The end of the year always brings a fresh batch of exceptional Middle Grade Reads. Did you pick up any of these November releases?
Here are just a couple of this month's releases that I'm looking forward to!
The acclaimed author of THE HOURS Michael Cunningham turns his attention to fairy tales in this new short story collection. Taking classic stories and modernizing them, Cunningham also gives further depth to the timeless tales.
Gaitskill's THE MARE is probably one of the most anticipated books of the month. It follows Velveteen, a young Dominican girl who goes on a Fresh Air Fund vacation and gains a love of horses that will alter her life. The novel explores race, class, and drug addiction, among other things, and looks to be an intriguing read.
Reginald spends a lot of time reviewing hotels online, but rather than rating the accommodations, the reviews are actually about his own life. From his failings in his career to his relationships with his daughter and his wife, Reginald pens a host of self-reflexive entries. When he disappears, author Rick Moody uses these reviews to track him down, and weaves a clever and intriguing tale on identity in the process.
Acclaimed author Umberto Eco's latest book, NUMERO ZERO, is a thrilling book full of conspiracies and mystery. It includes blackmail, murder, the CIA, a love story, and lots of journalists piecing it all together.
Anyone who knows me knows I'm a sucker for multi-generational family epics, so it's no surprise that this book is on my to-read list. Spanning from 1939 to the present day and from Poland to San Francisco, THE JAPANESE LOVER explores themes of love, fate, and identity.
Our 8 unmissable YA picks for October!
by Riffle YA
- see all 8 →
October 6. Rainbow Rowell continues to break boundaries with "Carry On," an epic fantasy following the triumphs and heartaches of Simon and Baz from her beloved bestseller "Fangirl."
October 6. A new YA novel from novelist Patrick Ness, author of the Carnegie Medal- and Kate Greenaway Medal-winning "A Monster Calls" and the critically acclaimed Chaos Walking trilogy, "The Rest of Us Just Live Here" is a bold and irreverent novel that powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.
October 13. From New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu comes the second book in the exhilarating Young Elites series! Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.
October 20. Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
October 6. This is the sequel to "Snow Like Ashes"! As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.
This month's magical new releases feature the first round of books for the holiday season, as well as stories of outcasts finding their kind and imaginative kids finding new places to explore.
- see all 8 →
Little Shaq is a fun beginner chapter book by the one and only Shaquille O'Neal. But don't think just because it's written by a basketball legend means it's only about sports. In fact, the book is much more centered on humility, teamwork, and helping your community. Paired with bright illustrations by Theodore Taylor III, this a good read for readers of all kinds.
The classic song about traveling to be with family is reinvented for modern day in this lovely picture book. Four branches of the family tree travel to Grandmother's by car, by train, and even by hot air balloon, all saved in the end by a serendipitous sleigh. I loved how diverse the family was - one branch was headed by two men, and 3/4 were mixed race. You'll definitely want to sing along to this one!
“Dear Santa…I know that ... you will not mind that I am Jewish. After all so was Jesus, at least on his mother’s side." This funny but sincere story shows Rachel trying to adapt her traditions to Christmas festivities. However, the many holidays celebrated in Judaism are lovingly honored, and other lesser-known holidays like Diwali and Chinese New Year help Rachel realize that every tradition is important.
When Henry loses his beloved stuffed rabbit and can't find it anywhere, his grandfather suggests he imagine it was still with him. Henry's imagined adventures are beautifully illustrated, with shots of forests and stars hazily overlaying the brown paper backgrounds to show the power of Henry's imagination. Mind over matter helps Henry find happiness until his beloved Raspberry is found.
The team behind the bestselling Land of Stories series has now produced a lavishly illustrated picture book. A bullied little girl runs, crying, into the woods, where she finds a tree that curves unlike any she's ever seen. It, like her, knows what it's like to feel outcast. But the Curvy Tree shows her that not only do your differences help you thrive where others may perish, but that, with time, you find your kind.
Stay in with a nonfiction new release this October!
- see all 8 →
October 13. Brandon is back with the HONY book that his loyal followers have been waiting for. Ever since Brandon began interviewing people on the streets of NYC, the dialogue he's had with them has increasingly become as in-depth, intriguing and moving as the photos themselves. This book presents a new group of people in stunning photographs, with longer stories that delve deeper and surprise with greater candor.
October 6. Joe and Rose Kennedy’s strikingly beautiful daughter Rosemary attended exclusive schools, was presented as a debutante to the Queen of England, and traveled the world with her high-spirited sisters. And yet, Rosemary was intellectually disabled — a secret fiercely guarded by her powerful and glamorous family.
October 6. “Smith’s National Book Award-winning 'Just Kids' created a juggernaut of interest in her life as a musician, performer and photographer. Her new memoir takes a different tone and agenda—that of a wise earth mother, literary shaman, and television crime-show junkie, imparting the rituals, routines, loves, and losses that have guided her long, productive artistic career."—ELLE
October 20. The inspiring true story of a transgender girl, her identical twin brother, and an ordinary American family’s extraordinary journey to understand, nurture, and celebrate the uniqueness in us all, from the Pulitzer Prize–winning science reporter for The Washington Post.
October 5. Over the last two decades a new type of hit song has emerged, one that is inescapably catchy. Today’s songs are painstakingly crafted to tweak the brain's delight in melody, rhythm, and repetition—these songs are highly processed products. Like snack-food engineers, modern songwriters have discovered the musical "bliss point." And just like junk food, the bliss point leaves you wanting more.
Check out 9 of the best YA reads coming out this month!
by Riffle YA
- see all 9 →
September 22. The last of the Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series! Time is running out for the Peculiar Children. With a dangerous madman on the loose and their beloved Miss Peregrine still in danger, Jacob Portman and Emma Bloom are forced to stage the most daring of rescue missions. They’ll travel through a war-torn landscape, meet new allies, and face greater dangers than ever...
September 1. The fourth novel in the bestselling Throne of Glass series. Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past.
September 1. This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.
September 29. This is a new series from Leigh Bardugo set in the same world as the Shadow and Bone series! Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…
September 22. The first book in a new trilogy from acclaimed NY Times-bestselling author Rae Carson. A young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a sweeping and dangerous journey across Gold Rush–era America. "Walk on Earth a Stranger" begins an epic saga from one of the finest writers of YA literature.
Another great month of new Middle Grade releases!
Our top 8 picks in nonfiction this month.
- see all 8 →
Released on September 1, this dual biography is already a NY Times Bestseller. Hirshman tells the fascinating story of the intertwined lives of Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first and second women to serve as Supreme Court justices. Strengthened by each other’s presence, these groundbreaking judges have transformed the Constitution and America itself, making it a more equal place for all women.
September 1. "A stunning achievement, 'The Making of Asian America' establishes the centrality of Asians to American history, and poses alternatives to US national and immigration histories. Asians, this remarkable text reveals, transformed the face of America, and they locate the US firmly within a hemispheric and global order."—Gary Y. Okihiro, Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
September 14. The former middle distance Olympic runner and high-end escort speaks out for the first time about her battle with mental illness, and how mania controlled and compelled her in competition, but also in life. This is a heartbreakingly honest yet hopeful memoir reminiscent of 'An Unquiet Mind.'
September 15. Credited with sparking the current memoir explosion, Mary Karr’s 'The Liars’ Club' spent more than a year at the top of the NY Times Bestsellers list. For thirty years Karr has also taught the form, and in 'The Art of Memoir' she lays bare her process. Cheryl Strayed (who was mentored by Karr) predicts this "will be the definitive book on reading and writing memoir for years to come."
September 22. “From the deeply self-aware, poetically gifted author of 'Eat, Pray, Love' comes... the best nonfiction book I’ve read in years. For anyone who's ever struggled with feeling worthy to express themselves through art, or been discouraged by the absence of inspiration, I'm not being hyperbolic when I say this book might just change your life.” —Mind Body Green