2022 Middle Grade Must Reads – October (Part One)

The Secret of Ragnar’s Gold by Mark Dawson

  • Published by Welbeck Flame

I love this series of books. It is set quite near to where I live and it’s great when a place I know is mentioned.

The book follows a group of friends who call themselves the after school detective club.

And they are  never far from an adventure and a mystery to solve.

What I like best is the group of 5 children are completely different from one another, and they all have a different home life. The personality of the group works fantastically.

In this book Joe manages to arrange a holiday for the group in a castle.

The other children are expecting Joe’s nan to show up and when she doesn’t the adventure begins. The children are on the hunt for some treasure believed to be hidden by a viking warrior.

But of course they’re not the only ones.

The plot is fast paced and the action starts from the first chapter.

I’m looking forward to the next one due for release in January.

The Mystery of the Missing Mum by Frances Moloney

  • Published by Pushkin Press

When Jake wakes up and discovers that his mum has disappeared he begins a journey to find out what has happened to her.

The adults in his life are not telling him so he starts a list with possible places she could be.

Of course us adults work out pretty quickly where his mum is but it is interesting to be in Jake’s shoes and experience his feelings and thoughts/worries.

I can see a bit of autism in Jake with the list making and friendship struggles.

At the heart of this book is a family that is funny, unique and perfectly normal.

This book shows us families are made up of different people and it doesn’t have to have blood relations to be family.

This book also shines a light on mental health issues and how they affect different people. It shows that it can be there without people seeing signs of it.

The book looks at people who else can help such as school staff, and actions that can be put into place for the children affected by this.

Lily’s Dream by Judi Curtin

  • Published by O’Brien

Ireland 1914 and Lily is a housemaid at Lissadell. She also teaches sewing but her main dream in life is to be a teacher. She sends all her money home to her mum and knows her family can’t afford teacher training.

World War One is starting and Lily’s life is starting to change, only small little things to start with but soon the footman is sent to train to be a soldier, food rations start and soon refugee families start to arrive.

While this is happening Lily falls out with her best friend, and she gets the chance to teach her mistress’ children simple things.

But soon the footman is reported missing and life at Lissadell may never be the same again.

This is part of a series but can be read as a stand alone book. I did this but because I enjoyed the book so much I plan on reading the other books in the series.

It turns out that LIssadell where the book is set is actually a real place in Ireland and some of the characters were actually real people.

This book offers a real interesting look at how the upper class were affected by the war and what life was actually like working for these people.

Alice Éclair, Spy Extraordinaire! A Recipe for Trouble by Sarah Todd Taylor

  • Published by Nosy Crow

I love when a brand new series comes along, you are able to get to know the characters and you become invested in them.

So when the first in this new series came along I was delighted to get new hands on a copy.

In the first book we meet Alice, a 13 year old who by day helps her mum run a popular bakery in the heart of Paris, and by night she is training to be a spy, even though her mum doesn’t know she is doing this.

She is sent on an important mission undercover as a pastry chef aboard a train trying to catch a spy.

While on board she makes new friends even though she needs to subsect everyone.

This is a brilliant first book which can be read by anyone.

The rest of the series promises to be as amazing and I look forward to reading the next one.

Dead Good Detectives by Jenny McLachlan

  • Published by Farshore

I am a massive fan of Jenny McLachlan and the Roar series was amazing, it had everything I wanted in a series so I was so disappointed when it ended.

I was therefore delighted when I heard she had written a new series so as soon as I could I started this book.

I was hooked by the first chapter and immediately adored the characters.

When Sid accidentally releases a 300  year old dead pirate and his extremely noisy parrot she needs to work out how to return him to his grave.

Eventually she needs to enlist the help of her best friend Zen to help get the ghost back to where they belong. But they aren’t sure what the treasure the pirate is looking for.

In the book a lot of issues are dealt with, Sid’s mum is dead so a lot of the book is set in the cemetery, Sid deals with bullying at school and she is unsure of her friendship with Zen.

My personal favourite character is Zen, I love how wacky he is and I see a lot of myself in this character. Like me he doesn’t care what people think of him and like me he’s slightly eccentric.

I read this book in two sittings, and I’m pleased this has become a series. I can’t wait for the next one.

Check out my September recommendations here.

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