Tag Archives: middle grade fiction

Authors We Love: Avi

Hopefully Avi is an author familiar to some of you. Christie went through a phase in fourth grade in which she had to read every single Avi book in the library and then made her mom take her to the bookstore to buy more.
It was also during this year that she read The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle three times. This 1991 Newbery Award Honoree was recently praised by a young patron as “one of the best books ever. Everyone should read this book.”

Avi isthe author of more than 70 books for children and young adults. He received the Newbery Medal in 2003 for Crispin: The Cross of Lead .

Other young patrons recommend the Poppy books beginning with book 1: Ragweed which chronicles the adventures of a country mouse that leaves home to see the world.


If You Like Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Read all of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books? Looking for something new to read?

Try one of these suggestions.

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger (J FIC ANG)

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell (J FIC COW)

Dear Dumb Diary Series by Jim Benton (J FIC BEN)

Popularity Papers by Amy Ignatow (J FIC IGN)

Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce (J FIC PEI)

Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson (J FIC PAT)

Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell (J FIC RUS)

Wayside School books by Jerry Spinelli (J FIC SPI)

Vordak the Incomprehensible by Vordak T. Incomprehensible (J FIC SEE)

Justin Case by Rachel Vail (J FIC VAI)

Hank Zipzer by Henry Winkler (J FIC WIN)

Great Summer Reads: Three Times Lucky

Can you believe it is almost the end of July? Neither can we. July brings good news though – we have new books! One of the books we have been waiting impatiently for is Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage. Here is what Christie has to say about the book:

Mo Lobeau is one funny and sassy gal. Just when she thinks her summer is going to be easy as pie, a fancy pants detective from Winston Salem rides into town just as poor Mr. Jesse ends up dead. How could I not fall in love with this hilarious group of characters (including Mo’s best friend Dale Earnhardt Johnson III and his dog Queen Elizabeth II)? This mystery/ adventure is the perfect middle grade read especially for Carolinians.

Just a few more weeks of Summer Reading, so come by and check out some brand new books!

Authors We Love: Tom Angleberger

Authors We Love is a new series of blog posts that features not just one book but authors we recommend because we love all of their books. This week we picked Tom Angleberger, who absolutely rocks. Christie once met him at a library conference and reports that he was super nice and gave her a Darth Paper.

More importantly his books are awesome. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and Darth Paper Strikes Back both fly off the shelves. This series is great for Star Wars fans and is on our list of books to read if you like Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney. We recommend these funny books for ages 9 and up. Look for more books by Mr. Angleberger later this summer including The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee!

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

In this funny, uncannily wise portrait of the dynamics of a sixth-grade class and of the greatness that sometimes comes in unlikely packages, Dwight, a loser, talks to his classmates via an origami finger puppet of Yoda. If that weren’t strange enough, the puppet is uncannily wise and prescient. Origami Yoda predicts the date of a pop quiz, guesses who stole the classroom Shakespeare bust, and saves a classmate from popularity-crushing embarrassment with some well-timed advice. Dwight’s classmate Tommy wonders how Yoda can be so smart when Dwight himself is so clueless. With contributions from his puzzled classmates, he assembles the case file that forms this novel. (from Abrams Books)

Darth Paper Strikes Back

It is a dark time at Ralph McQuarrie Middle School. After suffering several Origami Yoda–related humiliations, Harvey manages to get Dwight suspended from school for being a “troublemaker.” Origami Yoda pleads with Tommy and Kellen to save Dwight by making a new case file—one that will show how Dwight’s presence benefits McQuarrie. With the help of their friends, Tommy and Kellen record cases such as “Origami Yoda and the Pre-eaten Wiener,” “Origami Yoda and the Exploding Pizza Bagels,” and “Origami Yoda and Wonderland: The Musical.” But Harvey and his Darth Paper puppet have a secret plan that could make Dwight’s suspension permanent . (from Abrams Books)

The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee

With Dwight attending Tippett Academy this semester, the kids of McQuarrie Middle School are on their own—no Origami Yoda to give advice and help them navigate the treacherous waters of middle school. Then Sara gets a gift she says is from Dwight—a paper fortune-teller in the form of Chewbacca. It’s a Fortune Wookiee, and it seems to give advice that’s just as good as Yoda’s—even if, in the hands of the girls, it seems too preoccupied with romance. In the meantime, Dwight is fitting in a little too well at Tippett. Has the unimaginable happened? Has Dwight become normal? It’s up to his old friends at McQuarrie to remind their kooky friend that it’s in his weirdness that his greatness lies. (from Abrams Books)

Horton Halfpot: Or, the Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor; Or, the Loosening of M’lady’ Luggertuck’s Corset

Tom Angleberger’s latest, loopiest middle-grade novel begins when M’Lady Luggertuck loosens her corset (it’s never been loosened before!), thereby setting off a chain of events in which all the strict rules of Smugwick Manor are abandoned. When, as a result of “the Loosening,” the precious family heirloom, the Luggertuck Lump (quite literally a lump), goes missing, the Luggertucks look for someone to blame. Is it Horton Halfpott, the good-natured but lowly kitchen boy who can’t tell a lie? Or one of the many colorful cast members in this silly romp of a mystery. (from Abrams Books)

Fake Mustache: Or, How Jodie O’Rodeo and Her Wonder Horse (and Some Nerdy Kid) Saved the U.S. Presidential Election from a Mad Genius Criminal Mastermind

Regular kid Lenny Flem Jr. is the only one standing between his evil-genius best friend—Casper, a master of disguise and hypnosis—and world domination. It all begins when Casper spends money from his granny on a spectacularly convincing fake mustache, the Heidelberg Handlebar #7. With it he’s able rob banks, amass a vast fortune, and run for president. Is Lenny the only one who can see through his disguise? And will he be able to stop Casper from taking over the world? (from Abrams Books)

If You Like Percy Jackson

Have you finished all the Percy Jackson Books? Don’t know what to read next?

Try some of these suggestions if you liked Percy Jackson.

Keys to the Kingdom by Garth Nix (J FIC NIX)

Clockwork Dark Trilogy by John Claude Bemis (J FIC BEM)

Gods of Manhattan by Scott Mebus (J FIC MEB)

Children of the Lamp (J FIC KER)

The Pandora Series by Carolyn Hennesy (J FIC HEN)

The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh (J FIC MAR)

The Oracles of Delphi Keep by Victoria Laurie (J FIC LAU)

The Jaguar Stones by J&P Voelkel (J FIC VOE)

J & P Voelkel

We are very excited to have J & P Voelkel visiting us tomorrow, Wednesday, March 20th at 4:00,  to talk about their series The Jaguar Stones.   They will be talking in the Holmes meeting room.  Both the 11 and up book club (Insert Book Here) and the boy’s book club (Awesomeness) read the first book in their series, Middleworld, in preparation for the event. Insert Book Here made jewelry based on the Mayan symbols  representing their birthdays.   Awesomeness played a modified version of the Mayan ball game, Pitz.

Here is a synopsis of the first book in The Jaguar Stones series, Middleworld,  from the Voelkel’s website:

Fourteen-year-old Max Murphy, video-gamer extraordinaire, is furious when his archaeologist parents cancel the family vacation to go on a dig in Central America. But things go from bad to worse when Max is summoned to join them, only to discover that his parents have vanished. With the help of Lola, a fast-talking, quick-thinking Maya girl, Max embarks on a quest to find out just what’s going on. Soon Max and Lola are running for their lives in the perilous rainforest, as they unlock ancient secrets, meet mysterious strangers, and begin to understand that, in San Xavier, nothing is ever as it seems.

Fate has delivered a challenge of epic proportions to Max Murphy. But can a teen whose biggest talent is for video games rescue his  parents from the Maya Underworld and save himself from the villainous Lords of Death?

Final Preparations are underway. We’ll share photos and details of the event soon. We hear they might be bringing us fried mealworms to try!