20 Exciting New Middle Grade Books Out in Winter 2023!By: Shanleigh Klassen
20 Exciting New Middle Grade Books Coming Out in Winter 2023!
There's no better way to start a new year than by looking ahead to all the incredible stories heading our way.
Of course, we couldn’t fit ALL the new books hitting shelves onto one list, so this is just a handful of the books set to release in January and February of 2023. If we missed your most anticipated book, let us know in the comments below!
This Is How I Roll by Debbi Michiko Florence — January 3
Susannah dreams of becoming a famous sushi chef like her dad, only he refuses to teach her, and won’t tell her why. Then she meets Koji, a cute boy who helps her secretly film online cooking tutorials to show the world her mad skills. Can she take the heat, or will she get out of the kitchen for good?
Figure It Out, Henri Weldon by Tanita S. Davis — January 17
Henrietta is so excited to (finally!) enter public school. Though she expects her dyscalculia, a learning disability that makes math challenging to process and understand, to give her problems, she doesn’t expect a feud with her sister over her new friends. With all of her free time suddenly taken up with soccer practice, classes, and homework, how will she have the time to figure it all out?
World Made of Glass by Ami Polonsky — January 17
Iris tries to act normal at school, but how can she when her dad is dying of a virus that’s off-limits to talk about? In a sea of rage and grief, Iris resolves to speak out against the rampant fear, misinformation, and prejudice surrounding AIDS — and find the pieces of Dad that she never knew before. Recommended for 10+.
Hands by Torrey Maldonado — January 24
Trev would do anything to protect his mom and sisters, and his stepdad’s recent return pushes Trev to start learning to box to better handle him. But Trev’s also a talented artist, and though everyone’s advice is to use his hands to build a better future, that feels at odds with his current reality. Trev knows his future is in his hands, and his hands are his own, and he has to choose how to use them. Recommended for 10+.
The Many Fortunes of Maya by Nicole D. Collier — January 24
When Maya is bursting with questions, she turns to her Wheel of Fortunes for answers and a dose of good luck. But can the fortunes answer the questions she’s too afraid to ask out loud? Like, where did Mama’s smile go, and when will Daddy move back home? And most of all, does she have enough courage to truly listen to the voice in her heart?
Where the Black Flowers Bloom by Ronald L. Smith — January 31
“Seek the Underground Kingdom, where the black flowers bloom.” Asha doesn’t understand her guardian’s mysterious last words, but they launch her into a page-turning quest to protect her people and stop an ancient evil . . . and perhaps discover her own untapped powers along the way.
Juniper Harvey and the Vanishing Kingdom by Nina Varela — February 14
Juniper’s life has taken a couple of huge turns lately, but none more surprising than finding the mysterious girl from her dreams suddenly standing in her room pointing a sword at Juniper’s throat. Between fighting off nightmarish monsters, and her own helpless crush on her new companion, Juniper will begin to figure out who she is and who she ultimately wishes to be.
Speculation by Nisi Shawl — February 14
When Winna’s gifted an old pair of spectacles that once belonged to her great-aunt, she’s given a link directly into her family’s past. Soon she learns about a tragedy that befell her great-great-great-grandmother as she escaped from slavery and the powerful curse that has followed her family ever since. Now Winna will do everything she can to solve the mystery before it can claim anyone else.
The Enchanted Life of Valentina Mejía by Alexandra Alessandri — February 21
All Valentina wants to focus on is drawing the world around her, but Papi has spent his life studying Colombia’s legendary creatures and searching for proof of their existence. On a trip to the Andes, a powerful earthquake hits, sending Valentina and her brother Julián through the earth and into an alternate Colombia where all the legends are real.
No Matter the Distance by Cindy Baldwin — February 21
Penny has cystic fibrosis, and some days it feels like her CF is the only thing Penny knows about herself. Then during spring break, Penny spots something impossible in the creek behind her house: a dolphin, far from its home. As Penny’s CF worsens, she knows she should guide this dolphin back to the ocean, but can she do it knowing it might mean losing her friend?
Finally Seen by Kelly Yang — February 28
When Lina steps off the plane in L.A., it’s her first time in America and the first time seeing her parents and little sister in five long years. But life in America is far from fabulous: school is hard, English is harder, and her little sister seems to do everything better than her. It will take all of Lina’s courage and resilience to choose a future where she’s finally seen.
Nayra and the Djinn by Iasmin Omar Ata — February 28
Nothing is going right for Nayra. Between the constant pressure from her family, bullying from her classmates, and exhausting friendship demands, Nayra has had enough. And that’s when a mysterious djinn named Marjan appears to use their powers and wisdom to help Nayra navigate her life. But Marjans’ past is also fraught with trouble, and if they don’t face, Nayra could be the one to pay the price. Recommended for 10+.
OwlCrate Jr Sequels
The Unforgettable Logan Foster and the Shadow of Doubt (Logan Foster #2) by Shawn Peters — January 3
After defeating Necros and her minions, Logan has seen his life change completely. But when superheroes start going missing, all signs point to the supervillain who may know what truly happened to his birth parents. Sometimes, it’s not so easy to tell the differences between good guys and the bad ones.
Return to Atlantis (Atlantis #2) by Kate O'Hearn — January 3
Riley and the Atlanteans thought that her adventure was over, but their return home is short-lived and full of unforeseen danger. Against all odds, their only option may be to return to Atlantis — and face all the enemies they made during their escape, plus a few new ones.
City of the Dead (City Spies #3) by James Ponti — February 7
In this fourth installment to the City Spies saga, our favorite young group of spies go codebreaking in Cairo on one of the most complex missions the group has faced to date. And it may also bring about a huge change to the City Spies . . .
The Doomfire Secret (Celestial Mechanism Cycle #2) by Annaliese Avery — February 7
Paisley is not supposed to be alive, but despite all logic, a new fate awaits. Though she’s offered a fresh start, Paisley no longer trusts the stars. Instead, Paisley must trust her instincts to forge her own path if she is going to survive the dangers ahead.
More Notable Sequels
The Enchanted Bridge (Dragons in a Bag #4) by Zetta Elliott — January 17
Jaxon and his friends are not the ordinary kids they used to be. With their new special abilities with Jaxon’s destiny now his own, he’s on a mission to help all magical creatures return to the human world. Though it takes strength to build a bridge, sometimes even the strongest bridges must be burned.
The Ever Storms (Wilderlore #3) by Amanda Foody — January 31
Barclay and his friends face new dangers and fresh adventures in this third installment of the Wilderlore series. Traveling to the Desert to study at the most respected school in the Wilderlands, Barclay has his hands full between keeping up with exams, prank wars, mysterious sandstorms, and a magical library that might just be the key to everything . . .
On Air with Zoe Washington (Zoe Washington #2) by Janae Marks — February 14
After helping clear Marcus’ name for a crime he didn’t commit, Zoe is now determined to help him achieve his dream of opening up a restaurant. Zoe even starts a podcast to bring light to the exonerees’ experiences and fundraise for their restaurant. But with waning public interest in their story, will anyone still be listening?
Cameron Battle and the Escape Trials (Cameron Battle #2) by Jamar J. Perry — February 28
After his first adventure as the Descendant, it doesn’t take long for Cameron and his friends to realize the troubles of the fabled kingdom of Chidani won’t stay away for long. Can Cameron finally outwit and outlast the villainous god set on destroying their worlds?