Spending so much time at home has changed the way many of us read. Comfort reads are sometimes the order of the day and I have been rereading some of my favorite children’s books from the past as a way to recapture some of those feelings. So let me ask you: what were you reading in 2015?
Here are some of the popular middle grade novels from that year. Maybe you’ll find an old favorite or something you’ve wanted to read but never have. All of these books are available at https://denver.overdrive.com/, so check them out!
The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste
Nothing frightens Corinne La Mer. Not even the fabled jumbies, the malevolent spirits that are said to roam the forests of her island home. But when a beautiful stranger appears on the scene, Corinne senses something sinister is underway. Rooted in Carribean folklore, this fast-moving fantasy will keep readers riveted, and the vivid and frightening descriptions will send chills down their spines long after the book closes.
The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
London, World War II. Children are being evacuated to the countryside to escape the dropping bombs. Most children are afraid to be separated from their families, but Ada views it as an opportunity for escape. Born with a club foot, Ada’s mother never allowed her to leave their apartment for fear of humiliation. History blends with the story of the courageous and unstoppable Ada in this tale of adventure and family.
The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
Suzy Swanson is awkward. Which is why her best friend Franny threw her over for the popular crowd once middle school started. When Franny drowns, Suzy feels like she lost her best friend all over again. This emotionally intense novel follows Suzy not only on her emotional journey into grief, but an intellectual journey as she learns all she can about jellyfish and a physical journey as she travels alone to prove that Franny’s death was due to a jellyfish sting. If you are looking for a book to get the tears flowing, this one is a sure bet.
The Marvels by Brian Selznick
The Royal Theatre in London is the center of this amazing hybrid graphic novel/novel. Follow Billy through the beautiful, wordless pencil drawings as he goes from shipwrecked boy to theatre crew in 18th century London. Then move forward to 1990 and the written story of Joseph, a 13-year-old boy who is on the streets, struggling to find a home and a family. Their stories are worlds apart, but maybe not as much as you’d think. A must-read for anyone who hasn’t already and a great reread for those who have.
Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan
What do a Jewish boy trying to rescue his father from a concentration camp, an orphan trying to keep his family together and a migrant farm worker working the fields for interned Japanese owners have in common? A harmonica. Music ties together these heartfelt stories that take place in Germany, Philadelphia and California over a span of years around World War II. It is especially great to listen to on audio.
George by Alex Gino
George knows that when people look at her, they see George. But she feels like Melissa, and when the school holds auditions for Charlotte’s Web, Melissa wants desperately to play the part of Charlotte. Filled with strong and genuine characters, this book is warm and uplifting and sometimes funny. In a world where most people see her as they want to see her rather than how she sees herself, George is a true hero.
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
A story about roller derby, what’s not to love? Friendship and loyalty are at the heart of this graphic novel as Astrid’s best friend chooses ballet over roller derby and Astrid is left to navigate this sport filled with tough characters on her own. Vivid illustrations capture the movement and speed of roller derby and make this story come to life.
Didn’t find something that appeals? No worries! Denver Public Library staff would love to help you find your next great read. Request a Personalized Reading List and we will send you a list of books we think you’ll love!