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Holiday Gift Guide 2017: Middle Grade

Staff Pick Logo
Thornhill Cover Image
By Pam Smy, Pam Smy (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781626726543
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Roaring Brook Press - August 29th, 2017

Sarah's Holiday Pick 2017: "In the 1980s, Thornhill was on its last legs as a halfway home for foster girls.  One of the last remaining is Mary, a selective mute who chronicles abuses at the hands of the other girls in her diary.  By 2017, Thornhill is locked and abandoned…or at least it’s supposed to be.  But from the window of her new bedroom, Ella can see a girl waving her over from the gated yard.  The reader joins Ella as she uncovers the story of what happened in the last days of Thornhill…and the chilling end yet to come.  In a cinematic style reminiscent of Brian Selznick, graphic novel and horror fans will be sucked in to this historical mystery."

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Orphan Island Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062443410
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Walden Pond Press - May 30th, 2017

Sarah's Holiday Pick 2017: "The island doesn’t have many rules, but the nine children living on it know they all must be followed without fail.  And the biggest one is that when the boat comes with the new orphan, the oldest gets on it and sails away.  But when Jinny’s best friend Deen gets on the boat, leaving her with toddler Ess to train, she’s not so sure she wants to keep playing by the rules.  This beautifully lyrical novel could be read as a metaphor for growing up…or it could just be a fascinating mystery, exploring the ways and reasons of the island.  One thing’s for sure, it’s a deeply compelling read that should appeal to fans of fantasy lands and contemporary realistic characters alike."

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Marty Pants #1: Do Not Open! Cover Image
By Mark Parisi, Mark Parisi (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062427762
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - May 2nd, 2017

Cliff's Holiday Pick 2017: "Marty is a kid just like any other. He’s got bullies, homework and clueless parents. That is, until he gets a note that says "An alien is observing you." Does he know this alien? Is it his teacher Mr. McPhee? Could it be the new student Analie (who seems to be following Marty around and taking notes on his behavior)? Is it someone else entirely? WHO KNOWS?! Read this book and find out. This hilarious story is perfect for any kid (or adult) (or alien) who loves Diary of a Wimpy KidBig Nate, or Timmy Failure."

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Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic Cover Image
By Armand Baltazar, Armand Baltazar (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062402363
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - October 10th, 2017

Cliff's Holiday Pick 2017: "If Rick Riordan and Brian Selznick ever decided to write a book together it would look a lot like this; a fantasy tale unlike any I’ve read. Time has collapsed into itself and thrown people (and dinosaurs!) from every time period together on a drastically reshaped earth. Enter Diego, son of a couple from different time periods. His engineer father is kidnapped by a group that would see time “corrected” and everyone born post-Collision wiped out. Diego, his friends, and pirates (?!) must travel the Vastlantic to get him back and stop their plot. A beautifully illustrated labor of love that EVERYONE should read. Get into this series on the ground floor because it will be the talk of the town if it isn’t already."

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The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid Cover Image
By Colin Meloy, Carson Ellis (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062342454
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - October 24th, 2017

Cliff's Holiday Pick 2017: "Charlie is the son of an American diplomat in 60s France. Outside of his tutoring Charlie spends his time alone. Until he stumbles upon Amir, a gifted young pickpocket, in action. Charlie is impressed and, after helping him avoid arrest, asks Amir to teach him his trade. With Amir's support, Charlie is admitted to his gang, the Whiz Mob of Marseille: a multicultural cast of kids from all over the world. In their lair under a derelict bar, the mob plots elaborate heists, targeting the wealthy where they congregate. Charlie's thrilled to belong. But the deeper he's drawn in, the higher the stakes become, culminating in a perilous journey to the remote School of Seven Bells in Colombia. Perfect for anyone who loves a bit of suspense, mystery, and a heaping dose of wit in their stories."