New Middle Grade

Isabel in Bloom

Isabel in Bloom By Mae Respicio

A girl discovers a connection between her home in the Philippines and her new home in the U.S. through a special garden in this middle grade novel that celebrates nourishment and growth.

Twelve-year-old Isabel is the new kid in her San Francisco middle school. It’s the first time in many years that she’ll be living with her mother again. Mama's job in the US allowed Isabel and her grandparents to live more comfortably in the Philippines, but now Isabel doesn't really know her own mother anymore.

Making new friends in a new city, a new country, is hard, but joining the gardening and cooking club at school means Isabel will begin to find her way, and maybe she too, will begin to bloom.  

In this beautifully rendered novel-in-verse, Mae Respicio explores how growth can take many forms, offering both the challenges and joy of new beginnings.

Blood City Rollers

Blood City Rollers By Veronica Park Anderson; illustrated by Tatiana Hill

Skates on. Fangs out. Let’s roll. This perfectly paranormal graphic novel about a 13-year-old ice skater who embraces the dark side and finds her light when she joins a vampire roller derby team is to die for.

Ice-skater Mina is on a one-track path to Olympic gold and glory—that is, until she totally wipes out at her biggest competition, and is kinda-sorta-kidnapped by undead kids on roller skates. Sucked into the high stakes world of Paranormal Roller Derby, she finds herself "recruited" by a squad of vampires who need a human player to complete their team—just in time to save the league from losing it all.

Between learning to play derby well enough to kick butt on the track, crushing hard on the dreamy team captain, and navigating the spooky rules of the supernatural, how can Mina go from striving to be a ten alone, to becoming one of nine chaotic bodies forming a perfectly-imperfect team? Forget being the best. Will she be enough to help her new friends survive the season?

Next Stop

Next Stop By Debbie Fong

Stand-alone debut Next Stop is a heartfelt graphic-novel from award-winning illustrator Debbie Fong that tackles tough topics with warmth and humor.

Pia is a soft-spoken middle schooler whose life is turned upside down after the loss of her younger brother, followed by her parents’ decision to move to a new town. In an effort to get her mind off of the troubles at home, Pia goes on a bus tour with a family friend, stopping at weird and wacky roadside attractions. The final destination: a mysterious underground lake. The locals say it has magical powers; Pia won’t admit she believes in it, but she’s holding on to hope that the waters may hold the answer to mending her broken family.


The trip is much more than the final stop. The friendships that Pia makes along the way are just as valuable as the destination itself. Next Stop explores grief, resilience, and learning how to laugh again. Debbie Fong weaves together an incredibly strong debut filled with humor and heart, with a splash of mystery and magic.

Unstoppable Us, Volume 2: Why the World Isn't Fair

Unstoppable Us, Volume 2: Why the World Isn't Fair By Yuval Noah Harari; illustrated by Ricard Zaplana Ruiz

From world-renowned historian and philosopher Yuval Noah Harari, the bestselling author of Sapiens, comes the second volume in the bestselling Unstoppable Us series that traces human development from the Agricultural Revolution to Prehistoric Egypt.

Humans may have taken over the world, but what happened next? How did our hunter-gatherer ancestors become village farmers? Why were kingdoms and laws established? How did we go from being the rulers of Earth to the rulers of each other?

And why isn’t the world fair?

The answer to all of that is one of the strangest tales you’ll ever hear. And it’s a true story!

From cultivating land and sharing resources to building pyramids and paying taxes, prepare to discover how humans established civilization, endured the consequences for it, and created history-changing inventions along the way. 

In Unstoppable Us, Volume 1: How Humans Took Over the World, acclaimed author Yuval Noah Harari explored the early history of humankind. In Volume 2, he is back with another expertly crafted story of how human society evolved and flourished. His dynamic writing is accompanied by maps, a timeline, and full-color illustrations, making the incredible story of our past fun, engaging, and impossible to put down.

Random House Teachers and Librarians