Children's Bookshelf - July 2019
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The Best of Middle Grade Reading
by Nicole Dolat

Summer is the perfect time for savoring good books — reading best loved tales and discovering new books and genres. At Bloomfield Public Libraries, we recognize the significance of an ever-growing middle-grade readership, and have even created a separate collection for our middle grade readers (with both fiction and graphic options) at Prosser Public Library. Here are a few excellent titles and series we hope to share with our grade 5-8 readers this summer.

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle
by Leslie Connor.
Mason Buttle (12) is an overly sweaty and dyslexic boy who spends most school days and afternoons dodging bullies. He also knows a lot about grief — his mom, grandfather and only best friend died just over a year ago. The lead investigator (and everyone in town) thinks Mason might have caused his friend’s death, but they don’t know the whole story. Will Mason find his voice and have the courage to share the truth of his story with others?

Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales (series)
by Nathan Hale.
These non-fiction graphic titles are so popular in our library that we can’t keep them on the shelf! The author, who shares the same name as the famous Connecticut native, creates just the right formula to introduce his readers to many historical events/time periods. Book one features the historic tale of Nathan Hale the spy; future books include tales about the Underground Railroad, the Revolutionary War, World War I and II, the Alamo, and the Donner Dinner Party with more to come.

by Alan Gratz.
Alan Gratz brings history to life with exceptional and gripping storytelling. Grenade takes us to the end of WWII and the Island of Okinawa. Hideki (12) is grabbed out of school one day, forced to join the Blood and Iron Student Corps, handed two grenades, and told he shouldn’t return until he kills an American. Ray is a new marine being sent to Okinawa to kill Japanese enemies. When Hideki and Ray meet in the center of Okinawa and in the heart of the battle, the choices they make will change their lives forever.

Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World
by Ashley Herring Blake.
In one frightening night, a tornado destroys Ivy’s home and belongings and leaves her entire family searching for food, clothes and a new home. But the worst moment comes when the personal diary and sketches Ivy managed to save (revealing a deeply personal secret) disappears in the chaos of the night. And worse still, pages from the diary begin to appear in Ivy’s locker from a mysterious classmate who understands the secret Ivy is hiding. How will Ivy ever piece her broken world back together?

Artemis Fowl
by Eoin Colfer (series). 
Artemis Fowl is 12-years old. He is also a genius, a millionaire — and he is determined to be the world’s biggest super villain! This eight-book series follows Artemis and his henchmen as they unleash dastardly plans for world domination. It is endless fun with plenty of fantasy elements to keep readers hooked.

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamoraby
by Pablo Cartaya.
Arturo (12) and the rest of his Zamora family have lived in Miami for generations — they live in the same apartment complex, and everyone pitches in to help out at Abuela’s (Grandma’s) Mexican-themed restaurant. When a sleazy developer comes to town with plans to tear down the restaurant and build a fancy high-rise building, Arturo is desperate to create the ultimate plan to help his family, save Abuela’s restaurant, preserve the neighborhood he loves, and maybe even win the heart of his first ever crush. Perfect for readers who like stories with a combination of heart and humor.

New Kid
by Jerry Craft.
This graphic novel does for middle grade readers what The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas) does for high school readers — it starts an important conversation. As the story opens, Jordan Banks is enrolled in a prestigious private school known for its academics. But Jordan is one of only a few kids of color in the seventh grade (and even the entire school). This is a poignant, realistic graphic novel that highlights the challenges of young adults struggling to celebrate their ethnic background and also find their place in an often white-dominant community.

Events at the Bloomfield Public Libraries
At Bloomfield Public Libraries, we have a great summer program line-up for tweens and teens: Anime Club, Henna Craft & Tattoos, Virtual Reality Apollo Mission, Teen Zone Hangouts, Sportstacking, Galaxy Cupcakes, East Coast Boogie (green screen fun), and two Friday after-hours movies (The Hate U Give and Mortal Engines). There is also a special Harmonica Workshop where all attendees will receive a professional Hohner Special 20 C harmonica. Visit us online at to view our full summer brochure for dates and times.

Nicole Dolat is the Youth Services Librarian at Prosser Public Library in Bloomfield. 



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