It’s crazy to me that we’re already half way through August! But there are so many amazing middle grade releases this month that I’m excited to check out at some point!

I’ve already brought you a list of 40 new young adult and adult books this month, so why not add to your TBR some more?

Today I’m bringing you 17 new middle grade August 2019 releases that all look fantastic! These are perfect for teachers, your children or if you’re like me and just love reading middle grade books!

August 1st

The Friendship Lie by Rebecca Donnelly - The Contented ReaderCora Davis’s life is garbage. Literally. Her professor parents study what happens to trash after it gets thrown away, and Cora knows exactly how it feels–to be thrown away. Between her mom and dad separating and a fallout with her best friend, fifth grade for Cora has been a year of feeling like being tossed into the dumpster. But Cora has learned a couple of things from her parents’ trash-tracking studies: Things don’t always go where they’re supposed to, and sometimes the things you thought you got rid of come back. And occasionally, one person’s trash is another’s treasure, which Cora and Sybella learn when they come across a diary detailing best-friendship problems. Told in two intertwining points of view, comes a warm, wry story of friendship, growing up, and being true to yourself. Written by Rebecca Donnelly, author of How to Stage a Catastrophe (an Indies Introduce and Indie Next List honoree), The Friendship Lie will speak to any reader who has struggled with what to hold on to and what to throw away.

August 6th

The Bone Garden by Heather Kassner - The Contented Reader“Remember, my dear, you do not really and truly exist.”

Made of dust and bone and imagination, Irréelle fears she’s not quite real. Only the finest magical thread tethers her to life—and to Miss Vesper. But for all her efforts to please her cruel creator, the thread is unraveling. Irréelle is forgetful as she gathers bone dust. She is slow returning from the dark passages beneath the cemetery. Worst of all, she is unmindful of her crooked bones.

When Irréelle makes one final, unforgivable mistake by destroying a frightful creature just brought to life, Miss Vesper threatens to imagine her away once and for all. Defying her creator for the very first time, Irréelle flees to the underside of the graveyard and embarks on an adventure to unearth the mysterious magic that breathes bones to life, even if it means she will return to dust and be no more.

With echoes of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, debut author Heather Kassner crafts a gorgeously written story humming with magic, mystery, and dark imaginings.

Rise of the Dragon Moon by Gabrielle K. Byrne - The Contented ReaderThe ice never forgets.

Princess Toli may be heir to the throne, but she longs to be a fierce hunter and warrior. Alone in a frozen world, her queendom is at the mercy of the dragons that killed her father, and Toli is certain it’s only a matter of time before they come back to destroy what’s left of her family.

When the dragons rise and seize her mother, Toli will do anything to save her— even trust a young dragon who may be the only key to the Queen’s release.

With her sister and best friend at her side, Toli makes the treacherous journey across the vast ice barrens to Dragon Mountain, where long-held secrets await. Bear-cats are on their trail, and dragons stalk them, but the greatest danger might be a mystery buried in Toli’s past.

Each Tiny Spark by Pablo Cartaya - The Contented ReaderFrom award-winning author Pablo Cartaya comes a deeply moving middle grade novel about a daughter and father finding their way back to each other in the face of their changing family and community.

Emilia Torres has a wandering mind. It’s hard for her to follow along at school, and sometimes she forgets to do what her mom or abuela asks. But she remembers what matters: a time when her family was whole and home made sense. When Dad returns from deployment, Emilia expects that her life will get back to normal. Instead, it unravels.

Dad shuts himself in the back stall of their family’s auto shop to work on an old car. Emilia peeks in on him daily, mesmerized by his welder. One day, Dad calls Emilia over. Then, he teaches her how to weld. And over time, flickers of her old dad reappear.

But as Emilia finds a way to repair the relationship with her father at home, her community ruptures with some of her classmates, like her best friend, Gus, at the center of the conflict.

Each Tiny Spark by Pablo Cartaya is a tender story about asking big questions and being brave enough to reckon with the answers.

A Swirl of Ocean by Melissa Sarno - The Contented ReaderA touching, timeless novel–perfect for fans of Lisa Graff and Lauren Wolk–about a girl who discovers that the ocean is holding secrets she never could have imagined.

Twelve-year-old Summer loves the ocean. The smell, the immensity, the feeling she gets when she dives beneath the surface. She has lived in Barnes Bluff Bay since she was two years old, when Lindy found her on the beach. It’s been the two of them ever since. But now, ten years later, Summer feels uncertainty about her place with Lindy and starts to wonder about where she came from. One night, Summer goes for a swim and gets caught in a riptide, swallowing mouthfuls of seawater. And that night, she dreams of a girl. A girl her age living in the same town, but not in the same time. Summer’s not persuaded that this girl is real, but something about her feels familiar.

Summer dreams again and again about this girl, Tink, and becomes convinced that she is connected to her past. As she sees Tink struggle with her sister growing away from her and her friends starting to pair off, Summer must come to terms with her own evolving home life and discover how the bonds that make us family can help heal the wounds of the past.

From Melissa Sarno, the author of Just Under the Clouds, comes a new story of discovery, family, and finding where you belong.

The Serendipity of Flightless Things by Fiadhnait Moser - The Contented ReaderThis middle grade, magical-realism novel from the author of The Flourishing of Floralie Laurel is about an Irish girl who is sent to a mysterious town in Virginia to live with her long-lost mother, and is Alice Hoffman’s Nightbird meets Claire Legrand’s The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls!

Amidst the 1971 Troubles between the Irish Republican Army and Northern Ireland, twelve-year-old Finn lives in a world of her own of fairy tales. Raised by her grandmother, Nuala, who is the village storyteller, Finn spends her days playing make-believe in the forest, weaving tall tales to tell her friend Darcy, longing to go to the island of Inis Eala to meet the swans there, and waiting for her father to return from the war. She’s long since stopped believing in happy endings and miracles, preferring to believe instead in serendipity, or “happy mistakes.” While Nuala revels in the safety and routine of their quiet village life, spunky Finn craves adventure . . . something that comes to her more quickly than expected.

When Darcy becomes lost at sea and Nuala suddenly passes away, Finn is shipped off to the affluent town of Starlight Valley, Virginia, to live with her long-lost mother, Aoife, and half-sister, Posy-Kate. Finn is initially excited to get to know her newfound family, but she can’t help but notice that things are a bit unusual. The town is encircled by thorn trees, and even stranger is Aoife’s house, where the walls are covered with swan feathers and decorated with swan heads–and Aoife’s shoes appear to be made out of swan bills.

Finn tries to ignore the sinking feeling that something isn’t right, but she starts to believe that what’s happening isn’t random. Instead, it’s taken directly from one of her grandmother’s famous folktales, The Children of Lir, where a scorned mother turns all of her children into swans. But Finn stopped believing in those stories a long time ago . . . could they actually be true?

Cardslinger by M.G. Velasco - The Contented ReaderA dangerous quest, a lost treasure, and the card game that started it all.

It’s 1881, and a newfangled card game called Mythic is sweeping the nation. Twelve-year-old Jason “Shuffle” Jones doesn’t like it. He and his father created the game for themselves, before his father went missing. Mythic should have disappeared with him. But when Shuffle discovers a clue in a pack of Mythic cards, he sets out on a quest to find his dad. Along the way he clashes with a devious card swindler, an epic twister, and the ruthless bounty hunter Six-Plum Skylla and her gang. As he gets closer to the truth, will he turn tail or push all-in to become a real hero?

August 13th

Ghost and Bone by Andrew Prentice - The Contented ReaderA twisty middle grade adventure standalone for fans of Neil Gaiman and Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow about a cursed boy who embarks on a journey into a magical city of ghosts to find out who he really is.

Oscar Grimstone is a normal kid–aside from his secret Curse. Whenever he touches something living, like a flower or his classroom goldfish, they always seem to die. But then Oscar discovers an even bigger secret: even though he is very much alive, he has the ability to transform into a ghost.

Just when he thinks things can’t get any stranger two ghosts show up at his home in a skeleton carriage and he winds up joining them on a journey beyond the real world to a place he never knew existed–the city of ghosts. There Oscar will discover a place where people go once they die, before they aboard a ship to the The Other Side. But will he find out who he really is?

August 20th

The Explorers-The Quest for the Kid by Adrienne Kress - The Contented ReaderThe third book in the Explorers series has more mystery, more bravery, more danger than ever before! The perfect read for fans of Chris Grabenstein and The Mysterious Benedict Society!

Sebastian is still at large, kidnapped again!

Evie is still missing her grandfather, the leader of the Filipendulous Five!

And there’s still an explorer hanging from the edge of a perilous cliff!

All this and more in the third book in the Explorers series: The Quest for the Kid.

The Trouble with Shooting Stars by Meg Cannistra - The Contented ReaderTwelve-year-old Luna loves the nighttime more than anything else. It’s when no one gives her “that look” about the half mask she has to wear while healing from a disfiguring car accident. It’s also the perfect time to sit outside and draw what she sees. Like the boy and girl from the new family next door…zipping out of the window in a zeppelin and up to the stars.

At first she thinks she’s dreaming. But one night they catch her watching. Now Luna spends her nights on adventures with them, as they clean full moons, arrange constellations, and catch jars of stardust. She even gets to make a wish on a shooting star they catch.

But Luna learns that no wish is strong enough to erase the past—as much as she may hope to.

Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker - The Contented ReaderInspired by Bram Stoker, H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe, a portrait of survival and a tale of friendship.

The haunted season has arrived in the Antler Wood. No fox kit is safe.

When Mia and Uly are separated from their litters, they discover a dangerous world full of monsters. In order to find a den to call home, they must venture through field and forest, facing unspeakable things that dwell in the darkness: a zombie who hungers for their flesh, a witch who tries to steal their skins, a ghost who hunts them through the snow . . . and other things too scary to mention.

Featuring eight interconnected stories and sixteen illustrations.

The Other Half of Happy by Rebecca Balcarcel - The Contented ReaderQuijana is a girl in pieces. One-half Guatemalan, one-half American: When Quijana’s Guatemalan cousins move to town, her dad seems ashamed that she doesn’t know more about her family’s heritage. One-half crush, one-half buddy: When Quijana meets Zuri and Jayden, she knows she’s found true friends. But she can’t help the growing feelings she has for Jayden. One-half kid, one-half grown-up: Quijana spends her nights Skyping with her ailing grandma and trying to figure out what’s going on with her increasingly hard-to-reach brother. In the course of this immersive and beautifully written novel, Quijana must figure out which parts of herself are most important, and which pieces come together to make her whole. This lyrical debut from Rebecca Balcárcel is a heartfelt poetic portrayal of a girl growing up, fitting in, and learning what it means to belong.

August 22nd

The Eye of the North by Sinead O'Hart - The Contented ReaderWhen Emmeline’s scientist parents mysteriously disappear, she finds herself heading for a safe house, where allies have pledged to protect her. But along the way, she is kidnapped by the villainous Doctor Siegfried Bauer, who is bound for the ice fields of Greenland. There he hopes to summon a mystical creature from the depths of the ancient glaciers, a creature said to be so powerful that whoever controls it can control the world.

Unfortunately, Bauer isn’t the only one determined to unleash the creature. The North Witch has laid claim to the mythical beast, too, and Emmeline along with a scrappy stowaway named Thing may be the only one with the power to save the world as we know it. Can Emmeline face one of the greatest legends of all time and live to tell the tale?

August 27th

Count Me In by Varsha Bajaj - The Contented ReaderAn uplifting story, told through the alternating voices of two middle-schoolers, in which a community rallies to reject racism.

Karina Chopra would have never imagined becoming friends with the boy next door–after all, they’ve avoided each other for years and she assumes Chris is just like the boys he hangs out with, who she labels a pack of hyenas. Then Karina’s grandfather starts tutoring Chris, and she discovers he’s actually a nice, funny kid. But one afternoon something unimaginable happens–the three of them are assaulted by a stranger who targets Indian-American Karina and her grandfather because of how they look. Her grandfather is gravely injured and Karina and Chris vow not to let hate win. When Karina posts a few photos related to the attack on social media, they quickly attract attention, and before long her #CountMeIn post–“What does an American look like? #immigrants #WeBelong #IamAmerican #HateHasNoHomeHere”–goes viral and a diverse population begin to add their own photos. Then, when Papa is finally on the road to recovery, Karina uses her newfound social media reach to help celebrate both his homecoming and a community coming together.

The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell - The Contented ReaderFrom award-winning author Katherine Rundell comes a fast-paced, sharp-turning, and utterly thrilling adventure, one driven at its heart by an extraordinarily powerful evocation of the loyalty and love between a grandfather and his granddaughter.

Fresh off the boat from England, Vita Marlowe has a job to do. Her beloved grandfather Jack has been cheated out of his home and possessions by a notorious conman with Mafia connections. Seeing Jack’s spirit is broken, Vita is desperate to make him happy again, so she devises a plan to outwit his enemies and recover his home. She finds a young pickpocket, working the streets of the city. And, nearby, two boys with highly unusual skills and secrets of their own are about to be pulled into her lawless, death-defying plan.

Katherine Rundell’s fifth novel is a heist as never seen before—the story of a group of children who will do anything to right a wrong.

Dead Voices by Katherine Arden - The Contented ReaderBestselling author Katherine Arden returns with another creepy, spine-tingling adventure in this follow-up to the critically acclaimed Small Spaces.

Having survived sinister scarecrows and the malevolent smiling man in Small Spaces, newly minted best friends Ollie, Coco, and Brian are ready to spend a relaxing winter break skiing together with their parents at Mount Hemlock Resort. But when a snowstorm sets in, causing the power to flicker out and the cold to creep closer and closer, the three are forced to settle for hot chocolate and board games by the fire.

Ollie, Coco, and Brian are determined to make the best of being snowed in, but odd things keep happening. Coco is convinced she has seen a ghost, and Ollie is having nightmares about frostbitten girls pleading for help. Then Mr. Voland, a mysterious ghost hunter, arrives in the midst of the storm to investigate the hauntings at Hemlock Lodge. Ollie, Coco, and Brian want to trust him, but Ollie’s watch, which once saved them from the smiling man, has a new cautionary message: BEWARE.

With Mr. Voland’s help, Ollie, Coco, and Brian reach out to the dead voices at Mount Hemlock. Maybe the ghosts need their help–or maybe not all ghosts can or should be trusted.

Dead Voices is a terrifying follow-up to Small Spaces with thrills and chills galore and the captive foreboding of a classic ghost story.

The Spinner of Dreams by K.A. Reynolds - The Contented ReaderInventive, empathetic, and strange in all the best ways, The Spinner of Dreams draws from the author’s own experiences to create a story that feels timeless and universal. As she did in her debut The Land of Yesterday, K. A. Reynolds thoughtfully explores mental health and crafts an adventure that fits right alongside middle grade classics like The Phantom Tollbooth.

Annalise Meriwether–though kind, smart, and curious–is terribly lonely.

Cursed at birth by the devious Fate Spinner, Annalise has always lived a solitary life with her loving parents. She does her best to ignore the cruel townsfolk of her desolate town–but the black mark on her hand won’t be ignored.

Not when the monster living within it, which seems to have an agenda of its own, grows more unpredictable each day.

There’s only one way for Annalise to rid herself of her curse: to enter the Labyrinth of Fate and Dreams and defeat the Fate Spinner. So despite her anxiety, Annalise sets out to undo the curse that’s defined her–and to show the world, and herself, exactly who she is inside.

Let’s Chat in the Comments!

Which middle grade cover is your favourite? Do you want to read any of these now? Do you like to read middle grade books?

Victoria @ The Contented Reader

Victoria @ The Contented Reader

Avid reader and tea drinker. I read and review young adult books on my blog, The Contented Reader!

Leave a Reply