Please welcome my guest author today, Mae Respicio, with her list to explore the world using 10 Upcoming Middle Grade Novels of Self-Discovery. We are also giving away an ARC (Advance Release Copy) of her new book, The House That Lou Built that I am really loved!
It has a wonderful character to fall in love with, Lou, with two other themes that speak to me: tiny houses and Filipino culture. My best friend growing up is Filipina and I ate many, many meals at her house. Her mother taught me to make pancit and adobo!
We are giving away an ARC (Advance Release Copy) of The House That Lou Built. Please enter using the Rafflecopter at the bottom.
p.s. My review of THE HOUSE THAT LOU BUILT is part of a robust conversation about #OwnVoices:
Hello PragmaticMom Readers!
Some of my favorite middle-grade books growing up—as well as now as a parent who reads nightly with my kids—have themes around discovering oneself. When I look back to my own experiences growing up as a Filipina American, much of how I explored my world and community was through the integration process of dreaming, trying, learning, failing, and succeeding.
These upcoming middle-grade novels showcase resilient main characters going through their different journeys of self-discovery. Each one is a rich exploration of how kids realize their world and the larger community around them, and they’re fantastic books to spark conversation with your students and kids.
Now that my book is finally out in the world (YAY!), I’d love it if you’d check it out. It’s all about family, friendship, and what makes a house a true home. Thank you, PragmaticMom, for including LOU in this great post about AAPI KidLit authors and illustrators.
10 Upcoming Middle Grade Novels of Self-Discovery
10. The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden
Seventh-grader Zoey lives in a trailer with her family and has her hands full helping to take care of her younger siblings. After joining the debate club Zoey discovers a new way to look at the world—and the courage to speak up in this moving novel that explores the cultural divides around the class. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
9. The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast by Samantha M. Clark
When a boy wakes up alone on a beach and doesn’t know who he is or how he got there, he embarks on an incredible quest to find answers in this gripping middle-grade adventure following his struggle for survival, and his ultimate search for truth. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
8. Everlasting Nora by Marie Miranda Cruz
This beautiful book centers on Nora, who lives in the real-life shantytown inside the Philippines’ Manila North Cemetery. When a family tragedy results in the loss of her dad and home, Nora learns to discover compassion, community, and unrelenting hope in the most unexpected places. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
7. Flor and Miranda Steal the Show by Jennifer Torres
This warm book centers on two eleven-year-olds who both help out with their families’ acts at a traveling carnival. Miranda is the lead singer in her family’s band, Miranda y Los Reyes, and Flor’s family runs the petting zoo at Mr. Barsetti’s carnival. When one of their acts might be cut for the other, each girl learns the meaning of friendship and standing up for herself. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
6. Just Under The Clouds by Melissa Sarno
Twelve-year-old Cora lives in a homeless shelter with her mother and sister. When the family’s room at the shelter is ransacked, they move in with an old friend, and Cora’s to understand the true meaning of home is set into motion. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
5. Love Like Sky by Leslie C. Youngblood
Now that her parents are remarried, Georgie is trying to find her place in her new “blended-up” family. When Georgie’s stepsister becomes ill, she’ll do whatever it takes to make her better and bring her family together. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
4. Takedown by Laura Shovan
Mikayla and Lev are talented wrestlers, equally determined to make it to the state championships. But when they’re paired together as partners it’s not so easy since only one of them can win. There’s an added challenge for Mikayla, a girl competing in a traditionally male sport. Both kids set off on a journey to discover what they’re capable of in this spirited book about family, friendship, and breaking stereotypes. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
3. Property of the Rebel Librarian by Allison Varnes
When twelve-year-old June Harper struggles with her parents, her school administration, and the school board over her possession of banned books, as well as her creation of a secret lending library, she gets to explore the meaning of freedom of speech and activism—and how any kid can effect change. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
2. The Three Rules of Everyday Magic by Amanda Rawson Hill
Magic doesn’t work the way you think it will, but it’s what eleven-year-old Kate needs as she confronts friendship trouble, her parents’ divorce, and Grammy’s dementia. Kate has trouble believing in magic, especially since the people she loves keep leaving her. But when Grammy tells her the three rules of everyday magic—believe, give, and trust—Kate can’t resist believing, at least a little. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
1. The House That Lou Built by Mae Respicio
My debut middle grade novel is freshly out in the world and I’m thrilled to share a little more about it with you. It’s called The House That Lou Built and centers on Lou, a twelve-year-old Filipina American girl who has a big dream: to build a tiny house. Through lots of creativity, passionate persistence, and meticulous planning, Lou sets off on the journey of building her house on a little plot of land she inherited from her dad’s family. When there’s a threat of her land being taken away, Lou rallies the help of loved ones to achieve her dream. Through it all she goes on a warm and touching journey of self-discovery, learning exactly what’s she’s capable of—anything she sets her mind to. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
ARC Giveaway of The House That Lou Built
We are giving away an ARC (Advance Release Copy) of The House That Lou Built. Please enter using the Rafflecopter below. We can only ship to U.S. addresses due to the high cost of shipping.
Mae is the past recipient of a PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellowship and a David Henry Hwang Writers Institute scholarship and has been a writer-in-residence at Hedgebrook and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Her writing & photography has been published in a variety of places including Pregnancy Magazine, Working Mother Magazine, Patagonia, Pottery Barn Kids, Red Tricycle and The Bigger the Better the Tighter the Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image, and Other Hazards of Being Female (Seal Press), among others. She also worked with the Filipino-American community of Los Angeles to edit the nonfiction book Images of America: Filipinos in Los Angeles (Arcadia Publishing). To learn more, visit her website, Twitter, Instagram, and GoodReads.
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p.s. Related posts:
10 Middle Grade Books about Immigrant Families
6th Grade Girl Reviews Middle Grade Chapter Books
Top 10: YA & Middle Grade Novels in Verse
Top 10: Best Middle Grade Chapter Books by my 8yold Daughter (grades 3-7)
Top 10: Best Books for Middle School by my 6th Grade Daughter
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.
19 thoughts on “10 Upcoming Middle Grade Novels of Self-Discovery & GIVEAWAY!”
I am so excited to read THE HOUSE THAT LOU BUILT. I have to say that as soon as I saw that Rita Williams-Garcia called it “Equal parts girl-heart, muscle, and know-how for today’s reader” and “Endearing to the end,” I was sold!
Rita Williams-Garcia really wrote an accurate and wonderful description of THE HOUSE THAT LOU BUILT!
“What are your favorite books set during middle school and/or about self-discovery?” “Holes” by Louis Sachar!
That’s a great one! Thanks John!
My favorite book about self-discovery during grade school was “Look Through My Window”, by Jean Little. My mother chose it for me, for which I’ve always been grateful.
Hi Beth T.,
I don’t know that one so thanks for your great recommendation!
I loved Esperanza Rising! I’ve been seeing a lot about The House that Lou Built. Would love to win a copy.
Thanks for entering Carolyn!
Thanks so much for entering Carolyn!
My daughter is just starting to read middle grade books and I haven’t read many recently so none come to mind, but this is a great list!!
Thanks for entering Kathy K.
There are way too many books set in Middle School I like. But I’ve been rereading all of Chris Rylander’s Fourth Stall books lately. They’re fun.
Thanks for your great recommendation Jazz!
So many to choose from…but I think Freckle Juice is my favorite.
That’s a very sweet one! Thank you Barbara Ann!
Wonder is my favorite book set in middle school.
Thanks for entering Jennifer! love Wonder too!
I really liked Forever or a long, long time by Caela Carter. I think the kids are elementary aged, but they learn about their past and their journey through foster care.
Thanks for your great book recommendation Lucy and thanks for entering!