Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Must Read Mid-Grade for 2015: January Edition by Caroline Starr Rose

There are so many incredible middle-grade titles releasing this year, I decided to dedicate my posts these next months to sharing as many as I can with you. My list is not exclusive and is actually just the tip of the iceberg. I hope these glimpses get you excited enough to ask your library to purchase a copy or buy one yourself. All descriptions are taken from Amazon.com.

Happy Reading!

The Way to Stay in Destiny — Augusta Scattergood (January 6)*

When Theo gets off a bus in Destiny, Florida, he's left behind the only life he's ever known. Now he's got to live with Uncle Raymond, a Vietnam War vet and a loner who wants nothing to do with this long-lost nephew. Thank goodness for Miss Sister Grandersole's Rooming House and Dance School. The piano that sits in Miss Sister's dance studio calls to Theo. He can't wait to play those ivory keys. When Anabel arrives things get even more enticing. This feisty girl, a baseball fanatic, invites Theo on her quest to uncover the town's connection to old-time ball players rumored to have lived there years before. A mystery, an adventure, and a musical exploration unfold as this town called Destiny lives up to its name. 

The Terrible Two — Jory John and Mac Barnett (January 13)**

Miles Murphy is not happy to be moving to Yawnee Valley, a sleepy town that’s famous for one thing and one thing only: cows. In his old school, everyone knew him as the town’s best prankster, but Miles quickly discovers that Yawnee Valley already has a prankster, and a great one. If Miles is going to take the title from this mystery kid, he is going to have to raise his game.

It’s prankster against prankster in an epic war of trickery, until the two finally decide to join forces and pull off the biggest prank ever seen: a prank so huge that it would make the members of the International Order of Disorder proud.

In The Terrible Two, bestselling authors and friends Mac Barnett and Jory John have created a series that has its roots in classic middle-grade literature yet feels fresh and new at the same time.

All the Answers — Kate Messner (January 27)

What if your pencil had all the answers? Would you ace every test? Would you know what your teachers were thinking? When Ava Anderson finds a scratched up pencil she doodles like she would with any other pencil. But when she writes a question in the margin of her math quiz, she hears a clear answer in a voice no one else seems to hear. 

With the help of her friend Sophie, Ava figures out that the pencil will answer factual questions only – those with definite right or wrong answers – but won't predict the future. Ava and Sophie discover all kinds of uses for the pencil, and Ava's confidence grows with each answer. But it's getting shorter with every sharpening, and when the pencil reveals a scary truth about Ava's family, she realizes that sometimes the bravest people are the ones who live without all the answers...

The Truth About Twinkie Pie — Kat Yeh (January 27)

Take two sisters making it on their own: brainy twelve-year-old GiGi (short for Galileo Galilei, a name she never says out loud) and junior-high-dropout-turned-hairstylist DiDi (short for Delta Dawn). Add a million dollars in prize money from a national cooking contest and a move from the trailer parks of South Carolina to the Gold Coast of New York. Mix in a fancy new school, new friends and enemies, a first crush, and a generous sprinkling of family secrets.

That's the recipe for The Truth About Twinkie Pie, a voice-driven middle grade debut about the true meaning of family and friendship.

Inquisitor’s Mark (Eighth Day #2) — Dianne Salerni (January 27) ***

After an all-out battle in Mexico, Jax, Riley, and Evangeline have gone into hiding. There are still rogue Transitioners and evil Kin lords on the hunt for Riley, a descendant of King Arthur, and Evangeline, a powerful wizard with bloodlines to Merlin, in order to gain control over the Eighth Day.

So when Finn Ambrose, a mysterious stranger, contacts Jax claiming to be his uncle, Jax's defenses go up—especially after Jax learns that he's holding Jax's best friend, Billy, hostage. To rescue Billy and keep Riley and Evangeline out of the fray, Jax sneaks off to New York City on his own. But once there, he discovers a surprising truth: Finn is his uncle and Jax comes from a long line of Dulacs—a notoriously corrupt and dangerous Transitioner clan who want Riley dead and Evangeline as their prisoner. And family or not, the Dulacs will stop at nothing to get what they want.

* Read it and loved it.

**My son read it and loved it.

***Project Mayhem author!

What January releases are you looking forward to?


  1. Breaking the Ice by Gail Nall

  2. So much good reading to do. If only my Blokes' Book Group hadn't chosen to read MOBY DICK!

    (And I agree with Manju Howard: BREAKING THE ICE sounds fab.)

    1. Oh no! MOBY DICK is my nemesis from high school. I was forced to read it twice!

    2. We skipped MOBY in favor of BILLY BUDD. I can truly say I loved every assigned reading book in high school...except that one.

    3. Now you guys have got me worried. At least I have until April to finish it!

  3. Lots of great books here. I loved the Inquisitor's Mark.

  4. Thanks for highlighting my book along with these other fantastic titles, Caroline!

    1. Dianne! I love the summary for THE INQUISITOR'S MARK! Congrats!

  5. Thanks for reading and including THE WAY TO STAY IN DESTINY.
    Yay for January! Especially if you live in Florida- or, hey, just want to read a book set in the Sunshine State. :)

  6. YES, so many wonderful new reads! I also want to read Dianne's book, but the first in the EIGHTH DAY series first of course. I think my son would love ALL THE ANSWERS for school! Right now reading an oldie, HATCHET. But bring on the new for my to-be-read pile, which will never (happily) be done.

  7. Hatchet is one of my very, very favorites. Welcome, Donna!

  8. Thanks for the welcome Caroline! And it's hard reading Hatchet now for the first time now as a mom of a son about the same age as the main character - it's painful. I hurt for him as a mother.

  9. Looks like a wonderful list. I hope to read ALL THE ANSWERS and ALISTAIR GRIM'S ODDITORIUM soon.


Thanks for adding to the mayhem!