2022 Middle Grade Must Reads – September

How to be True

  • Written by Daisy May Johnson
  • Published by Pushkin Press

The first thing you notice is how beautiful the book cover is. With pink and purple all round the cover it’s truly a treat for the eyes.

The second thing you notice is that the book is a decent length, there’s nothing nicer than a long book. 

What first grabbed my attention when I opened the first page was the footnotes on the bottom of the page, this is an extra piece of the story which adds information. And as you read on you find they are on every page and are quite funny. 

We begin the story with some background, setting the scene, meeting the characters and getting their background story.

As soon as the story starts you realise it’s Daisy telling the story as one of the characters. It’s like she is part of the story. 

The main character is Edie who is sent to England from Paris to attend a girls boarding school, but this is like no other boarding school, it’s a fun one run by caring nuns. 

The real action kicks off when the school has a trip to Paris and Edie finds staying at her grandmother’s chateau. 

They must work together to out smart a robber who is after a priceless painting. Maybe this will bring Edie and her family closer.

This is an amazing read. I liked that it shows the benefits of boarding school and shows that they aren’t all bad. I loved how everything seemed to evolve around various biscuits. 

A Flash of Fireflies

  • Written by Aisha Bushby
  • Published by Farshore

Every book Aisha Bushy writes always has a thought provoking message that you come away with, from being unable to take your mind off the book, she did this in a pocketful of stars and she has done this again in this book.

She is not scared to tackle issues that children deal with on a daily basis. These are always hard hitting issues.

In this book Hazel is sent to live with her great aunt while her parents are preparing to move back to England from Kuwait.

She has never met this great aunt and has never been to England.

She struggles to get used to a new way of life. Things over here are so different.

She is sent to a summer school where she struggles to make friends and fit in.

This is a book on family, friendship and finding your place. This book offers a fascinating glimpse into OCD and the struggle people have.

The Haunted Hills

  • Written by Berlie Doherty
  • Illustrated by Tamsin Rosewell
  • Published by UClan

The first thing you are going to notice about this book is the stunning book cover, it is truly beautiful.

The story is truly wonderful, it centres on Carl who is visiting the Peak District with his parents as he struggles to overcome a horrific accident.

There he becomes obsessed with the legend of the lost lad, who is said to wander the moors with his dog.

As the past and past collide Carl must learn to overcome the loss of his best friend and start to enjoy life again.

I really liked this book, for a while the author doesn’t explain what has happened to his best friend but we soon find out what has happened.

We discover what has caused Carl to behave the way he has and then we find out what really happened.

I feel this is an important book because it will show children that it’s ok to grieve, that it’s ok to miss the person but it’s also ok to start to enjoy life again. The children through this book will understand that there will be good days and bad.

It was sad in places about as an adult I could see there was light at the end of the tunnel.

It’s great that authors don’t shy away from important topics like this.

I will definitely be recommending this book to children and adults.

With the beautiful Peak District as the background for the story it is definitely a must read.

The Double Trouble Society

  • Written by Carrie Hope Fletcher
  • Illustrated by Davide Ortu
  • Published by Puffin

They say people born on Friday 13th are immune from evil, I’m not sure if that is right.

Best friends Ivy and Maggie were born at exactly the same time, one Friday 13th. 

Everything in the girls’ lives are fabulous, they are doing well at school, they have an amazing home life, they just want a bit of adventure. With having only a house between them the girls are always together.

Well by chapter 2 they certainly get it, something strange is happening in the house next door, which has been abandoned for as long as the girls can remember.

Before they know what is happening all the adults can’t remember their children.

So it’s up to the girls to sort things out.

While reading this I started to subsect what I thought would be happening, but I was completely wrong. I like when this happens.

The chain of events took me by surprise and I didn’t see the end coming.

I thought it was a very diverse book, especially the two main characters being brought up by single dad’s. I liked how even though they were best friends the girls were very different.

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