middle grade books
FINDING JUNIE KIM
For fans of Inside Out and Back Again and Amina’s Voice, We Need Diverse Books cofounder Ellen Oh creates a breathtaking story of family, hope, and survival, inspired by her mother’s real-life experiences during the Korean War. Faced with middle school racism, Junie Kim learns of her grandparents’ extraordinary strength and finds her voice.
“Filled with unforgettable characters, this profoundly moving story about a girl’s search for self is at once both unique and universal, timely and timeless. A book that should be on every shelf.” —Padma Venkatraman, Walter Award-winning author of The Bridge Home
Junie Kim just wants to fit in. So she keeps her head down and tries not to draw attention to herself. But when racist graffiti appears at her middle school, Junie must decide between staying silent or speaking out.
Then Junie’s history teacher assigns a project and Junie decides to interview her grandparents, learning about their unbelievable experiences as kids during the Korean War. Junie comes to admire her grandma’s fierce determination to overcome impossible odds, and her grandpa’s unwavering compassion during wartime. And as racism becomes more pervasive at school, Junie taps into the strength of her ancestors and finds the courage to do what is right.
Finding Junie Kim is a reminder that within all of us lies the power to overcome hardship and emerge triumphant.
Character art by Kelly Wang @owolet
THE DRAGON EGG PRINCESS
In a kingdom filled with magic, Jiho Park and his family are an anomaly—magic doesn’t affect them.
Jiho comes from a long line of forest rangers who protect the Kidahara—an ancient and mysterious wood that is home to powerful supernatural creatures. But Jiho wants nothing to do with the dangerous forest.
Five years ago, his father walked into the Kidahara and disappeared. Just like the young Princess Koko, the only daughter of the kingdom’s royal family. Jiho knows better than anyone else the horrors that live deep in the magical forest and how those who go in never come back.
Now the forest is in danger from foreign forces that want to destroy it, and a long-forgotten evil that’s been lurking deep in the Kidahara for centuries finally begins to awaken. Can a magic-less boy, a fierce bandit leader, and a lost princess join forces and save their worlds before it’s too late?
Click here for The Dragon Egg Princess reviews
“Filled with strange terrains, creatures, and magic, this is an enthralling read!”
– Soman Chainani, author of the New York Times bestselling School for Good and Evil series
By drawing inspiration from Korean lore and culture, Ellen Oh is helping to reinvigorate the fantasy genre. Readers will love The Dragon Egg Princess for its humor, inventive magic, and thrilling action!”
– Linda Sue Park, Newbery Medalist and New York Times bestselling author
SPIRIT HUNTERS 2: THE ISLAND OF MONSTERS
The thrilling sequel to the Texas Bluebonnet Award-nominated Spirit Hunters! We Need Diverse Books founder Ellen Oh delivers the next haunting tale in her acclaimed middle grade series Spirit Hunters, a mix of captivating mystery and chilling ghost story. The perfect spooky read for Halloween, this pulse-pounding adventure will leave you shocked at every twist. Harper Raine faces new challenges ahead when her parents take the whole family to a remote tropical island for vacation. As Harper starts to have visions of the resort’s history of disappearances and discovers more about the island’s dark and fabled past, she must use her newly acquired spirit hunting talents to save everyone on the island from murderous spirits on the attack. An exciting and spooky middle grade series, perfect for Halloween reads.
Harper Raine doesn’t like her new house from the moment she steps inside. It makes her skin crawl and her hair stand on end. There’s an energy to the house that just doesn’t feel right…. There are rumors that the Raine family’s new house is haunted. Unexplainable events and tragedy seem to have befallen every family who’s lived there before. Harper isn’t sure she believes those rumors until her younger brother, Michael, starts acting strangely. The whole atmosphere gives Harper a sense of déjà vu, but she can’t remember why. Harper knows that the memories she’s blocking will help make sense of her brother’s behavior and the strange and dangerous sensations she feels in the house, but will she be able to put the pieces together in time?
Whether it is basketball dreams, family fiascos, first crushes, or new neighborhoods, this bold anthology—written by the best children’s authors—celebrates the uniqueness and universality in all of us. In a partnership with We Need Diverse Books, industry giants Kwame Alexander, Soman Chainani, Matt de la Peña, Tim Federle, Grace Lin, Meg Medina, Walter Dean Myers, Tim Tingle, and Jacqueline Woodson join newcomer Kelly J. Baptist in a story collection that is as humorous as it is heartfelt. This impressive group of authors has earned among them every major award in children’s publishing and popularity as New York Times bestsellers. From these distinguished authors come ten distinct and vibrant stories.
Click here for reviews of Flying Lessons
“Inclusive, authentic, and eminently readable, this collection of short stories is an excellent addition for libraries and classrooms.”
– School Library Journal, starred review
“The collection as a whole highlights the importance of perspective, perseverance, wonder, courage, and creativity during the middle school years. . . . Thought-provoking and wide-ranging, this first anthology from WNDB should not be missed.”
– Publishers Weekly, starred review
“There’s plenty of magic in this collection to go around.”
– Booklist, starred review
“A natural for middle school classrooms and libraries, this strong collection should find eager readers.”
– Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Click here for articles of Flying Lessons
Time for kids review – 2017 Winter Book Reviews
Entertainment Weekly – Read Ellen Oh’s exclusive excerpt from Flying Lessons & Other Stories