Caitlyn's Recommendation: The Insiders by Mark Oshiro
Héctor has just moved to a new school and faces relentless bullying, and teachers who are less than helpful. Seeking refuge one day, he enters a janitorial closet that somehow has everything that he finds comforting in it. Héctor frequently uses this as his safe space, however he's shocked when, one day, he enters the room and he's not the only one there. Together, Héctor and his new friends must figure out what the room means, and how they can use it to help each other. Perfect for middle grade readers who are looking to dip into a bit of fantasy.
Kristy's Recommendation: Fifty-Four Things Wrong with Gwendolyn Rogers by Caela Carter
This is one of those middle grade books that I wish all parents and teachers would read. An important, charming, super enlightening look into the mind and heart of a kid struggling to understand herself. Gwendolyn Rogers is an 11-year-old sixth grader who reads her own IEP (individualized education plan) and extracts from it a list of 54 things that are “wrong with her. “ She struggles with behaving, with keeping her anger in check as well as other emotions, and narrates the story with so much heart and honesty that it will break your heart but in the best possible way. I know so many Gwendolyns and I am sure you do too. Highly recommend this excellent book for kids, parents, and anyone who works with young people.
Felicia's Recommendation: This Is Why We Lie by Gabriella Lepore
Get lost in the drama of this coastal British town. This fast-paced mystery has two narrators, Jenna and Adam, from two different sides of town. Jenna is an outsider at the local all-girls private school, while Adam fits right in at the school for troubled boys. After these two accidently discover a dead body in the harbor, everything seems to come back to each of their friend groups. There are twists and turns throughout the entire book that kept me guessing until the end. Perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying or any teen in grades 6 and up looking for their next big mystery.