Hi, I’m Jennifer Schneider – @princessreadsalot on Instagram. After graduating with a B.A. in English, I taught abroad in South Korea, Japan, and Thailand. 10 years ago, I got my M.A. in Education, and I have been teaching middle school English in Minnesota ever since. I love to read middle-grade and teen books so that I can encourage my students to find something they love to read.
I start each 7th grade school year with the book Where the Red Fern Grows. When parents arrive for the Open House, they frequently reminisce about how they loved reading it. Then, the school year starts, and numerous students tell me that their parents are reading Where the Red Fern Grows with them. Whether parents are doing it to help their student or looking to reread a favorite book, I don’t know, but it’s sweet. Below are 2020 releases that adults will love. So, whether you have a teen in your life to buddy read with OR a Goodreads goal to meet (yes, these are nice and short!) OR are in a reading slump (these fast-paced books will surely get you out) OR just need a lovely book check out this list!
When You Trap A Tiger by Tae Keller
Don’t read the summary of this book- just go read the book!! But, here’s the summary, just in case: When Lily and her family move in with her sick grandmother, a magical tiger straight out of her halmoni’s Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history. Long, long ago, Halmoni stole something from the tigers. Now, the tigers want it back. And when one of those tigers offers Lily a deal–return what Halmoni stole in exchange for Halmoni’s health–Lily is tempted to accept. But deals with tigers are never what they seem! With the help of her sister and her new friend Ricky, Lily must find her voice… and the courage to face a tiger.
96 Miles by J.L. Esplin
Summary: The Lockwood brothers are supposed to be able to survive anything. Their dad, a hardcore survivalist, has stockpiled enough food and water on their isolated Nevada ranch to last for months. But when they are robbed at gunpoint during a massive blackout while their dad is out of town, John and Stew must walk 96 miles in the stark desert sun to get help–and they have only 3 days before their time runs out.
Coop Knows the Scoop by Taryn Souders
Summary: Windy Bottom, Georgia is usually a peaceful place. Coop helps his mom at her café and bookstore, hangs out with his grandpa, and bikes around with his friends Justice and Liberty. The town is full of all kinds of interesting people, but no one has ever caused a problem. Until now. And somehow, Gramps is taking all the blame! It seems like there are a lot of secrets that were buried in their small town after all…Will Coop and his friends get to the bottom of the mystery and clear Gramps’s name before it’s too late?
Clean Getaway by Nic Stone
Summary: Set against the backdrop of the segregation history of the American South, take a trip with New York Times bestselling Nic Stone and an eleven-year-old boy who is about to discover the world hasn’t always been a welcoming place for kids like him, and things aren’t always what they seem–his G’ma included.
Scritch Scratch by Lindsay Currie
Summary: Claire has absolutely no interest in the paranormal. She’s a scientist, which is why she can’t think of anything worse than having to help out her dad on one of his ghost-themed Chicago bus tours. She thinks she’s made it through when she sees a boy with a sad face and dark eyes at the back of the bus. There’s something off about his presence, especially because when she checks at the end of the tour…he’s gone. Claire tries to brush it off, she must be imagining things, letting her dad’s ghost stories get the best of her. But then the scratching starts. Voices whisper to her in the dark. The number 396 appears everywhere she turns. And the boy with the dark eyes starts following her. Claire is being haunted. The boy from the bus wants something…and Claire needs to find out what before it’s too late.
Overall, these 5 books contain short, fast-paced chapters that will intrigue a middle grade student. Yet, they also contain loveable characters that will make any adult cry, hope, or sit on the edge of their seat wanting to know more. This is my first book review blog that I’ve written, and I hope to write more. Let me know if you’d like to hear about more middle grade books. Thanks to Christina for letting me post and test the waters on this blogging thing!