12 New Middle Grade Books to Get Excited For This Winter!

By: OwlCrate Jr

No animal, according to the rules of animal-etiquette, is ever expected to do anything strenuous, or heroic, or even moderately active during the off-season of winter.
—Kenneth Grahame

Start off your 2022 reading journey on the right foot by getting excited for some great new titles, coming soon to a bookstore and library near you!

January Releases:
     Book cover for Beatrice and Croc Harry by Lawrence Hill. Image shows a young Black girl wearing a red shirt and blue pants with her arms on her hips. She stands at the door of a tree house, as a giant blue crocodile stands at the base of the tree.     Book cover for Northwind by Gary Paulsen. Image shows a mountain landscape with a light blue jagged river featured in the foreground.     Book cover of The Lock-Eater by Zack Loran Clark. Image shows a young girl in a blue coat and a black cat silhouetted in a glowing yellow keyhole. They stand atop the head of a golden automotan, surrounded by trees and forest.     Book cover for Dream Annie Dream by Waka T Brown. Image shows a young Japanese American girl in front of a red theatre curtain.

  • Beatrice and Croc Harry by Lawrence Hill (January 1st)
    Lawrence Hill's middle grade debut follows Beatrice's compelling search for identity, though she cannot recall how or why she arrived in the magical forest of Argilia . . .

  • Northwind by Gary Paulsen (January 11th)
    The late Gary Paulsen's last book is a survivalist tale with hints of Nordic mythology. Follow an orphan named Leif who’s forced to flee northward after a deadly plague reaches the small fishing camp where he lives.

  • The Lock-Eater by Zack Loran Clark (January 18th)
    An epic adventure sparkling with magic, wit, secret identities, stinky cats, fierce orphan girls, imposter boys, and a foundling and gearling hotly pursued by the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the land.

  • Dream, Annie, Dream by Waka T. Brown (January 25th)
    A coming-of-age story about a Japanese American girl’s fight to make space for herself in a world that claims to celebrate everyone’s differences but doesn’t always follow through.

February Releases:

     Book cover of Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdom by Jamar J. Perry. Image shows a young Black boy staring at a floating, glowing book. Behind the boy is an portal that looks onto a castle with dragons flying around it.      Book cover for Maizy Chen's Last Chance by Lisa Yee. Image shows a young Asian American girl wearing a green tshirt and blue shorts standing with one hand on her hip. In the background is an older Asian American woman standing behind an older Asian American man in a wheel chair, both standing behind a desk. A young white girl stands outside the room looking in.      Book cover for When the World Turned Upside Down by K. Ibura. From left to right, image shows a young Asian American girl leaning out her window looking at a young Black girl holding a megaphone. Next to her is a young white boy with red hair wearing a medical face mask. Next to him is a young South Asian American boy in an adjacent open window. Below the children is a group of people protesting and holding signs.      Book cover for The Puffin Keeper by Michael Morpurgo and illustrated by Benji Davies. Image shows an older white man next to a young white boy as they watch a puffin fly past them. Background is of a lighthouse amidst a stormy sea. A ship is shown to the left of the lighthouse and a small rowboat is shown on the right.

  • Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms by Jamar J. Perry (February 1st)
    When Cameron Battle and his two friends are transported to the fabled kingdom of his childhood stories, he must discover if he is ready to be the hero this kingdom needs.

  • Maizy Chen's Last Chance by Lisa Yee (February 1st)
    Maizy and her mother head to Last Chance, Minnesota to take care of her ailing grandfather, but quickly discovers the Golden Palace restaurant that’s been in her family for generations has secrets of its own.

  • When the World Turned Upside Down by K. Ibura (February 1st)
    A heartwarming story of friendship and overcoming adversity in a time of COVID. Follow the lives of four friends as they work together to adjust amidst quarantine, family struggles, and the growing demand for social and racial justice.

  • The Puffin Keeper by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated Benji Davies (February 15th)
    A beautifully illustrated story about an enduring friendship between a lighthouse keeper, the boy he saved, and the puffin they nursed back to health. Even as the boy is called up to fight in World War Two, his fond memories of the lighthouse keep him going.

Notable Sequels to Look For:

     Book cover for Tiger Honor by Yoon Ha Lee. Image shows a young Korean child in a red jumpsuit kneeling on the edge of a cliff and look upwards. A giant celestial tiger is behind the child, growling fiercely.     Book cover for The Witch's Apprentice by Zetta Elliot. Image shows a young Black boy in a red hoodie standing amidst swirling colours of purple, orange and teal. A fiery phoenix rests on the boy's shoulder and a black and white magpie flies near the boy's left shoulder.      Book cover for City Spies: Forbidden City by James Ponti. Image shows three multiracial children in front of a domed glass building.     Book cover for Omar Rising by Aisha Saeed. Tag line reads When the system is broken, you have to rise up! Image shows the hand of a child rising up to a glowing star. Various items surround the hand and star, such as a telescope, a planet, pens, pencils, paintbrush, a soccer ball and flowers.

  • Tiger Honor by Yoon Ha Lee (January 4th)
    Companion to the bestselling and award-winning Dragon Pearl. Sebin has always wanted to captain a battle cruiser someday, like their Uncle Hwan. Nothing goes according to plan however after Hwan is declared a traitor. Sebin joins the Thousand World Space Forces to clear their hero’s name and restore honor to the clan.

  • The Witch's Apprentice by Zetta Elliott (January 18th)
    Third instalment in the Dragons in a Bag series. Ever since Jaxon returned the baby dragons to the magical realm, things have been off. Is there something Jax can do to find the magic he needs to set things right?

  • Forbidden City by James Ponti (February 1st)
    Third instalment to the City Spies series. From a break-in at one of London’s most exclusive homes to an undercover mission to a desperate search and rescue operation on the streets of Beijing, the City Spies have their work cut out for them on their most dangerous mission yet.

  • Omar Rising by Aisha Saeed (February 1st)
    Companion to New York Times bestseller, Amal Unbound. Omar’s scholarship to Ghalib Academy Boarding School provides the opportunity for Omar to set himself on a different path in life, but then he discovers the school deliberately sets impossible standards for scholarship students in order to ‘weed’ them out. Armed with stubborn optimism, Omar sets out to change the rigged system.

What books are you most looking forward to reading this year?
Let us know in the comments below!

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