It’s January, and that means looking forward to all of the highly anticipated books that are being released in the coming months… including those for your middle-grade reader. This is an especially important time to get your child immersed in reading, since a lifelong passion for books often blossoms in the tween years. Whether your child’s tastes lean toward sci-fi, mystery, humor, the classics, or stories based on real world experiences, we promise your tween will find something to love on this list.
Here are some of the most anticipated books of early 2017 for middle-grade readers:
“The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner and Other Stories” by Terry Pratchett
(January 3, 2017)
A follow-up to the widely popular “Dragons at Crumbling Castle,” “The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner” is a hilarious collection of short stories perfect for the middle-grade reader. Magic, wizardry, outer space, and the wild west collide for a charming array of soon-to-be cherished tales.
“Short” by Holly Goldberg Sloan
(January 31, 2017)
Read along as the height-deprived Julia grows into herself while playing a Munchkin in a local production of “Wizard of Oz.” “Short” from Holly Goldberg Sloan tells the story of a girl who desperately tries to stay in the background, but soon relishes the spotlight as she learns to love herself and all her self-perceived “shortcomings.”
“Sci-Fi Junior High” by John Martin and Scott Seegert
(February 21, 2017)
James Patterson presents an out-of-this-world illustrated space adventure for middle school readers. Visit Sci-Fi Junior High, an intergalactic space station for alien students from all planets.
“The Beast Is an Animal” by Peternelle van Arsdale
(February 28, 2017)
Alys must use her hidden talents to save her village from the soul eaters and the darkness that threatens to consume all that she knows. A dark, mysterious middle-grade book for older elementary readers who love paranormal and magic tales.
“The Width of the World (Vega Jane, Book 3)” by David Baldacci
(February 28, 2017)
Beloved author David Baldacci delivers a shockwave of destruction and shattering revelations in “The Width of the World,” book three in his global bestselling Vega Jane series. A female protagonist you’ll never forget, Vega Jane will steal your heart.
“Middle School: Escape to Australia” by James Patterson
(March 6, 2017)
Head to the dangerous wilds down under in James Patterson’s newest middle-grade installment “Middle School: Escape to Australia.” Rafe continues the “otter” destruction after winning the school’s art competition and a trip to the outback.
“Strange the Dreamer” by Laini Taylor
(March 28, 2017)
National Book Award finalist and “New York Times” bestselling author Laini Taylor brings a new epic fantasy novel to middle-grade readers. In “Strange the Dreamer,” the dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around… and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly.
“Jack and the Geniuses: At the Bottom of the World” by Bill Nye and Gregory Mone
(April 4, 2017)
Middle schoolers embark on a scientific adventure with bestselling authors Bill Nye and Gregory Mone in “Jack and the Geniuses: At the Bottom of the World.” In this series opener, meet Jack and his foster siblings… geniuses who travel to Antarctica for a science competition and an unexpected mystery that only they can solve.
“Alex and Eliza: A Love Story” by Melissa de la Cruz
(April 11, 2017)
Albany, New York, 1777. A love story unfolds between young Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler. Set to the backdrop of the American Revolution, can Alex and Eliza’s love endure the atrocities of war and stand the test of time?
“Fair Ball” by Derek Jeter
(April 18, 2017)
Inspired by Derek Jeter’s own life, “Fair Ball” is the fourth middle-grade novel in the “New York Times” bestselling Jeter Publishing Program and focuses on the theme “the world isn’t always fair.”