I think July was shortened a few days because I can’t figure out where it went for the life of me. As August sneakily tries to ascend, it will be a great month for middle-grade readers. Here are a few of the books that we’re anticipating as we start the long goodbye to summer.
Note: Stories of a Colorful World (SOCW) book lists feature books that star BIPOC characters by authors of those same diverse groups. This post contains affiliate links. If you buy from our links, at no additional cost to you, we get a small commission.
Being Clem by Lesa Cline-Ransome (Release Date: 8/3)
If you’re a fan of Lesa Cline-Ransome’s Finding Langston series, this is the final book in the trilogy. Following the death of Clem’s father in the 1944 Port Chicago disaster, Clem’s mother is forced to look for work to support the family, and his two older sisters are in charge of running the house. Clem is deftly afraid of water but wants badly to be a swimmer to continue his father’s legacy. While everyone tries to navigate life without Clem’s dad, Clem is left to deal with so many changing relationships. How will he handle them? (Ages 8-12)
Black Boy Joy: 17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood by Kwame Mbalia (Release date: 8/3)
Yes, yes, and more yes. This anthology includes a collection of stories, poems, and comics written by many of your (or at least my) favorite Black male children’s book authors. Varian Johnson, Jason Reynolds, BB Alston, Lamar Giles, just to name a few. This book is a celebration of Black boyhood and should be a must-have on your bookshelf. (Ages 9-12)
Pax Samson Vol 1, 1: The Cookout by Rashad Doucet, Jason Reeves (Release date: 8/3)
This graphic novel is the first in a trilogy following Pax Samson, a twelve-year-old boy who is a member of a famous superhero family. Although he’s looked upon to follow in the family business, he loves being a chef. Will he follow his passion or do what’s expected? (Ages 9-12)
Big Apple Diaries by Alyssa Bermudez (Release date: 8/17)
This biographical graphic novel peaks into the diary of Alyssa Bermudez as a middle-schooler. She deals with the challenges of shuffling between her Puerto Rican dad’s apartment in Manhattan and her White mom’s apartment in Queens, navigating friendships, and crushing on a cute boy at school. Her life was suddenly changed by the events on September 11, 2001. (Ages 8-12)
Tomatoes for Neela by Padma Lakshmi, Juana Martinez-Neal (Release date: 8/31)
Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi is bringing her talents to children’s books. In our lone picture book for the month, Neela and Amma (her mother) spend the day preparing Paati’s (her grandmother) favorite sauce. Such an adorable story that weaves in intergenerational family traditions. (Ages 3-7)
We Are Family by Lebron James, Andrea Williams (Release date: 8/31)
Lebron James teamed up with Nina Mata last year wrote an inspiring picture book, I Promise. This year he joined forces with Andrea Williams to create a dynamic middle school novel about a group of scrappy kids that are determined to make their dreams come true on the court. (Ages 8-12)
What are some books that your middle schoolers can’t get enough of? Drop a comment below.
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