7 Middle-Grade Literature You & Your Shelf Needs!

Back at it again with another 7 Book List! Today we’re getting into middle-grade novels. These are books set to be released in 2019. It may be in the middle-grade category but I can tell that these titles would hook you to the last page.

Like before, these are the books I want to read too, and I might interest you with a book or two from the list. Why not?

Without further ado, the list…

Dragon Pearl


Title: Dragon Pearl

Author: Yoon Ha Lee

Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents

Release Date: January 15th, 2019


Rick Riordan Presents Yoon Ha Lee’s space opera about thirteen-year-old Min, who comes from a long line of fox spirits. But you’d never know it by looking at her.

To keep the family safe, Min’s mother insists that none of them use any fox-magic, such as Charm or shape-shifting. They must appear human at all times. Min feels hemmed in by the household rules and resents the endless chores, the cousins who crowd her, and the aunties who judge her. She would like nothing more than to escape Jinju, her neglected, dust-ridden, and impoverished planet. She’s counting the days until she can follow her older brother, Jun, into the Space Forces and see more of the Thousand Worlds.

When word arrives that Jun is suspected of leaving his post to go in search of the Dragon Pearl, Min knows that something is wrong. Jun would never desert his battle cruiser, even for a mystical object rumored to have tremendous power. She decides to run away to find him and clear his name.

Min’s quest will have her meeting gamblers, pirates, and vengeful ghosts. It will involve deception, lies, and sabotage. She will be forced to use more fox-magic than ever before, and to rely on all of her cleverness and bravery. The outcome may not be what she had hoped, but it has the potential to exceed her wildest dreams.

This sci-fi adventure with the underpinnings of Korean mythology will transport you to a world far beyond your imagination.

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The Moon Within


Title: The Moon Within

Author: Aida Salazar

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books

Release Date: February 26th, 2019


Celi Rivera’s life swirls with questions. About her changing body. Her first attraction to a boy. And her best friend’s exploration of what it means to be genderfluid.

But most of all, her mother’s insistence she have a moon ceremony when her first period arrives. It’s an ancestral Mexica ritual that Mima and her community have reclaimed, but Celi promises she will NOT be participating. Can she find the power within herself to take a stand for who she wants to be?

A dazzling story told with the sensitivity, humor, and brilliant verse of debut talent Aida Salazar.

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A Good Kind of Trouble


Title: A Good Kind of Trouble

Author: Lisa Moore Ramee

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Release Date: March 12th, 2019


Twelve-year-old Shayla is allergic to trouble. All she wants to do is to follow the rules. (Oh, and she’d also like to make it through seventh grade with her best friendships intact, learn to run track, and have a cute boy see past her giant forehead.)

But in junior high, it’s like all the rules have changed. Now she’s suddenly questioning who her best friends are and some people at school are saying she’s not black enough. Wait, what?

Shay’s sister, Hana, is involved in Black Lives Matter, but Shay doesn’t think that’s for her. After experiencing a powerful protest, though, Shay decides some rules are worth breaking. She starts wearing an armband to school in support of the Black Lives movement. Soon everyone is taking sides. And she is given an ultimatum.

Shay is scared to do the wrong thing (and even more scared to do the right thing), but if she doesn’t face her fear, she’ll be forever tripping over the next hurdle. Now that’s trouble, for real.

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The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James


Title: The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James

Author: Ashley Herring Blake

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Release Date: March 26th, 2019


Twelve-year-old Sunny St. James navigates heart surgery, reconnections with a lost mother, first kisses, and emerging feelings for another girl in this stunning, heartfelt novel–perfect for fans of Ali Benjamin and Erin Entrada Kelly.

When Sunny St. James receives a new heart, she decides to set off on a “New Life Plan”: 1) do awesome amazing things she could never do before; 2) find a new best friend; and 3) kiss a boy for the first time.

Her “New Life Plan” seems to be racing forward, but when she meets her new best friend Quinn, Sunny questions whether she really wants to kiss a boy at all. When the reemergence of her mother, Sunny begins a journey to becoming the new Sunny St. James.

This sweet, tender novel dares readers to find the might in their own hearts.

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Other Words for Home


Title: Other Words for Home

Author: Jasmine Warga

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Release Date: May 7th, 2019


A lyrical and moving middle-grade novel in verse about a Syrian girl who moves to the United States, from Jasmine Warga, the author of acclaimed YA novels My Heart and Other Black Holes and Here We Are Now.

I am learning how to be
and happy
at the same time.

Jude never thought she’d be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her hometown start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives.

At first, everything in America seems too fast and too loud. The American movies that Jude has always loved haven’t quite prepared her for starting school in the US—and her new label of “Middle Eastern,” an identity she’s never known before. But this life also brings unexpected surprises—there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude might just try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is.

This lyrical, life-affirming story is about losing and finding home and, most importantly, finding yourself.

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Midsummer's Mayhem


Title: Midsummer’s Mayhem

Author: Rajani Larocca

Publisher: Yellow Jacket

Release Date: June 4th, 2019


Inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the story follows an 11-year-old Indian-American girl whose dream of winning a celebrity chef-judged baking contest stirs up trouble when she bakes with a mysterious boy from the woods and people around her start acting loopy. Publication is scheduled for summer 2019.

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My Fate According to the Butterfly


Title: My Fate According to the Butterfly

Author: Gail D. Villanueva

Publisher: Scholastic

Release Date: July 30th, 2018


Emily Seife at Scholastic Press has acquired My Fate According to the Butterfly, a middle-grade novel by Philippine-based, Filipina debut author Gail D. Villanueva. Superstitious soon-to-be 11-year-old Sab believes her fate is sealed when she spots an ominous black butterfly. Determined to reconcile her journalist older sister and their father before her time is up, Sab embarks on a quest that sends her on a collision course with the realities of Manila and the war on drugs. Publication is slated for 2019; Alyssa Eisner Henkin at Trident Media Group brokered the deal for world rights.

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Disclosure: Book links contain affiliate links; the blogger earns a tiny commission from all successful purchase(s) made at no additional cost to you.

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Related: 7 Young Adult Fantasy Books

Related: 7 Contemporary Young Adult Books

Related: 7 Adult Science Fiction & Fantasy Books

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