Middle Grade Readers: Years 9-14

The Cats of Tanglewood Forest Cover Image
By Charles De Lint, Charles Vess (Illustrator)
$18.00
ISBN: 9780316053570
Availability: Currently not in store. Available to order. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - March 5th, 2013

Eight Cousins Pick of the Year 2013

Once a thing is said, it cannot be unsaid, and this is a bitter pill for anyone to swallow. Lillian makes a rash decision in the heat of the moment, and then realizes that there are unintended consequences. She makes things right, but not without difficulty. Elements of folk and fairy tales are entwined in this beautifully illustrated story. ~ Eight Cousins


Prisoner 88 Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781580895606
Availability: Currently not in store. Available to order. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Charlesbridge Publishing - August 1st, 2013

Eight Cousins Pick of the Year 2013

Prisoner 88 is a quiet book about a fascinating historical event. Pileggi bases her fictional account of Jake Oliver Evans on the real-life James Oscar Baker, who, at the age of 10, was sent to the Idaho State Penitentiary in 1885. In the story, Jake finds that life in prison is, in many ways, a better alternative to life outside it. He works hard, learns to read, and is well fed. Jake isn't a dreamer and this isn't a story with overblown endings or finding an unrealistic utopia. Although Jake's story is purely fictional, Prisoner 88 is well-researched and firmly based in historical accuracy. In the words of a local middle school reader reporting to our blog, this is a "book for kids who like stunning events surrounded by some yelling and bossing around." Maybe it's not so quiet after all! ~ Eight Cousins


Elvis and the Underdogs Cover Image
By Jenny Lee, Kelly Light (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062235541
Availability: Currently not in store. Available to order. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen - May 14th, 2013

Eight Cousins Pick of the Year 2013

Sure Benji has friends: the doctors and nurses at the hospital where he spends most of his time; the librarian, since he eats alone in the library when he's at school; and his mom, who watches over him fiercely. However, when he has a seizure and his doctor tells him he has to either wear an extraordinarily ugly helmet to school or get a therapy dog, Benji opts for the dog. Upon arrival, the dog, Parker Elvis Pembroke IV, emphatically informs Benji that he was meant to be the President's dog and there has clearly been a mix-up. Benji can understand Elvis -- everyone else hears barking or growling -- and Elvis is a therapy dog with the personality of Frazier Crane. He's serious about his duty to protect Benji, but Elvis also knows a little something abut the importance of having a pack, and he's determined to help Benji create his own. ~ Eight Cousins


Rooftoppers Cover Image
By Katherine Rundell, Terry Fan (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781442490581
Availability: Currently not in store. Available to order. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - September 24th, 2013

Eight Cousins Pick of the Year 2013

Rooftoppers is wonderfully mystical, and laugh out loud funny. Charles Maxim finds Sophie floating in a cello case in the English Channel after a shipwreck. According to the pin on her front, reading "1!" it is probably Sophie's first birthday. Despite her rather unconventional upbringing and the fact that Charles allows her to wear trousers (!), Sophie is happy -- until she turns 12 and the National Childcare Agency decides that Charles is an unfit guardian for a young woman. Sophie, with vague memories of her mother, and a few clues leading towards Paris, convinces Charles to take her to France. There Sophie discovers a world of urchins -- not street urchins, but rooftop urchins. With a little friendship, music, and just a touch of magic, Sophie might find exactly what she is looking for on the Paris rooftops. ~ Eight Cousins


Counting by 7s Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780803738553
Availability: Currently not in store. Available to order. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dial Books - August 29th, 2013

Eight Cousins Pick of the Year 2013

Willow is an unusual girl, possibly even an oddball. Her academic accomplishments by age 12 are fairly amazing, but her social skills are stilted, to say the least. When a terrible accident takes away her loving parents, she faces more problems than learning a fifth language. However, she meets the energetic Nguyen Thi Mai, and Mai's family, and Jairo Hernandez, from Mexicano Taxi Company, all of whom are trying to address their own issues. Willow tackles one problem after another, applying the abilities of her friends as she goes, which results in gratifying synergy that makes everyone's life better. Willow likes things to work out tidily, and she certainly accomplishes that, in ways that will make readers smile and nod. ~ Eight Cousins


Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780375870897
Availability: Currently not in store. Available to order. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - June 25th, 2013

Eight Cousins Pick of the Year 2013

Eccentric Mr. Lemoncello rebuilds the public library and invites twelve 12-year-olds to participate in a lock-in, where they spend the night in the library reading anything they like and talking about books. The town hasn't had a library for twelve years and he wants to share his love of reading with a group of kids who have grown up without the benefit of a public library. This lock-in morphs into a game. The first player who solves the puzzle, using book knowledge, logic, and observation, will discover how to get "out" of the library and win the grand prize. This book is one long celebration of books, authors, characters, stories, illustrators, and reading. ~ Eight Cousins


Doll Bones Cover Image
By Holly Black, Eliza Wheeler (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781416963981
Availability: Currently not in store. Available to order. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - May 7th, 2013

Eight Cousins Pick of the Year 2013

Zach, Poppy, and Alice like to play with dolls. The game that the three friends has created is a an elaborate narrative with complex story lines. Instinctively, all three kids know not to talk about the game at school, especially now that they are in middle school. When Zach's father returns home unexpectedly, he berates Zach for acting 'like a girl' and throws away Zach's action figures, his dolls. Unable to admit the truth to Alice and Poppy, Zach decides that he has to stop playing. Unable to leave the story unfinished, Poppy finally persuades Zach and Alice to take one final adventure together. Poppy claims that the Queen -- a doll who has been the center of their stories -- appeared in one of her dreams. Part ghost-story, part end of innocence, Doll Bones is a tale of three children trying to grow up, while learning how to navigate between who they want to be and who the world thinks they should be. ~ Eight Cousins


Pi in the Sky Cover Image
Call for price: 508-548-5548
ISBN: 9780316089166
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - June 11th, 2013

Eight Cousins Pick of the Year 2013

Joss may be the seventh son of the Supreme Overlord of the Universe, but that doesn't prevent distress when his best fried Kal disappears just because PTB (Powers That Be) Headquarters un-creates Earth to avoid a scandal. The arrival of an annoying earth girl, Annika, doesn't help the situation, even if she is the first mortal ever to visit The Realms. In addition to imaginative fiction, Wendy Mass has stirred little chunks of physics into the story like so many chocolate chips. From quotations about dark matter and chemistry to wormholes and a little boy named Carl Sagan, the story and the ideas whirl to a satisfying conclusion. No spoiler: Earth is restored. ~ Eight Cousins


A History of Just about Everything: 180 Events, People and Inventions That Changed the World Cover Image
$21.95
ISBN: 9781554537754
Availability: Currently not in store. Available to order. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Kids Can Press - August 1st, 2013

Eight Cousins Pick of the Year 2013

A speedy trip through human history, this book is sure to pop a few interesting segments forward into anyone's awareness, regardless of their prior knowledge. Each page covers about two entries, and in many cases it offers a sidebar called "Ripples," about what happened as a result of a given event. ~ Eight Cousins


The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. #1) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781423164913
Availability: Currently not in store. Available to order. Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney Press - September 17th, 2013

Eight Cousins Pick of the Year 2013

When Britain experiences a plague of angry, vengeful ghosts, it is up to teams of Psychic Detection Agencies such as Lockwood & Co. to rid the country of these spirits. Most of the work is conducted by children, whose innate abilities for ghost-hunting wanes as adulthood approaches. When Lockwood & Co. -- comprised of charismatic Anthony Lockwood, talented Lucy Carlyle, and bookish George Cubbins -- unintentionally make the mistake of burning down the house during what was supposed to be a routine assignment, they find themselves obliged to accept an even more sinister job in one of Britain's most haunted mansions. The Screaming Staircase is the first of a new series by Stroud, and it will make even very brave readers wonder if the bragging rights are bought too dear for spending the night among haunts. ~ Eight Cousins