Middle Grade Fiction

The Deep-Sea Duke by Lauren James

When Hugo and Ada travel to their friend Dorian’s planet for the holidays, android Hugo is anxious about being accepted by Dorian’s powerful family. But when they arrive on Hydrox, there are more pressing things to worry about, as the planet has been overrun by refugee butterflies. Displaced from their home by climate change, the butterflies have been offered sanctuary by Dorian’s parents, but they’re quickly running out of space. Meanwhile, beneath the seas, a strange creature is wreaking all kinds of havoc …
Can Hugo, Dorian and Ada step in before the crisis gets out of control?

The sequel to The Starlight Watchmaker is particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 12+. 

Categories: Science Fiction, Dyslexia-friendly, Romance, Scavenger hunt

Published by Barrington Stoke (out now)

Interview with Lauren

Beauty and the Bin by Joanne O’Connell

Parents are humiliating – especially when they’re eco-warriors.

Laurie loves her family and she wants to join them in making the world a better place. But right now, she doesn’t want to fish food out of bins, she wants to wear a pair of ordinary tights and have the money to order a hot chocolate at the café after school.

When a competition comes to Silverdale High looking for the next generation of entrepreneurs, Laurie finds herself unexpectedly in the spotlight. The homemade beauty remedies and potions that she has been posting online are stealing the show, and the most popular girl in the school wants to team up for the win. It seems like Laurie can achieve normality – and even popularity – at last. But will her eco-warrior family accept that she no longer wants to be part of their close-knit gang, and can she find success and glory without losing sight of her true self?

Joanne O’Connell’s Beauty and the Bin is a fresh and funny debut about friends, family, school and being a young eco-warrior.

Categories: Middle Grade, Beauty, Activism

Published by Macmillan (out now)

Kat Wolfe on Thin Ice by Lauren St. John

The Wolfe Pet Sitting Agency returns to unravel another mystery–and this time, it’s a slippery slope for our heroes and their newfound husky-dog sidekicks! Kat Wolfe on Thin Ice is the third book in the middle-grade series about animals and friendship from award-winning author Lauren St. John.

Best friends Kat Wolfe and her American sidekick Harper Lamb can’t wait to travel from England to join their parents on a winter vacation in a mountain cabin in the Catskill Mountains. But a series of misadventures leave them alone in the wilderness with eight huskies.

When Kat discovers that an argument she witnessed in New York City holds the key to a major crime, she’s certain that it won’t be long until the killers come looking for her. With a snow storm moving in and no way out, detectives Wolfe & Lamb will need the help of some exotic animals if they’re to survive. 

Categories: Middle Grade

Published by Macmillan Children’s Books (out now)

How to Save the World with a Chicken and an Egg by Emma Shevah

High-spirited Ivy believes she can talk to animals, while Nathaniel, a boarding schoolboy, is obsessed with animal facts. They come together unexpectedly on a cold English beach with the arrival of a rare and wondrous sea creature: a giant leatherback turtle who lays her eggs in front of the world’s media. Soon they’re on a mission to make a difference to the world – even if that’s one animal at a time.

Categories: Middle Grade, Modern families, Diversity

Published by Chicken House (April 2021)

Melt by Ele Fountain

United by greed and self-interest. But not their own. A boy lives in a remote, snow-bound village with his elderly grandmother. Their traditional way of life is threatened by the changing snow and ice: it melts faster every year. When the sea-ice collapses while he is out hunting, he only just escapes with his life and is left stranded in the Arctic tundra. Meanwhile a girl is trying to adapt to another new school. Her father promises his new job at an oil company will mean they never have to move again, but not long after, his behaviour becomes odd and secretive. When their fates take a drastic turn the girl’s world collides with the boy’s and they find themselves together in a desperate search for survival, and for the truth.

Categories: Middle Grade, Contemporary, Adventure

Published by Pushkin Press (April 2021)

Hope Jones Saves the World by Josh Lacey and Beatriz Castro (Illustrator)

My name is Hope Jones. I am ten years old. I am going to save the world.

Hope Jones’ New Year’s resolution is to give up plastic, and she’s inspiring others to do the same with her website hopejonessavestheworld.com. When she realises her local supermarket seems to stock more unnecessary plastic than food, she makes it her mission to do something about it. She may be just one ten-year-old with a homemade banner, but with enough determination, maybe Hope Jones really can save the world. 

Categories: Middle Grade, Activism, pollution

Published by Anderson Press (out now)

Sky Dancer by Gill Lewis

Joe has always loved the moorlands above his home: the wildness, the freedom, the peace. But since his father died, everything has changed, and the moors are no longer a place of refuge. Now the whole community is divided over the fate of the hen harriers that nest up there in the heather – and Joe is stuck right in the middle, with a choice to make, and a huge secret to keep. Joe can’t do what’s right for everyone. But can he find the strength to fight for what he really believes in? Expert storyteller Gill Lewis presents a beautiful tale of loss, expectation, and change – with an important and thought-provoking environmental message. 

Categories: Middle Grade, Activism, Animals

Published by Oxford University Press (out now)

A Cloud Called Bhura: Climate Champions to the Rescue by Bijal Vachharajani

A story about four friends, a city in need of help, a bunch of clueless groan-ups and a very angry, very brown and very dangerous cloud.

Amni wakes up one morning to find the sky taken over by a huge brown cloud. Where did this cloud appear from suddenly? Even as she and her friends Mithil, Tammy and Andrew start finding out more, their city of Mumbai starts reeling from the changes the cloud brings to the weather. Bhura Cloudus, as the media calls it, contains noxious gases, causes scalding rain to fall, makes birds flee the city, and suffocates every living thing.

What will Mota Bhai, the powerful politician, do now? Can Vidisha and Bidisha, the scientist twins, find a solution? And what about superstar Pavan Kumar and the amazing cloud-sucking machine? Can Bhura ever be driven away, or is it already too late?

Thought-provoking, funny and inspiring, A Cloud Called Bhura is about the changing global climate and the havoc it can cause, as well as the forces of friendship, trust and community that give hope and will help counter this deadly threat to humanity.

Categories: Middle Grade, Activism

Published by Speaking Tiger (out now)

Burning Sunlight by Anthea Simmons

Zaynab is from Somaliland, a country that doesn’t exist because of politics and may soon be no more than a desert. Lucas is from rural Devon, which might as well be a world away. When they meet, they discover a common cause: the climate crisis. Together they overcome their differences to build a Fridays For Future group at their school and fight for their right to protest and make a real impact on the local community. But when Zaynab uncovers a plot which could destroy the environment and people’s lives back home in Somaliland, she will stop at nothing to expose it. Lucas must decide if he is with her or against her – even if Zaynab’s actions may prove dangerous…

Categories: Middle Grade, Politics, Activism

Published by Anderson Press (April 2021)

The Ballad of Tubs Marshfield by Cara Hoffman

There’s no other place Tubs Marshfield would rather be than singing a song in his perfect little swamp along the Louisiana bayou. His music can make anyone feel happy.

But something terrible is happening within the swamp that even Tubs’ songs can’t fix—and it’s making his neighbors feel sick! No one knows what to do, least of all Tubs.

A mysterious prophecy may hold the key…or send Tubs away from his friends forever.

Categories: Middle Grade, Music, Pollution

Published by HarperCollins (out now)

The Last Bear by Hannah Gold

There are no polar bears left on Bear Island. At least, that’s what April’s father tells her when his scientific research takes them to this remote Arctic outpost for six months. But one endless summer night, April meets one. He is starving, lonely and a long way from home. Determined to save him, April begins the most important journey of her life…

This moving story will win the hearts of children the world over and show them that no one is too young or insignificant to make a difference. The Last Bear is a celebration of the love between a child and an animal, a battle cry for our world and an irresistible adventure with a heart as big as a bear’s.

Categories: Middle Grade, Animals

Published by HarperCollins (out now)

Tiger Skin Rug by Joan Haig

Tiger Skin Rug is the story of two boys who move from India to Scotland. All they want is to go home. But that’s before the tiger skin rug in their new house comes to life… Can they help the tiger keep an old promise? Will it take them back to India? And who might be trying to stop them?

Categories: Middle Grade, contemporary, magical realism, environmental destruction

Published by Cranachan Publishing; Templar/Bonnier (out now)

Dreaming the Bear by Mimi Thebo

“When I get up, there’s nobody home. Even Mum has gone out. The note says, ‘I have to check my emails. I’ll snowmobile to the meltline and be back soon. XX Mummy’.
And I think, ‘Good. I can feed my bear…'”

Darcy’s life was never exactly simple, but it was about to become a lot more complicated.
Recovering from a distressing illness in her parents’ cabin surrounded by looming pine trees, Darcy spends most of her days alone, warming herself by the log fire. That is, until she ventures into the woods hours before a heavy snowstorm, and finds herself face-to-face with a grizzly bear. Their encounter takes a surprising turn when it flourishes into a warm and caring companionship.

Set against the backdrop of the snowy Yellowstone National Park in Montana. 

Categories: Middle Grade, survival, nature, animals

Published by Oxford University Press (out now)

Effie the Rebel by Laura Wood

Effie is changing the world, one classroom at a time.
Dark forces are at work at Highworth Grange school: the student council has been taken over by a tyrannical villain with his own agenda. But Effie Kostas isn’t about to stand by and watch democracy crumble! She’s leading the resistance – but politics can be a dirty game and Effie will need to keep her wits about her as she faces down the enemy. With the help of her brilliant band of misfit friends, a bad-tempered parrot, and a former nemesis, can Effie save the school she loves before it’s too late?

Categories: Middle Grade, Environmental activism, Politics

Published by Scholastic (out now)

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