New middle-grade books for kids to enjoy

It’s kids’ books week! There are a lot of new books for middle-grade readers available now!

Two bunnies want to get in with royalty in “Lord and Lady Bunny – Almost Royalty!” by National Book award-winning author Polly Horvath and illustrated by Sophie Blackall.

No longer detectives, the Bunnys are looking for something to do – how about being Queen? Of course that’s a hard job to get but the Bunnys are determined.

Meanwhile, old friend Maeline wants to go to college, but her parents haven’t exactly saved anything.

When they inherit a sweet shop in England, it seems like the answer to their problems. Aboard a cruise ship, she runs into her old friends the Bunnys (who wanted to keep her as a pet) and is off on new adventures. Whether its Mrs. Bunny creating vegetable-candy (yuck), writing her book and having her book signing be overshadowed by a very famous British children’s book author, there’s many funny adventures ahead!

These British bunnies will have children cracking up. It is published by Random House, is for ages 8 to 12 and is $16.99.


A young tomboy goes to charm school in “School of Charm” by Lisa Ann Scott.

Chip has always been close to her father. When he dies, she and her mother and sisters move to the house of a grandma she barely knows. Grandma seems mean, and all she is interested in is the Miss Dogwood pageant and getting her oldest sister to compete.

Chip isn’t the beauty queen type and begins to feel like the odd girl out. When she meets the magical Miss Vernie and is invited to join her charm school, Chip doesn’t know if it’s a charm school for beauty or magic … or both. Is Miss Vernie the key for Chip to find her place to fit in?

This is a warm coming-of-age story of heartache, healing and magic that preteens wil enjoy.

It published by HarperCollins, is for ages 8 to 12 and is $16.99.


A group of journalism students uncover a secret about their school in “Middle-School Cool” by Maiya Williams.

The students of Journalism 1A – Victoria, Ruben, Aliya and Taliya, Leo, Edie, Margo and Jory are all misfits who have joined Kaboom Academy, an alternative school after being dismissed by their old school.

Who is the mysterious Dr. Kaboom who founded the school? Why is Mr. Mister, the journalism teacher always wearing earplugs?

What secrets is the school hiding and what is the secret behind why the school was founded?

There’s plenty of humor and actual journalism background and tips in this offbeat book.

It is published by Random House, is for ages 10 and up and is $12.99.


Cheesie Mack is back in “Cheesie Mack Is Not Exactly Famous” by Steve Cotler with illustrations by Douglas Holgate.

Cheesie and Georgie are exploring a construction site one day after a thunderstorm when they find something buried in the mud.

It’s a flat metal ring with strange markings.

He shows it to his father (after he gets in trouble for being at the construction site in the first place) and he thinks it’s something important.

It turns out it’s part of a compass that is going to get put in the local museum. Cheesie and Georgie are suddenly famous at school! Will the fame go to their heads?

Will the artifact end up in the museum or sold?

This is a funny story of an ordinary sixth grader and the adventures he gets into! It is published by Random House, is for ages 8 to 12 and is $15.99.


An art mystery is the center of a historic treasure hunt in “Under the Egg” by Laura Marx Fitzgerald.

Theodora Tenpenny is left to take care of her mother and the family’s 200-year-old townhouse after her grandfather dies. He told her to “look under the egg” and that would take care of her and her flaky mother, but what was he meaning?

When Theodora accidentally spills rubbing alcohol on a favorite painting of her grandfather’s, she finds out – under the painting of an egg is actually another painting!

Why would he paint over another painting? It looks like an old Renaissance work, and since her grandfather’s day job was a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Theodora fears that her grandfather was an art thief. But what is the truth? Where did the painting come from and what is it worth?

With the help of a friend, a tattooed librarian and more, Theo is going to get to the bottom of this mystery!

Young mystery fans will enjoy the twists and turns in this story and Theo is a great heroine.

It is published by Penguin, is for ages 8 to 12 and is $16.99.


A funny cat is the “author” of a 1930s mystery in “Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak Bandits” by Michael D. Beil.

Lantern Sam lives aboard the Lake Erie Shoreliner train and is a cunning detective.

His skills are called upon by young Henry Shipley when young heiress Ellie Strasbourg is kidnapped aboard it.

A ransom note is found, but is Ellie being kept aboard the train or has she already been taken off? Can Sam and Henry find their friend before something terrible happens? Lucky for both the kids that Sam has nine lives!

This is a funny mystery with an offbeat “hero” that saves the day at the end no matter what.

It is published by Random House, is for ages 8 to 12 and is $15.99.


Contact Amy Phelps at