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7 Fall Middle-Grade Must Reads

Make this back-to-school season the best one yet with these seven middle-grade reads!

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1. Kalifus Rising: Legends of Orkney by Alane Adams

Sam Baron just freed the land of Orkney, but now he’s imprisoned by the leader of the Volgrim witches. The dark side of his half-god, half-witch heritage is coming to the surface and he fears he might destroy everything he worked to save. Unable to combat the witches’ charms, Sam becomes their most powerful weapon. His three best friends and an artifact called the Moon Pearl are Sam’s only hopes. The three embark on separate journeys to defeat the witches and rescue Sam. But as his friends rush to save him, other Orkney powers are operating, ones that could save Sam or trap him forever.

2. Operation Tenley by Jennifer Gooch Hummer

Tenley Tylwyth is an Elemental Teen with the power to produce weather. The only problem is that Elemental Teens make Mother Nature furious and she’s vowed to get rid of them once and for all. Fair Ones are the protectors of Elemental Teens and have created the perfect plan to keep kids like Tenley safe from Mother Nature. Pennie, a rookie Fair One, has let Tenley use her powers too often and is now forced to go to Earth to stop her in person. Pennie has 48 hours to get Tenley to stop controlling the weather but Mother Nature uses this as an opportunity to strike.

3. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

Catrina and her family are moving to northern California, a decision she’s not happy about. But Maya, her little sister, has cystic fibrosis and the cooler air and sea views will be a nice change for her. As the sisters explore the new scenery, they learn that there are ghosts in their new hometown of Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one but Cat wants nothing to do with ghosts. As the time of year approaches when the ghosts reunite with loved ones, Cat must learn to push fear aside for her sister – and for herself.

4. The Last Kids on Earth and the Zombie Parade by Max Brallier and Douglas Holgate

The zombies are vanishing, which seems like a good thing. But human kid Jack Sullivan is not convinced. He keeps hearing a shrieking sound that seems to be summoning the zombies, but why? As some of the last people on earth, Jack and his three best friends (and their pet monster Rover) are determined to get to the bottom of this before they’re the ones that start to vanish.

5. The Evil Wizard Smallbone by Delia Sherman

When twelve-year-old Nick runs away from his uncle’s home during a blizzard, he stumbles into an old bookstore. The owner is the self-proclaimed Evil Wizard Smallbone and he declares Nick his apprentice and refuses to let the stray boy leave. The bookstore takes charge of Nick’s magic education just in time because Smallbone’s nemesis -Evil Wizard Fidelou- and his pack of shape shifters are near. In a story full of laughter and heart, Nick learns he has a knack for magic and that nothing is impossible.

6. The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart by Lauren DeStefano

Lionel is wild and does not enjoy being around people. He’d much rather be a wolf stalking in the woods or a purring cat. Marybeth doesn’t like being told what to do but she's kind to everyone at the orphanage, Lionel most of all. Lionel and Marybeth are the best of friends. When a blue spirit possesses Marybeth, they are determined to find a way to stop it before Marybeth is lost forever.

7. The Littlest Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner

Twelve-year-old Alice Mayfair slips through life unseen. When she’s shipped off to her eighth boarding school, all she wishes for is a friend. When she rescues Millie Maximus from drowning in a lake one day, her wish comes true. But Millie is a Bigfoot and most Bigfoots believe people, NoFurs, are dangerous. Millie is fascinated with NoFurs and is convinced they would love all the things that make her stand out from her pack: her singing voice, her fearless attitude and her desire to be a big star. Alice promises to protect Millie’s secret and soon they’re forced to put faith and trust into each other when a when a league of Bigfoot hunters is on their trail.

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