STARRED REVIEW
December 2019

Best Books of 2019: Middle Grade

STARRED REVIEW
December 2019

Best Books of 2019: Middle Grade

December 2019

Best Books of 2019: Middle Grade

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Newbery Medalist Madeline L'Engle once wrote, “Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.” Each one of these books does exactly that, in its own way.


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10. Eventown by Corey Ann Haydu

Eventown is a haunting and lyrical fable about what happens when a family tries to literally leave their most painful memories behind.
 

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9. All the Greys on Greene Street by Laura Tucker

Laura Tucker’s debut novel is a beguiling and well-structured mystery set against the backdrop of the New York City art scene.
 

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8. The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James by Ashley Herring Blake

Ashley Herring Blake explores the intense emotional landscape of early adolescence with sensitivity, humor and authenticity.
 

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7. The Line Tender by Kate Allen

Kate Allen’s debut novel is a beautiful and big-hearted story about friendship, grief and healing.
 

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6. Some Places More Than Others by Renée Watson

Some Places More Than Others is Renée Watson’s love letter to New York City and an appealing celebration of family and community.
 

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5. Beverly, Right Here by Kate DiCamillo

In prose that feels both beautifully spare and deeply rich, Beverly, Right Here is a reminder of the enduring power of kindness, hope and storytelling.
 

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4. Pay Attention, Carter Jones by Gary D. Schmidt

Full of Gary D. Schmidt’s signature humor and complex characters who find themselves tested by life-changing situations, Pay Attention, Carter Jones is hilarious and heart-wrenching.
 

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3. Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace by Ashley Bryan

Infinite Hope is the extraordinary memoir of a hugely beloved figure in children’s literature, who tells his inspiring story here for the first time.
 

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2. Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds

Despite simple-seeming prose, Jason Reynolds’ language sparkles in these ten stories that demonstrate his range of superb storytelling.
 

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1. Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly

Erin Entrada Kelly’s triumphant entry into the fantasy genre is an exquisite reminder that although strength and skill may not always be able to defeat darkness and restore light, kindness, integrity and steadfast love always will.

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