Is your bookworm tween looking for their next great read? Or is your child more of a reluctant reader that needs an extraordinary plot that will capture their attention? Either way, we share our top five favorite middle grade reads published in 2021. From magical muses and friendship to historical fiction and team spirit, your tween is sure to find a book they will enjoy.
Bea is for Blended by Lindsey Stoddard
It has always been Bea, her mom, and her grandma. The three Embers women taking on life together. Until Wendell and his three sons and several pets come along. Now that Wendall and her mom are married and expecting a new baby, they are blending their families into one household. Which means she has to live with Bryce, a bully-follower from her grade.
In Bea and Bryce's small town, they don't have enough kids to have both a boy's and girl's soccer team, so the girls can play on the boys team but previously the coach never gave them any playing time. This year that all changes. With two new girls in Bea's class who love soccer as much as she does, they finally have 11 players to make a team. Can Bea and her friends convince the school to give them a team and let them play in a real league?
In this heartwarming story about a young girl standing up for what she believes in and learning that people are not just one label, Bea's story will having you feeling all the feels until the very last page.
Tips for Magicians by Celesta Rimington
When Harrison's mom passes away suddenly and his dad decides to take a job on the road, Harrison is left only with his card tricks, his aunt, and his memories. His mom was a famous singer who performed all over the world and his dad was her manager. While his dad is working, Harrison is living with his aunt Maggie in Muse, Utah.
Muse is know for it's beautiful landscapes and an annual art contest, judged by the muse, a magical entity the citizens believed granted wishes to the winner. But the muse has been missing for the last several years. With the help from his new friends, Chloe and Marco, Harrison is determined to bring back the muse and get his wish granted.
This story may bring a few tears as well as joy and laughter as you soar through this story with a loveable cast of characters.
Soul Lanterns by Shaw Kuzki
Twenty-five years after the atomic bomb changed the landscape and the people of Hiroshima, Nozomi is curiosity of what her family's experience of that day was really like. Nozomi and her friend, Shun, come up with a creative way to share their loved one's experiences. Her and her classmates turn the painful and passionate stories from the flash into works of art.
This is an honest retelling of what happened on August 6, 1945 and does contain scenes that may be triggering for those not yet ready to explore this piece of history.
Truly Tyler by Terri Libenson
Part of the Emmie & Friends series, this title features middle school from Tyler and Emmie's perspectives.
Tyler and Emmie decide to pair up to complete their comic book assignment in art class and plan to submit it to the school showcase. They both enjoy drawing and have high hopes of winning first prize.
But when Tyler's basketball practice cuts into working with Emmie on the project and Emmie is the target of a mean photo floating around school, will they ever get their comic book finished?
This graphic novel is a great read for kids who need a fast pace storyline. The author weaves Tyler and Emmie's comic book through out so readers can see the project unfold.
It All Begins with Jelly Beans by Nova Weetman
Meg wears slippers and the same faded t-shirt to school everyday. Most of her time is spent in the nurse's office with her trusted paper bag, in case she has trouble breathing, as it has been hard for her and her mom since her dad passed away.
Riley has to keep her fanny pack on her to carry her test supplies because of her type 1 diabetes. She hates that people treat her different and would rather avoid the nurse's office at all cost.
But when Riley and Meg find themselves in the nurse's office together, will this be the start to a loyal friendship or the start to lifelong enemies? Set in Australia and told in alternating perspectives between the two girls, the reader will join these relatable characters as they navigate school, struggles with parents, and what it means to be a true friend.