It’s officially the second day of September! I’m enjoying a great long weekend with my family at the cottage and getting lots of reading in. It’s the best!

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 23 new middle grade September 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.

September 3rd

Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab - The Contented ReaderTrouble is haunting Cassidy Blake . . . even more than usual.

She (plus her ghost best friend, Jacob, of course) are in Paris, where Cass’s parents are filming their TV show about the world’s most haunted cities. Sure, it’s fun eating croissants and seeing the Eiffel Tower, but there’s true ghostly danger lurking beneath Paris, in the creepy underground Catacombs.

When Cass accidentally awakens a frighteningly strong spirit, she must rely on her still-growing skills as a ghosthunter — and turn to friends both old and new to help her unravel a mystery. But time is running out, and the spirit is only growing stronger.

And if Cass fails, the force she’s unleashed could haunt the city forever.

The Fire Keeper by J.C. Cervantes - The Contented ReaderZane Obispo’s new life on a beautiful secluded tropical island, complete with his family and closest friends, should be perfect. But he can’t control his newfound fire skills yet (inherited from his father, the Maya god Hurakan); there’s a painful rift between him and his dog ever since she became a hell hound; and he doesn’t know what to do with his feelings for Brooks. One day he discovers that by writing the book about his misadventures with the Maya gods, he unintentionally put other godborn children at risk. Unless Zane can find the godborns before the gods do, they will be killed. To make matters worse, Zane learns that Hurakan is scheduled to be executed. Zane knows he must rescue him, no matter the cost. Can he accomplish both tasks without the gods detecting him, or will he end up a permanent resident of the underworld?
In this cleverly plotted sequel to The Storm Runner, the gang is back together again with spirited new characters, sneaky gods, unlikely alliances, and secrets darker than Zane could ever have imagined. Secrets that will change him forever.

The Great Shelby Holmes and the Haunted Hound by Elizabeth Fulberg - The Contented ReaderAcclaimed author Elizabeth Eulberg continues her hilarious middle-grade twist on Sherlock Holmes as detective duo Shelby and Watson face their spookiest case yet–a haunting!

Now infamous in their Harlem neighborhood for solving the most difficult mysteries, super sleuths Shelby Holmes and John Watson stumble into their creepiest case yet. Residents of a local apartment building are hearing scary noises at night, like screams, scratching, and an unearthly dog’s howl. It can’t be a ghost . . . Can it?

Well, Shelby Holmes doesn’t believe in ghosts, and she plans to prove they don’t exist! But Watson can’t help but wonder if there are more supernatural forces at work–especially after he and Shelby hear rumors that the building’s previous owner, Hugo Baskerville, and his loyal hound haunt the premises.

If Shelby and Watson want to find out who (or what!) is behind the spookiness, they’ll have to prove they’re not afraid of ghosts–by surviving an overnight Halloween stakeout!

Elizabeth Eulberg’s charming middle-grade take on Sherlock Holmes continues in this retelling of The Hound of the Baskervilles that reunites readers with the charming detective pairing of Shelby and Watson.

All the Impossible Things by Lindsay Lackey - The Contented ReaderRed’s inexplicable power over the wind comes from her mother. Whenever Ruby “Red” Byrd is scared or angry, the wind picks up. And being placed in foster care, moving from family to family, tends to keep the skies stormy. Red knows she has to learn how to control it, but can’t figure out how.

This time, the wind blows Red into the home of the Grooves, a quirky couple who run a petting zoo, complete with a dancing donkey and a giant tortoise. With their own curious gifts, Celine and Jackson Groove seem to fit like a puzzle piece into Red’s heart.

But just when Red starts to settle into her new life, a fresh storm rolls in, one she knows all too well: her mother. For so long, Red has longed to have her mom back in her life, and she’s quickly swept up in the vortex of her mother’s chaos. Now Red must decide the possible from the impossible if she wants to overcome her own tornadoes and find the family she needs.

The Light in the Lake by Sarah R. Baughman - The Contented ReaderA remarkable debut novel that takes readers on a journey of discovery, magic, science, and hope.

Twelve-year-old Addie should stay away from Maple Lake. After all, her twin brother, Amos, drowned there only a few months ago. But its crisp, clear water runs in Addie’s veins, and the notebook Amos left behind — filled with clues about a mysterious creature that lives in the lake’s inky-blue depths — keeps calling her back.

So despite her parents’ fears, Addie accepts a Young Scientist position studying the lake for the summer, promising she’ll stick to her job of measuring water pollution levels under adult supervision. Still, Addie can’t resist the secrets of Maple Lake. She enlists the lead researcher’s son, Tai, to help her investigate Amos’s clues. As they collect evidence, they also learn that Maple Lake is in trouble — and the source of the pollution might be close to home. Addie finds herself caught between the science she has always prized and the magic that brings her closer to her brother, and the choice she makes will change everything.

Owl's Outstanding Donuts by Robin Yardi - The Contented ReaderAfter Mattie Waters loses her mother, she goes to live with her aunt, the owner of a roadside donut shop in Big Sur, California. When an owl taps on Mattie’s window one night, Mattie looks out to see something suspicious taking place nearby. With help from her friends–and from Alfred, a stuffy but good-hearted owl–she’ll set out to find the culprits, facing fears that have followed her since her mother’s death.

The Key of Lost Things by Sean Easley - The Contented ReaderWith the help of a magical key, Cam searches for his missing friend—who just might be the Hotel’s newest enemy—in this thrilling sequel to The Hotel Between, which New York Timesbestselling author Lisa McMann calls a “rollicking magical adventure around the world.”

Ever since Cam was named Concierge-in-Training, he’s been struggling to keep up with the pace of The Hotel Between. It doesn’t help that his missing friend Nico keeps unleashing pranks—you try finding fifty-two cats scattered all over the world.

When a grand party goes horribly wrong, Cam learns his twin sister, Cass, may also be up to no good. Now Cam must set out to prevent Cass and Nico from endangering the Hotel and keep it from falling into the hands of Mr. Stripe, a horrible magic. If he fails, The Hotel Between could be lost. Forever.

My Jasper June by Laurel Snyder - The Contented ReaderLaurel Snyder, author of Orphan Island, returns with another unforgettable story of the moments in which we find out who we are, and the life-altering friendships that show us what we can be.

The school year is over, and it is summer in Atlanta. The sky is blue, the sun is blazing, and the days brim with possibility. But Leah feels. . . lost. She has been this way since one terrible afternoon a year ago, when everything changed. Since that day, her parents have become distant, her friends have fallen away, and Leah’s been adrift and alone.

Then she meets Jasper, a girl unlike anyone she has ever known. There’s something mysterious about Jasper, almost magical. And Jasper, Leah discovers, is also lost.

Together, the two girls carve out a place for themselves, a hideaway in the overgrown spaces of Atlanta, away from their parents and their hardships, somewhere only they can find.

But as the days of this magical June start to draw to a close, and the darker realities of their lives intrude once more, Leah and Jasper have to decide how real their friendship is, and whether it can be enough to save them both.

Some Places More than Others by Renee Watson - The Contented ReaderNewbery Honor author Renée Watson explores a family’s relationships and Harlem—its history, culture, arts, and people.

All Amara wants is to visit her father’s family in Harlem. Her wish comes true when her dad decides to bring her along on a business trip. She can’t wait to finally meet her extended family and stay in the brownstone where her dad grew up. Plus, she wants to visit every landmark from the Apollo to Langston Hughes’s home.

But her family, and even the city, is not quite what Amara thought. Her dad doesn’t speak to her grandpa, and the crowded streets can be suffocating as well as inspiring. But as she learns more and more about Harlem—and her father’s history—Amara realizes how, in some ways more than others, she can connect with this other home and family.

This is a powerful story about family, the places that make us who we are, and how we find ways to connect to our history across time and distance.

Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly - The Contented ReaderThere are stories of extraordinary children who are chosen from birth to complete great quests and conquer evil villains.

This is no such story.

Sometimes, you are an ordinary child.

Sometimes, you have to choose yourself.

This is the story of Lalani Sarita, a twelve-year-old girl who lives on the island of Sanlagita in the shadow of a vengeful mountain. When she makes a fateful wish that endangers her already-vulnerable village, she sets out across the distant sea in search of life’s good fortunes. Grown men have died making the same journey. What hope does an ordinary girl have?

Inspired by Filipino folklore, Lalani of the Distant Sea introduces readers to a landscape of magical creatures, such as Bai-Vinca, the enormous birdwoman; Ditasa Ulod, part woman, part eel; the mindoren, a race of creatures modeled after the water buffalo; and the whenbo — trees that eat the souls of the dead.

Strange Birds-A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers by Celia C. Pérez - The Contented ReaderFrom the award-winning author of The First Rule of Punk comes the story of four kids who form an alternative Scout troop that shakes up their sleepy Florida town.

When three very different girls find a mysterious invitation to a lavish mansion, the promise of adventure and mischief is too intriguing to pass up.

Ofelia Castillo (a budding journalist), Aster Douglas (a bookish foodie), and Cat Garcia (a rule-abiding birdwatcher) meet the kid behind the invite, Lane DiSanti, and it isn’t love at first sight. But they soon bond over a shared mission to get the Floras, their local Scouts, to ditch an outdated tradition. In their quest for justice, independence, and an unforgettable summer, the girls form their own troop and find something they didn’t know they needed: sisterhood.

White Bird - A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio - The Contented ReaderInspired by her blockbuster phenomenon Wonder, R. J. Palacio makes her graphic novel debut with an unforgettable story of the power of kindness and unrelenting courage in a time of war.

In R. J. Palacio’s bestselling collection of stories Auggie & Me, which expands on characters in Wonder, readers were introduced to Julian’s grandmother, Grandmère. Palacio makes her graphic novel debut with Grandmère’s story as a young Jewish girl hidden away by a family in Nazi-occupied France during World War II. Her harrowing experience vividly demonstrates the power of kindness to change hearts, build bridges, and even save lives. Anyone who was moved by the book Wonder or the blockbuster movie adaptation and its message will be captivated by White Bird.

The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner - The Contented ReaderSabrina the Teenage Witch meets Roller Girl in this hilarious, one-of-a-kind graphic novel about a half-witch who has just discovered the truth about herself, her family, and her town and is doing her best to survive middle school now that she knows everything!

Magic is harder than it looks.

Thirteen-year-old Moth Hush loves all things witchy. But she’s about to discover that witches aren’t just the stuff of movies, books, and spooky stories. When some eighth-grade bullies try to ruin her Halloween, something really strange happens. It turns out that Founder’s Bluff, Massachusetts, has a centuries-old history of witch drama. And, surprise: Moth’s family is at the center of it all! When Moth’s new powers show up, things get totally out-of-control. She meets a talking cat, falls into an enchanted diary, and unlocks a hidden witch world. Secrets surface from generations past as Moth unravels the complicated legacy at the heart of her town, her family, and herself.

In this spellbinding graphic novel debut, Emma Steinkellner spins a story packed with humor and heart about the weird and wonderful adventures of a witch-in-progress.

More to the Story by Hena Khan - The Contented ReaderFrom the critically acclaimed author of Amina’s Voice comes a new story inspired by Louisa May Alcott’s beloved classic, Little Women, featuring four sisters from a modern American Muslim family living in Georgia.

When Jameela Mirza is picked to be feature editor of her middle school newspaper, she’s one step closer to being an award-winning journalist like her late grandfather. The problem is her editor-in-chief keeps shooting down her article ideas. Jameela’s assigned to write about the new boy in school, who has a cool British accent but doesn’t share much, and wonders how she’ll make his story gripping enough to enter into a national media contest.

Jameela, along with her three sisters, is devastated when their father needs to take a job overseas, away from their cozy Georgia home for six months. Missing him makes Jameela determined to write an epic article—one to make her dad extra proud. But when her younger sister gets seriously ill, Jameela’s world turns upside down. And as her hunger for fame looks like it might cost her a blossoming friendship, Jameela questions what matters most, and whether she’s cut out to be a journalist at all …

September 10th

The Star Shepherd by Dan Haring - The Contented ReaderNeil Gaiman meets How to Train Your Dragon in this beautifully illustrated middle-grade novel about a boy, his trusted dog, and his best friend, as they race to save the stars before their light is extinguished for good.

When the world first formed, the night was black and filled with dark creatures. The Elders knew their people couldn’t survive under such a threat. So they gave their hearts to the sky in the form of stars to keep evil away.

Now, eleven-year-old Kyro is a Star Shepherd like his father. He’s spent his life tucked away in the small town of Drenn. There, the family watches the night sky for falling stars―and rushes to rescue them when they do.

When too many stars start falling at once, and disappearing before they can be saved, Kyro’s father journeys to report the threat. But when he doesn’t return, Kyro, with the help of his best friend, Andra, and his trusty dog, Cypher, must find a way to save the stars before the dark creatures make a terrifying return.

Stargazing by Jen Wang - The Contented ReaderMoon is everything Christine isn’t. She’s confident, impulsive, artistic . . . and though they both grew up in the same Chinese-American suburb, Moon is somehow unlike anyone Christine has ever known.

When Moon’s family moves in next door to Christine’s, Moon goes from unlikely friend to best friend―maybe even the perfect friend. The girls share their favorite music videos, paint their toenails when Christine’s strict parents aren’t around, and make plans to enter the school talent show together. Moon even tells Christine her deepest secret: that she sometimes has visions of celestial beings who speak to her from the stars. Who reassure her that earth isn’t where she really belongs.

But when they’re least expecting it, catastrophe strikes. After relying on Moon for everything, can Christine find it in herself to be the friend Moon needs?

New York Times–bestselling author-illustrator Jen Wang draws on her childhood to paint a deeply personal yet wholly relatable friendship story that’s at turns joyful, heart-wrenching, and full of hope.

September 17th

Pavi Sharma's Guide to Going Home by Bridget Farr - The Contented ReaderThe Fosters meets The Great Gilly Hopkins in this moving novel, featuring foster kid Pavi Sharma as she sets off on an important mission to save a fellow foster kid from the home that still haunts her nightmares.

Twelve-year-old Pavi Sharma is an expert at the Front Door Face: the perfect mix of puppy dog eyes and a lemonade smile, the exact combination to put foster parents at ease as they open their front door to welcome you in. After being bounced around between foster families and shelter stays, Pavi is a foster care expert, and she runs a “business” teaching other foster kids all she has learned. With a wonderful foster family in mom Marjorie and brother Hamilton, things are looking up for Pavi.

Then Pavi meets Meridee: a new five-year-old foster kid, who is getting placed at Pavi’s first horrendous foster home. Pavi knows no one will trust a kid about what happened on Lovely Lane, even one as mature as she is, so it’s up to her to save Meridee.

With help from Hamilton, brooding eighth grader Santos, and Hamilton’s somewhat obnoxious BFF Piper, they set off on an important mission with life-changing stakes. Pavi will stop at nothing to keep Meridee safe.

Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation by Stuart Gibbs - The Contented ReaderFrom New York Times bestselling author Stuart Gibbs comes the first novel in a thrilling new series about the world’s youngest and smartest genius who’s forced to use her unbelievable code-breaking skills to outsmart Einstein.

Charlie Thorne is a genius.
Charlie Thorne is a thief.
Charlie Thorne isn’t old enough to drive.

And now it’s up to her to save the world…

Decades ago, Albert Einstein devised an equation that could benefit all life on earth—or destroy it. Fearing what would happen if the equation fell into the wrong hands, he hid it.

But now, a diabolical group known as the Furies are closing in on its location. In desperation, a team of CIA agents drags Charlie into the hunt, needing her brilliance to find it first—even though this means placing her life in grave danger.

In a breakneck adventure that spans the globe, Charlie must crack a complex code created by Einstein himself, struggle to survive in a world where no one can be trusted, and fight to keep the last equation safe once and for all.

The Trouble with Perfect by Helena Duggan - The Contented ReaderHaving uncovered the secrets that lay behind the spookily pristine town of Perfect, Violet and the townsfolk are enjoying their new freedom from the maniacal rule of the evil Archer twins. But have they really seen the last of Edward Archer? Why is Boy acting strangely? And who is masterminding a scary zombie army?

Another quirky, creepy and unforgettable adventure, perfect for fans of Roald Dahl, Neil Gaiman and Tim Burton.

September 24th

Bad Bella by Ali Standish - The Contented ReaderPerfect for fans of Racing in the Rain and Because of Winn Dixie! Ali Standish, author of the critically acclaimed The Ethan I Was Before and August Isle, delivers a remarkable tale of one extraordinary pup’s search for a new family, inspired by her real-life rescue dog Bella. 

Bella is the very best dog a family could ask for. Only her family, the McBrides, don’t see it that way.

Ever since Mrs. McBride’s belly started growing, they don’t seem to appreciate the way Bella cleans the crumbs from the kitchen floor or how she’s always willing to play fetch after a long day. And when Bella’s valiant attempt to save the Christmas tree ends in disaster, she finds herself being swiftly abandoned at the pound.

As the reality sinks in that she is unwanted, Bella is heartbroken. Where did she go wrong?

Things look bleak until a kind couple, the Roses, take Bella in. Her new life is filled with wonderful things like parks and snowballs, vanilla ice cream, and the National Geographic Channel. But as the weather turns cold again, the Roses start acting strangely and Bella wonders if she can really trust them. Do they actually love her, or is history about to repeat itself?

And will Bella be able to find a true home in time for Christmas this year?

The Tyrant's Tomb by Rick Riordan - The Contented ReaderIn his penultimate adventure, a devastated but determined Apollo travels to Camp Jupiter, where he must learn what it is to be a hero, or die trying.

It’s not easy being Apollo, especially when you’ve been turned into a human and banished from Olympus. On his path to restoring five ancient oracles and reclaiming his godly powers, Apollo (aka Lester Papadopoulos) has faced both triumphs and tragedies. Now his journey takes him to Camp Jupiter in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the Roman demigods are preparing for a desperate last stand against the evil Triumvirate of Roman emperors. Hazel, Reyna, Frank, Tyson, Ella, and many other old friends will need Apollo’s aid to survive the onslaught. Unfortunately, the answer to their salvation lies in the forgotten tomb of a Roman ruler . . . someone even worse than the emperors Apollo has already faced.

The Long Ride by Marina Tamar Budhos - The Contented ReaderIn the tumult of 1970s New York City, seventh graders are bussed from their neighborhood in Queens to integrate a new school in South Jamaica.

Jamila Clarke. Josie Rivera. Francesca George. Three mixed-race girls, close friends whose immigrant parents worked hard to settle their families in a neighborhood with the best schools. The three girls are outsiders there, but they have each other.

Now, at the start seventh grade, they are told they will be part of an experiment, taking a long bus ride to a brand-new school built to “mix up the black and white kids.” Their parents don’t want them to be experiments. Francesca’s send her to a private school, leaving Jamila and Josie to take the bus ride without her.

While Francesca is testing her limits, Josie and Jamila find themselves outsiders again at the new school. As the year goes on, the Spanish girls welcome Josie, while Jamila develops a tender friendship with a boy–but it’s a relationship that can exist only at school.

Remarkables by Margaret Peterson Haddix - The Contented ReaderNew York Times bestselling author Margaret Peterson Haddix, the master of cliffhangers, delivers a pulse-pounding mystery perfect for fans of Jacqueline West and Kat Yeh, full of secrets, surprises, and the power of family.

One minute they’re there: laughing and having fun at the house next door. The next minute, the teens are gone. Like magic. Marin can’t believe her eyes. Who are they? Can anyone else see them? What makes them so happy?

Marin is lonely in this new town of hers and eager to figure out more. Then she meets Charley, who reveals that he knows about them, too.

He calls them the “Remarkables.” Charley warns her to stay away from the Remarkables—and him. Charley and Marin both have painful secrets they’re holding on to, but could solving the mystery of the Remarkables help them both?

In addition to building an intriguing world filled with mystery, Haddix also grounds the story with real issues that many children face. Characters deal with the complexities of bullying, the guilt children experience when parents have addiction issues, and the uplifting power found in strong families of all shapes and sizes.

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!

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