Middle-Grade Books Publishing in July

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Sitting down to research and plan this monthly blog post gives me more joy than I can even tell you. Getting to peruse all of the new books that are publishing in the next month is one of the highlights of my little booknerd life. Finding new books, sharing new books, and reading new books are kind of my favorite thing in the whole world. There are SO many new Middle-Grade books publishing in July…almost an overwhelming amount. I think I have narrowed it down to 10 that I am MOST excited for. So, without further ado. Let’s chat! Here are the 10 Middle-Grade books publishing in July that I am most looking forward to reading!

Dead Good Detectives by Jenny McLachlan

First up is Dead Good Detectives by Jenny McLachlan. I believe this book was first published over in the UK. It is publishing here in the States on July 9th, and I am so excited to read it. It is described as a “spooky swashbuckling duology” and that is all I needed to hear! Give me all of the ghosts, graveyards, and mysteries! Here is a little synopsis!

Goodreads Synopsis

Sid Jones loves hanging out in the graveyard with her best friend Zen – they are desperate to see a real-life ghost!But when Sid accidentally summons a 300-year-old pirate from the dead, it opens the door to the HALFWAY HOUSE – a magical inn FULL of lost souls from across the ages, all trapped there by a sinister landlord.There are more ghosts that Sid could ever have imagined – and they’re all sure Sid is there to save them! (Sid’s sure there’s been some kind of mistake.)But someone else is watching, and they’re not happy about Sid helping the ghosts . . . TICK, TOCK – TIME IS RUNNING OUT

Mind Over Monsters by Betsy Uhrig

Next up we have another spooky themed book. Mind Over Monsters by Betsy Uhrig sounds like perfect blend of spooky, humor, and adventure. I also love that it is tackling the topic of anxiety and stress for middle-schoolers. It is also mentioned to have Scooby-Doo vibes and I am so here for that! I am really looking forward tor reading this one. Mind Over Monsters publishes on July 16th.

Goodreads Synopsis

Gordon Korman meets Scooby-Doo when anxiety-prone middle schoolers try a mindfulness app that has them face their fears all-too-literally in this spooky and humorous middle grade adventure.

FACE YOUR FEARS! That’s what the meditation app with the cheesy name De-stress-o-rama is telling Lena to do. She’s one of seven always-worried middle schoolers trying out this new app to see if it can help students handle stress. But something is going wrong—very, very wrong.

The group’s fears are becoming all too real, first lurking and dangling, then chasing them around and threatening to swallow them whole. From a stubborn inky blob that is fear of the dark, to the queasy giant in sweaty underpants that is fear of public speaking, monsters are invading Cranberry Bog Middle School! Can Lena’s group of worriers figure out how to conquer their fears before the whole school is swarmed?

Wicked Marigold by Caroline Carlson

I am a sucker for Middle-Grade fantasy. I struggle to read adult fantasy because my mind can’t follow all of the names, places, and fantastical details. But Middle-Grade fantasy? Oh yes…it is perfect. Wicked Marigold sounds amazing. It sounds like it is going to be hilarious, full of adventure, and lots of magic…love. all. of. this. Wicked Marigold publishes on July 16th.

Goodreads Synopsis

In a funny and charming fantastical romp, overlooked Princess Marigold is nothing like her perfect, just-returned sister—so she runs away to an evil wizard’s tower to prove her wickedness.

Princess Marigold—who hadn’t yet been born when the remarkable Princess Rosalind was kidnapped—is eleven when the unthinkable happens: her older sister escapes her captivity and comes home. Marigold has always known she’s not as good, sweet, or kind as the sister everyone adores, but amid the celebration of Rosalind’s return, Marigold realizes something new: if Princess Rosalind is good, then Princess Marigold must be wicked. And there’s no place for wickedness in the kingdom. When Marigold tries to find a new place for herself in an evil wizard’s fortress, though, the results are disastrous. Before she’s even learned to cackle or scowl properly, she gets tangled up in a magical plot to ruin all the Cacophonous Kingdoms. Is Marigold too wicked to make things right? Or can she—with the help of a kitchen boy, a well-dressed imp, and a grumpy blob of glop—find her own way to restore peace? This endearing fantasy will have princess and anti-princess fans alike chuckling and cheering.

Felix Powell, Boy Dog by Erin Entrada Kelly

If Erin Entrada Kelly writes it…I am going to read it. I absolutely adore her books and her writing and am so looking forward too Felix Powell, Boy Dog. This is the story about a boy that is magically transformed into a dog. It sounds like it is going to be so charming, funny, and full of heart and the power of imagination. I also love that she includes little drawings in many of her books! Felix Powell, Boy Dog also publishes on July 16th.

Goodreads Synopsis

In this funny, young middle-grade novel about friendship, family, and animals, Felix Powell is magically transformed from a boy into a dog. Illustrated with black-and-white drawings by Newbery Medal winner and national bestseller Erin Entrada Kelly on almost every page.

Felix Powell can talk to animals. Just ask his dog, Mary Puppins! They talk all the time. When a mysterious, magical spell turns Felix into a dog, Mary Puppins is amazed. But not as much as Felix! Will his tail ever stop wagging? Will he ever see in full color again? How will he deal with Gumbo, the snobby neighborhood cat? Most importantly, will he ever return to being a regular boy?

With short, high-interest chapters and illustrations by the author on almost every page, Felix Powell, Boy Dog celebrates curiosity, ingenuity, imagination, and friendship. For readers of Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, Meg Medina, and Megan McDonald, and all kids who love animals.

Crushed by Melanie Conklin

The cover of this book immediately grabbed my attention and I needed to know what it was about. Crushed by Melanie Conklin sounds like it is going to be a really heartfelt book. It deals with friendships, peer pressure, and having the courage to speak up. Crushed also publishes on July 16th.

Goodreads Synopsis

A heartfelt middle grade story about changing friendships, peer pressure, and the courage to speak up when lines are crossed, perfect for fans of Starfish and The Benefits of Being an Octopus.  Sophie Valentine would rather be at home, doing school virtually. Instead, she’s waiting in a crowded middle school building for her best friend, Eve, who’s finally back after an extended absence, which only Sophie knows the truth about.     But when Eve returns, things aren’t the same. First, Eve stops walking to school with her in the morning. Then, she’s ditching Sophie to hang out with the Crash Crew, a group of popular kids notorious for their social media dares. Eve seems to fit right in, but Sophie is Did she just lose her best friend?    When rumors surface that Eve is hiding a painful secret she didn’t share with Sophie, Sophie is spurred on an investigation to discover what—or who—caused the incident behind Eve’s sudden change…and why all clues lead back to the Crash Crew. Using lessons from her forensics class and the help of a new friend, Sophie will have to uncover the truth before more harm is done. 

This Opening Sky by Kelly Hollman and Charlotte Watson Sherman

Next up we have This Opening Sky. I was immediately intrigued by this absolutely gorgeous cover. Isn’t it incredible? This Opening Sky is a middle-grade novel in verse that follows an unlikely friendship in the aftermath of the U.S. Civil War. It is a story about love overcoming prejudice. I read a couple of sample lines of the book and it is beautiful. Really looking forward to this one. This Opening Sky publishes on July 23rd.

Goodreads Synopsis

A moving and accessible, middle grade novel in verse, about an unlikely friendship in the aftermath of the American Civil War. Aurelia, the daughter of a once flourishing plantation, must till the land herself to keep herself alive. Libby, a freed slave, is working her way North to live a better life. Together they might just make a really good team.
Aurelia ?? My hands are no longer the hands of a young lady.  I drop my hoe and unwrap my bandaged fingers. They are torn, blistered and bleeding.  Nails, once perfectly manicured, now dirty and broken. The hands of a field worker. Libby ?? I must find someone who will barter some eggs or a loaf of bread or a piece of meat for a day’s work. Trouble is, most plantations are either abandoned or already have too many mouths to feed. 

Amir and the Jinn Princess by M.T. Khan

I absolutely love books with mythological and fantastical creatures. Amir and the Jinn Princess by M.T. Khan sounds like it is going to be so full of adventure and excitement. Deals, shapeshifting, and tricksters…I am so excited to read this book. Sounds perfect for fans of magic, fantasy, and adventure stories. Amir and the Jinn Princess publishes on July 23rd.

Goodreads Synopsis

This enchanting tale follows a wealthy young human boy, Amir, and a fiery jinn princess as they search for Amir’s missing mother and enter a tournament of heirs, set in the same mesmerizing world from Nura and the Immortal Palace.

Twelve-year-old Amir is one of the heirs to the Rafiq Bricks Company, a wealthy
brick kiln business in Pakistan—except he wants none of it. Seeing straight through the jeweled smiles and transactional conversations, Amir would rather spend time in the courtyard garden, where he can almost feel his missing mother’s presence again.

Amir is devastated when his baba announces plans to remarry by the end of the summer, dropping all searches to find Amir’s mother. It’s just a business move, like everything else in his life. Amir’s mother was the only one who allowed him to feel like himself, but the last anyone saw of her was a year ago. Amir isn’t ready to give up yet—determined to find his mother before his life changes forever, Amir teams up with a high-spirited, wide-eyed, shape-shifting jinn princess named Shamsa, his exact opposite. The two make a deal—Shamsa will help Amir navigate the twisty and mysterious realm of jinn, and in exchange Amir must use his wits to help Shamsa win a tournament of heirs and put her on the throne. Amir and Shamsa must contend with silver-tongued tricksters and magical rivals, and a truth far more devastating than Amir ever expected….

The Ghosts of Nameless Island:Vol 1 by Carly Anne West

This next book might be the one I am most looking forward to. The Ghosts of Nameless Island: Vol 1 sounds like the perfect spooky ghosty book and I am so excited. I am a sucker for a great setting and this book is set on a remote island in an old mansion…absolutely perfect for the spooky vibe factor…that and the fact that the main character can see ghosts. Check out this synopsis…I am so excited. The Ghosts of Nameless Island: Vol 1 by Carly Anne West publishes on July 23rd.

Goodreads Synopsis

Twelve-year-old Gus Greenburg can see ghosts; in fact, he uses this paranormal superpower to help them “go on.” But when Gus and his mom move into an old mansion on the mysterious and remote Nameless Island, he meets a ghost that’s set out to hurt him . Bestselling author Carly Anne West weaves a spooky and thrilling series opener in this spine-tingling tale about mystery, family, and all things paranormal.

After his dad goes missing and his mom is hired to restore an old building called the Rotham Manor, twelve-year-old Gus Greenburg and his mom move to a quaint, secluded island called Nameless. Gus was hoping for a new start on the island (despite throwing up on the boat ride there . . .  twice),  but a mysterious ghost has another idea. Throw in a mean kid who hides rats in the manor, two new friends, an eclectic island chef who’s competing to be on a reality TV show, and Gus’s power to talk to the dead . . . well, that’s a lot of chaos for one kid! 

Gus needs to find out the identity of the mysterious ghost – and fast – or else he might be doomed to the same lethal fate.

That is, if the island’s signature “Heavenly Hash” dish doesn’t get to him first.

The Ghosts of Nameless Island is the first book in a new trilogy from bestselling author Carly Anne West. It’s infused with Carly Anne West’s signature wit and humor, and spooky enough for fans of Claribel Ortega’s Ghost Squad,  Scott Cawthon’s Five Night’s at Freddy’s, and Carly’s own Hello Neighbor  series. This book also features black-and-white spot illustrations throughout. 

Fowl Play by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb

Fun fact about me…I am almost as obsessed with birds as I am with books. Fowl Play by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb is described as “Knives Out meets Finding Orion” and that is all I needed to read. I fell in love with the artwork on the cover and think this promises to be a funny and heartwarming murder mystery! Fowl Play publishes on July 30th. Here is a quick synopsis…doesn’t it sound great?!?

Goodreads Synopsis

Chloe Alvarez has never been to the reading of a last will and testament before, but she hopes it is just like the movies. Lies! Intrigue! The reading of her Uncle Will’s will is standard, until he announces his gift for Chloe: his African grey parrot, Charlie.

Uncle Will was Chloe’s best friend. Without him, she’s left with only her memories of them together—which come to her in snapshots—and her new friend, Charlie. The parrot has a vast vocabulary, and soon Chloe hears her say something odd: It was murder, followed by homicide and cyanide. Chloe becomes convinced her uncle Will’s death was foul play. Why else wouldn’t he have told anyone in the family—especially Chloe—that he was sick?

With the help of her family, Chloe begins the investigation to uncover Uncle Will’s murderer. The suspects: His nosy neighbor. An ex-girlfriend. A rude landlord. A loan shark. But it all leads to more questions than answers. Did someone really kill Uncle Will? Or could this journey help reunite Chloe’s grieving family?

The Creepening of Dogwood House by Eden Royce

Last but certainly not least is The Creepening of Dogwood House by Eden Royce. This book sounds so fascinating. It is described as being a “terryfying story in Southern Gothic Tradition, inspired by the Hoodoo practice of hair burning”. I am SO intrigued by this topic and love a book set in a creepy old house. Really excited to read this one and see what it is all about. The Creepening of Dogwood House publishes on July 30th.

Goodreads Synopsis

The Walter Award Honor–winning author of Root Magic returns with a terrifying story in the Southern Gothic tradition, inspired by the hoodoo practice of hair burning.

At night, Roddie still dreams of sitting at his mother’s feet while she braids his Afro down. But that’s a memory from before. Before his mom died in a tragic accident. Before he was taken in by an aunt he barely knows. Before his aunt brought him to Dogwood House, the creepiest place Roddie has ever seen. It was his family’s home for over a hundred years. Now the house—abandoned and rotting, draped in Spanish moss that reminds him too much of hair—is his home too.

Aunt Angie has returned to South Carolina to take care of Roddie and reconnect with their family’s hoodoo roots. Roddie, however, can’t help but feel lost. His mom had never told him anything about hoodoo, Dogwood House, or their family. And as they set about fixing the house up, Roddie discovers that there is even more his mother never said. Like why she left home when she was seventeen, never to return. Or why she insisted Aunt Angie always wear her hair in locs. Or what she knew of the strange secrets hidden deep within Dogwood House—secrets that have awoken again, and are reaching out to Roddie…

Thanks for Reading!

I hope you were able to find some exciting new books to read today for you and your kiddos. There are so many amazing titles publishing in July 2024 and these are just a few!

There are also a bunch of new graphic novels releasing in July that I didn’t include here…but stay tuned. If Graphic Novels are your jam I will be featuring some great ones over on Instagram in early July!

If you haven’t had a chance to check out June’s new releases then definitely check out this blog post. I had a chance to read a bunch of these books and they were awesome!

Happy reading and wishing you a great month!

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