30 Great Kids Middle Grade Books of 2020, So Far

30 standouts of 2020 so far, for middle grade (ages 8-12) readers. Last updated 7/15.

Otto Tattercoat and the Forest of Lost Things Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780525515272
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Philomel Books - June 9th, 2020

In the latest of Matilda Woods’s clever folktale-inspired stories a young boy named Otto finds himself in Hodeldorf, a peculiarly cold village, where he quickly becomes separated from his mother, then his coat, before things take an even sharper turn for the worse. Delightfully littered with magical elements throughout, this is a read-aloud that equally captivated both my 12- and 8-year-old boys alike. What a treat. Also check out The Boy, The Bird & the Coffin Maker by Woods.


Something to Say Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062836717
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - July 14th, 2020

Black Brother, Black Brother Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316493802
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - March 3rd, 2020

Jewell Parker Rhodes is one of my favorite kids' authors of all time, and this story served beautifully as read-aloud for both my boys (8 and 11). We found ourselves having some important family conversations about race, and we all learned a whole lot about fencing. --Elese


Diana and the Island of No Return (Wonder Woman Adventures #1) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780593174470
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - July 14th, 2020

13th Street #1: Battle of the Bad-Breath Bats (HarperChapters) Cover Image
By David Bowles, Shane Clester (Illustrator)
$5.99
ISBN: 9780062947796
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - July 7th, 2020

A new illustrated, early chapter book series (ages 6-10) that will appeal to fans of Notebook of Doom.


The Book of Fatal Errors (The Feylawn Chronicles #1) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780374301194
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - July 7th, 2020

Prairie Lotus Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781328781505
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarion Books - March 3rd, 2020

My boys and I passed the early stay-at-home days in the world of 1880s LaForge, Dakota Territory, as seen through the eyes of Hanna. It's a Little House on the Prairie take that de-centers the white experience; Hanna's late mother is Chinese & Korean and her father is white. While navigating the pervasive racism of this up-and-coming railroad town, Hanna pursues her dream of becoming a dressmaker, with all of the gloriously detailed sewing descriptions one could hope for--bolts of calico fabric, button boxes and Godey's Lady's Book fashions. --Elese


We Dream of Space Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062747303
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greenwillow Books - May 5th, 2020

The One and Only Bob Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062991317
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - May 5th, 2020

The long-awaited sequel to The One and Only Ivan by Newbery Award winner Katherine Applegate.


A Wish in the Dark Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781536204940
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - March 24th, 2020

At Namwon prison, the fates of three precocious children intertwine as they venture out into the Thai-inspired, incandescent fantasy world of Chattana. A gripping, fast-paced story that pulses with poignancy, imagination, and the preservative powers of friendship. --Ben


The Way to Rio Luna Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338239546
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Inc. - June 2nd, 2020

Enchanter’s Child, Book One: Twilight Hauntings Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062875143
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - March 31st, 2020

Here in the Real World Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062698957
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - February 4th, 2020

The latest from the author of the brilliant Pax.


Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices Cover Image
By S. K. Ali (Editor), Aisha Saeed (Editor), Sara Alfageeh (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781419740831
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Amulet Books - May 5th, 2020

Coo Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062955975
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greenwillow Books - March 3rd, 2020

This wonderful imaginative story begins with a flock of pigeons in New York City rescuing a baby they found abandoned in a dumpster while searching for food. They name her Coo, and raise her collectively for eleven years. Coo is just starting to outgrow the pigeon coop and question her belonging in the flock when she meets another human for the first time--a sweet older woman who feeds the pigeons in the park. Coo learns about the human world, relationships, and her own identity as this delightful book unfolds. --Coco


Echo Mountain Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525555568
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - April 21st, 2020

The Queen Bee and Me Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781681197517
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Children's Books - March 3rd, 2020

Booklist says this is an "insightful story of friendship and change" and it's set in North Carolina!


Sunnyside Plaza Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316531207
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - January 21st, 2020

When the residents of Sunnyside Plaza--a group home for adults with developmental disabilities--start unexpectedly passing away, a young woman must work with the other Sunnysiders to figure out what's happening. Scott Simon's characters are instantly emotionally engaging and their resiliency and determination to help and protect each other will have readers of all ages deeply invested in their story. --Colin


Mañanaland Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781338157864
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - March 3rd, 2020

From the Desk of Zoe Washington Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062875853
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - January 14th, 2020

"Debut author Marks seamlessly weaves timely discussions about institutionalized racism into this uplifting and engaging story that packs an emotional punch. Zoe is a relatable tween, with friendship and familial frustrations that will resonate with readers." --Publishers Weekly


King and the Dragonflies Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338129335
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - February 4th, 2020

American as Paneer Pie Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534439382
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Aladdin - June 9th, 2020

Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom Cover Image
By Louis Sachar, Tim Heitz (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062965387
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - March 3rd, 2020

Ghost Squad Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338280128
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - April 7th, 2020

Rick Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338048100
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - April 21st, 2020

A High Five for Glenn Burke Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780374312732
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - February 25th, 2020

Did you know that the high-five was invented by MLB player Glenn Burke in the 1970s?! Burke is a hero to Silas, a kid obsessed with baseball, Sandlot (the movie) and making his teammates laugh. And there's another thing about Glenn Burke--he was gay. So is Silas. Silas channels Burke's spirit as he navigates speaking his truth to the friends, family and teammates in his life. A book full of hijinks and heart perfect for any sports fan. --Elese


Explorer Academy: The Star Dunes (Book 4) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781426336812
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Under the Stars - March 17th, 2020

National Geographic's Explorer Academy series combines science, exploration, and adventure.


Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe (A Sal and Gabi Novel, Book 2) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781368022835
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Rick Riordan Presents - May 5th, 2020

The sequel to the hilarious Sal and Gabi Break the Universe.


Pages & Co.: The Lost Fairy Tales Cover Image
By Anna James, Paola Escobar (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781984837295
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Philomel Books - May 5th, 2020

"Anna James has done it again! In this wondrous second installment in the Pages & Co series, Tilly and Oskar go boldly into the unpredictable (and often dangerous) world of fairy tales. As with the first Pages & Co book, this story reminds me most of the magic of books that exists in our own world: "The magic in books that lets us be part of them, and them part of us." I just know that so many young book lovers will consider Pages & Co to be part of them one day. How joyous it is to read books written so clearly by a book lover about their reverent love of books!" --Coco