Gustavo, The Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. DragoThis story is both spooky and festive. A lonely ghost makes friends by being brave and taking a chance. Really sweet and the illustrations are captivating.
Rot, the Bravest in the World! by Ben ClantonMutant potatoes, mud, and a worm are a winning combination in this humorous book. Students love Rot, the Cutest in the World! and they are going to be just as pleased, if not more so, with this second book. Hopefully, there's another Rot book in the future!
A Way With Wild Things by Larissa Theule and illustrated by Sara PalaciosPoppy loves books and spends lots of time sitting among the wildflowers observing the world around her. At parties she'd much rather blend in with the surroundings than interact with others and she does quite a good job of it. This is a sweet story about being oneself showing that what may be perceived as a weakness can actually be a strength.
Kingdom Caper #1 (Zoo Patrol Squad) by Brett BeanMany of my younger readers want to start reading graphic novels and this will be a fun one to hand them. It's the first book in a new series that has fast-paced action, adventure, and humor.
City of Secrets by Victoria YingThis is an adventurous graphic novel about a city that is a world of its own and the secrets and puzzles it holds. It's fun, intriguing, and imaginative.
BenBee and the Teacher Griefer by K. A. HoltThis is a heartfelt book written from the perspective of four kids who, with the help of a teacher, realize they are more than their learning challenges - they are divergent thinkers. The format which is unique and clever includes prose, verse, and sketchbook pages. The varied format, short chapters, and humor will all appeal to kids. Thanks to the publisher, Chronicle Books, for a review copy.
My Life in the Fish Tank by Barbara DeeBarbara Dee's books always address important, serious topics in a way that is accessible and appropriate for middle grade readers. This book explores mental illness, as Zinnie's brother has been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. In addition, she is navigating the ups & downs of friendship. It's an engaging, heart-warming, and relatable read. Thanks to the author and Media Masters Publicity for an advance reading copy.
Grown-Up Reading Recommendations
Books in the mystery/thriller genre are always a quick read for me and I've read quite a few this summer. The Distant Dead by Heather Young has a murder mystery at its center, but it's also a book about choices, survival, and forgiveness. The Girl From Widow Hills is a creepy and addictive read. One by One is the newest book by Ruth Ware that publishes in September. I loved the contrast between the cozy, idyllic ski retreat setting and the situation that turns deadly.