Based on the ARCS (Advanced Reader Copy) I have been lucky enough to read so far, 2019 looks like an incredible year for books by first-time authors. Seeing as I got a sneak peek, it’s only fair that I tell you about them, so you can get them when they come out – or pre-order! 🙂
For this first installment, let’s begin with five fantastic Middle Grade reads you’re sure to love:
THE MIRACULOUS by Jess Redman.
This is a stunning book – and, indeed, miraculous to think it is a debut. This story of love and loss and hope is one everyone can identify with. There is so much heart and wisdom in it. I already want to read it again but, even more than that, I want to share it with others. This book will stay with me for a very long time. “No one was ever alone. And no one was ever truly gone… Because love never ended.” I hope you read this powerful book, and love it as much as I do.
PLANET EARTH IS BLUE by Nicole Panteleakos
The problem with this book is, once you pick it up, you can’t put it down. The heroine, Nova, is an autistic girl trapped in a non-verbal world – and yet, she is eloquent. Her gestures, her emotions, and her thoughts (conveyed in occasional first-person letters to her sister) are both unique yet universal… as is this book. Filled with heart and hope, this debut novel is one you’ll remember long after turning the last page. Highly recommended.
HURRICANE SEASON by Nicole Melleby
This is a beautiful, must-read book for MG readers – and their parents. Covering everything from Vincent Van Gogh (in the best way possible) to mental illness to sexuality, this debut novel has it all – and it is all done with grace and compassion and great care. Fig and her story will stay with you long after you turn the last page, which is as breathtaking as its cover – and that says a lot.
CATERPILLAR SUMMER by Gillian McDunn
If you’re looking for something with heart, humor, tremendously likable characters and adorable artwork to boot, look no further. Cat is a fully realized and highly sympathetic heroine, determined to keep her younger brother, Chicken, safe – even as she sometimes resents having to do so. Her conflicting emotions are very real, as is the portrayal of Chicken’s autism. The relationship between Cat and her grandfather is my favorite, but all the relationships are memorable and powerful. Can’t wait to see what this debut author comes up with next!
SEVENTH GRADE VS. THE GALAXY by Josh Levy
What a wild and crazy ride! Levy has taken sci-fi tropes and turned them on their heads. The year is 2299, and three well-developed tweens (Jack, Ari and Becca) have to save their outer space school! The fabulous concept is as fun as it is creative. Levy’s imagination has no bounds. My personal favorite character is Dr. Shrew, a hamster who plays an unexpected role in the story. There are so many twists and laugh out loud moments – but also some very real and honest emotions as the three leads explore what it means to be a real friend. This is a wonderful book on so many levels.
SNEAK PEEKS FOR NEXT TIME – FIVE MUST-HAVE YA Novels: