Middle-Grade Books Publishing in May 2024

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I want you to remember 2 days, ok? May 7th and May 14th. Don’t forget them…you will thank me later. There are SO many incredible Middle-Grade books publishing in May…and they are all publishing on May 7th or 14th! Historical fiction, books from well loved authors, books steeped in folklore, and final books in a beloved series. I am so excited to share these books with you. I know that you and your tweens will find something on the list that you cant wait to read! So, let’s chat. Here are 9 Middle-Grade books that are publishing in May 2024.

MAY 7th, 2024

The One and Only Family by Katherine Applegate

I am going to jump right in with a well loved series. I just had an opportunity to read an early copy of The One and Only Family and it was the perfect ending to a beloved series. It was so great catching up with Ivan, Bob, and Ruby…and meeting a couple of very special additions to the family. Stay tuned for a full review but this was just the kind of charming, lovely, and heartwarming book you have come to expect from Katherine Applegate!

Goodreads Synopsis

For more than a decade, readers have been enchanted by the modern classic The One and Only Ivan , a Newbery Award winner and a #1 New York Times bestseller, and by its bestselling sequels, The One and Only Bob and The One and Only Ruby . Powerhouse author Katherine Applegate invites readers back into Ivan’s world for one last adventure—his most exciting yet.

Ivan has been happily living in a wildlife sanctuary, with his friend Ruby next door in the elephant enclosure, frequent visits from his canine friend Bob, and his mate Kinyani by his side. And in the happiest turn of all, Ivan and Kinyani have welcomed a set of twins to their family! Ivan loves being a papa, even though it can be hard sometimes. But as he navigates the joys and challenges of parenthood, he can’t help but recall his life before the glass walls of the mall circus, his own childhood in the jungle—and his own twin.

In the tradition of timeless classics like Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little , the one and only Katherine Applegate has crafted a poignant, delightful, heartbreaking, unforgettable final foray into the world of Ivan, the world’s favorite silverback.

The Secret Library by Kekla Magoon

I am a sucker for a book that takes place in a library. The Secret Library by Kekla Magoon promises to be full of mystery, adventure, and a little time travel! I have a copy of this book headed my way right now and I cannot wait to read it!

Goodreads Synopsis

Since Grandpa died, Dally’s days are dull and restricted. She’s eleven and a half years old, and her exacting single mother is already grooming her to take over the family business. Starved for adventure and release, Dally rescues a mysterious envelope from her mother’s clutches, an envelope Grandpa had earmarked for her.

The map she finds inside leads straight to an ancient vault, a library of secrets where each book is a portal to a precise moment in time. As Dally “checks out” adventure after adventure—including an exhilarating outing with pirates—she begins to dive deep into her family’s hidden history. Soon she’s visiting every day to escape the demands of the present. But the library has secrets of its own, intentions that would shape her life as surely as her mother’s meticulous plans.

What will Dally choose? Equal parts mystery and adventure—with a biracial child puzzling out her identity alongside the legacy of the past—this masterful middle-grade fantasy rivets with crackling prose, playful plot twists, and timeless themes. A satisfying choice for fans of Kindred and When You Reach Me.

Code Name Kingfisher by Liz Kessler

I absolutely adore Middle-Grade Historical Fiction. Code Name Kingfisher by Liz Kessler sounds like an absolutely breathtaking and poignant story. Code Name Kingfisher is set in German-occupied Holland during WWII and present day England. I am going to try to get my hands on an early copy of this to share with you guys…it sounds absolutely incredible!

Goodreads Synopsis

When Liv finds a secret box from her grandmother’s childhood she uncovers an extraordinary war-time story of bravery, betrayal and daring defiance. A story that will change Liv and her family forever…
Holland, 1942. The world is at war and as the Nazis’ power grows, Jewish families are in terrible danger. Twelve-year-old Mila and her older sister Hannie are sent to live with a family in another city with new identities and the strict instruction not to tell anyone that they are Jewish.
Hannie, determined to fight back, is swept into the Dutch resistance as an undercover Code Name Kingfisher.  And though Mila does her best to make friends and keep out of trouble, there is danger at every turn and the sisters are soon left questioning who they can trust…

May 14th, 2024

The Last Rhee Witch by Jenna Lee-Yun

I absolutely love books that are rich with folklore! The Last Rhee Witch by Jenna Lee-Yun is steeped in Korean Folklore and is full of of magic, mystery, fantasy…and maybe some ghosts. The cover is stunning also and I can’t wait to read this one!

Goodreads Synopsis

For fans of The Last Fallen Star, Witchlings, and Ghost Squad, a heartfelt middle grade debut where Korean folklore is all too real and summer camp includes a gwishin haunting.

You couldn’t hold onto everything and everyone. You had to choose. And Ronnie only had two hands.

Since her mother died when she was five years old, it’s always just been Ronnie Miller and her dad. Two Korean Americans who, thanks to Ronnie’s dad’s adoption by white parents, have never felt all that Korean. But Ronnie is okay with that—as long as she has her dad and her best friend Jack, Ronnie is 99% certain she can get through anything.

But as much as she wants everything to stay the same, the world—and her dad—has other plans. Now, Ronnie and Jack are headed away to sleepaway camp for the first time ever. Camp Foster promises all of the outdoorsy activities that Ronnie has so far managed to avoid: ropes courses, scavenger hunts, kayaking on the lake. Ugh. But she can do this. As long as she has Jack.

As it turns out, an old manor in the woods is the kind of place that’s crawling with secrets. Secrets like a mysterious gwishin haunting the grounds, a blood-red scarf wrapped too tightly around her ghostly neck. And a witch-hunting dokkaebi intent on finding and silencing the last Rhee witch. And the strange habit all the counselors have of rhyming when they speak . . . just like Ronnie has begun to do lately.

For a girl who wants everything to stay the same, nothing is scarier than all the changes Camp Foster brings. New friends. New foes. Souls with unfinished business. And, possibly worst of all, revelations that disprove everything Ronnie knew to be true.

Jenna Lee-Yun combines magic, mystery, suspense, and humor into a ghostly action-packed contemporary fantasy.

Samira’s Worst Best Summer by Nina Hamza

Next up we have Samira’s Worst Best Summer by Nina Hamza. I was immediately intrigued by the fun cover of this book and the write up said it is perfect for fans of Hena Khan, Kelly Yang, and Karina Yan Glaser…and that’s all I needed to see! This sounds like a great summertime read!

Goodreads Synopsis

From the author of Ahmed Aziz’s Epic Year, this tween novel centers the experiences of an Indian American Muslim girl who fears that she’s going to have the worst summer ever, but finds a new sense of community. Filled with irreverent humor and lots of heart, and perfect for fans of Hena Khan and Karina Yan Glaser.

Samira has always been best friends with Kiera. But these days, Kiera would rather hang out with the cool girls, leaving Sammy to play with Imran, her little brother, who is on the autism spectrum. Then out of nowhere, Sammy’s house gets TP’d. Could Kiera be behind the prank? Or maybe it’s because they’re the only Muslim family on the street?

Sammy and her Umma try to convince Imran, who is upset that their house was targeted, that they weren’t being singled out. Their solution—asking a neighbor to TP their own house—works a little too well, and Sammy is left cleaning up soggy toilet paper after a surprise storm. It’s there that she meets new girl Alice. Alice wants to figure out who was responsible for the original TP’ing, and she wants Sammy to help her.

Suddenly, Sammy’s “boring” summer is full of clue-finding hunts, dinner parties, garage band practices, and getting to know her neighbors (and neighborhood) like never before. And when Kiera starts stealing Alice away, Sammy must decide whether she can continue on without a best friend or if she wants to stand up for her new pal. One thing is certain: this summer is either going to be the worst (or maybe the best) of Sammy’s life.

Flying Through Water by Mamle Wolo

I fell in love with this cover the minute I saw it. Flying Through Water by Mamle Wolo sounds like it is going to be a gut wrenching story but an important one to read. Dealing with both poverty and human trafficking, this is going to be a difficult read…but one that I am really looking forward to tackling. I will be back with a review of this one for sure!

Goodreads Synopsis

A boy’s gripping journey from poverty to empowerment transports readers to modern-day Ghana, into the throes of an extraordinary survival story.
Sena treasures his life in rural Ghana—playing soccer, working on the family farm, striving to do his best at school—but he is increasingly aware of his family’s precarious security in the face of poverty. When an alluring gentleman comes to town to befriend local teenagers, offering promises of a better future, it only takes one more unsettling turn of events to send Sena into the clutches of human traffickers. Sena’s ordeal, escape, and remarkable survival makes for a page-turning adventure of self-discovery and empowerment.

Puzzleheart by Jenn Reese

Another book that captivated me with its cover. I love middle-grade books with elements of the fantastical, and Puzzleheart by Jenn Reese features a house with a mind of its own. Say no more! I have a copy of this book coming from the publisher and I will be sharing about it as soon as I read it! Sounds like such an exciting book!

Goodreads Synopsis

Get ready to solve the mystery at the heart of this middle grade adventure about family—and a house with a mind of its own.

Twelve-year-old Perigee has never met a problem they couldn’t solve. So when their Dad’s spirits need raising, Perigee formulates the perfect road trip to Dad’s childhood home to reunite him with his estranged mother. There’s something in it for Perigee, too, as they will finally get to visit “Eklunds’ Puzzle House,” the mysterious bed & breakfast their grandparents built but never opened.

They arrive ahead of a massive storm and the House immediately puts Perigee’s logical, science-loving mind to the test. Corridors shift. Strange paintings lurk in the shadows. Encoded messages abound. Despite Perigee’s best efforts, neither the House nor Grandma will give up their secrets. And worse, prickly Grandma has outlawed games and riddles of any kind.

Even the greatest of plans can crumble, and as new arguments fill the air, the House becomes truly dangerous. Deadly puzzles pop up at every turn, knives spin in the hallways, and staircases disappear. The answer lies at the heart of the House, but in order to find it, Perigee and their new friend Lily will need to solve a long-lost, decades-old riddle… if the House itself doesn’t stop them first.

National Archive Hunters:Capitol Chase by Matthew Landis

This book immediately gives me National Treasure vibes and I am here for it. I love history and historical artifacts. Couple that with a good heist and I am a happy lady! National Archive Hunters: Capitol Chase seems to combine all of these things. Capitol Chase is first book in a new series by Matthew Landis and I am excited to give it a read!

Goodreads Synopsis

Twins race to find the thief stealing valuable historical artifacts before their family’s framed for the crimes.

Ten-year-old Ike Carter has committed large chunks of American history to memory. That’s what happens when you’re a genius who loves the past. His twin, Iris, prefers the present (aka reality) . She’s an elite athlete, dominating the competition thanks to her wicked-sharp spatial awareness.

During the opening night of a new exhibit at their mom’s boutique museum in Washington, D.C., Ike and Iris inadvertently stumble onto a robbery in progress. A girl not much older than them is stealing a miniature portrait of George Washington from the collection[ML1] [ASW2] [LMD3] . It’s only the first in a string of crimes, all focused on items that were once gifted by the Marquis de Lafayette to his American friends. With some help from the National Archives Research Center, the twins puzzle out the culprit’s next targets, and are soon hot on the trail of the mystery girl.

But their efforts also put them in the crosshairs of the FBI’s Art Crime team, who suspect their family is involved. If the twins can’t catch the real perp as they target the final item, it’ll be game over.

Tidemagic: The Many Faces of Ista Flit by Clare Harlow

Last but most certainly not least is Tidemagic: The Many Faces of Ista Flit by Clare Harlow. Ya girl is ridiculously excited to read this book. I have a copy coming for a book tour and I am so thrilled for it to arrive. I love middle-grade books that are full of magic and this one sounds spectacular. Check out this synopsis to see what a I mean! Doesn’t it sound incredible?!?

Goodreads Synopsis

Magic, mystery, and monsters abound in this series opener about a girl with the rare magical ability to look like anyone she’s ever seen.

In misty Shelwich, magic rises and falls with the tides, everyone is born with a magical gift, and people have started to . . . disappear.

Rumor has it they are snatched by monsters, but Ista Flit doesn’t want to believe it. Not when her own father is missing. As she scours the city, searching for clues, a notorious thief finds her. Ista has a rare talent: she’s a face-changer, able to take on the appearance of anyone she’s seen, and Alexo could use a girl with her skill. Ista could use Alexo’s help in her search–if only she could trust him.

As more people disappear from the city, Ista finds unexpected allies in Nat and Ruby, each searching for their own missing loved ones. These three determined kids will need to use all the Tidemagic they can summon, infiltrate the city’s highest elite circles, and dive into its lowest caverns, in order to find how thieves, monsters, and the missing are all connected.

Happy May!

What books are you looking forward to reading this month?

If you missed April’s Middle-Grade Book releases you can check that out over here. There were lots of great books released!

Wishing you all an awesome month of books and hopefully some springtime weather! Or if you are in Florida like me…Happy SUMMER bc she is HOT out there!!

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