Colin Meloy, Cressida Cowell, & Lumberjanes | Middle Grade Audio in October

Asher, Diana Harmon. Sidetracked. Recorded Books. ISBN 9781501963384. Read by John Kroft.
Gr 4-6–To Joseph Friedman, middle school might as well be the Running of the Bulls. He’s friendless and puny, with ADD to boot, so he spends most of his time avoiding class bully Charlie Kastner and hiding out in the Resource Room, a safe place for misfit kids like him. But then, on the first day of seventh grade, two important things happen. First, his Resource Room teacher Mrs. T encourages (i.e., practically forces) him to join the school track team, and second, he meets Heather, a tough, athletic new girl who isn’t going to be pushed around by Charlie Kastner-or anybody else. At first, track is as much of a disaster as everything else in Joseph’s life. But slowly Joseph hits his stride, and instead of running from the bulls . . . he’s just running.

Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker. The War I Finally Won. Listening Library. ISBN 9780525493631. Read by Jayne Entwhistle.
Gr 5-8–When Ada’s clubfoot is surgically fixed at last, she knows for certain that she’s not what her mother said she was—damaged, deranged, crippled mentally as well as physically. She’s not a daughter anymore, either. What is she? World War II continues, and Ada and her brother, Jamie, are living with their loving legal guardian, Susan, in a borrowed cottage on the estate of the formidable Lady Thorton—along with Lady Thorton herself and her daughter, Maggie. Life in the crowded cottage is tense enough, and then, quite suddenly, Ruth, a Jewish girl from Germany, moves in. A German? The occupants of the house are horrified. But other impacts of the war become far more frightening. As death creeps closer to their door, life and morality during wartime grow more complex.

Buyea, Rob. The Perfect Score. Listening Library. ISBN 9781524782122. Read by various narrators.
Gr 5-8–No one likes or wants to take the statewide assessment tests. Not the students in Mrs. Woods’s sixth-grade class. Not even Mrs. Woods. It’s not as if the kids don’t already have things to worry about. Under pressure to be the top gymnast her mother expects her to be, RANDI starts to wonder what her destiny truly holds. Football-crazy GAVIN has always struggled with reading and feels as dumb as his high school–dropout father. TREVOR acts tough and mean, but as much as he hates school, he hates being home even more. SCOTT’s got a big brain and an even bigger heart, especially when it comes to his grandfather, but his good intentions always backfire in spectacular ways. NATALIE, know-it-all and aspiring lawyer, loves to follow the rules—only this year, she’s about to break them all. The whole school is in a frenzy with test time approaching—kids, teachers, the administration. Everyone is anxious. When one of the kids has a big idea for acing the tests, they’re all in. But things get ugly before they get better, and in the end, the real meaning of the perfect score surprises them all.

Burt, Jake. Greetings from Witness Protection! Listening Library. ISBN 9780525494744. Read by Tara Sands, Arthur Morey, & Danny Campbell.
Gr 5-8–The marshals are looking for the perfect girl to join a mother, father, and son on the run from the nation’s most notorious criminals. After all, the bad guys are searching for a family with one kid, not two, and adding a streetwise girl who knows a little something about hiding things may be just what the marshals need.Nicki swears she can keep the Trevor family safe, but to do so she’ll have to dodge hitmen, cyberbullies, and the specter of standardized testing, all while maintaining her marshal-mandated B-minus average. As she barely balances the responsibilities of her new identity, Nicki learns that the biggest threats to her family’s security might not lurk on the road from New York to North Carolina, but rather in her own past.

Cowell, Cressida. The Wizards of Once. Hachette Audio. ISBN 9781478922735. Read by David Tennant.
Gr 3-7–Once there were Wizards, who were Magic, and Warriors, who were not. But Xar, son of the King of Wizards, can’t cast a single spell. And Wish, daughter of the Warrior Queen, has a banned magical object of her own. When they collide in the wildwood, on the trail of a deadly witch, it’s the start of a grand adventure that just might change the fabric of their worlds.

Erskine, Kathryn. The Incredible Magic of Being. Scholastic Audio. ISBN 9781338191530. Read by Pierce Cravens.
Gr 3-7–Some might say Julian is sheltered. His sister Pookie certainly would. But he lives large, and his eternal optimism allows him to see infinite possibilities wherever he looks. He has to think positively since he believes he might only be on this earth for a few more years. As his family moves from Washington D.C. to Maine, Julian feels the weight of the transition. His once strong “uni-sense” with his sister isn’t working anymore, but if he can do something truly incredible, like discover a comet that he can name for himself, he’ll be able to unite his family even after he’s gone. As Julian searches the night sky, he discovers his neighbor, Mr. X, who on one hand can put an end to his parents’ dream of opening their B&B by opposing the addition their house required, and on the other hand needs healing of his own.

Haig, Matt. The Girl Who Saved Christmas. Listening Library. ISBN 9781524773885. Read by Carey Mulligan.
Gr 5-8–Amelia Wishart was the first child ever to receive a Christmas present. It was her Christmas spirit that gave Santa the extra boost of magic he needed to make his first trip around the world. But now Amelia is in trouble. When her mother falls ill, she is sent to the workhouse to toil under cruel Mr. Creeper. For a whole year, Amelia scrubs the floors and eats watery gruel, without a whiff of kindness to keep her going. It’s not long before her hope begins to drain away. Meanwhile, up at the North Pole, magic levels dip dangerously low as Christmas approaches, and Santa knows that something is gravely wrong. With the help of his trusty reindeer, a curious cat, and Charles Dickens, he sets out to find Amelia, the only girl who might be able to save Christmas. But first Amelia must learn to believe again.

Khan, Khizr. This Is Our Constitution. Listening Library. ISBN 9780525528531. Reader TBA.
Gr 5-8–Our Founding Fathers created the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights as a blueprint for American government and the rights of American citizens. This document is not merely a piece of parchment but a living, breathing promise of our deepest democratic values. Khizr Khan grew up in Pakistan, with few of the fundamental rights that are enshrined in the Constitution. He immigrated to America and became a citizen, raising his family to appreciate and honor all our nation has to offer. He is deeply passionate about the Constitution: the guarantees and protections it provides for each and every person and the beacon of light it shines throughout the world.

Martin, Emily Winfield. Snow & Rose. Listening Library. ISBN 9781524782047. Read by Cassandra Campbell.
Gr 5-8–Snow and Rose didn’t know they were in a fairy tale. People never do. Once, they lived in a big house with spectacular gardens and an army of servants. Once, they had a father and mother who loved them more than the sun and moon. But that was before their father disappeared into the woods and their mother disappeared into sorrow. This is the story of two sisters and the enchanted woods that have been waiting for them to break a set of terrible spells.

Meloy, Colin. The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid. HarperAudio. ISBN 9781538457566. Reader TBA.
Gr 3-7–It is an ordinary Tuesday morning in April when bored, lonely Charlie Fisher witnesses something incredible. Right before his eyes, in a busy square in Marseille, a group of pickpockets pulls off an amazing robbery. As the young bandits appear to melt into the crowd, Charlie realizes with a start that he himself was one of their marks. Yet Charlie is less alarmed than intrigued. This is the most thrilling thing that’s happened to him since he came to France with his father, an American diplomat. So instead of reporting the thieves, Charlie defends one of their cannons, Amir, to the police, under one condition: he teach Charlie the tricks of the trade. What starts off as a lesson on pinches, kicks, and chumps soon turns into an invitation for Charlie to join the secret world of the whiz mob, an international band of child thieves who trained at the mysterious School of Seven Bells. The whiz mob are independent and incredibly skilled and make their own way in the world—they are everything Charlie yearns to be. But what at first seemed like a (relatively) harmless new pastime draws him into a dangerous adventure with global stakes greater than he could have ever imagined.

Nix, Garth & Sean Williams. Have Sword, Will Travel. Listening Library. ISBN 9781524702069. Reader TBA.
Gr 5-8–It is strange enough that Odo and Eleanor have stumbled upon a sword in a dried-up river outside their village. It is even stranger that Odo is able to remove it from where it’s buried. And it’s REMARKABLY strange when the sword starts to talk. Odo and Eleanor have unearthed Biter, a famous fighter from earlier times. By finding Biter, Odo instantly becomes a knight — a role he is exquisitely unsuited for. Eleanor, however, would make a PERFECT knight — but she’s not the one with the sword.

Noel, Alyson. The Bone Thief. Listening Library. ISBN 9780525500636. Read by Robbie Daymond.
Gr 5-8–Compared to other more ordinary towns, Quiver Hollows is a very strange, very curious place. It is also home to longtime friends Grimsly, Ollie, Ming, and Penelope. In a town where everyone is spectacularly abnormal, Grimsly feels bad about being terribly, unforgivably normal, as the town’s pet funeral director. So when a series of strange and disturbing mundane occurrences begins plaguing Quiver Hollows, well, Grimsly fears his growing celebrity just might be to blame since everyone knows that the things you focus on the most have an uncanny way of shaping your world. The group of friends also learn that the bones in the pet cemetery are thought to be the source of the strange magic that binds the town of Quiver Hollows. With the bones now gone, the town’s magic is quickly dissipating. Will it ultimately become as common and ordinary as everywhere else?

Paterson, Katherine. My Brigadista Year. Brilliance. ISBN 9781543654936. Read by Frankie Corzo.
Gr 3-7–When thirteen-year-old Nora tells her parents that she wants to join Premier Castro’s army of young literacy teachers, her mother screeches to high heaven and her father roars like a lion. Nora has barely been outside of Havana — why would she throw away her life in a remote shack with no electricity, sleeping on a hammock in somebody’s kitchen? But Nora is stubborn: didn’t her parents teach her to share what she has with someone in need? Surprisingly, Nora’s abuela takes her side, even as she makes Nora promise to come home if things get too hard. But how will Nora know for sure when that time has come? Shining light on a little-known moment in history, Katherine Paterson traces a young teen’s coming-of-age journey from a sheltered life to a singular mission: teaching fellow Cubans of all ages to read and write while helping with the work of their daily lives and sharing the dangers posed by counterrevolutionaries hiding in the hills nearby. Inspired by true accounts, the novel includes an author’s note and a time line of Cuban history.

Stone, Tamara Ireland. Click’d. Recorded Books ISBN 9781501967955. Read by Suzy Jackson.
Gr 4-6–Allie Navarro can’t wait to show her best friends the app she built at CodeGirls summer camp. CLICK’D pairs users based on common interests and sends them on a fun (and occasionally rule-breaking) scavenger hunt to find each other. And it’s a hit. By the second day of school, everyone is talking about CLICK’D. Watching her app go viral is amazing. Leaderboards are filling up! Everyone’s making new friends. And with all the data Allie is collecting, she has an even better shot at beating her archenemy, Nathan, at the upcoming youth coding competition. But when Allie discovers a glitch that threatens to expose everyone’s secrets, she has to figure out how to make things right, even if that means sharing the computer lab with Nathan. Can Allie fix her app, stop it from doing any more damage, and win back the friends it hurt-all before she steps on stage to present CLICK’D to the judges?

Strange, Lucy. The Secret of Nightingale Wood. Blackstone. ISBN 9781338187557. Read by the author.
Gr 3-7–It’s 1919. Henry has moved to the countryside with her parents and her baby sister, Piglet—all still scarred by the death of her brother. Alone in her head, she begins to explore her surroundings, encouraged by her only friends—characters from her favorite books. Nobody much notices when she wanders into the woods at the bottom of the garden and meets Moth, a striking witchlike woman. Together they form a bond that could help Henry save her family.

Tamaki, Mariko. Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! Recorded Books. ISBN 9781501968167. Read by Amanda Leigh Cobb.
Gr 3-7–Welcome to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five scouts of Roanoke cabin-Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley-love their summers at camp. They get to hang out with their best friends, earn Lumberjane scout badges, annoy their no-nonsense counselor Jen . . . and go on supernatural adventures. That last one? A pretty normal occurrence at Miss Qiunzella’s, where the woods contain endless mysteries. Today is no exception. When challenge-loving April leads the girls on a hike up the TALLEST mountain they’ve ever seen, things don’t go quite as planned. For one, they didn’t expect to trespass into the lands of the ancient Cloud People, and did anyone happen to read those ominous signs some unknown person posted at the bottom of the mountain? Also, unicorns.

Townsend, Jessica: Nevermoor: The Trials of Morgan Crow. Hachette Audio. ISBN 9781478923428. Reader TBA.
Gr 3-7–Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she is blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks—and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday. But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor. It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart—an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests—or she will have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.

Van Booy, Simon. Gertie Milk and the Keeper of Lost Things. Listening Library. ISBN 9780525493877. Read by Miriam Margolyes.
Gr 5-8–When twelve-year-old Gertie Milk washes up on the island of Skuldark, she finds that all of her memories are gone. Home to helpful Slug Lamps, delicious moonberries, and a ferocious Guard Worm, the island is full of oddities, including a cozy cottage containing artifacts from every corner of history. It is there that Gertie discovers she has been chosen as the next Keeper of Lost Things, tasked with the mission of returning objects to history’s most important figures right when they need them most. With the help of a time machine disguised as a vintage sports car and the guidance of her fellow Keeper, Kolt, Gertie dodges an elephant army in ancient Alexandria, crashes a 1920s flapper party, and battles a ruthless Zhou Dynasty king. But soon, Gertie encounters an enemy that threatens everything the Keepers stand for: The Losers, villains who don’t want to keep order but destroy it. Now, Gertie must uncover the truth of her own past if she wants to stop the Losers and set history back in place.

Van Glaser, Katrina. The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street. Recorded Books. ISBN 9781501966590. Read by Robin Miles
Gr 3-7–The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st Street. It’s practically another member of the family. So when their reclusive, curmudgeonly landlord decides not to renew their lease, the five siblings have eleven days to do whatever it takes to stay in their beloved home and convince the dreaded Beiderman just how wonderful they are. And all is fair in love and war when it comes to keeping their home.

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Stephanie Klose About Stephanie Klose

Stephanie Klose (sklose@mediasourceinc.com, @sklose on Twitter) is Media Editor, Library Journal.

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