2022 Middle Grade Must Reads – August (Part One)

A beginners guide to ruling the Galaxy

  • Written by David Solomons
  • Published by Nosy Crow

This is one of 2022’s must read books. Gavin thinks that there is something strange about new girl Niki. She knows it all, she is far cleverer than anyone else and she says she’s a princess. She has a strange relationship with her “brother, “ oh and she is desperate to dissect a class mate in a science lesson. She’s definitely getting on Gavin’s nerves.
I’m not going to spoil the plot but you definitely need to read this book. I loved the pairing of Niki and Gavin, I thought they were a great double act. I found it interesting that Gavin was in foster care and how worried he was about the possibility of having to move again, it was interesting to see life from his point of view, and how Niki really didn’t understand.
I decided to start this book while sitting at a park while my two children played, I’d only got to page 4 before I was laughing out loud. My boys gave me a look as to say your embarrassing us, I did really try to stop laughing but I couldn’t help myself as I got more into the book it got funnier and funnier.
Now by the time I’m half way through I’m laughing so much that my boys asked to go home! I know of some David Solomon fans at my primary school who will be desperate to get there hands on this.

Greta and the Ghost Hunters

  • Written by Sam Copeland
  • Illustrations by Sarah Horne
  • Published by Puffin

I absolutely adored this book. Telling the story of Greta who is recovering from being hit by car, we discover she lives in a house fall of ghosts and she can now hear them. She is battling to stop her parents putting her beloved grandmother in a nursing home. So its handy that one of the ghosts is her grandfather. There is also Percy a young boy from the Victorian age. Oh and Wolfgang who has a talking rat as a pet.
I read this out loud to my children and I personally believe this book deserves to be read out loud. There is so much expression used and you can’t help but wave your arms around while reading.
My favourite character has to be granddad and I really enjoyed reading his part.
There are so many funny bits that will have you giggling, I especially loved Wolfgang explaining how his aunts died, and Percy plays a game called stick push a poo which is exactly what it says, I really couldn’t keep a straight face!
This will definitely be in my top 10 books of 2022.

The dragon in the bookshop

  • Written by Ewa Jozefkowicz
  • Published by Zephyr

Two of my favourite things are dragons and bookshops so when there combined, I know I’m in for a treat. 

Konrad’s dad has died and he has stopped talking and has a lot of anger, one place he feels close to his dad is the family’s bookshop. 

Unfortunately, since his dad’s death his mum has struggled to run it and decides its best, they sell it. This isn’t what Konrad wants.

Another place he feels close to his dad is his dad’s favourite part of the beach,  its there he meets Maya. Maya has her own problems at home, nobody listens to her. So her and Konrad make the perfect pair, she talks and he listens.

On a last visit to the bookshop Konrad and Maya end up in Konrad’s favourite folk tales book.

Now I know you’re wondering where the dragon comes in, Konrad and Maya go on a daring quest with the dragon. 

This is a heart warming book that will have you reaching for the tissues.

This book is a captivating read and deals with important issues such as grief,  courage,  friendship and finding your voice. This book will give children important life lessons. 

I liked the writing style as you become invested in the characters. You worry about them and find you can’t leave the book alone.

I think this is an important book that belongs in school libraries.

The lost girl king

  • Written by Catherine Doyle 
  • Published by Bloomsbury

From the award winning author of the Storm Keeper trilogy comes this brilliant new book. This is a nail biting journey through the mythical land of eternal youth Tir na nOg.

This is a story of bravery, doing what’s best for the family and the love between siblings. This is action packed that will have you looking at your sibling in a different way. 

We meet Amy and Liam who are sent to stay with their gran during the school holidays. With not a lot going on they decide to go on a walk and follow the flight of a hawk. But something isn’t right when they see the bird disappear through the waterfall. When Liam is captured Amy must travel to find him and rescue him.

She befriends a group of greencloaks and she manages to convince them to help her rescue her brother. 

Amy is a wonderful character and she had some really good one liners, and I loved her relationship she develops with the greencloaks. I wonder what you would do for your siblings?

The dangerous life of Ophelia Bottom

  • Written by Susie Bower
  • Published by Pushkin

Ophelia just wants a boring life – she wants to go to school and live in a house. 

Instead, she travels around the country with her parents in an old motor home, her parents are entertainers who will put on a two person show wherever they go. When they arrive in the strange town Stopford, they are eager to leave, unfortunately Ophelia’s dad breaks his leg and they are stuck there. Suddenly Ophelia gets the chance to live the life she always dreamt of.

But maybe a boring life isn’t for the Bottom family. 

There are very strange things going on in the town and it’s up to Ophelia to discover who is behind it. 

I really loved this book; I have to admit my favourite character was Ophelia’s dad. I loved how he spoke in CAPITAL LETTERS, and he had so much expression in this book, that the book deserves to be read out loud. He’s the kind of character that when you read out loud you would have a lot of hand waving! This book would be an ideal class read.

As I read this book, I couldn’t work out what the mystery of the village was so I was completely surprised when I came to the twist. But it all made sense, looking back there were clues everywhere in the story. 

Now as I’ve said I love this book this does deal with a very important issue, that being plastic pollution. 

As you will discover the village adore plastic and the factory thinks nothing of polluting the waterways with it.

In this day and age where pollution is a massive problem I think it’s brilliant that Susie Bower has tackled the issue, she has done it in a gentle way that children will understand, and hopefully will encourage them to recycle. 

I definitely recommend this book!

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