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Best Middle-Grade of 2018 From Kirkus Reviews







Best of List season continues! Kirkus Reviews just released their list of the Best Middle Grade Books of 2018 today! Check out this wonderful list below, separated into the following categories by Kirkus.


  • The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson (Scholastic)
  • The Turnaway Girls by Hayley Chewins (Candlewick)
  • Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi (Rick Riordan Presents/Disney)
  • A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano (Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins)
  • The Language of Spells by Garret Weyr, Illus. Katie Harnett (Chronicle)


 Mystery & Suspense 

  • Small Spaces by Katherine Arden (Putnam)
  • The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins)
  • The Ghost Road by Charis Cotter (Tundra)
  • Otherwood by Pete Hautman (Candlewick)
  • The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson (Levine/Scholastic)


 Graphic Novels

  • Akissi: Tales of Mischief by Marguerite Abouet, Illus. Mathieu Sapin, Trans. Judith Taboy & Marie Bédrune (Flying Eye Books)
  • Sanity & Tallulah by Molly Brooks (Disney-Hyperion)
  • Illegal by Eoin Colfer & Andrew Donkin, Illus. Giovanni Rigano (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky)
  • Zenobia by Morten Dürr, Illus. Lars Horneman (Triangle Square Books for Young Readers)
  • Fake Blood by Whitney Gardner (Simon & Schuster)
  • The Dragon Slayer: Folktales from Latin America by Jamie Hernandez (TOON Books & Graphics)
  • All Summer Long by Hope Larson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  • The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell (Knopf)



  • The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson, Eugene Yelchin, Illus. Eugene Yelchin (Candlewick)
  • Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender (Scholastic)
  • Tortot, the Cold Fish Who Lost His World and Found His Heart by Benny Lindelauf, Illus. Ludwig Volbeda, Trans. by Laura Watkinson (Pushkin Press)
  • The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, Illus. Ian Schoenherr (Greenwillow)
  • Knights Vs. Dinosaurs by Matt Phelan (Greenwillow)


 Family Stories

  • Ana Maria Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle by Hilda Eunice Burgos (Tu Books)
  • The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller, Illus. Alexandria Neonakis (Random House)
  • Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina (Candlewick)
  • The House that Lou Built by Mae Respicio (Wendy Lamb/Random)
  • Front Desk by Kelly Yang (Levine/Scholastic)
  • Love Like Sky by Leslie C. Youngblood (Disney-Hyperion)


 Historical Fiction

  • Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome (Holiday House)
  • The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis (Scholastic)
  • The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (Random House)
  • The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani (Dial)
  • Out of Left Field by Ellen Klages (Viking)


Kids Navigating Solo

  • Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake (Little, Brown)
  • Everlasting Nora by Marie Miranda Cruz (Starscape/Tom Doherty)
  • North to Benjamin by Alan Cumyn (Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum)
  • The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty (Random House)
  • Gone to Drift by Diana McCaulay (Harper/HarperCollins)
  • Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed (Nancy Paulsen Books)
  • The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle by Christina Uss, Illus. Jonathan Bean (Margaret Ferguson/Holiday House)



  • Backyard Bears: Conservation, Habitat Changes, and the Rise of Urban Wildlife by Amy Cherrix (HMH Books)
  • Eat This! How Fast Food Marketing Gets You to Buy Junk (and How to Fight Back) by Andrea Curtis, Illus. Peggy Collins (Red Deer Press)
  • Calling All Minds: How to Think and Create Like an Inventor by Temple Grandin (Philomel)
  • Snowy Owl Invasion!:Tracking an Unusual Migration by Sandra Markle (Millbrook/Lerner)
  • The Hyena Scientist by Sy Montgomery, Photo Nic Bishop (HMH Books)
  • Capsized!:The Forgotten Story of the SS Eastland Disaster by Patricia Sutton (Chicago Review)
  • Look at the Weather by Britta Teckentrup, Adapted and Trans. Shelley Tanaka (Owlkids Books)
  • Camp Panda: Helping Cubs Return to the Wild by Catherine Thimmesh (HMH Books)


For New & Transitioning Readers

  • The Great Googlini by Sara Cassidy, Illus. Charlene Chua (Orca)
  • Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott, Illus. Geneva B (Random House)
  • Meet Yasmin! By Saadia Faruqi, Illus. Hatem Aly (Picture Window Books)
  • Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick & DAvid Serlin, Illus. Brian Selznick (Scholastic)


 Biography & Memoir

  • Facing Frederick: The Life of Frederick Douglass, A Monumental American Man by Tonya Bolden (Amulet/Abrams)
  • The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler by John Hendrix (Amulet/Abrams)
  • It’s Up to You, Abe Lincoln by Leila Hirschfeld & Tom Hirschfeld, Illus. Lisa Weber & Neal Swaab (Crown)
  • The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman (HMH Books)
  • The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor by Sonia Sotomayor (Delacorte)
  • First Generation: Trailblazing Immigrants and Refugees Who Make America Great by Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, Illus. Agata Nowicka (Little, Brown)


Friendship Stories

  • So Done by Paula Chase (Greenwillow)
  • You Don’t Know Everything, Jilly P! by Alex Gino (Scholastic)
  • The Sky at Our Feet by Nadia Hashimi (Harper/HarperCollins)
  • You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly (Greenwillow)
  • The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon (Wendy Lamb/Random)
  • Stanley Will Probably Be Fine by Sally J. Pla, Illus. Steve Wolfhard (Harper/HarperCollins)
  • Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen Books)


Poetry & Anthologies

  • We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices ed. by Wade Hudson, Cheryl Willis Hudson (Crown)
  • Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham & Charles Waters, Illus. Sean Qualls & Selina Alko (Carolrhoda)
  • Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy by Tony Medina (Penny Candy)
  • Martin Rising: Requiem for a King by Andrea Davis Pinkney, Illus. Brian Pinkney(Scholastic)
  • Struttin’ With Some Barbecue: Lil Harden Armstrong Becomes the First Lady of Jazz by Patricia Hruby Powell, Illus. Rachel Himes (Charlesbridge)




Read more about all of these titles at Kirkus Reviews here.

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