2020 Staff Picks: Grades 6-8
Our favorite books published in 2020 for kids in middle school.
The Inheritance Games2020 by Barnes, JenniferGet this item
Puzzles, elaborate games, mysteries, and a rags-to-riches story. What's not to like? This is a page turner that can make you forget your troubles! Recommended by Cathy.
Women's Art Work: More Than 30 Female Artists Who Changed the World2020 by Bennett, SophiaGet this item
I enjoy reading about art and artists. This book tackles many often overlooked women artists and their contributions to the art world. This is a great art history book for all budding artists. Recommended by Sue.
The Blackbird Girls2020 by Blankman, AnneGet this item
This is a gripping story of two young girls who don't like each other but are forced to depend on each other while escaping from the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986. I like that the chapters go back and forth between the girls and one of their grandmothers, who escaped the Nazis in 1941. This book deals beautifully with some very heavy subjects. Recommended by Sue
The Light in Hidden Places: A Novel Based on the True Story of Stefania Pódgorska2020 by Cameron, SharonGet this item
Amazing and gripping! Based on a true story of a teenage girl raising her little sister and hiding 13 Jews in her attic in war-torn Poland. The difficulties were enormous. Very powerful read. Recommended by Cathy.
Santiago's Road Home2020 by Diaz, AlexandraGet this item
This book made me see more clearly the struggles people, particularly children, are having crossing the U.S. border from Mexico. It was definitely an eye-opener for me. Recommended by Karen.
Dress Coded2020 by Firestone, CarrieGet this item
This book shows the power of one girl using social media. Molly made a difference! The school administrators used their power to hurt, and Molly stopped it. Recommended by Karen
The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh2020 by Fleming, CandaceGet this item
What an eye-opening book! A meticulously researched and thrilling read about a person we might have a totally wrong idea about. Recommended by Gudrun
Rick2020 by Gino, AlexGet this item
I liked the introduction to, and discussions about, the LGBTQIAP+ community and middle schoolers with questions. Recommended by Meleesa.
When Stars Are Scattered2020 by Jamieson, VictoriaGet this item
I really liked this absolute gut-punch of a book. Omar's story had me on pins and needles, and the combination of storytelling and art takes you right to the heart of his journey. It's heartbreaking and hopeful and so lovely. Recommended by Caitlin.
Snapdragon2020 by Leyh, KatGet this item
I loved that this was a story about friendships and caring for each other above all else, with an added element of magic. Great characters, plus the story itself is an absorbing page turner. Recommended by Louise.
Show Me a Sign2020 by LeZotte, Ann ClareGet this item
I fell in love with Mary, the main character, from the very first page. She shows amazing resilience and confidence as she confronts prejudice and racism. Recommended by Gudrun.
From the Desk of Zoe Washington2020 by Marks, JanaeGet this item
I love this book because Zoe is such a passionate and smart character. This book left me feeling hopeful. Zoe has to navigate a boy/girl friendship, a mom that lets her down for the first time, and a big secret. She's got spunk and heart and she gives out some interesting recipes! Recommended by Katie.
What Lane?2020 by Maldonado, TorreyGet this item
As a mom of a mixed-race boy, I knew I had to read this one...and it's a great story! It really captures the inner struggles of middle-school kids trying to find their place in this world. I like how it asks some tough questions but also provides some answers and actions for kids who want to make the world a better place for everyone. Recommended by Gudrun.
Tristan Strong Destroys the World2020 by Mbalia, KwameGet this item
Tristan is back in his second tale and returns to the magical world of Alke to save his grandmother, who was kidnapped by the Shamble Man. I loved Tristan’s first adventure and this one--his second--was just as good! A powerful tale about stories and the power our stories hold. I loved this book from start to finish. Recommended by Lynnanne.
Chirp2020 by Messner, KateGet this item
I love how Mia maneuvers friendships, family relationships, and her own courage to speak up. And there's a grandma who starts a cricket farm! As I was reading, I couldn’t help but think how I may have been affected by this brave friendship story when I most needed it. Recommended by Mandy.
A Game of Fox & Squirrels2020 by Reese, JennGet this item
This beautifully written story pulls you right into the characters' lives. It's a middle-grade novel that uses magical realism to tell a story about a girl overcoming abuse. Recommended by Louise
How We Got to the Moon2020 by Rocco, JohnGet this item
Getting people to the moon was a truly amazing feat, and this book shows just how many smart people were really involved. The illustrations are wonderful and the complicated science and engineering principles are clearly explained. Definitely not just for middle schoolers. Recommended by Gudrun
Some Places More Than Others2019 by Watson, RenéeGet this item
I love this quiet story about a teen who finds her family's roots in the Harlem of her parents' youth. Recommended by Mary M.
Before the Ever After2020 by Woodson, JacquelineGet this item
I like sports and I like novels in verse. This is a winning yet complex story that shows both winning and losing. Recommended by Karen.
Explore staff curated lists to find our best titles.Find more lists
Bookmatch allows Skokie Library cardholders to receive a custom list of titles prepared for you by the library's expert staff.Try Bookmatch