i'm excited for small people with big worlds // 2017 middle grade releases

(images from Goodreads)
There's something about amazing fiction that makes my heart happy. Amazing middle grade fiction makes my heart even happier. On one hand it's all homey and sweet and family-filled, but it also has this weird ability to tackle big issues in an innocent caring way.

When I was younger (in the middle grade target audience) I didn't read a lot of it beyond Ann M. Martin, Nancy Rue, and Jennifer L. Holm, so I kinda feel like I'm making up for lost time here. Authors like Rebecca Stead, Cecily Anne Paterson, and Karen Foxlee, I wish I had discovered earlier or had published books back then. But, you know, at least I get to read them now. Unashamedly, in fact.

Once I started looking around, I discovered a bunch of interesting-sounding middle grade novels being released this year. I AM SO EXCITED! And I hope I can read as many of these as possible.

Here's a (somewhat long) list with Goodreads links and release months and my excitement where necessary, divided into genre (of course):

X Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson (January) // This sounds a bit like To Kill a Mockingbird with the whole trial thing, but I'm keen to hear it from an African-American viewpoint.
O The Many Reflections of Miss Jane Deming by J. Anderson Coats (February) // Yay for slightly obscure historical events and a main character described as sturdy!
X Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar (April) // Intrigued because Jewish/Cuban family in NYC in the 1960s and the main character being in a body cast (in terms of storytelling potential, I mean).
O A Place I Belong by Cynthia Kadohata (May) // I read Outside Beauty by the same author ages ago and I remember it was written really beautifully, so I'm excited because of the writing style, but also POST-WW2 JAPANESE HISTORY!
X Walking with Miss Millie by Tamara Bundy (July) // I'm a fan of friendships between children and older adults, so hopefully this goes well. :)

O The Someday Birds Sally J. Pla (January) // Crazy family road trips + lists of birds + unusual male main character; what more is there to look forward to?
X Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan (January) // I've read quite a few good reviews for the author's first book, Counting by 7s, and am interested to see things like drama, drawfism, and artistic expression explored.
O See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng (February) // Another young male protagonist, and I really, really love space, okay?
X Braced by Alyson Gerber (March) // Scoliosis is something I know zero about so I can't wait to learn. I also love that the main character is mentioned to play soccer in the blurb.
O Matylda, Bright and Tender by Holly M. McGhee (March) // Apart from the fact that I love their spelling of Matylda, this sounds heartbreaking and sweet and I might cry.
X Forever, or a Long, Long Time by Caela Carter (March) // Again, sounds heartbreaking. But it's a sibling story, which I kind of love a lot.
O The End of the Wild by Nicole Helget (April) // Initially, I wasn't going to include this one as I'm not normally drawn to environmental stories, but my friend suggested it. That being said, I'll be interested to read something a little out of my comfort zone.
X The Summer of Bad Ideas by Kiera Stewart (May) // When I read the blurb I immediately thought of Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson; I happy about the promise of lists and grandmothers and cousin-friendships.
O Quicksand Pond by Janet Taylor Lisle (May) // From the blurb, I'm hoping this will be a thought-provoking read and not TOO heartbreaking.
X Weaving a Net is Better Than Prayer for Fish by Ki-Wing Merlin // Mysteries + cultural diversity have me excited.
O The Silver Gate by Kristin Bailey (January) // This sounds pretty whimsical and just like the kind of world I would love to explore.
X Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson (February) // Like I said earlier, I really love space and, although a lot of science stuff goes over my head, I've enjoyed the few science-fictions I have read, so excited for this one!
O The Star Thief by Lindsey Becker (April) // This is, like, 400 pages long (according to Goodreads) which is LONG for a middle-grade. If that means the world, which combines magic and science and sounds amazing, can be fully fleshed-out, I'll be really happy.
X Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder (May) // At first, I thought this one sounded way too creepy to be something I would enjoy, but the same friend convinced me that the mysterious elements (children on an island and being exchanged when they grow up) would be worth trying out.
O The Unicorn Hunt by Kamilla Benko // The blurb tells you next to nothing about this book, but unicorns are kind of enough to intrigue me. :P

(Yes, I know I overused the word excited, excite, excitement, etc.) As always, thanks for reading my ramblings and have a lovely day!

are you a fan of middle-grade fiction? are any of these books on your to-be-read list? any others to add to the list?


  1. I don't read that much MG anymore buuuut some of it is still really splendid and appeals to me a lot.😂Have you heard of The Dragon With the Chocolate Heart?!? IT'S SO ADORABLE AND AMAZING. I loved it because, well, dragons.😂 But I totally recommend it if you get a chance! (And I also love Karen Foxlee!)

    1. Dragons and chocolate sound like one of the most perfect combinations in the history of the world; therefore I will absolutely try to read it! (Karen Foxlee's writing is beautiful.)


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