Marcia Strykowski

2017 Middle Grade Fiction

After recently sharing some of my library’s new picture books and enjoying all your comments, I realized I should do a second post featuring middle grade books. I’m only starting to dip into the fun task of reading these new books, so to avoid playing favorites I won’t attempt to review them at this time. Below are what we’ve added to our library collection so far this year. More on the way!The middle grade selections shown here are limited to those with a 2017 copyright date. In case any readers aren’t sure what middle grade means, these books are usually for readers between the ages of 8 and 12. We call this category juvenile at the library. Funny story: when I told a friend that my published books were middle grade, she said “Oh, you shouldn’t say that. I’m sure they’re good.” She has a PhD, but no children in her life, so being unfamiliar with the term, she assumed it meant the same thing as grades of gasoline or fertilizer. 🙂 Anyway, I’m extremely impressed with how well children’s books are holding their own while today’s technology continues to shout at kids from all directions. Each of these authors is to be congratulated on standing out in this highly competitive field. Can you believe that some traditional publishing companies receive up to 1000 manuscript submissions a month? And that maybe 3 out of every 10,000 actually get accepted for publication?!Today’s editors and publishers also get a gold star for insisting on top quality writing encased in beautiful covers. A shout out to all the artists of these striking illustrations.We’re right in the middle of a big blizzard here in New England, perfect weather to snuggle up with a good book. I hope some of these titles catch your interest. Until next time, Happy Reading!

53 Comments

  1. LOL to your friend’s middle “grade” thinking. 🙂

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    • Makes me wonder how many others think the same way. I always considered PB to mean picture books, but now working in a library, that term means paperback to me.

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  2. So many amazing covers. Seriously, beautiful! Lot of these are new to me. I look forward to reading more of them in 2017. Happy reading and stay warm (it is a blizzard outside here too). 😉

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    • Aren’t they pretty? 🙂 Thanks and good luck in the storm, Stephanie!

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  3. Some lovely colourful covers here Marcia; I will be interested to read more about them as/when you get the time/chance.
    Your friend was being supportive, but how funny.
    The blizzard looks awful, keep warm and stay safe. Hugs Barbara

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    • Yes, I’ll probably be reviewing some of these when I get caught up–if not here then on Goodreads. Funny how you probably know more about this blizzard all the way over in England than I do here (since I don’t watch TV–only DVDs). Spring is coming! xo

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      • The blizzard is certainly making headlines in the UK, but then we are obsessed with the weather. It’s very spring like here at the moment but the forecast is for a ‘cold snap’ over the weekend – oh joy! 🙂

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        • I always envy England’s early spring. When I visited in April, everything was already in bloom. Bundle up this weekend!

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  4. A great selection to keep the students busy reading. The covers are amazing. I look forward to your thoughts on some of them.

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    • I’m looking forward to reading them. Thanks, Darlene! (p.s I ordered one of your books months ago, not sure why B&T can’t get it, but it’s still listed, so we’ll see.)

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      • That is strange. I can contact my publisher if you would like. What is B&T?

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        • B&T is Baker & Taylor, a book distributor that’s been around for years. Many libraries use them for their book orders. I’ll try a different Amanda book on my next order and see if that fares any better. Thanks!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for sharing these! I’ve just started getting back into reading middle grade fiction. I got away from it for a little while but I’m remembering now why I’ve always loved it. I’ll definitely be putting some of these on my Goodreads “To Read” list.

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    • Great to hear you’re back into reading MG, Valerie. I’ll have to look for you on Goodreads if we’re not already connected!

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  6. Great idea, Marcia. I don’t see middle-grade books on blogs much. Some gorgeous covers too!

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  7. Oh, Siren Sisters looks captivating- also The Castle in the Mist and The Metropolitans. All of the covers are inviting. You must have some very happy patrons at your library, Marcia! What a fun way to earn your living!

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    • We’re so fortunate to be able to keep buying new books for the library. And you’re right, Colleen, it’s a very fun job!

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  8. Lovely books! North Carolina didn’t want to be left out. The weather map did not show much snow, but we’ve had the white stuff much of the day. Not much is sticking, so I figure I have the best deal of all — unaccumulating snow.

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  9. That’s a little discouraging about getting a book published. I should probably self-publish if I ever get that book written. 🙂

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    • Some of the smaller publishers get a lot less submissions (still hundreds per month, though). I think it all comes down to having the right manuscript in front of the right editor at the right time. Good luck, Sharon!

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  10. Thank you for this brilliant post, I am always looking for good middle grade books. Shared on twitter and my Facebook page: @SirChocolateBooks.

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  11. Bette Norton

    I love the illustrations on the book covers and the titles sound very interesting!! if only there were more time in my day to read some of these books. I am having trouble keeping up with my adult books to read! I do enjoy middle grade books though, especially the two that you wrote, Call Me Amy and Amy’s Choice! Thank you for another delightful informative post! 🙂

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    • I agree, too many books, too little time. 🙂 Thanks for your support of the Amy books, Bette!

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  12. This is great collection of books, Marcia! And, I so love the colorful covers. I wish to read “The Last Day on Mars” sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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  13. They all look great, my reading queue is getting longer!

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  14. mirkabreen

    I haven’t read most of the titles you highlighted, but I’m sitting here admiring the brilliant covers. They just get better and better, don’t they?

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    • Having beautiful covers designed is one reason I’m thankful for the length of time it takes a book to become published.

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  15. I’d be interested to read your MG recommendations, Marcia.

    Some of these covers are very intriguing!

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  16. Thank you for a great post filled with new books and insight. The books look to be good. As you say, the ones that make it and are published are few. Hats off to those books that do. Happy reading!

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    • When there’s so many books to choose from it’s great that someone else has already narrowed down the offerings to the cream of the crop! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Ashley

    I see lots of good titles and covers here that i didn’t know about!!

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  18. Ooh, I see some that I’ve reserved at my library! I’m in total agreement re the beautiful, eye-catching covers, and laughed out loud at your friend’s comment about middle-grade being a quality-control measurement. HA!

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  19. Man, they look good, very good! I love MG novels and PBs, which is why I love your blog, Marcia. Looking forward to your reviews on these.

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  20. What a great list! Can’t wait to dig into these!

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  21. Middle grade is indeed an unusual word to describe a book. This always difficult when the book moves between certain ages, isn’t it.

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    • I think I’d prefer splitting the middle grade level in half and calling it juvenile and tween. Or maybe just children and tween, since picture books are a whole different category. Thanks for visiting, Cecilia!

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  22. Even though they aren’t surprising, the stats on the ratio of manuscript submissions to books that actually get published are a little depressing.

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    • These stats are at the high end (and they include ALL submissions, even those done in crayon…) but still, authoring a book is one of those careers many people say they want to do when they retire. Sort of like if those of us who have been working on the craft for several decades said we want to be in the Olympic games when we retire… 🙂

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      • Thanks for the additional information. I hadn’t really thought about the wide continuum of “manuscripts”. Your analogy made me smile.

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  23. Thanks for the great list of books. I love MG books. I agree, quite a few people don’t know what MG means. I’ve started writing out middle grade and then putting the age in brackets out from it.

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