Reviews and Recommendations for Young Readers
In this edition of Book Gathering, we focus on books that would make great gifts for middle grade readers. We've included some of our favorite novels, graphic novels, and non-fiction books. And of course, we have so many more favorites! Stop by and we will help you find the perfect gifts for all the readers on your list.
Staff Reviews
The Adventurers Guild

 Best friends Zed and Brock live in Freestone, a city surrounded by high walls. Inside the walls, every child is chosen to be part of a Guild once they turn twelve. Brock plans to follow in his father's footsteps and join the Merchants Guild, and Zed is hoping he'll get to join the elite Mages Guild. So when they're suddenly drafted into the Adventurers Guild, they're horrified. Adventurers are the ones who confront the terrifying Dangers that roam wild outside the city's walls and, consequently, they don't usually live very long. But as Zed and Brock get to know the other members of the Guild, they find out that maybe the Adventurers are the noblest of all--the only ones who can protect Freestone's future. Featuring wonderfully-written characters and a strong friendship, this book is perfect for anyone who loves adventure!   — Lily (RBB Staff)
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow
by Jessica Townsend

A fast-paced, imaginative kick-off to a new fantasy series. Morrigan Crow just might escape life (and certain death) as a cursed child in her cold and unfeeling home. All she has to do is follow the lead of her zany sponsor, Captain Jupiter North, and gain admittance to the elite and secretive Wondrous Society. Nevermoor is just the sort of fantasy world a person never wants to leave!   — Angela (RBB Staff)
I'm Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups
By Chris Harris, Lane Smith (Illustrator)

Do you love bizarre puns and rhymes? Do you love enjoy laughing (at poetry)? Do you already own all the Shel Silverstein books?? I’m Just No Good at Rhyming is the perfect next book for you--silly, weird, and hilariously illustrated by the one-and-only Lane Smith. Don’t believe us? Just read the list of poems that didn’t make it into the book (it’s on the back).     — Sarah (RBB Staff)
Top Elf
By Caleb Huett

Top Elf is SO. MUCH. FUN!!!!!! Join Ollie Gnome, Celia Pixie, the Claus family and all the inhabitants of the North Pole for a hilarious, action-packed Christmas adventure. Santa announces that a series of reality show-like challenges known as The Santa Trials will be held to determine who will wear the next Big Red Suit and gain access to the magical, Christmas-powering Quantum Kringle. Full of friendship, great jokes, and enough Christmas cheer to power at least three sleighs, Top Elf will make a fantastic addition to your holiday bookshelf.
— Angela (RBB Staff)
Tru & Nelle: A Christmas Tale
By G. Neri

I love these holiday stories featuring young Truman Capote and Nelle Harper Lee, who were childhood friends in Monroeville, Alabama in the 1930's. They're funny, touching, and downright MAGICAL! You get a real sense of how Tru and Nelle's early experiences growing up in the Deep South shaped them as people--and as future writers. And if you haven't already read Neri's first book, Tru & Nelle , do yourself a favor and read it--it's wonderful, too!
— Barb (RBB Staff)
More Books We Love
Catstronauts: Mission Moon
By Drew Brockington
All's Faire in Middle School
By Victoria Jamieson
Real Friends
The War I Finally Won
By Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart
By Stephanie Burgis
By  Garth Nix
The Apprentice Witch
By James Nicol
By Alan Gratz
By Katherine Applegate
Book of Bones: 10 Record-Breaking Animals
By Gabrielle Balkan, Sam Brewster (Illustrator)
Why Don't Fish Drown?: And Other Vital Questions about the Animal Kingdom
By Anna Claybourne, Claire Goble (Illustrator)
Knightology: A True Account of the Most Valiant Knights
By Dugald A. Steer