For this week’s Friday Feature, I have decided to toast the Middle Grade! Not quite YA, these novels are general for 10 years and up. As always, some are new, published in 2012. Others are older, like Neil Gaiman’s Graveyard Book, but still topping charts. And of course, don’t forget to send your suggestions! Next week we will be having a look at the genre self-titled “New Adult.” Have New Adult suggestions? Send them to bschillace!
Allan Stratton’s GRAVEROBBERS APPRENTICE:
Hans doesn’t know who he is or where he came from. When he was a baby, he washed ashore in a wooden box and was adopted by the conniving grave robber, Knobbe the Bent. Now fate has thrown him together with Angela von Schwanenberg, a young countess fleeing for her life from the evil Archduke Arnulf and his dreaded Necromancer. Together, these friends are on a daring quest to discover Hans’ true identity and to save Angela’s parents from the archduke.
Join Hans and Angela on their grand adventure as they ride through the depths of the great forest, sled down a mountain in a coffin, and sneak along the secret passageways of the archduke’s palace. The Grave Robber’s Apprentice is a world of highwaymen, hermits, and dancing bears; and of a boy separated from his family by the sea.
In this world anything is possible with luck and imagination—even for a grave robber’s apprentice.
Nikki Loftin’s SINISTER SWEETNESS OF SPLENDID ACADEMY:
When Lorelei’s old school mysteriously burns down, a new one appears practically overnight: Splendid Academy. Rock-climbing walls on the playground and golden bowls of candy on every desk? Gourmet meals in the cafeteria, served by waiters? Optional homework and two recess periods a day? It’s every kids’s dream.
But Lorelei and her new friend Andrew are pretty sure it’s too good to be true. Together they uncover a sinister mystery, one with their teacher, the beautiful Ms. Morrigan, at the very center.
Then Andrew disappears. Lorelei has to save him, even if that means facing a past she’d like to forget – and taking on a teacher who’s a real witch.
Thanhha Lai’s INSIDE OUT AND BACK AGAIN:
No one would believe me but at times I would choose wartime in Saigon over peacetime in Alabama.
For all the ten years of her life, HÀ has only known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, the warmth of her friends close by . . . and the beauty of her very own papaya tree.
But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. HÀ and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope. In America, HÀ discovers the foreign world of Alabama: the coldness of its strangers, the dullness of its food, the strange shape of its landscape . . . and the strength of her very own family.
This is the moving story of one girl’s year of change, dreams, grief, and healing as she journeys from one country to another, one life to the next.
Neil Gaimen’s award winning GRAVEYARD BOOK:
After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.
Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family . . .
Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times bestselling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, The Graveyard Book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages