Sophie --something special, something different. The New Year approaches, and as the Toguchi family gathers in Los Angeles to celebrate, Jasmine is jealous that her sister gets to help roll mochi balls by hand with the women. Her mom says that Jasmine is still too young to join in, so she hatches a plan to help the men pound the mochi rice instead. Surely her sister has never done THAT before.

But pounding mochi is traditionally reserved for boys. And the mochi hammer is heavier than it looks. Can Jasmine build her case and her mochi-making muscles in time for New Year's Day?


Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business By Lyla Lee, Dung Ho (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Lyla Lee, Dung Ho (Illustrator)
$5.99
ISBN: 9781534440074
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Aladdin - January 14th, 2020

Recommended for elementary readers (6-9 years old).

Mindy Kim just wants three things:
1. A puppy!
2. To fit in at her new school
3. For her dad to be happy again


But, getting all three of the things on her list is a lot trickier than she thought it would be. On her first day of school, Mindy's school snack of dried seaweed isn't exactly popular at the lunch table. Luckily, her new friend, Sally, makes the snacks seem totally delicious to Mindy's new classmates, so they decide to start the Yummy Seaweed Business to try and raise money for that puppy!
When another student decides to try and sabotage their business, Mindy loses more than she bargained for--and wonders if she'll ever fit in. Will Mindy be able to overcome her uncertainty and find the courage to be herself?


Stella Díaz Has Something to Say (Stella Diaz #1) By Angela Dominguez, Angela Dominguez (Illustrator) Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9781250294104
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Square Fish - January 22nd, 2019

Recommended for elementary readers (6-9 years old).

Stella Díaz loves marine animals, especially her betta fish, Pancho. But Stella Díaz is not a betta fish. Betta fish like to be alone, while Stella loves spending time with her mom and brother and her best friend Jenny. Trouble is, Jenny is in another class this year, and Stella feels very lonely.

When a new boy arrives in Stella's class, she really wants to be his friend, but sometimes Stella accidentally speaks Spanish instead of English and pronounces words wrong, which makes her turn roja. Plus, she has to speak in front of her whole class for a big presentation at school! But she better get over her fears soon, because Stella Díaz has something to say!


Monday – Into the Cave of Thieves (Total Mayhem #1) By Ralph Lazar, Ralph Lazar (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Ralph Lazar, Ralph Lazar (Illustrator)
$6.99
ISBN: 9781338770377
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Inc. - August 3rd, 2021

Recommended for elementary readers (6-9 years old).

There is no such thing as a boring day for Dash Candoo.

On Monday, before he can even enjoy his cereal and wombat juice, he is attacked by a squad of combat-ready scallywags and the two-tailed Devil Cat.

And that is just before breakfast. The adventure explodes when Dash gets to school and must deal with a number of Total Mayhem Situations, including a missing Wobble-Ball trophy and the disappearance of one of the most expensive bottles of perfume in the world.


The Gilded Ones By Namina Forna Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781984848710
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ember - January 11th, 2022

Recommended for young adults (12+ years old).

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity-and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki-near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire's greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she's ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be-not even Deka herself.