New Year Middle-Grade Releases

The first Thursday in January is going to be a bumper release day for middle-grade fiction. Luckily, Christmas is a perfect time to catch up on lots of reading so that I can clear some bookshelf space for these new additions. By clearing bookshelf space, I mean that, once I finish a book at home, I take it in to school to add to my class library for the children to enjoy.

I have included the Goodreads or Waterstones synopsis for each of these. Here goes …

Publisher: Chicken House Books

1835. Cabin boy Syms Covington is on the voyage of a lifetime to the Galapagos Islands with the world-famous scientist Charles Darwin. But when Syms falls overboard during a huge storm, he washes up on an unexplored island. Stranded there, he makes a discovery that could change the world … Now it’s not just his own survival at stake – the future of an undiscovered species is in his hands. How to Train Your Dragon meets natural history – with real science!

Publisher: Little Tiger

When Holly and her family fly to LA for a holiday, it promises to be the trip of a lifetime. On her first day exploring the city of dreams, Holly befriends a movie director, who’s captured something suspiciously dragonlike on camera while filming out in the desert. But before she can examine the tape properly, it goes missing… Holly asks her partner-in-solving-crime, dragon detective Dirk Dilly, to join her on the hunt for clues in Hollywood. Will they be able to find the film before it falls into the wrong hands and exposes the existence of dragonkind to the world? 

Publisher: Piccadilly Press

Tomas is a fully-fledged expert dragon grower and protector of the dragonfruit tree. He has eyes in the back of his head for watching over those sneaky dragons, awesomely fast reflexes for putting out sparks and dodging the diving antics of whirling newly hatched dragons. He’s got it all down pat – and managing his little lightning bolt dragon Zing, too. But he’s not quite prepared for the adventure that awaits him when a huge secret is revealed about his new friend, Aura. A thrilling secret that will take Tomas and Aura on a journey of discovery that will finally unlock the last mysteries of the dragonfruit tree. A journey of discovery that all the dragons will be in on – and just what will happen when lightning bolt dragon Zing and storm dragon Flicker get together? 

Publisher: Usborne Publishing

Join the brave friends Patch, Wren and Barver for another adventure of magic and music! Thrill as they meet the Pirates of the Eastern Seas! Marvel as they venture to the only city where dragons and humans live side by side! Gasp as they journey high into the snowy peaks, where the greatest secret of the griffins lies hidden! And tremble as they come face to face once more with the increasingly powerful and evil Hamelyn Piper…

Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s Books

Jessica is playing with her family at the river when she finds a dirty, bedraggled teddy bear in the water. She has no idea that it will change everything, forever. Meanwhile, Cymbeline comes home from school to find that his mum’s house has been broken into – and the thieves seemed oddly focused on his toys. Thank goodness he had Not Mr Fluffy, his Bear of Most Extreme Importance, with him. Soon, Jessica and Cymbeline find themselves swept up in a mystery that spans decades, threatens their families, and turns their lives upside down. But sometimes, just maybe, a new life can be a really wonderful thing…

Publisher: Chicken House Books

Morgana loves robots and longs to attend robotics school in the city. But she’s a witch, living in a magical woodland community: the closest she comes to technology is petting her ancient mechanical familiar, Kitty. She simply doesn’t belong. But when she finally finds a way to the City, she learns of a troubling secret hiding beneath its gleaming surface: a secret that threatens the balance of civilization. Caught between two worlds, only Morgana has the power to find a solution … 

Publisher: Walker Books

Nine is an orphan pickpocket determined to escape her life in the Nest of a Thousand Treasures. When she steals a house-shaped ornament from a mysterious woman’s purse, she knocks on its tiny door and watches it grow into a huge, higgledy-piggeldy house. Inside she finds a host of magical and brilliantly funny characters, including Flabberghast – a young wizard who’s particularly competitive at hopscotch – and a hideous troll housekeeper who’s emotionally attached to his feather duster. They have been placed under an extraordinary spell, which they are desperate for Nine to break. If she can, maybe they can offer her a new life in return… 

Publisher: Egmont

A spellbinding new middle grade series crackling with magic and adventure. I am Spel. Daughter of witches. The only one who can step between worlds. The only one who can save my sister. If I can find her before the witch hunt begins … Thirteen years ago, magic was banished and the witches were hunted. Sisters Spel and Egg are the daughters of witches, but they grow up in Miss Mouldheel’s School for Wicked Girls with no idea who they really are. Until the day the message arrives telling them to run … The message sends them to a funeral parlour in a far away village – and their new guardian, the Undertaker, has a secret. Beneath the funeral parlour is a portal to the Other Ways – four worlds that lie parallel to ours. When Egg vanishes through the portal, Spel knows she must try to save her sister. But no one can step between the worlds – or can they?

Publisher: Usborne Publishing

P. G. Bell’s Delivery to the Lost City is the thrilling conclusion of the Train to Impossible Places trilogy, a magical middle-grade adventure. When the Impossible Postal Express is charged with returning an overdue library book, Suzy Smith looks forward to a nice, simple delivery–just the thing she needs to convince her anxious parents to let her keep her job on the train. So she’s less than thrilled to discover that not only is the book alive, it’s full of a growing and dangerous magic. Worse still, the world to which it belongs is missing, and Suzy and her friends will have to use all their ingenuity to find it. Suzy must help a fledgling rebellion seize power, return the book to its rightful owner, and get home before her parents ground her for life. The conclusion to the Train to Impossible Places trilogy promises to be the most adventurous yet. 

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books

September 1939. When Jimmy is evacuated to a small village in Wales, it couldn’t be more different from London. Green, quiet and full of strangers, he instantly feels out of place. But then he finds a skull hidden in a tree, and suddenly the valley is more frightening than the war. Who can Jimmy trust? His brother is too little; his best friend has changed. Finding an ally in someone he never expects, they set out together to uncover the secrets that lie with the skull. What they discover will change Jimmy – and the village – forever. A mesmerising mystery about bravery and brotherhood from an outstanding new voice.

Publisher: Chicken House Books

Science and laughs combine in this out-of-this-world adventure, featuring illustrations by Ben Mantle! You might think that this story is going to be an intergalactic adventure filled with UFOs, black holes, killer robots and some very foul-smelling aliens. And you’d be right. But it’s mostly about a boy called Jake, his embarrassing dad, and the mind-boggling question . . . are we really alone in the universe?

Publisher: Barrington Stoke

SUMMER 1914. When Fran unearths a bone in the garden of Longbarrow House on the same afternoon that Leo breaks his leg, it must surely be just a coincidence. But Fran can’t shake the uneasy feeling that the events are somehow connected, and there is a shift in the atmosphere that leaves her troubled and anxious. Roped into keeping wheelchair-bound Leo company, Fran is forced to listen to his foolish theories about the looming threat of war in Europe. But as the pair start to uncover more secrets buried beneath the garden, they dredge up threatening shadows of the future, and Fran begins to fear that Leo’s dire predictions might be coming true …

Publisher: Orion Children’s Books

When Art’s mother is accused of witchcraft, she is determined to get her back – at any cost. Twelve-year-old Art lives in a small village in Scotland. Her mother has always made potions that cure the sick, but now the townspeople say she is a witch. One cloudless night, Art’s mother is accused of Witchcraft, arrested, and taken from Scotland to England. Art mounts her horse, taking a sword, a tightrope, and a herbal recipe book, and begins a journey through wild forests to find her mother before summer solstice, using nature’s signs and symbols to guide her. On her journey, Art will discover what sacrifices she will need to make to be reunited with her mother – and to alter the fate of women everywhere. But will she reach her, before it’s too late?

Publisher: Scholastic 

Melody Bird has discovered an old abandoned house in the corner of the graveyard, and a mysterious boy hiding out there… Hal tells her that he’s a spy-in-training, using the house as a base for his undercover surveillance of a known local criminal. Her friends Matthew and Jake don’t believe that a teenager would be entrusted with this mission and turn the tables to spy on him, uncovering secrets and unravelling a mystery as they go.

There you have it! There are some incredible middle-grade being released on 7th January! Are there any of these you want to read? Have you already read any of these?

8 thoughts on “New Year Middle-Grade Releases

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