• Huge Homeschool Library Haul - a look at the picture books and resources books we've checked out in our homeschool lately
    book lists,  library haul

    đź“š BIGGEST HOMESCHOOL LIBRARY HAUL YET đź“š um, so we got a lot of picture and resources books out . . .

    Here’s a look into our most recent homeschool library haul, it’s a huge one!

    And honestly, I had fully intended to film a flip through of all the books but I got overwhelmed by the sheer number of books here. I think I may have to make these videos a little more frequent if I want that to happen.

     

    Huge Homeschool Library Haul - a look at the picture books and resources books we've checked out in our homeschool lately

     

     

    đź“š Links to all the books mentioned.

     

    FUNNY PICTURE BOOK BLOG POSTS

    âž• Funny Picture Books One

    âž• Funny Picture Books Two

    âž• Funny Picture Books Three

  • Easy Chapter Books for Kids - great beginner chapter books for early readers
    book lists,  elementary

    EARLY READER CHAPTER BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS – great novels for beginner chapter books

    Today I am collaborating with Abby from Bear Hill Family to share some early reader chapter books with you!

    My second child is in/just getting out of the early reader chapter book stage so I wanted to share some books that have been favorites of my kids over the years.

    If you have some great early reader chapter book recommendations I would love to hear them!

     

    Easy Chapter Books for Kids - great beginner chapter books for early readers

     

     

    EARLY READER CHAPTER BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

     

    Flat Stanley

    When Stanley Lambchop wakes up one morning, his brother, Arthur, is yelling. A bulletin board fell on Stanley during the night, and now he is only half an inch thick! Amazing things begin happening to him. Stanley gets rolled up, mailed, and flown like a kite. He even gets to help catch two dangerous art thieves. He may be flat, but he’s a hero.

     

    A to Z Mysteries

    J is for Jewel . . . New York is the emerald city! Dink’s uncle’s museum there has a new treasure—a golden jaguar statue with an emerald between its paws. But someone swaps the jewel for a fake! Who stole the jaguar’s jewel? Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose are sure to find out!

     

    Magic Tree House

    Meet Jack and Annie! Jack and his younger sister, Annie, are just regular kids. But when they discover a tree house in the woods, something magical happens. Jack and Annie are whisked back in time to the Age of Dinosaurs, a medieval castle, ancient pyramids, and treasure-seeking pirates.

     

    Sophie Mouse

    In the first book of The Adventures of Sophie Mouse, springtime has arrived at Silverlake Forest! The animals are coming out of their homes, buds are blooming on the trees, and the air smells of honeysuckles and tree bark. Sophie Mouse can’t wait to go back to school after the long winter break.

    Even better, there’s a new student in class—Sophie loves meeting new animals! But the class gasps when Owen enters: he’s a snake! No one is brave enough to sit near him, or play with Owen at recess, or even talk to him. Can Sophie help her friends understand that Owen’s not scary after all?

    With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Adventures of Sophie Mouse chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

     

    Princess in Black

    Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret —she’s also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her! Can the princess sneak away, transform into her alter ego, and defeat the monster before the nosy duchess discovers her secret? From award-winning writing team of Shannon and Dean Hale and illustrator LeUyen Pham, here is the first in a humorous and action-packed chapter book series for young readers who like their princesses not only prim and perfect, but also dressed in black.

     

    Bailey School Kids Jr. Chapter Book

    Who knows what weird thing is going to happen to the Bailey School Kids next? It’s snowing… and snowing… and snowing! Will the snow ever stop? Or does that wild snowboarder have something to do with it?

     

    Boxcar Children

    Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny are brothers and sisters. They’re orphans too, and the only way they can stay together is to make it on their own. When the children find an abandoned boxcar in the woods, they decide to call it home―and become
    the Boxcar Children!

     

    Canadian Flyer

    Since discovering the Canadian Flyer, a magical time-traveling sled, in Emily’s attic, Matt and Emily have outrun dinosaurs in the Alberta badlands, seen the Silver Dart soar high in Nova Scotia’s skies, and evaded slave catchers on the Underground Railroad. In Arctic Storm Emily and Matt find themselves stranded in the Far North in 1976 — and a squall is on the way!

    After a shaky landing on snow-covered ground, the two friends meet a team of research scientists studying animal migration and habitat. Problem is, the scientists are traveling without their guide, they’ve lost their radio and half their supplies (including food and a stove), and now a storm is coming.

    To make matters worse, one of the scientists has brought along his fifteen-year-old son, Arthur, who is becoming increasingly ill and is in need of a doctor. And after the group is spooked in the night by howling wolves, they wake up the next day to find their lead sled dog missing! Can Matt and Emily brave the storm and help their new friends — especially Arthur — back to safety? And will their faith in Moon Dog, an inexperienced sled dog, help him guide the team to safety?

     

    Encyclopedia Brown

    Leroy Brown, aka Encyclopedia Brown, is Idaville neighborhood’s ten-year-old star detective. With an uncanny knack for trivia, he solves mysteries for the neighborhood kids through his own detective agency. But his dad also happens to be the chief of the Idaville police department, and every night around the dinner table, Encyclopedia helps him solve his most baffling crimes. And with ten confounding mysteries in each book, not only does Encyclopedia have a chance to solve them, but the reader is given all the clues as well. Interactive and chock full of interesting bits of information—it’s classic Encyclopedia Brown!

     

    Third Grade Detectives

    Mr. Merlin’s Third Graders are known as the Third Grade Detectives — with some hints from secret code clues and help from Mr. Merlin’s friend, the police scientist Dr. Smiley, they help solve cases. This two-in-one flip book contains the full text and illustrations for the first two Third Grade Detectives books. In their first case, The Clue of the Left-Handed Envelope, the Detectives find out who has been sending Amber Lee anonymous letters. And in their next case, a dirty handkerchief provides a clue to who’s been trespassing in Todd’s tree house.

     

    The Littles

    The Littles is a timeless favorite that’s been enjoyed for decades. Ready to grab the attention of a new generation, fresh cover art brings an updated look to this classic series.

    The Littles live in the walls of the Biggs’ house. But when the Biggs go on vacation a messy family comes to stay, the trouble begins. Mice! Cats! How much can one small family take? Will Tom and Lucy, the littlest Littles of all, be able to save the day

     

    Greetings From Somewhere

    When Ethan and Ella learn that their mother has accepted the position of travel writer for The Brookeston Times, they are not happy. Move away from Brookeston? Say good-bye to all their friends? What could be worse? Their mom and dad promise them that this will be a great experience, but that doesn’t make the kids feel any better.

    The day before they are set to leave, their beloved Grandpa Harry stops by. As a gift, he gives Ella a pretty journal since he knows she loves to write, and he gives Ethan a gold coin that Ethan decides he will always keep in his pocket. But the morning of their departure, Ethan realizes he’s lost the coin! Together, he and Ella must retrace their steps from the day before. Will they solve the mystery of the missing coin before it’s time to head to the airport?

     

    Kingdom of Wrenly

    Meet Lucas, the eight year-old prince, and Clara, the daughter of the queen’s seamstress. Lucas is an only child who longs to make friends and go on adventures. Clara knows the kingdom well, so she and Lucas team up and explore the lands of Wrenly!

    In The Lost Stone, Lucas and Clara search for Queen Tasha’s missing emerald. On their exciting adventure, they travel to all the main attractions of Wrenly: Primlox (the island of fairies), Burth (the island of trolls), Crestwood (the island of dragons), Hobsgrove (the island of wizards), and the beautiful Mermaid’s Cove. King Caleb has promised to reward the person who finds the precious stone, and Lucas and Clara are determined to search the entire kingdom until they find it!

     

    Princess Pink and the Land of Fakebelieve

    Princess Pink is back for another fractured fairy tale adventure!

    This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow! In the Land of Fake-Believe, Princess Pink meets Scaredy-Pants Wolf–a baker whose bakery has been robbed! Little Red Quacking Hood is stealing pies from the Big Bad Bakery! Princess, Scaredy-Pants, and their friend Moldylocks follow Little Red over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s hair salon. Can they stop Little Red? With easy-to-read text and engaging full-color artwork throughout, kids will be drawn right into Noah Z. Jones’s latest fractured fairy tale!

     

    Chicken Squad

    Meet the Chicken Squad: Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie. These chicks are not your typical barnyard puffs of fluff, and they are not about to spend their days pecking chicken feed and chasing bugs. No sir, they’re too busy solving mysteries and fighting crime.

    So when Squirrel comes barreling into the chicken coop, the chicks know they’re about to get a case. But with his poor knowledge of shapes (“Big” is not a shape, Squirrel!) and utter fear of whatever it is that’s out there, the panicky Squirrel is NO HELP. Good thing these chicks are professionals.

    But even professionals get worried. Especially once they see that round, shiny, green, BIG thing in the yard. What if it’s a UFO full of aliens who want chickens as pets, or worse, dinner? It’s up to the Chicken Squad to crack a case that just might be out of this world.

  • What My Ten Year Old Read - 48 Books for Middle Grade - lots of middle grade fantasy, mystery and historical fiction
    book lists,  middle grades

    WHAT MY TEN YEAR OLD READ in the last two months – lots of fantasy and mystery books!

    So, I thought we’d do a reading wrap up for the last two months and since my ten year old has read so many books lately this video is all about what she has read.

    I recently shared a list of books that I wanted her to read in grade six and even though the summer has just begun, she’s digging into that stack already!

    Let me know in the comments if you have some recommendations for her for future reads!

     

    48 Books for Middle Grade - lots of middle grade fantasy, mystery and historical fiction

     

    MIDDLE GRADE BOOKS MY TEN YEAR OLD RECENTLY READ

     

    It can definitely be hard to keep up with good book recommendations for her, so if you have any great middle grade book recommendations, please let me know!

    You can watch the video to see all her books and hear her thoughts or scroll past to see a lot of the books listed.

    *For my own sanity sake, when a book was a part of a series that she read I’ve only posted the first book in the series.

    Here’s the video:

     

     

     

     

    Here are the books!

    Ember Falls

    The stage is set. It’s war. Morbin Blackhawk, slaver and tyrant, threatens to destroy the rabbit resistance forever. Heather and Picket are two young rabbits improbably thrust into pivotal roles.

    The fragile alliance forged around the young heir seems certain to fail. Can Heather and Picket help rescue the cause from a certain, sudden defeat?

    My Place Beside You

    My Blood For Yours

    Till The Green… Ember Falls

     

    Bliss Family Bakery

    Rosemary Bliss’s family has a secret. It’s the Bliss Cookery Booke—an ancient, leather-bound volume of enchanted recipes like Singing Gingersnaps.

    Rose and her siblings are supposed to keep the Cookery Booke locked away while their parents are out of town, but then a mysterious stranger shows up. “Aunt” Lily rides a motorcycle and also whips up exotic (but delicious) dishes for dinner. Soon boring, non-magical recipes feel like life before Aunt Lily—a lot less fun.

    So Rose and her siblings experiment with just a couple of recipes from the forbidden Cookery Booke. A few Love Muffins and Cookies of Truth couldn’t cause too much trouble . . . could they?

     

    Nancy Drew Diaries

    Nancy, Bess, and George are cruising dangerous waters on a tour of Alaska. Becca Wright, an old friend of Nancy’s, is the Assistant Cruise Director of the Arctic Star, a posh new ship. But Becca needs Nancy’s help when strange things keep happening aboard the opulent ocean liner: The swimming pool becomes a floating grave; a famous passenger is threatened; and even the seemingly innocent mini-golf course becomes a perilous playground. With the majestic and mysterious Alaskan scenery as a backdrop, Nancy and company have to find out who’s trying to sabotage the maiden voyage and why.

     

    Keeper of the Lost Cities

    Twelve-year-old Sophie has never quite fit into her life. She’s skipped multiple grades and doesn’t really connect with the older kids at school, but she’s not comfortable with her family, either. The reason? Sophie’s a Telepath, someone who can read minds. No one knows her secret—at least, that’s what she thinks…

    But the day Sophie meets Fitz, a mysterious (and adorable) boy, she learns she’s not alone. He’s a Telepath too, and it turns out the reason she has never felt at home is that, well…she isn’t. Fitz opens Sophie’s eyes to a shocking truth, and she is forced to leave behind her family for a new life in a place that is vastly different from what she has ever known.

    But Sophie still has secrets, and they’re buried deep in her memory for good reason: The answers are dangerous and in high-demand. What is her true identity, and why was she hidden among humans? The truth could mean life or death—and time is running out.

     

    Just Ella

    It’s a familiar story: In spite of the obstacles put in her way by her wicked stepmother, Ella goes to the ball, sweeps Prince Charming off his feet, and is chosen to be his bride. Now she’s comfortably ensconced in the palace, awaiting marriage to the man of her dreams. It’s happily ever after time, right?
    Wrong! Life for Ella has become an endless round of lessons and restrictions; even worse, Prince Charming turns out to be more like Prince Boring. Why can’t she talk with him the way she can with Jed, her earnest young tutor?
    Slowly, Ella comes to realize she doesn’t want the life she fought so hard to win. But breaking her engagement proves more difficult — and dangerous — than escaping her stepmother’s tyranny.

     

    The Mystwick School of Musicraft

    The Mystwick School of Musicraft

    In this middle-grade fantasy, perfect for fans of Nevermoor and The School for Good and Evil series, humor, heart, and a symphony of magic take center stage.

    Amelia Jones has always dreamed of attending the Mystwick School of Musicraft, where the world’s most promising musicians learn to create musical magic. Unfortunately, Amelia botches her audition and her dream comes crashing down—until the school agrees to give her a second chance. Amelia vows to do whatever it takes to make her dream come true.

    However, between a teacher who really dislikes her and a roommate who wants to see her expelled, Amelia has her hands full. On top of that, supernatural powers are threatening Mystwick, and Amelia might be the only person who can save the school…but only if she can remain true to herself. The combination of Jessica Khoury’s storytelling mastery, the highly-nuanced performance by award-winning narrator Suzy Jackson, and the songs, musical interludes, and original compositions included in this audio (all performed by the NJSO Youth Orchestras) makes it a treat for all fans of the fantasy genre.

     

     

    The Barren Grounds

    Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home — until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, AskĂ­, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by Arik, a sassy Squirrel they catch stealing from the trapline, they try to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything — including them.

     

    Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor

    April didn’t mean to start the fire. She wasn’t the one who broke the vase. April didn’t ask to go live in a big, creepy mansion with a bunch of orphans who just don’t understand that April isn’t like them. After all, April’s mother is coming back for her someday very soon.

    All April has to do is find the clues her mother left inside the massive mansion. But Winterborne House is hiding more than one secret, so April and her friends are going to have to work together to unravel the riddle of a missing heir, a creepy legend, and a mysterious key before the only home they’ve ever known is lost to them forever.

     

    Kristy’s Great Idea

    Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey are best friends and founding members of The Baby-sitters Club. Whatever comes up — cranky toddlers, huge dogs, scary neighbors, prank calls — you can count on them to save the day. Baby-sitting isn’t always easy, and neither is dealing with strict parents, new families, fashion emergencies, and mysterious secrets. But no matter what, the BSC have what they need most: friendship. Raina Telgemeier, using the signature style featured in her acclaimed graphic novels Smile and Sisters, perfectly captures all the drama and humor of the original novel!

     

    Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

    Five years.

    That’s how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, criss-crossing the nation.

    It’s also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters in a car crash.

    Coyote hasn’t been home in all that time, but when she learns that the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished―the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box―she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days…without him realizing it.

    Along the way, they’ll pick up a strange crew of misfit travelers. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. And then there’s Gladys…

    Over the course of thousands of miles, Coyote will learn that going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all…but that with friends by her side, she just might be able to turn her “once upon a time” into a “happily ever after.”

     

    48 Books for Middle Grade - lots of middle grade fantasy, mystery and historical fiction

     

    Greenglass House

    It’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler’s inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again. Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House—and themselves.

     

    City Spies

    Sara Martinez is a hacker. She recently broke into the New York City foster care system to expose her foster parents as cheats and lawbreakers. However, instead of being hailed as a hero, Sara finds herself facing years in a juvenile detention facility and banned from using computers for the same stretch of time. Enter Mother, a British spy who not only gets Sara released from jail but also offers her a chance to make a home for herself within a secret MI6 agency.

    Operating out of a base in Scotland, the City Spies are five kids from various parts of the world. When they’re not attending the local boarding school, they’re honing their unique skills, such as sleight of hand, breaking and entering, observation, and explosives. All of these allow them to go places in the world of espionage where adults can’t.

    Before she knows what she’s doing, Sara is heading to Paris for an international youth summit, hacking into a rival school’s computer to prevent them from winning a million euros, dangling thirty feet off the side of a building, and trying to stop a villain…all while navigating the complex dynamics of her new team.

    No one said saving the world was easy…

     

    Roller Girl

    For most of her twelve years, Astrid has done everything with her best friend Nicole. But after Astrid falls in love with roller derby and signs up for derby camp, Nicole decides to go to dance camp instead. And so begins the most difficult summer of Astrid’s life as she struggles to keep up with the older girls at camp, hang on to the friend she feels slipping away, and cautiously embark on a new friendship. As the end of summer nears and her first roller derby bout (and junior high!) draws closer, Astrid realizes that maybe she is strong enough to handle the bout, a lost friendship, and middle school… in short, strong enough to be a roller girl.

    In this graphic novel debut that earned a Newbery Honor and five starred reviews, real-life derby girl Victoria Jamieson has created an inspiring coming-of-age story about friendship, perseverance, and girl power!

     

    May B.

    I’ve known it since last night:
    It’s been too long to expect them to return. 
    Something’s happened.

    May is helping out on a neighbor’s Kansas prairie homestead—just until Christmas, says Pa. She wants to contribute, but it’s hard to be separated from her family by 15 long, unfamiliar miles. Then the unthinkable happens: May is abandoned. Trapped in a tiny snow-covered sod house, isolated from family and neighbors, May must prepare for the oncoming winter. While fighting to survive, May’s memories of her struggles with reading at school come back to haunt her. But she’s determined to find her way home again. Caroline Starr Rose’s fast-paced novel, written in beautiful and riveting verse, gives readers a strong new heroine to love.

     

    The Magic Finger

    To the Gregg family, hunting is just plain fun. To the girl who lives next door, it’s just plain horrible. She tries to be polite. She tries to talk them out of it, but the Greggs only laugh at her. Then one day the Greggs go too far, and the little girl turns her Magic Finger on them. When she’s very, very angry, the little girl’s Magic Finger takes over. She really can’t control it, and now it’s turned the Greggs into birds! Before they know it, the Greggs are living in a nest, and that’s just the beginning of their problems….

     

    Changes for Samantha

    Times change for Samantha when she moves to New York City to live with Uncle Gard and Aunt Cornelia. They change for Nellie, Samantha’s servant friend in Mount Bedford, too. But Nellie’s changes aren’t as happy as Samantha’s. When her friend disappears, Samantha thinks Nellie has been lost forever. But after a long and scary search, Samantha finds Nellie and her sisters in a New York orphanage. The orphanage is not a good place, so the girls plan a daring escape.

     

    The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me

    The Ladderless Window-Cleaning Company certainly doesn’t. They don’t need a pail, either, because they have a pelican with a bucket-sized beak. With a monkey to do the washing and Billy as their manager, this business is destined for success. Now they have their big break—a chance to clean all 677 windows of the Hampshire House, owned by the richest man in all of England! That’s exciting enough, but along the way there are surprises and adventures beyond their wildest window-washing dreams.

     

    The Twits

    Mr. and Mrs. Twit are the smelliest, nastiest, ugliest people in the world. They hate everything—except playing mean jokes on each other, catching innocent birds to put in their Bird Pies, and making their caged monkeys, the Muggle-Wumps, stand on their heads all day. But the Muggle-Wumps have had enough. They don’t just want out, they want revenge.

     

    On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

    Janner Igiby, his brother, Tink, and their disabled sister, Leeli, are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that they love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang, who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice. The Igibys hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.

    Full of characters rich in heart, smarts, and courage, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness is a tale children of all ages will cherish, families can read aloud, and readers’ groups are sure to enjoy discussing for its many layers of meaning. 

     

    The Babysitters Survival Guide

    How can a babysitter entertain a fidgety kid, lull a toddler to sleep, or comfort a child who’s feeling sad or upset? From finding clients and snagging the job to dealing with emergencies and accidents, The Babysitter’s Survival Guide has all the advice you’ll need. This fully revised edition includes updated information on using social media to build your business, keeping yourself and the children safe, cool activities to occupy your charges, and kid-friendly recipes to tempt reluctant eaters. With its fresh new design and illustrations, along with perforated business and emergency cards, it’s perfect for enterprising young babysitters! 

     

    Who Was Sacagawea?

    Sacagawea was only sixteen when she made one of the most remarkable journeys in American history, traveling 4500 miles by foot, canoe, and horse-all while carrying a baby on her back! Without her, the Lewis and Clark expedition might have failed. Through this engaging book, kids will understand the reasons that today, 200 years later, she is still remembered and immortalized on a golden dollar coin.

     

    Winterhouse

    Orphan Elizabeth Somers’s malevolent aunt and uncle ship her off to the ominous Winterhouse Hotel, owned by the peculiar Norbridge Falls. Upon arrival, Elizabeth quickly discovers that Winterhouse has many charms―most notably its massive library. It’s not long before she locates a magical book of puzzles that will unlock a mystery involving Norbridge and his sinister family. But the deeper she delves into the hotel’s secrets, the more Elizabeth starts to realize that she is somehow connected to Winterhouse. As fate would have it, Elizabeth is the only person who can break the hotel’s curse and solve the mystery. But will it be at the cost of losing the people she has come to care for, and even Winterhouse itself?

    Mystery, adventure, and beautiful writing combine in this exciting debut richly set in a hotel full of secrets.

     

    The Winter King

    A village trapped in winter, a tyrannical god, and a girl who will do anything to keep her family alive…

    Ever since Cora’s father disappeared through the ice, whispers about her family’s “curse” have grown increasingly louder. Desperate to help her mother and siblings survive another bleak season in the Winter King’s frozen grasp, Cora begins to bend (and even break) the rules she has kept since she was a little girl. But when she discovers a secret that’s much bigger than herself, she realizes too late that she has put herself–and those she loves–in even greater peril.

  • Family Read Alouds for our Homeschool Year 2021-2022
    audiobooks,  book lists,  elementary,  middle grades

    FAMILY READ ALOUDS: 13 books we want to read in our homeschool in the 2021-2022 school year

    We love a good read aloud in our family and today I am sharing thirteen (not twelve like I said in the video) books we want to read aloud (aka listen to) in the next school year.

    Now, when I say read alouds what I actually mean is listen tos because I am terrible at reading aloud so we usually listen to our book together as a family while we eat our meals.

    We use an amazing Bluetooth speaker, we’ve had it for years and only have to charge it about twice a year. Here’s an updated version of our Bluetooth speaker

    My plan is for us to pick and choose from this list throughout the year. When we are done one book we’ll come back to this list and pick another.

    Oh, and while we have little ones as well, it’s the big ones we are catering this list to, they are going to be in grade 3 & 6 in the fall.

    I would love to hear what is on your read aloud list for this next year!

    And if you want to see what was on our list from last year, you can do so here!

     

    Family Read Alouds for our Homeschool Year 2021-2022

     

     

    13 FAMILY READ ALOUDS

     

    Absolutely Truly

    An unsent letter in a first edition copy of Charlotte’s Web leads to a hunt for treasure in this heartwarming middle grade mystery from the author of The Mother-Daughter Book Club.

    Now that Truly Lovejoy’s father has been injured by an IED in Afghanistan and is having trouble finding work back home, the family moves from Texas to tiny Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire, to take over Lovejoy’s Books, a struggling bookstore that’s been in the family for one hundred years.

    With two older brothers and two younger sisters clamoring for attention, her mother back in school, and everyone up to their eyebrows trying to keep Lovejoy’s Books afloat, Truly feels more overlooked than usual. So she pours herself into uncovering the mystery of an undelivered letter she finds stuck in a valuable autographed first edition of Charlotte’s Web, which subsequently goes missing from the bookshop. What’s inside the envelope leads Truly and her new Pumpkin Falls friends on a madcap treasure hunt around town, chasing clues that could spell danger.

     

    The Mysterious Benedict Society

    “Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?” Dozens of children respond to this peculiar ad in the newspaper and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests, which readers take along with them. Only four children–two boys and two girls–succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. But what they’ll find in the hidden underground tunnels of the school is more than your average school supplies. So, if you’re gifted, creative, or happen to know Morse Code, they could probably use your help.

     

    Christian Heroes Series

    Written specifically to challenge readers with the powerful lives of missionaries who have profoundly shaped history, the books in the Christian Heroes: Then & Now series answer today’s call for positive role models and for opportunities to see how God works through the lives of those who follow him.

    The exciting life stories of these heroes will inspire readers as they witness the drama of faith and character being tested under the most extreme circumstances.

    Readers of all ages love these fast-paced adventures that take them to the heart of a nation, an era, and what it means to live a life dedicated to serving God and those He loves. Parents report that even kids who have never liked to read have eagerly read all of these – sometimes more than once!

     

     

    Wingfeather Tales: Seven Thrilling Stories from the World of Aerwiar

    Immerse yourself in a land of bomnubbles and quarreling cousins, sea dragons and book publishers, thieves and Fangs and secret maps. Here within these pages lie seven stories of the distant past, lost adventures, forgotten songs, and heartbreaking histories. The Shining Isle is restored, but Aerwiar is vast—and these authors have tales yet to tell:

      â€˘  Explore the inner walls of Yorsha Doon, just West of the Woes of Shreve, on the edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, from the eyes of young Safiki in “The Prince of Yorsha Doon” from the creator of Aewiar, Andrew Peterson.
      â€˘  Jennifer Trafton’s warm and whimsical writing brings to life a publishing nightmare populated by the many beasts of Skree in “The Wooing of Sophelia Stupe.”
      â€˘  Learn the origins of Ollister Pebmrick’s mysterious entry in the Creaturepedia about his encounter with a raggant in “Willow Worlds” by N. D. Wilson.
      â€˘  Travel with young Podo Helmer on an epic hunt for sea dragons in “From the Deeps of the Dragon King” from A. S. Peterson.
      â€˘  Jonathan Rogers presents “The Ballard of Lanric and Rube,” sung by Armulyn the Bard, tale-spinner of the imaginary Shining Isle of Anniera, in On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness.
      â€˘  Discover what life was like for Maraly and Gammon in post-war Skree in “Shadowblade and the Florid Sword”—the first-ever Wingfeather comic—by Andrew Peterson.
      â€˘  Douglas McKelvey’s epic, heartbreakingly hopeful novella “The Places Beyond the Maps” recounts a father’s journey to redemption.

    You’ll also find delightful illustrations by Justin Gerard, Hein Zaayman, Cory Godbey, John Hendrix, Nicholas Kole, Aedan Peterson, Joe Sutphin, Jay Myers, and Doug TenNapel.

    Enter a rich, imaginative world that becomes more real, more mysterious, more dangerous, and more beautiful with each story’s telling.

     

     

    On The Edge of The Dark Sea of Darkness

    Janner Igiby, his brother, Tink, and their disabled sister, Leeli, are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that they love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang, who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice. The Igibys hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.

    Full of characters rich in heart, smarts, and courage, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness is a tale children of all ages will cherish, families can read aloud, and readers’ groups are sure to enjoy discussing for its many layers of meaning. Extra features include new interior illustrations from Joe Sutphin, funny footnotes, a map of the fantastical world, inventive appendices, and fanciful line art in the tradition of the original Frank L. Baum Wizard of Oz storybooks.

     

    Rescue

    Six hundred and fifty-seven days ago, Meg Kenyon’s father left their home in France to fight for the Allies in World War II, and that was the last time Meg saw him. Recently, she heard he was being held prisoner by the Nazis, a terrible sentence from which Meg fears he’ll never return. All she has left of him are the codes he placed in a jar for her to decipher, an affectionate game the two of them shared. But the codes are running low, and soon there’ll be nothing left of Papa for Meg to hold on to at all.

    Suddenly, an impossible chance to save her father falls into Meg’s lap. After following a trail of blood in the snow, Meggie finds an injured British spy hiding in her grandmother’s barn. Captain Stewart tells her that a family of German refugees must be guided across Nazi-occupied France to neutral Spain, whereupon one of them has promised to free Meg’s father. Captain Stewart was meant to take that family on their journey, but too injured to complete the task himself, he offers it to Meg, along with a final code from Papa to help complete the mission — perhaps the most important, and most difficult, riddle she’s received yet.

    As the Nazis flood Meg’s village in fierce pursuit, she accepts the duty and begins the trek across France. Leading strangers through treacherous territory, Meg faces danger and uncertainty at every turn, all the while struggling to crack her father’s code. The message, as she unravels it, reveals secrets costly enough to risk the mission and even her own life. Can Meg solve the puzzle, rescue the family, and save her father?

     

    Echo Mountain

    After losing almost everything in the Great Depression, Ellie’s family is forced to leave their home in town and start over in the untamed wilderness of nearby Echo Mountain. Ellie has found a welcome freedom, and a love of the natural world, in her new life on the mountain. But there is little joy after a terrible accident leaves her father in a coma. An accident unfairly blamed on Ellie.

    Ellie is a girl who takes matters into her own hands, and determined to help her father she will make her way to the top of the mountain in search of the healing secrets of a woman known only as “the hag.” But the hag, and the mountain, still have many untold stories left to reveal.
     
    Historical fiction at its finest, Echo Mountain is celebration of finding your own path and becoming your truest self. Lauren Wolk, the Newbery Honor– and Scott O’Dell Award–winning author of Wolf Hollow and Beyond the Bright Sea, weaves a stunning tale of resilience, persistence, and friendship across three generations of families.

     

    Amari and the Night Brothers

    Amari Peters has never stopped believing her missing brother, Quinton, is alive. Not even when the police told her otherwise, or when she got in trouble for standing up to bullies who said he was gone for good.

    So when she finds a ticking briefcase in his closet, containing a nomination for a summer tryout at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain the secretive organization holds the key to locating Quinton—if only she can wrap her head around the idea of magicians, fairies, aliens, and other supernatural creatures all being real.

    Now she must compete for a spot against kids who’ve known about magic their whole lives. No matter how hard she tries, Amari can’t seem to escape their intense doubt and scrutiny—especially once her supernaturally enhanced talent is deemed “illegal.” With an evil magician threatening the supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she’s an enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t stick it out and pass the tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton.

     

    The Wild Robot

    Can a robot survive in the wilderness?

    When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is all alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is–but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a violent storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island’s unwelcoming animal inhabitants.

    As Roz slowly befriends the animals, the island starts to feel like home–until, one day, the robot’s mysterious past comes back to haunt her.

    From bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator Peter Brown comes a heartwarming and action-packed novel about what happens when nature and technology collide.

     

    Father and I Were Ranchers

    Ralph Moody was eight years old in 1906 when his family moved from New Hampshire to a Colorado ranch. Through his eyes we experience the pleasures and perils of ranching there early in the twentieth century. Auctions and roundups, family picnics, irrigation wars, tornadoes and wind storms give authentic color to Little Britches. So do adventures, wonderfully told, that equip Ralph to take his father’s place when it becomes necessary.

     

    Gregor the Overlander

    This irresistible novel by Suzanne Collins tells the story of a boy who embarks on a dangerous quest in order to fulfill his destiny — and find his father — in a strange world beneath New York City.

    Gregor the Overlander joins the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. Includes exclusive bonus content!When Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland, where spiders, rats, cockroaches coexist uneasily with humans. This world is on the brink of war, and Gregor’s arrival is no accident. A prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland’s uncertain future. Gregor wants no part of it — until he realizes it’s the only way to solve the mystery of his father’s disappearance. Reluctantly, Gregor embarks on a dangerous adventure that will change both him and the Underland forever. This unforgettable novel by Suzanne Collins, the international bestselling author of the Hunger Games series, is rich in suspense and brimming with adventure.

     

    We the Children (Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School)

    Benjamin Pratt’s school is about to become the site of a new amusement park. It sounds like a dream come true! But lately, Ben has been wondering if he’s going to like an amusement park in the middle of his town—with all the buses and traffic and eight dollar slices of pizza. It’s going to change everything. And, Ben is not so big on all the new changes in his life, like how his dad has moved out and started living in the marina on what used to be the “family” sailboat. Maybe it would be nice if the school just stayed as it is. He likes the school. Loves it, actually. It’s over 200 years old and sits right on the harbor. The playground has ocean breezes and the classrooms have million dollar views…MILLION DOLLAR views. And after a chance—and final—run-in with the school janitor, Ben starts to discover that these MILLION DOLLAR views have a lot to do with the deal to sell the school property. But, as much as the town wants to believe it, the school does not belong to the local government. It belongs to the CHILDREN and these children have the right to defend it!

     

     

    The Whispering Wars

    From the award-winning Jaclyn Moriarty comes a spellbinding tale of unlikely friendship, unexpected magic and competitive athletics.

    The town of Spindrift is frequented by all kinds of Shadow Mages and charlatans. It’s also home to the Orphanage School, where Finlay lives with Glim, Taya, and Eli. Just outside town is the painfully posh Brathelthwaite Boarding School, home to Honey Bee, Hamish, and Victor, Duke of Ainsley. When the two schools compete at the Spindrift Tournament, the stakes are high, tensions are higher, and some people are out to win at any cost. Before long, the orphans and the boarding school kids are at each other’s throats. And then the Whispering Wars break out, and Spindrift is thrust onto the front lines. Children are being stolen; witches, sirens, and a deadly magical flu invade the town; and all attempts to fight back are met with defeat. Finlay, Honey Bee, and their friends must join forces to outwit the encroaching forces of darkness, rescue the stolen children, and turn the tide of the war. But how can one bickering troupe outwit the insidious power of the Whisperers?

     

    I would love to hear what is on your read aloud list for this next year!

  • Middle Grade Books Coming Out in 2021 That I'm Looking Forward to! Middle Grade Anticipated Releases for January-March - Middle Grade books coming out in January 2021, February 2021 and March 2021
    anticipated releases,  book lists,  middle grades

    Anticipated Middle Grade Releases: June-December 2021

    At the beginning of the year I shared a list of middle grade books releasing for the first few months of the year and now I wanted to do a new list for books releasing in the second half of the year!

    I really like middle grade books as an adult which I think is a good thing because then I can proof-read a lot of books for my kids.

    There are a number of books coming out in the next few months that are a continuation of a series and I’m doubly excited about most of these because they are in series that I’ve really been enjoying.

    Before we dive into the list though, I want to give an honorable mention to The Jane Austen Investigates: The Abbey Mystery, I recently read this book and it just came out in April but I didn’t have it on my previous anticipated releases list because I didn’t know about it then. If you have a kid that likes mysteries, that one was a lot of fun!

    If you know about more middle grade books that are being released in the next half of the year, let me know!

     

    Middle Grade Books Coming Out in 2021 That I'm Looking Forward to! Middle Grade Anticipated Releases for June-December - Middle Grade books coming out in the second half of 2021

     

    Anticipated Middle Grade Releases: July-December 2021

     

    JUNE 2021 RELEASES

     

    We are Dude Perfect fans in our family so this one is on our to-buy list!

     

    Dude Perfect 101 Tricks, Tips, and Cool Stuff

    You may know Dude Perfect from their mind-blowing, world record-breaking, viral trick shot videos and hilarious Overtime videos! NOW, with the guys’ new, massive, photo-intensive book Dude Perfect 101 Tricks, Tips, and Cool Stuff, you’ll experience a behind-the-scenes look at their stunts and their personal lives, PLUS step-by-step instructions so you can attempt their tricks at home!

    At Dude Perfect, we do everything we can to bring families closer together, and that’s why we’re excited to share this book with you. Follow our step-by-step instructions to have your own Dude Perfect–style fun!

    Tweens and teens, ages 8 to 12, will enjoy complete panda-monium with this in-depth look at Dude Perfect: five guys who are kickin’ it, throwin’ it, tossin’ it, and shootin’ it for more than 55 million YouTube subscribers and more than twelve billion views.

    With an oversize format and fun, informative graphics, Dude Perfect 101 Tricks, Tips, and Cool Stuff includes . . .

    • Step-by-step instructions to perform your own real life trick shots using everyday objects.
    • A behind-the-scenes view of those hilarious Overtime videos and extreme sports moments.
    • Dude Perfect teaching about what a blast patience, perseverance, teamwork, friendship, and faith can be.
    • Fun science facts behind the seemingly impossible tricks—because really, how did they do that?!
    • Infographics with “No way!” truths from the inspirational to the absurd.
    • A deeper look into each Dude’s personal life, including stats, favorite stunts, and insights.

    Each trick in Dude Perfect 101 Tricks, Tips, and Cool Stuff is the perfect combination of challenging and doable to keep your young reader off-screen for hours. This interactive book is a great gift for birthdays, Easter baskets, holiday gift giving, or just because.

    Whether your own trickster wants to perform solo, challenge a friend, or host a family date night, this visually engaging book is a slam dunk for anyone who is young at heart.

     

    JULY 2021 RELEASES

    I can tell you right now, I have a kid that I plan on buying this for and then having them use it in our homeschool in the fall.

     

    Anxious For Nothing: For Young Readers

    Written for kids ages 8-12, this Bible-based book draws on content from Max Lucado’s bestselling book Anxious for Nothing to help young people overcome the anxiety and pressures of today’s world and come to a deeper understanding of God’s constant, loving presence.

    In this chaotic age of social media, packed schedules, and an increasing awareness of the world’s problems, it’s normal for young people to feel overwhelmed sometimes. But the good news of the gospel has not changed. This encouraging, let’s-start-now book is the perfect tool to help tweens take control of their feelings and choose to focus on God’s truth.

    This much-needed book adapts content from You Are Not Alone as well as from Anxious for Nothing, which has sold over 900,000 copies. With the warmth and authenticity that has made him a beloved pastor and writer, Max Lucado offers young readers:

    • biblical hope and powerful strategies to help them flourish under the mounting struggles of the middle grade years
    • encouragement that God is near, He cares, and He listens
    • truths to claim for themselves in difficult moments
    • practical ways to work through their worries and rely on God’s faithfulness

    This special edition of Anxious for Nothing also includes:

    • a note to kids from the author
    • age-appropriate application questions, journal prompts, and activities that guide kids in Christ-focused mindfulness
    • callouts and infographics featuring key verses, facts, and takeaways
    • sidebars addressing technology-related stress

    Practical, motivating, and biblically grounded, Anxious for Nothing (Young Readers Edition) is a timely book for any tween who sometimes feels overwhelmed, lonely, or anxious, or who simply wants to know more of God’s abundant joy and peace.

     

    AUGUST 2021 RELEASES

     

    The Enola Holmes series is in the upper middle grade range in my opinion but I have read the first book and really enjoyed it. I’m actually planning on reading the rest of the series this summer in anticipation of this release!

     

    Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche

    Enola Holmes is the much younger sister of her more famous brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft. But she has all the wits, skills, and sleuthing inclinations of them both. At fifteen, she’s an independent young woman–after all, her name spelled backwards reads ‘alone’–and living on her own in London. When a young professional woman, Miss Letitia Glover, shows up on Sherlock’s doorstep, desperate to learn more about the fate of her twin sister, it is Enola who steps up. It seems her sister, the former Felicity Glover, married the Earl of Dunhench and per a curt note from the Earl, has died. But Letitia Glover is convinced this isn’t the truth, that she’d know–she’d feel–if her twin had died.

    The Earl’s note is suspiciously vague and the death certificate is even more dubious, signed it seems by a John H. Watson, M.D. (who denies any knowledge of such). The only way forward is for Enola to go undercover–or so Enola decides at the vehement objection of her brother. And she soon finds out that this is not the first of the Earl’s wives to die suddenly and vaguely–and that the secret to the fate of the missing Felicity is tied to a mysterious black barouche that arrived at the Earl’s home in the middle of the night. To uncover the secrets held tightly within the Earl’s hall, Enola is going to require help–from Sherlock, from the twin sister of the missing woman, and from an old friend, the young Viscount Tewkesbury, Marquess of Basilwether!

     

    My kids love the I Survived series and have learned so much history as a result. I love that they are coming out with a graphic novel of this one!

     

    I Survived the Attacks of September 11, 2001

    A gripping graphic novel adaptation of Lauren Tarshis’s bestselling I Survived the Attacks of September 11, 2001, in time for the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

     

    The only thing Lucas loves more than football is his Uncle Benny, his dad’s best friend at the fire department where they both work. Benny taught Lucas everything about football. So when Lucas’s parents decide the sport is too dangerous and he needs to quit, Lucas has to talk to his biggest fan. The next morning, Lucas takes the train to the city instead of the bus to school. It’s a bright, beautiful day in New York. But just as Lucas arrives at his uncle’s firehouse, everything changes — and nothing will ever be the same again. Lauren Tarshis’s New York Times bestselling I Survived series comes to vivid life in bold graphic novels. Perfect for readers who prefer the graphic novel format, or for existing fans of the I Survived chapter book series, these graphic novels combine historical facts with high-action storytelling that’s sure to keep any reader turning the pages. Includes a nonfiction section at the back with facts and photos about the real-life event.

     

    SEPTEMBER 2021 RELEASES

     

    Oh man, the first book, Pax, had me tearing up, I’m slightly afraid what this one will do to me (in a good way, mostly).

     

    Pax, Journey Home

    It’s been a year since Peter and his pet fox, Pax, have seen each other. Once inseparable, they now lead very different lives.

    Pax and his mate, Bristle, have welcomed a litter of kits they must protect in a dangerous world. Meanwhile Peter—newly orphaned after the war, racked with guilt and loneliness—leaves his adopted home with Vola to join the Water Warriors, a group of people determined to heal the land from the scars of the war.

    When one of Pax’s kits falls desperately ill, he turns to the one human he knows he can trust. And no matter how hard Peter tries to harden his broken heart, love keeps finding a way in. Now both boy and fox find themselves on journeys toward home, healing—and each other, once again.

     

    Brian Selznick’s books are so unique! They are massively thick but that is because more than have the pages are sketches. And not just illustrations to enhance the story, many of the pages tell the story in between the text pages. I am so excited that he is coming out with another book!

     

    Kaleidoscope

    A ship. A garden. A library. A key. In Kaleidoscope, the incomparable Brian Selznick presents the story of two people bound to each other through time and space, memory and dreams. At the center of their relationship is a mystery about the nature of grief and love which will look different to each reader. Kaleidoscope is a feat of storytelling that illuminates how even the wildest tales can help us in the hardest times.

     

    Possibly my favorite book find this year has been this series! Inspired by young Agatha Christie, Aggie Morton is a mystery solver! I love the line up of characters/suspects at the beginning of each book, it’s such a fun addition.

     

    Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: The Dead Man in the Garden

    Aspiring writer Aggie Morton is ready to enjoy an invigorating trip to a Yorkshire spa, where her widowed mother can take the waters and recover from a long mourning period. Having solved yet another murder and faced extreme peril with her best friend Hector over Christmas, Aggie’s Morbid Preoccupation is on alert when rumors abound about the spa’s recently deceased former patient . . . and then another body appears under mysterious circumstances. Together with Grannie Jane, and often in the company of George, a young patient at the spa, Aggie and Hector take a closer look at the guests and staff of the Wellspring Hotel, and venture into the intriguing world of the local undertaker. Has there been a murder—or even two? As Aggie and Hector ignite their deductive skills, their restful trip takes a sudden, dangerous turn.

     

    OCTOBER 2021 RELEASES

     

    Admittedly, I’ve only read book one in this series and this is book five coming out this fall but the first book was a five star for me and I’ve heard such good things about the rest of the series. Mostly from my daughter, it’s her favorite series of all time.

     

    The Shattered Castle

    King Jaron has outwitted the Prozarians and returned to his own kingdom with one secret in his pocket that not even his friends know about. He’s hoping that secret will help him finally bring stability to Carthya.

    But a surprise attack on his own land — on the castle itself — reminds Jaron that nothing is easy. The Prozarian Monarch threatens to crumble Jaron’s entire kingdom. And that’s not the only thing in danger: With old enemies and new rumors circling around him, even Jaron’s relationship with Imogen is uncertain.

    This former False Prince will need his best tricks and many allies at his side to hold Carthya together.

     

    Like Aggie Morton, Myrtle Hardcastle is another middle grade mystery series I found and have loved this year! And I really appreciate the puns in each of the titles in this series.

     

    Cold-Blooded Myrtle

    Myrtle Hardcastle—twelve-year-old Young Lady of Quality and Victorian amateur detective—is back on the case, solving a string of bizarre murders in her hometown of Swinburne. 

    When the proprietor of Leighton’s Mercantile is found dead on the morning his annual Christmas shop display is to be unveiled, it’s clear a killer had revenge in mind. But who would want to kill the local dry-goods merchant? Perhaps someone who remembers the mysterious scandal that destroyed his career as a professor and archaeologist. When the killer strikes again, each time manipulating the figures in the display to foretell the crime, Myrtle finds herself racing to uncover the long-buried facts of a cold case—and the motivations of a modern murderer. 

     

    Leave a comment below if you know of other middle grade books coming out in the second half of 2021!

  • Middle Grade Book Recommendations for Grade 6 - a great middle grade book list
    book lists,  middle grades

    GRADE 6 BOOK LIST – middle grade books I’m recommending my 6th grader read in our homeschool

    Every year I like to make a book list for my kids.

    Not really required reads but highly recommended reads.

    I am excited about this list for my daughter who will be going into grade six in the fall because I enjoy middle grade books and have read most of them on this list and think she’ll really enjoy them!

    She prefers fantasy and mystery stories but also likes a hard hitting story from time to time.

    Actually, I think I’m doing pretty well with this list because she’s already snuck a few off my pile and read and enjoyed them.

    If you have other books to add to this list, let me know, I’d love to hear them!

     

    Middle Grade Book Recommendations for Grade 6 - a great middle grade book list

     

    MIDDLE GRADE BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS FOR GRADE SIX

     

    Here’s the Fablehaven book review that I wrote a few years ago that I mentioned in the video.

     

    Winterhouse

    Orphan Elizabeth Somers’s malevolent aunt and uncle ship her off to the ominous Winterhouse Hotel, owned by the peculiar Norbridge Falls. Upon arrival, Elizabeth quickly discovers that Winterhouse has many charms―most notably its massive library. It’s not long before she locates a magical book of puzzles that will unlock a mystery involving Norbridge and his sinister family. But the deeper she delves into the hotel’s secrets, the more Elizabeth starts to realize that she is somehow connected to Winterhouse. As fate would have it, Elizabeth is the only person who can break the hotel’s curse and solve the mystery. But will it be at the cost of losing the people she has come to care for, and even Winterhouse itself?

    Mystery, adventure, and beautiful writing combine in this exciting debut richly set in a hotel full of secrets.

     

    May B.

    I’ve known it since last night:
    It’s been too long to expect them to return. 
    Something’s happened.

    May is helping out on a neighbor’s Kansas prairie homestead—just until Christmas, says Pa. She wants to contribute, but it’s hard to be separated from her family by 15 long, unfamiliar miles. Then the unthinkable happens: May is abandoned. Trapped in a tiny snow-covered sod house, isolated from family and neighbors, May must prepare for the oncoming winter. While fighting to survive, May’s memories of her struggles with reading at school come back to haunt her. But she’s determined to find her way home again. Caroline Starr Rose’s fast-paced novel, written in beautiful and riveting verse, gives readers a strong new heroine to love.

     

    Understood Betsy

    For all of her nine years, fragile Elizabeth Ann has heard her Aunt Frances refer in whispers to her “horrid Putney cousins.” But when her aunt can no longer care for her, Elizabeth Ann must leave her sheltered life to live in the wilds of Vermont with those distant relatives.

    In the beginning, Elizabeth Ann is shocked by country living–pets are allowed to sleep in the house and children are expected to do chores! But with country living comes independence and responsibility, and in time, Elizabeth Ann finds herself making friends and enjoying her new family. When the year is up and Aunt Frances comes to get her niece, she finds a healthier, prouder girl with a new name–Betsy–and a new outlook on life.

     

    Pictures of Hollis Woods

    Hollis Woods
    is the place where a baby was abandoned
    is the baby’s name
    is an artist
    is now a twelve-year-old girl
    who’s been in so many foster homes she can hardly remember them all.
     
    When Hollis is sent to Josie, an elderly artist who is quirky and affectionate, she wants to stay. But Josie is growing more forgetful every day. If Social Services finds out, they’ll take Hollis away and move Josie into a home. Well, Hollis Woods won’t let anyone separate them. She’s escaped the system before; this time, she’s taking Josie with her. Still, even as she plans her future with Josie, Hollis dreams of the past summer with the Regans, fixing each special moment of her days with them in pictures she’ll never forget.

     

    Fablehaven

    For centuries mystical creatures of all description were gathered into a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite.

    Kendra and her brother, Seth, have no idea that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws keep relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken — Seth is a bit too curious and reckless for his own good — powerful forces of evil are unleashed, and Kendra and her brother face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save their family, Fablehaven, and perhaps even the world, Kendra and Seth must find the courage to do what they fear most.

     

    Black Star, Bright Dawn

    Bright Dawn was a teenaged Eskimo girl. Black Star was her part-husky, mostly wolf, pet. Together they were about to begin the famous Iditarod dogsled race through the bitter cold of Alaska. Bright Dawn knew they would win, but she didn’t count on the cold, blinding whiteout, the belligerent bull moose, or ice that could crack and splinter at any time. And she soon realized that she was not only depending on Black Star for the race, but for her life.

     

    Alone

    When twelve-year-old Maddie hatches a scheme for a secret sleepover with her two best friends, she ends up waking up to a nightmare. She’s alone—left behind in a town that has been mysteriously evacuated and abandoned.

    With no one to rely on, no power, and no working phone lines or internet access, Maddie slowly learns to survive on her own. Her only companions are a Rottweiler named George and all the books she can read. After a rough start, Maddie learns to trust her own ingenuity and invents clever ways to survive in a place that has been deserted and forgotten.

    As months pass, she escapes natural disasters, looters, and wild animals. But Maddie’s most formidable enemy is the crushing loneliness she faces every day. Can Maddie’s stubborn will to survive carry her through the most frightening experience of her life?

     

    Stella by Starlight

    Stella lives in the segregated South—in Bumblebee, North Carolina, to be exact about it. Some stores she can go into. Some stores she can’t. Some folks are right pleasant. Others are a lot less so. To Stella, it sort of evens out, and heck, the Klan hasn’t bothered them for years. But one late night, later than she should ever be up, much less wandering around outside, Stella and her little brother see something they’re never supposed to see, something that is the first flicker of change to come, unwelcome change by any stretch of the imagination. As Stella’s community—her world—is upended, she decides to fight fire with fire. And she learns that ashes don’t necessarily signify an end.

     

    The Bookwanderers

    Since her mother’s disappearance, eleven-year-old Tilly Pages has found comfort in the stories at Pages & Co., her grandparents’ bookshop. But when her favorite characters, Anne of Green Gables and Alice from Wonderland, start showing up at the shop,Tilly’s adventures become very real. Not only can she follow Anne and Alice into their books, she discovers she can bookwander into any story she chooses. Tilly’s new ability leads her to fun and exciting adventures, but danger may be lurking on the very next page…

    When new secrets are uncovered, it’s up to Tilly to solve the mystery of what happened to her mother all those years ago. From debut author Anna James comes a charming and exciting adventure about a bookish young heroine, a mysterious librarian, and a magical bookshop that will delight book lovers everywhere.

     

    Greenglass House

    It’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler’s inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again. Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House—and themselves.

     

    The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler

    Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party is gaining strength and becoming more menacing every day. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor upset by the complacency of the German church toward the suffering around it, forms a breakaway church to speak out against the established political and religious authorities. When the Nazis outlaw the church, he escapes as a fugitive. Struggling to reconcile his faith and the teachings of the Bible with the Nazi Party’s evil agenda, Bonhoeffer decides that Hitler must be stopped by any means possible!
     
    In his signature style of interwoven handwritten text and art, John Hendrix tells the true story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor who makes the ultimate sacrifice in order to help free the German people from oppression during World War II.

     

    Do you have any books to add to this list? I would love to hear them!