Six Middle Grade Books to Look Forward to in 2016

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The Goblin’s Puzzle by Andrew S. Chilton

The Goblin's PuzzleChilton’s debut is sure to become a middle grade fantasy classic.  It has adventure, romance, wisdom, and just a little bit of quirk.  The story follows a boy with no name as he goes on an honor quest to save a girl named Alice from a dragon (or is it two girls named Alice?).  In the process, he hopes he can solve a goblin’s puzzle, a notoriously impossible task, to learn more about his past and earn his freedom. (Goodreads)

Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein

Lemoncello 2Anyone looking to fill the void in their lives left by the conclusion of Trenton Lee Stewart’s Mysterious Benedict Society series will be pleased to discover Grabenstein’s Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.  Books, puzzles, and a group of clever kids to solve everything make this an excellent literary romp, and the 2016 sequel looks poised to have bigger stakes than ever with an entire library Olympiad. (Goodreads)

The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd

Key to ExtraordinaryNatalie Lloyd’s A Snicker of Magic won readers’ hearts in 2014 with its fresh voice and exuberant tone.  Her second middle grade novel will feature a girl who comes from an extraordinary family and wants nothing more than to perform her own extraordinary task in order to avoid letting them down.  Too bad that means finding an irrevocably lost treasure from the city cemetery!  Sure to appeal to fans of Remarkable. (Goodreads)

Pilfer Academy by Lauren Magaziner

Pilfer AcademyMagaziner’s debut, The Only Thing Worse Than Witches, earned her comparisons to Eva Ibbotson and Roald Dahl.  Her sophomore novel has the same quirky tone but takes readers in a new direction, to an academy where a group of dastardly villains train children to be skilled thieves!   The only problem is that protagonist George isn’t sure he’s cut out to be a thief; it turns out that he’s simply too kind! (Goodreads)

Witch Wars by Sibeal Pounder, illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson

Witch WarsIn this charming novel, young Tiga Whicabim is suddenly whisked away to a magical place to compete in Witch Wars, a reality television competition to determine which witch will be the next ruler of Ritzy City.  Unfortunately, Tiga didn’t even know she was a witch, so she’s sure to come in dead last–she doesn’t know any spells, she’s never brewed a single potion, and she doesn’t have any magical theory to answer the contest riddles!  Only the help of some new friends can keep her in the competition. (Goodreads)

Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Lisel Shurtliff

RedShurtliff charmed readers in 2013 with her portrayal of Rumpelstiltskin as a kindhearted young boy.  Now Shurtliff introduces an intrepid Red Riding Hood who must brave the haunts of many fairy tales in her quest to save her grandmother.  Sure to be a crowd-pleaser for fans of retold tales. (Goodreads)

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