May 1, 2018 Middle Grade Releases

Thanks to @Kidlitexchange network for the preview copies of these books. All opinions are our own.

Running on the Roof of the World  By Jess Butterworth                          (May 1st 2018 ~  Algonquin Young Readers)

IMG_5418Review and Picture by Akossiwa K.  originally on Instagram

After witnessing soldiers barging into her home and arresting her parents, Tash sets out to cross the border from Tibet into India with the hope that the Dalai Lama will help free them from prison.
I followed her though this dangerous and emotional journey in the Himalayas while learning plentiful of new things about her life and her culture. It’s a fast paced adventure and the constant worry about Tasha and Sam surviving the wild will keep you at the edge of your seat.
Having lived under dictatorship for a few decades myself, I could relate to some of the oppression Tasha’s community was subjected to, while others were new to me, but no less awful. I’m grateful this book brought me more knowledge about the conflict, social issues and human rights infringements happening in that corner of the globe. It’s one thing to know of it and another to know more about it. 📚📮
The children literature world can use more stories with similar setting and culture being told/published.

All Summer Long by Hope Larson
(May 1st 2018 ~ Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr))


Photo and Review by Danielle ~ Originally on Instagram @read.disrupt.repeat 

Alert: Best Graphic Novel I’ve Read All Year!
Bina and Austin have been best friends since… well, forever. Every summer, they keep track of their exploits in the Summer Fun Index, gaining points for the goofy things they do. But this summer, Austin is away at soccer camp, leaving Bina alone. What is she going to do without her best friend for an entire summer?!?!
When Bina stops binging TV shows and starts getting out in the neighborhood, she gains a new… friend?… and spends time developing her passion for music.
The story line itself is about finding your own path, which I enjoyed, but the way in which Hope Larson tells the story – all the little jokes and glimpses at family life – those are what I LOVED about this book. Often times I find middle grades graphic novels to be simplistic-but-cute or edge-of-YA-gritty, often sacrificing more complicated elements of fiction for the sake of the plot, but All Summer Long reads like a nuanced 6-7-8th grade novel everyone can relate to. I could not put this book down!

IMG_5875Our Nation’s Documents by The Editors of Time for Kids
(Time for Kids ~ May 1, 2018)

Photo and Review by Michelle ~ Originally on @everydayreadingclub on Instagram



What a great classroom and library resource! Our Nation’s Documents provides the full text of:

  • The Declaration of Independence
  • The U.S. Constitution
  • The Monroe Doctrine
  • The Emancipation Proclamation
  • The 14 Points Plan
  • The Economic Bill of Rights
  • The Truman Doctrine

PLUS easy to read, kid friendly explanations of each document. There is also a running commentary, texting style, throughout the book that is smart and insightful. These comments take the time to address issues such as: the 3/5 wording about enslaved people, votes for woman, and the electoral college. An excellent resource-highly recommended for all U.S. libraries and classrooms.

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty                             (May 1st 2018 ~ Random House)miscalculations

Photo and Review by Kate Olson ~ Originally on @littleloudlibrary on Instagram

⚡️What a heartwarming and unique middle school story! I loved reading about Lucy and her savant brain as she navigated the challenges of middle school, challenges that are daunting even for the most school-savvy tween. The math angle of this book is absolutely fabulous and while the setting is middle school, this book is appropriate all the way down through 4th grade (younger too, but reading level may be challenging – fine for a read aloud though!). As a dog lover, the pet shelter angle made my heart sing and there may just have been times that tears came to my eyes.
Highly recommend for all libraries and classrooms serving a middle grade audience! I had already pre-ordered this for my library and daughter based on the recommendations of another middle grade audience ~ can’t wait to share it with kids!

Evangeline of the Bayou by Jan Eldredge                                                      (May 1st 2018 ~ Balzer + Bray)

IMG_5876Photo and Review by Shannan A. ~ originally on @shannon.anicas on Instagram

Evangeline is destined for greatness as a descendant of a long line of great haunt huntresses.  However, her abilities don’t seem to want to kick in despite her approaching 13th birthday. If she reaches her birthday without these gifts, well that just can’t happen. Evangeline doesn’t want to think about the fact that Gran could be the last descendant of a long and glorious line of haunt huntresses. As adventures ensue, Evangeline does everything in her power to help Gran and discover her own place in the legacy. *** This a great story with a strong willed young lady trying to find her place in a legacy of haunt huntresses. Set in the bayous of Louisiana and eventually in New Orleans, I was prepared for tired tropes and stereotypical stories that many authors attempt when writing about the supernatural in the New Orleans area. I was very, very wrong. This book is genuine from page one.
While it feels like a slow start it is actually dropping clever Easter eggs in its early chapters. As the story develops it takes you on a beautiful ride from the back bayous to New Orleans 2 hours and twenty-three minutes down the road. The story is as lush as velvet in its description of the surroundings of this tale of self-discovery and fortitude.
Evangeline is a great heroine with faults, but great grit, in her quest to help her Gran with her task.  I couldn’t put it down! I highly recommend this beautiful story. Ages 8-12.

Polly Diamond and the Magic Book by Alice Kuipers
(Chronicle Books ~ May 1, 2018)

Review and Photo by Kate Olson originally on Good Reads


This is a sweet and magical story that is perfect for grades K-2 – it’s intended for a young audience and would be a great read aloud for kiddos just starting to be ready for them, as well as a great beginning chapter book. The illustrations are adorable and I love the illustrations and lists sprinkled throughout the book. This looks to be a promising start to a new series.

Highly recommended for the early chapter book readers of the world, and for grade 1 and 2 classrooms and libraries!

The Forgotten Lands by Jennifer Strain           IMG_5901 (1)
(Mascot Books ~ May 1st 2018)

Photo and Review by Savannah W. ~ originally on Instagram   @savannahsmilesubam

📚Thanks to author Jennifer Strain @jenniferstrain for the review copy of The Forgotten Lands Book 1- Dragon Island and advance copy of Book 2- Stormy Mountain @theforgottenlands_books ~ Illustrated by Chiara Civati @chiara.civa ~All reviews are my own. Follow #kidlitexchange to read more reviews.❤ ⭐The main character Sadie finds some curious items in the attic that belong to her grandfather. She soon discovers they come from a secret world that you enter using a magical map and golden apple seeds! Both stories take place on the family apple orchard and the adventures include her cousins Finn and Nora. ⭐In Dragon Island (released Jan 2018) they help a King and Queen get rid of a dragon who is eating up the books in the royal library! I won’t spoil the ending but at one point they get crafty and you learn how to make your own paint! ⭐In Stormy Mountain (releasing May 2018!) they head back to the forgotten lands to help some colorful Sprites (they remind me of Rainbow Brite!) fix their weather machine. You will pick up weather vocabulary and learn about weather tools such as a Galileo thermometer and barometer as they solve the problem! ⭐These lighthearted adventures are a combination of Magic Tree House and Saturday morning cartoons. There is a focus on family, friendship, teamwork, problem solving, and knowledge through literacy. With a bits of adventure, humor, and magic- you finish the story with a smile and hope for more. ⭐

The Alcatraz Escape, (Book Scavenger #3) by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
(Henry Holt and Co ~ May 1, 2018)   IMG_5924

Photo and Review by Kirsten B. originally on Instagram @fourthgradetales 

Emily and Jamie are back at it again with a new book and a new mystery to solve! Book Scavenger has some amazing tricks and puzzles but this newest one, Unlock the Rock, is sure to be intense! Emily, Jamie, Matthew, and their friends head to Alcatraz to solve the newest puzzle. A mysterious and well known author, Errol Ray has teamed up with Mr. Griswold to form this escape room challenge! Will Emily, Jamie, and their friends be able to solve this mystery? Read to find out! ***** I adore this series by @jabertie and am so excited to see another installment! I’m a huge fan of puzzles and this one was full of ones to crack! This is sure to be a hit with my fourth graders.

Reviews coming soon for this new release on #kidlitexchange!               

Out of Left Field by Ellen Klages
(May 1st 2018 ~ Viking Books for Young Readers)




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