March Break reading recommendations for middle graders

March Break reading recommendations for middle graders

Looking for something new to read over March Break??? We have you covered with this list of amazing new Middle Grade book releases from 2024. These include a number of diverse characters and abilities and are geared towards readers aged 8-12 years. A staff-created list with even more of our recent favorites can be found on our online catalogue.

Book cover image of Bird Brain

Local Author: Bird Brain by Joanne Levy

A fun, heartwarming and important middle grade book written by an award-winning Huron County author about the importance of standing up to bullies and the power of believing in the unknown. In this story we get to know Arden, a Jewish, science loving girl who dreams of having a pet of her own. Unfortunately for her the pet she gets isn’t the one she was expecting. When her Uncle Eli goes on a six month trip, Arden is tasked with helping care for his African Grey Parrot, Ludwig. Highly recommended for anyone experiencing bullying of their own, struggling with anxiety or anyone who just wants to learn more cool facts about birds!

Place a hold online…


Book cover image of Maya Plays the Part

Autism representation: Maya Plays the Part by Calyssa Erb

A fantastic #ownvoices middle grade debut by a Canadian author featuring Maya, a theatre-loving autistic girl who struggles with controlling her emotions and being a good friend. This story revolves around Maya’s time at a summer theatre camp where she makes new friends, experiences disappointments and learns there’s more to theatre than being the star of the show. 

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Book cover image of Paige Not Found

Autism Representation: Paige Not Found by Jen Wilde

An #ownvoices autism adventure story that examines consent and privacy in a way that books have not had to before this generation where everything is online.

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Book cover image of Dancing in the Storm

Disability/Chronic Illness representation: Dancing in the Storm by Amie Darnell Specht and Shannon Hitchcock

In the tradition of Out of My Mind and Rules, and inspired by the co-author’s own life, this is a heartfelt, candid, and illuminating story of a girl learning to live fully with a rare genetic disorder: Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva. This book has great disability rep and explores so many relatable aspects of coming to terms with living with a condition that affects mobility and can get progressively worse as well as the ways it affects other family members too.

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Book cover image of Gut Reaction

Disability/Chronic Illness representation: Gut Reaction by Kirby Larson and Quinn Wyatt

A heartfelt #ownvoices story that explores what living with a chronic illness (Crohn’s disease) is like. Tess Medina loves to bake but as she prepares to enter the Jubilee Flour Junior Baker West Coast competition, the pain in her stomach gets worse and worse, and, soon, she finds that she’s avoiding so many foods that she’s barely eating. When the physical pain becomes too great, Tess will be forced to confront everything she has been trying so desperately to hide.

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Book cover image of Free Period

Activism: Free Period by Ali Terese

A fabulous middle grade debut about best friends, Gracie and Helen and their big-hearted yet misguided antics trying to spearhead a period equity campaign at their school only to come up against obstacle after obstacle. Recommended for fans of books like Judy Blume’s Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret.

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Book cover image of Deep Water

Novel in Verse: Deep Water by Jamie Sumner

An impactful, gripping middle grade novel in verse from acclaimed author Jamie Sumner that spans one girl’s marathon swim over 12 miles and six hours, calling her mom back home with every stroke.

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Book cover image of Just Shy of Ordinary

LGBTQ2S+: Just Shy of Ordinary by A.J. Sass

In this heartfelt novel about family, friendship, and identity perfect for fans of The List of Things That Will Not Change and Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World, a 13-year-old non-binary kid discovers that life doesn’t always go according to plan—especially when they start public school for the first time.

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Book cover image of Winnie Nash is Not Your Sunshine

LGBTQ2S+: Winnie Nash is Not Your Sunshine by Nicole Melleby

In this powerful new novel by award-winning author Nicole Melleby, gay 12-year-old Winnie Nash is forced to live with her grandma for the summer and finds herself torn between hiding her sexuality and the joy of celebrating Pride.

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Book cover image of Drawing Deena

BIPOC Books: Drawing Deena by Hena Khan

From the award-winning author of Amina’s Voice and Amina’s Song comes a tender-hearted middle grade novel about a young Pakistani American artist determined to manage her anxiety and forge her own creative path.

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Book cover image of Finally Heard

BIPOC books: Finally Heard by Kelly Yang

From the bestselling author of Front Desk comes the sequel to Finally Seen in which Lina struggles to separate fact from fiction on social media. As Lina descends deeper and deeper into social media, it will take all her strength to break free from the likes and find the courage to be her authentic self in this fast-paced world.

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Book cover image of Salma Joins the Team

BIPOC books: Salma Joins the Team by Danny Ramadan

Salma dreams of becoming a champion swimmer like her hero, Olympian Yusra Mardini. So when she signs up for her school’s swim club, it feels like her dreams could come true . . . until mean comments from older girls at the pool and women at her mosque spark body image and self-esteem issues. Salma receives criticism from her community over her wearing a traditional swimsuit that reveals her body (something against her cultural norm). But with the help of her close friends and family―the team that always has her back―Salma is ready to claim her place in the pool will still staying true to her Syrian culture and identity and Muslim religious traditions.

Place a hold online…


Spring Craft Swap

Spring Craft Swap

Calling all crafters! Love crafting and seeing others enjoy what you make? Join the Huron County Library Spring Craft Swap where you will be partnered with another crafter in Huron County! Make your partner a custom craft while they do the same for you! All crafting mediums are welcome – knitting, crocheting, sewing, candle making, pottery, scrapbooking, needlefelting, etc. The sky is the limit!

AGES: This program is open to crafters of all ages! Adult crafters will be partnered with a fellow adult crafter, and children will be partnered with children.

GUIDELINES: We ask that you craft TWO small items or ONE medium sized item.

  • Medium = A scarf, a wallet, a set of notecards (4), a reusable shopping bag
  • Small = A piece of jewelry, a bookmark, a washcloth, a facemask, a small candle

Please note that a library staff person will be in touch with you March 23 to 27 to assign your partner. You will have the entire month of April to craft. Please drop your completed craft off to your local Huron County Library branch between April 25-May 2 (or earlier). You will receive a notification from library staff when the craft from your partner is ready for pickup at your local branch. Watch for email reminders along the way so you don’t miss any of the deadlines listed below. Please ensure that crafts do not exceed the size of a standard tote box (28” x 17” x 15″).

*Should a partner not complete a craft, an alternate partner will be arranged. Should multiple partners not complete a craft, individuals may be paired with one another. Pre-completed crafts will be used in reassignments (no need to make an entirely new craft!).


Registration: March 1-22
Partner Assigned: March 23-27
Crafting: March 27-April 24
Craft Due: April 25-May 2

REGISTRATION: Huron County Library Spring Craft Swap | Huron County Connects (


Tiny Art Show returns to Clinton Branch

Tiny Art Show returns to Clinton Branch

Calling all artists of ALL abilities! The Clinton Branch‘s Tiny Art Show returns this spring and we invite you to join in on the creative fun! Pick up a 5” X 5” board from the branch to create your tiny artwork. Use your own art supplies to decorate your board using any medium you choose (paint, draw, decoupage, collage, sew, etc.).

The deadline for submissions is Friday, March 15, 2024. The Tiny Art Show opening will be held on March 23, 1 p.m. Artwork will be displayed in the library from March 23 to April 20, 2024. Tiny refreshments will be served.

Download an entry form and return to the Clinton Branch along with your piece by March 15. Entry forms are also available from the branch.

Art Show Rules:

  • One board per person or group. Available while supplies last.
  • No candles or electrical devices, including battery operated.
  • Objects, paper, and materials of any kind, except food, may be glued to the canvas, but artwork must remain 5” X 5” and must be able to hang flat against the wall.
  • Please write your name on the back of the canvas and include an arrow to show which way is the top.
  • Fill out the entire Tiny Art Show entry form and bring with you when you submit your art.
  • After the show opening on March 23, artwork will be displayed until April 20. Art must be picked up at the Circulation Desk by April 30. Please note, any artwork not picked up will become library property for use as we deem fit.
  • The Huron County Library reserves the right to refuse any work considered unsuitable and/or does not meet these guidelines. Or if it cannot be accommodated safely or comfortably within the library space.
  • By participating in the Clinton Branch Tiny Art Show, you agree to allow Huron County Library to publicly display and photograph your art for promotion and engagement.
National Indigenous History Month

National Indigenous History Month

June is National Indigenous History Month and staff have compiled a great list of recent releases by First Nations, Inuit and Métis authors from across North America that highlight the diversity of experiences and the common need for continued acts of reconciliation.

For more recommendations check out the list curated by Library staff here or ask us in the branches for more ideas.

Cover image of True North Rising

Memoir – True North Rising: My 50-year Journey with the Inuit and Dene Leaders who Transformed Canada’s North by Whit Fraser

In this captivating memoir, Whit Fraser weaves scenes from more than fifty years of reporting and living in the North with fascinating portraits of the Dene and Inuit activists who successfully overturned the colonial order and politically reshaped Canada—including his wife, Mary Simon, Canada’s first Indigenous Governor General.

Place a hold online…


Cover image of Truth Telling

Non-Fiction – Truth Telling: Seven Conversations About Indigenous Life in Canada by Michelle Good

A bold, provocative collection of essays exploring the historical and contemporary Indigenous experience in Canada that reveals facts about Indigenous life that are both devastating and enlightening. Essential reading for those looking to acknowledge the past and understand the way forward.

Place a hold online…


Cover image of Unbroken

Non-Fiction – Unbroken: My Fight for Survival, Hope and Justice for Indigenous Women and Girls by Angela Sterritt

A remarkable work of memoir and investigative journalism focusing on missing and murdered Indigenous women, written by an award-winning Gitxsan journalist who survived life on the streets against all odds.

Place a hold online…


Cover image of The Berry Pickers

Fiction – The Berry Pickers by Amanda Peters

A stunning debut by a vibrant new voice in fiction, The Berry Pickers is a riveting novel about the search for truth, the shadow of trauma and the persistence of love across time. This story follows one Mi’kmaq family from Nova Scotia that is haunted for decades after their youngest child mysteriously disappears one summer in 1962 when they’re visiting Maine to pick blueberries.

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Cover image of Grandmother Begins the Story

Fiction – Grandmother Begins the Story written by Michelle Porter

Award-winning author Michelle Porter makes her fiction debut with an enchanting and original story of the unrivaled desire for healing and the power of familial bonds across five generations of Métis women and the land and bison that surround them.

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Cover image of Funeral Songs for Dying Girls

Young Adult Fiction – Funeral Songs for Dying Girls by Cherie Dimaline

After inadvertently starting rumors of a haunted cemetery, a teen befriends a ghost in this brand-new young adult novel exploring Indigenous identity from the critically acclaimed and bestselling author of The Marrow Thieves series.

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Cover image of Indigenous Ingenuity

Juvenile Non-Fiction – Indigenous Ingenuity by Deidre Havrelock and Edward Kay; illustrated by Kalila Fuller

Spanning topics from transportation to civil engineering, hunting technologies, astronomy, brain surgery, architecture, and agriculture, Indigenous Ingenuity is a beautifully designed, interactive nonfiction work that celebrates North American Indigenous thinkers and inventions. Perfect for fans of Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer.  ​

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Cover image of Rabbit Chase

Juvenile Graphic Novel – Rabbit Chase by Elizabeth LaPensée; illustrated by KC Oster

Anishinaabe culture and storytelling meet Alice in Wonderland in this coming-of-age graphic novel that explores Indigenous and gender issues through a fresh yet familiar looking glass. This tale tells the story of Aimée, a non-binary Anishinaabe middle-schooler, who helps Trickster Rabbit track down dark water spirits and save the land from the Evil Queen.

Place a hold online…


Cover image of Smile so Big

Picture Book – Smile so Big by Sunshine Quem Tenasco; illustrated by Chief Lady Bird

This special story, from award-winning Anishinabe activist Sunshine Quem Tenasco and artist Chief Lady Bird, introduces readers to concepts of self-acceptance, self-empowerment, and recognition of the unique beauty that comes from within as a magical mirror helps a young girl understand her true beauty.

Place a hold online…

Celebrating Pride Month

Celebrating Pride Month

The Huron County Library is celebrating Pride Month by sharing valuable resources, participating in community events, and hosting activities in our branches.

Here is a round-up of what’s happening throughout June:

Huron County Pride Outreach: The Huron County Library is popping up at Huron County’s first Pride Festival! Find us on the Square in downtown Goderich on Saturday, June 10, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and take in the amazing activities happening throughout the day!

LGBTQ2S+ Resources for young people and their families: Library staff have put together a valuable resource guide to support young people and their families. The guide features links to online resources, books from our collection, local supports, and more.

Book Raffle: The Library is raffling off 10 LGBTQ2S+ books for a variety of ages (picture books, junior fiction, young adult, adult fiction, and adult non-fiction). Find ballots throughout the month of June at all 12 branches or visit us at the Huron Pride Festival.

Pride Panel Discussion: Join us on Tuesday, June 27 from 7-8 p.m., for a virtual discussion on the growing censorship of LGBTQ2S+ books. Registration required

LGBTQ2S+ Youth Gab Sessions: This is an opportunity for youth ages 16-25 to meet in a safe space for youth to discuss their LGBTQ2S+ experiences. This event runs the last Thursday of each month from 5-6 p.m. at the Goderich Branch. Registration required.

Rainbow Wands @ Goderich Branch: Make a rainbow wand on Saturday, June 10, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. to help celebrate Huron Pride’s first Pride Festival! Registration required

Evening Experts @ Goderich Branch: In celebration of Pride Month, we welcome speakers from Huron County Pride on Wednesday, June 21 starting at 6:30 speak about this grassroots LGBTQ2+ organization and more!

Origami Hearts @ Exeter Branch: Drop into the Exeter Branch through the month of June to help the library decorate the windows with origami hearts. Available during regular branch hours.

Blind Date with an LGBTQ2S+ Book @ Exeter Branch: The Exeter Branch is hosting Blind Date with an LGBTQ2S+ book throughout the month of June. 

    Ramadan Reading Guide

    Ramadan Reading Guide

    Help celebrate Ramadan with this guide featuring books by and about Muslims from diverse backgrounds and countries. The word ‘Ramadan’ refers to the name of the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It begins and ends with the appearance of the crescent moon. In 2023, the holy month is recognized from the evening of Wednesday, March 22, 2023 to the evening of Thursday, April 20, 2023 during which fasting is observed by Muslims all over the world. A staff-created list with even more of our recent favourites can on our online catalogue.

    Book cover for Evil Eye

    Fiction – Evil Eye by Etaf Rum

    The acclaimed New York Times bestselling Muslim author of A Woman Is No Man returns with a striking exploration of the expectations of Palestinian-American women, the meaning of a fulfilling life, and the ways our unresolved pasts affect our presents.

    Place a hold online…


    Book cover of Much Ado About Nada

    Fiction – Much Ado About Nada by Uzma Jalaluddin

    From the Toronto-based romance and women’s fiction author of Ayesha at last and Hana Khan carries on comes a new Jane Austen inspired second chance romance that celebrates the vibrancy of Toronto’s Muslim community.

    Place a hold online…


    Book cover of Brown Boy

    Memoir – Brown Boy by Omer Aziz

    A compelling memoir from a first-generation Pakistani-Muslim man who grew up on the outskirts of Toronto. Weaving together his powerful personal narrative with the books and friendships that move him, Aziz wrestles with the contradiction of feeling like an Other and his desire to belong to a Western world that never quite accepted him. 

    Place a hold online…


    Book cover of Halal Sex

    Non-Fiction – Halal Sex: The Intimate Lives of Muslim Women in North America by Sheima Benembarek

    An unprecedented glimpse into the sex lives of female and gender-expansive Muslims living across Canada and the United States as recounted to Moroccan Canadian journalist, Sheima Benembarek.

    Place a hold online…


    Book cover of Huda F are you?

    Graphic Novel/Memoir – Huda F are you? by Huda Fahmy

    From the creator of Yes, I’m Hot In This, comes a cheeky, hilarious, and honest graphic novel that asks the question everyone has to figure out for themselves: Who are you? From a Michigan based hijab wearing Muslim woman.

    Place a hold online…


    Book cover of The Next New Syrian Girl

    Young Adult Fiction – Next New Syrian Girl by Ream Shukairy

    A debut YA novel about the unlikely friendship between two very different Syrian girls, the pressures and expectations of the perfect Syrian daughter, and the repercussions of the Syrian Revolution both at home and abroad from a Syrian American Muslim author born and raised in California.

    Place a hold online…


    Book cover of Salma Makes a Home

    Middle Grade Fiction – Salma Makes a Home by Danny Ramadan; illustrated by Anna Bron

    Charming, creative Salma takes on big feelings with even bigger ideas as she navigates life in a new country, Syrian identity, family changes and new friendships in this engaging and heartfelt early chapter book series from an award-winning Syrian-Canadian author, activist and public speaker.

    Place a hold online… 

    Book cover of Moon's Ramadan

    Picture Book – Moon’s Ramadan by Natasha Khan Kazi

    In this debut picture book, an anthropomorphized moon smiles down on Muslims in different countries around the world as the month of Ramadan takes place. Beautifully illustrated, this book does a great job showcasing the diversity of the Muslim population and the different aspects of this Islamic holiday.

    Place a hold online…