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It’s that time, my friends. I have been searching, wandering, and exploring all of the new releases in the middle-grade realm…and have narrowed it down to 6. That’s right, 6 books that I am MOST excited to read in April. There is something SO exciting about the impending arrival of new books. New releases that have the potential to be “the next great read”. Ok, maybe I am just a nerd, but that’s OK! So, let’s just jump right in and check out What’s New for April in the Middle-Grade world!
A Duet For Home by Karina Yan Glaser
A Duet For Home has been on my radar for a while now. It is written by the amazing Karina Yan Glaser, author of The Vanderbeekers series. When I first heard she had a new release coming out I immediately added it to my Amazon Wishlist. She has such a gift for writing and I honestly think we will see The Vanderbeekers considered “classics” one day! So, I had to include this book in my line-up. It sounds like such a heartwarming and poignant tale that deals with the topic of homelessness. A Duet for Home releases on April 5th, 2022.
From the New York Times bestselling creator of the Vanderbeekers series comes a triumphant tale of friendship, healing, and the power of believing in ourselves told from the perspective of biracial sixth-graders June and Tyrell, two children living in a homeless shelter. As their friendship grows over a shared love of classical music, June and Tyrell confront a new housing policy that puts homeless families in danger.
It’s June’s first day at Huey House, and as if losing her home weren’t enough, she also can’t bring her cherished viola inside. Before the accident last year, her dad saved tip money for a year to buy her viola, and she’s not about to give it up now.
Tyrell has been at Huey House for three years and gives June a glimpse of the good things about living there: friendship, hot meals, and a classical musician next door.
Can he and June work together to oppose the government, or will families be forced out of Huey House before they are ready?
Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega
This book had me at the cover. The addition of quirky witches certainly didn’t hurt either! I love anything full of powerful young girls and this looks like it will certainly fit the bill! Witchlings is written by Claribel A. Ortega who will be a new to me author! Witchlings publishes on April 5th, 2022.
Disney’s The Owl House meets Nevermoor, in a brilliant new adventure from New York Times bestselling author Claribel A. Ortega!
Every year, in the magical town of Ravenskill, Witchlings who participate in the Black Moon Ceremony are placed into covens and come into their powers as full-fledged witches.
And twelve-year-old Seven Salazar can’t wait to be placed in the most powerful coven with her best friend! But on the night of the ceremony, in front of the entire town, Seven isn’t placed in one of the five covens. She’s a Spare!
Spare covens have fewer witches, are less powerful, and are looked down on by everyone. Even worse, when Seven and the other two Spares perform the magic circle to seal their coven and cement themselves as sisters, it doesn’t work! They’re stuck as Witchlings―and will lose their magic.
Seven invokes her only option: the impossible task. The three Spares will be assigned an impossible task: If they work together and succeed at it, their coven will be sealed and they’ll gain their full powers. If they fail… Well, the last coven to make the attempt ended up being turned into toads. Forever.
But maybe friendship can be the most powerful magic of all…
With action-packed adventure, a coven of quirky witchlings, Claribel A. Ortega’s signature humor, and girl-power vibes, you won’t be able to put down this middle-grade Latine witch story, perfect for fans of Amari and the Night Brothers or Harry Potter.
Healer & Witch by Nancy Werlin
Back to back witchy books and I couldn’t be happier! Healer & Witch by Nancy Werlin promises to be the ultimate in fantasy reads! Author Nancy Werlin is making her middle-grade debut after 11 Young Adult Novels! Healer & Witch is not only a fantasy novel…but also a historical one. Immediate win for me! It is set in a Medieval French village and I am so excited to read it! Healer & Witch publishes on April 12th, 2022.
Nancy Werlin’s first story for middle-grade readers tackles and transcends traditional fantasy tropes: can a young woman gifted with magic learn to manage her powers—and claim her strength—without violence? Sylvie and her mother and grandmother are beloved, trusted healers in their medieval French village, though some whisper that fifteen-year-old Sylvie and her grand-mere deal in more than herbs and medicines. Perhaps they’re a bit . . . witchy? After her grandmother dies, and an attempt to use magic to heal her mother’s grief brooks tragic consequences, Sylvie leaves her village in search of a teacher. The journey subjects her to strange alliances, powerful temptations, danger, and deceit. In the end, there may be only one wise woman Sylvie can trust in a world that would define her limits: herself. Beautifully crafted, this quietly powerful work for younger readers assures a whole new audience for an established author.
The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat
The Last Mapmaker has been on my wishlist since I first saw it quite some time ago. I adore Christina Soontornvat. Ever since reading her Newbery Honor book A Wish in the Dark I have been absolutely smitten with her writing. If you haven’t read that one yet it is one of my all time favorite books! I am delighted to report that I have an Advanced Reader Copy of The Last Mapmaker and it is next up on my list to read and review. Described as a “high-seas adventure set in a Thai-Inspired Fantasy world”…I am so ready! The Last Mapmaker publishes on April 12th, 2022.
In a fantasy adventure every bit as compelling and confident in its world building as her Newbery Honor Book A Wish in the Dark, Christina Soontornvat explores a young woman’s struggle to unburden herself of the past and chart her own destiny in a world of secrets. As assistant to Mangkon’s most celebrated mapmaker, twelve-year-old Sai plays the part of a well-bred young lady with a glittering future. In reality, her father is a conman—and in a kingdom where the status of one’s ancestors dictates their social position, the truth could ruin her. Sai seizes the chance to join an expedition to chart the southern seas, but she isn’t the only one aboard with secrets. When Sai learns that the ship might be heading for the fabled Sunderlands—a land of dragons, dangers, and riches beyond imagining—she must weigh the cost of her dreams. Vivid, suspenseful, and thought-provoking, this tale of identity and integrity is as beautiful and intricate as the maps of old.
The Edge of In Between by Lorelei Savaryn
Have you ever chosen a book based on just the cover alone? Come on…you know you have. Well, I would 150% pick up this book soley based on this gorgeous and captivating cover. Want to know what is even better? This is a twisty re-telling of The Secret Garden. I know. I am beside myself with joy over this. The Secret Garden is an all-time favorite for me and this sounds like it is going to be all kinds of amazing. The Edge of In Between by Lorelei Savaryn publishes on April 19th, 2022. It’s OK if you are still swooning over that cover…I know I am.
Lottie lives in Vivelle—the heart of a vibrant city where life exists in brilliant technicolor and nearly everyone has magic. And Lottie is no exception; she can paint pictures to life in every shade and hue imaginable. But at the sudden loss of her parents, all the color is stripped from Lottie’s heart and the world around her. Taken in by her reclusive, eccentric uncle, Lottie moves into Forsaken, his vast manor located in the gray wasteland between the Land of the Living and Ever After, the land of the dead.
The discovery of a locked-up garden, a wise cardinal, a hidden boy, and a family whose world is full of color despite the bleakness around them begins to pull at the threads of what it means to live in such a near-dead place, slowly returning some of the color to Lottie’s private world and giving her hope that life is worth experiencing fully, even while one carries sorrow.
But as time runs out, Lottie must find a way to thaw both the world and the hearts of her uncle, cousin, and those she has come to know and love in her new home, or all of Forsaken—including Lottie herself—will be absorbed by Ever After long before their time.
An exquisitely written, richly imagined, stunning portrait of love and loss, magic and hope; a true celebration of the strength we all possess to transcend tragedy—and the gifts that make life worth living.
Jennifer Chan is Not Alone by Tae Keller
Jennifer Chan is Not Alone is last but most certainly not least. Author Tae Keller is the winner of the 2021 Newbery Award for her incredible book When You Trap a Tiger. Another of my all-time faves…highly recommend. Her writing is so beautiful and captivating that I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book! Jennifer Chan is Not Alone publishes on April 26th, 2022.
Sometimes middle school can make you feel like you’re totally alone in the universe…but what if we aren’t alone at all?
Thanks to her best friend, Reagan, Mallory Moss knows the rules of middle school. The most important one? You have to fit in to survive. But then Jennifer Chan moves in across the street, and that rule doesn’t seem to apply. Jennifer doesn’t care about the laws of middle school, or the laws of the universe. She believes in aliens—and she thinks she can find them.
Then Jennifer goes missing. Using clues from Jennifer’s journals, Mallory goes searching. But the closer she gets, the more Mallory has to confront why Jennifer might have run . . . and face the truth within herself.
Tae Keller lights up the sky with this insightful story about shifting friendships, right and wrong, and the power we all hold to influence and change one another. No one is alone.
There you have it, my friends. April is looking to have some pretty amazing releases in the Middle-Grade world! If you missed my March list, you can take a peek at it here!
You can also find ALL of my most anticipated reads on a list on my Amazon Storefront. Also all kinds of past favorites!
Tell me, what are you most looking forward to this month? Anything I should add to my list?