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!

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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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