20+ Middle Grade Books Coming Out This Summer

Summer is my favorite time of the year so I've excitedly put together some Summer middle-grade releases. I've paired down my list this season like I had planned to since I eventually want to read all of the books I have listed below. I'm looking forward to some sequels, including Darkness and Demon Song and Lei and the Invisible Island. There are many spooky reads like The Secret Dead Club and It Happened to Anna. Lastly, a lot of great fantasy reads with amazing cover art like The Spindle of Fate and The Crossbow of Destiny. I'm thinking before the end of the year to create a challenge (maybe a bingo board) where I go back to all my seasonal middle-grade lists and read the ones I would regret not reading before the end of the year. For now, here is my list of 20+ new releases that I think you'd love too.

Release Date: June 4th, 2024

An exciting follow-up to Lei and the Fire Goddess features a mysterious, invisible island, dangerous spirits, and a newcomer who does not need Lei's help...or does she?

It turns out that curses are real.

After saving her best friend and ancestral guardian, Kaipo, from Pele the fire goddess’s traps and successfully preventing lava from destroying her tūtū’s house, all Lei wants to do is take a nap. The only problem? Kaipo’s ʻaumakua pendant is missing, and without it, he will soon rot . . . emotionally and physically.

So Lei, Kaipo, the shapeshifting bat Ilikea, and newcomer Kaukahi—a fiercely independent fashionista—set off on a journey to an invisible island where they hope to find Kaipo’s pendant. To get there, they’ll have to jump off the edge of their world, contend with sharks, and cross an ocean. And when they arrive? The crew realizes that the missing pendant is the least of their problems. For there are evil spirits gathering, and they’re out for blood.

In this exciting follow-up to Lei and the Fire Goddess, Malia Maunakea crafts a tale about friendship, family, culture, and what it means to forgive each other and yourself.

The Spindle of Fate by Aimee Lim
Release Date: June 4th, 2024
When Evie Mei discovers that her recently passed mother was the head of a guild of magical weavers, she enters the Chinese netherworld to try and bring her back in this middle-grade debut.

Twelve-year-old Evie Mei Huang never did like helping in her mom’s tailor shop. She hated helping to mend fraying clothes, how the measuring tape got all twisted up, and how pushy her mother’s clients were. Most of all, she hates that her mother is dead and isn’t here to help anymore.

But when the universe sends a life preserver, Evie knows to grab it. So yes, it’s weird when a talking monkey shows up and tells her that her plainspoken, hardworking tailor mother was actually the head of a Guild of magical weavers who can change the fate of a person with only a spool of thread. Very weird. But he also comes bearing news that her mother is trapped in Diyu, the Chinese underworld, and that only Evie can get her back. No pressure.

The important thing is that Evie’s mom isn’t dead. And if she’s got this one shot to bring her back and save her family, she’s got to take it.

Inspired by Chinese mythology, Aimee Lim’s debut middle grade peers into the dark and gritty underworld, while showcasing the unbreakable bond between a family and the lengths we’ll go to save them.

The New Girl by Cassandra Calin
Release Date: June 4th, 2024
Instagram sensation and Tapas webcomic superstar Cassandra Calin makes her long-form debut with this funny, feel-good middle-grade graphic novel about change.

Goodbye, old life...

Lia and her family are waiting to board a flight across the Atlantic, leaving behind family, friends, and Romania -- the only home Lia has ever known. But Lia's heartache is overshadowed by the discomfort of her first period. As if things weren't difficult enough! Now Lia is thrust into a world where everything is her home, her language, and even her body. With so many changes happening at once, Lia struggles with schoolwork, has trouble communicating with classmates, and has no idea how to manage her unpleasant periods. Will she ever feel like herself again?

The Cookie Crumbles by Tracy Badua & Alechia Dow
Release Date: June 11th, 2024
The Great British Bake Off meets Knives Out in this fun and propulsive middle grade novel following two best friends who must solve the mystery behind a baking competition gone awry.

Laila gave Lucy a cupcake on the second day of kindergarten, and they've been inseparable ever since. But the summer before eighth grade, they find out that since they live on opposite sides of town, they’ll go to different high schools. Yuck!

Then Laila’s invited to compete at the Golden Cookie competition, which awards its winner admission and a full ride to the prestigious Sunderland boarding school, and it’s the perfect opportunity. Sunderland doesn’t just have an elite culinary program; it’s also home to an elite journalism track, if only newscaster-hopeful Lucy could build up a strong enough portfolio to impress the scholarship committee.

But when one of the celebrity judges collapses after sampling Laila’s showpiece, rumors of foul play swirl, with Laila rising to the top of the suspect list. Even worse, a major storm has effectively cut off all access to the outside world.

Can the girls find the real culprit and clear Laila’s name before it’s too late?

Darkness and Demon Song by M.R. Fournet
Release Date: June 18th, 2024
A cemetery-boy-turned-monster-hunter must race against time to save his recently-resurrected mother in Darkness and Demon Song, M.R. Fournet’s eerie middle grade follow up to Brick Dust and Bones.

Marius Grey’s mom is back from the dead. After hunting monsters and performing forbidden spells, Marius is just happy she's there, helping him to take care of their Louisiana cemetery again.

But it soon becomes clear that something has gone wrong. Marius's mother is growing more distant and strange things start happening around her. Worse yet, sometimes it feels like she’s a completely different person–one who definitely isn’t his mom.

If Marius wants to save her, he’s going to need help. Serious help. Good thing he has a flesh-eating mermaid for a best friend and a classmate with extra strong magic. Add in mysterious clues for new hunts, graveyard hopping from Louisiana to Texas, and a tough ex-hunter he doesn’t know if he can trust, and it’s clear that Marius has his work cut out for him.

Release Date: June 18th, 2024
Nevermoor meets Howl’s Moving Castle in this engaging fantasy—the first in a duology—from acclaimed author Ryan Graudin. Perfect for fans of wizards, dragons, magical castles, spectacular spells, and a spunky cat who may not be what he seems.

Wizard West was dead for nearly an entire day before he noticed. And it is up to Faye, the daughter of West’s groundskeeper, to inform the wizard that he is a ghost who has lost all of his magical powers. (But not before the wizard tries transforming her into a cat!) To make matters worse, the enchanted castle of Celurdur—the only home that Faye has ever known—will fall apart at the next full moon if its foundation spells can’t be renewed.

After (sort of) accepting his demise, West decides to host a competition to choose his successor. Faye finds herself fighting to keep the tournament running smoothly behind the scenes: putting out kitchen fires, feeding the compost dragon, and making sure competitors stay away from the cockatrice pen.

But killer roosters soon become the least of her worries. A servant of the evil Shadow Queen has sabotaged the contest—set on destroying not just Celurdur but the entire kingdom of Solum. It is up to Faye to stop him, but she’ll need more than a mop. Will a maid’s magic be enough to save everything she loves from utter destruction?

Ratty by Suzanne Selfors, Illustrated by Lavanya Naidu
Release Date: June 18th, 2024
Ratty Barclay wasn’t supposed to be born a four-foot-tall, walking, talking rodent, but thanks to the Barclay family curse, he’s had to live in hiding from the rest of the world. All he wants for his thirteenth birthday is to return to his family’s abandoned estate on Fairweather Island to somehow break the curse. Then he’ll finally get to live his life as a four-foot-tall, walking, talking, human boy.

Edweena Gup, the granddaughter of the Barclays’ groundskeeper, has dedicated her life to being a Rat-Catcher Extraordinaire like her great-great-great grandmother before her. It doesn’t matter that Fairweather Island has been rat-free for over a hundred years—she’s determined to make sure everyone is prepared for their imminent return. And when she spots a human-sized rat lurking on the Barclay grounds, her worst fears are confirmed.

Though it seems like Ratty and Edweena are destined to be enemies, they have a lot in common—they’re both lonely and misunderstood. But will they be able to overcome their fears of each other and maybe even become . . . friends?

Release Date: July 2nd, 2024
A 12-year-old girl discovers her true jinn heritage when a birthday wish gone wrong traps her father in a magical ring, sending her on an epic quest to free him. This richly imagined fantasy series inspired by Persian mythology and Islamic lore is filled with action, magic, and self-discovery.

Farrah sees her father just one day every year—her birthday. But this year, her wish to bring them closer goes wildly awry when Farrah discovers she is a half-jinn…and her father is one of the seven great jinn kings. Her wish traps  her father inside a legendary ring, and the other six jinn kings will follow unless Farrah can rectify her mistake. 

Pursued by menacing shadow jinn, Farrah’s quest takes her to a floating mountain range. Joined by Idris, the jinn boy whom she inadvertently freed from the ring, and her newly discovered half-brother, Yaseen, Farrah must find a way to navigate the mysteries and dangers of her new world in order to save her father and face the most devious jinn lord of all.

Release Date: July 9th, 2024
In the world between realms, anything can happen . . .

The new Park Row Magic Academy construction is underway, and Kyana is searching for magic activities to fill the school break. When she visits the building for supplies, she's grabbed by an Available spirit! Even though she's able to slip its grasp, something is wrong-she can't stop crying and laughing uncontrollably. Is she cursed?

Then Ashley shares an invitation to a camp for magical learning. Ash thinks that whatever curse is messing with Kyana, Dr. Minzy, a famous teacher there, will know how to fix it.

But once they reach the secret camp site, the magical portal suddenly collapses-they're trapped! Ash is almost sure Availables are involved. With the camp in chaos, Kyana still under the mysterious curse, and Russ broadcasting everything to the MagickNet, Ashley must choose: Say something about what she suspects, or mind her business and trust Dr. Minzy? Are the Availables up to something nefarious, and can Kyana, Ashley, and Russ figure out what's going on and save them all?

In this adventurous sequel to A Taste of Magic, the young city wizards must navigate a mystery in the wilderness, decide how to speak up, and be the heroes they need.

Mind Over Monsters by Betsy Uhrig
Release Date: July 16th, 2024
Gordon Korman meets Scooby-Doo when anxiety-prone middle schoolers try a mindfulness app that has them face their fears all-too-literally in this spooky and humorous middle grade adventure.

FACE YOUR FEARS! That’s what the meditation app with the cheesy name De-stress-o-rama is telling Lena to do. She’s one of seven always-worried middle schoolers trying out this new app to see if it can help students handle stress. But something is going wrong—very, very wrong.

The group’s fears are becoming all too real, first lurking and dangling, then chasing them around and threatening to swallow them whole. From a stubborn inky blob that is fear of the dark, to the queasy giant in sweaty underpants that is fear of public speaking, monsters are invading Cranberry Bog Middle School! Can Lena’s group of worriers figure out how to conquer their fears before the whole school is swarmed?

Wicked Marigold by Caroline Carlson
Release Date: July 16th, 2024
In a funny and charming fantastical romp, overlooked Princess Marigold is nothing like her perfect, just-returned sister—so she runs away to an evil wizard’s tower to prove her wickedness.

Princess Marigold—who hadn’t yet been born when the remarkable Princess Rosalind was kidnapped—is eleven when the unthinkable happens: her older sister escapes her captivity and comes home. Marigold has always known she’s not as good, sweet, or kind as the sister everyone adores, but amid the celebration of Rosalind’s return, Marigold realizes something new: if Princess Rosalind is good, then Princess Marigold must be wicked. And there’s no place for wickedness in the kingdom. When Marigold tries to find a new place for herself in an evil wizard’s fortress, though, the results are disastrous. Before she’s even learned to cackle or scowl properly, she gets tangled up in a magical plot to ruin all the Cacophonous Kingdoms. Is Marigold too wicked to make things right? Or can she—with the help of a kitchen boy, a well-dressed imp, and a grumpy blob of glop—find her own way to restore peace? This endearing fantasy will have princess and anti-princess fans alike chuckling and cheering.

Grow Up, Luchy Zapata by Alexandra Alessandri
Release Date: July 23rd, 2024
A funny, relatable middle school drama about two Colombian American girls who have always been BFFs—until sixth grade turns everything upside down.

Luchy Zapata is starting middle school, and she’s muy excited. She and her two best friends, Cami and Mateo, will finally be at the same school. Luchy and Mateo will be in art class together, and she and Cami can try out for the same soccer team! As long as they’re all together, Luchy can handle anything.

But Cami has been acting weird ever since she got back from visiting family in Colombia. She’s making new, “cool” friends who just seem mean. And suddenly, everything about Luchy and Mateo is too immature for her.

Luchy is determined to help Cami remember how special their friendship is. They’ve been BFFs their whole lives, and that can’t just disappear in a poof of glitter! But…what if Cami doesn’t even want to be friends anymore?

The Knight Thieves by Jenn Bennett
Release Date: July 30th, 2024

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish meets Gail Carson Levine in this charming middle grade fractured fairy tale about an outlaw who teams up with a cursed prince to save the kingdom.

Former fair maiden Rosebud is dread bandit Ruthless Rose, leader of the small but mighty Blackhearts outlaw gang. Ever since the evil Firebrand army torched half their village, the thirteen-year-old daughter of a fallen knight has been living by her own code, picking off evil Firebrand caravans to avenge her village—and her father.

But Rosebud’s honor is put to the test when the Blackhearts mistakenly ambush a carriage smuggling a mysterious passenger: young Prince Timo. The prince is on the run from the Firebrands…and wearing a hexed wolf mask that can only be removed along with his head. Even worse, the magical object that can free the prince is hidden inside the darkly enchanted Nowhere Wood, where people go in, but they don’t come back out.

Helping people isn’t easy. Can a “bad” girl put aside her own need for revenge to save a good prince…and the entire kingdom?

It Came from the Trees by Ally Russell
Release Date: July 30th, 2024
The legend of Bigfoot gets a bone-chilling update in this scary story about a young girl and her scout troop who are willing to brave the woods to find her missing friend when no one else will. Perfect for fans of Daka Hermon and Claribel A. Ortega!

The wilderness is in Jenna’s blood. Her Pap was the first Black park ranger at Sturbridge Reservation, and she practically knows the Owlet Survival Handbook by heart. But she’s never encountered a creature like the one that took her best friend Reese. Her parents don’t believe her; the police are worthless, following the wrong leads; and the media isn’t connecting the dots between Reese’s disappearance and a string of other attacks. Determined to save her friend, Jenna joins a new local scout troop, and ventures back into the woods.

When the troop stumbles across suspicious huge human-like footprints near the camp, scratch marks on trees, and ominous sounds from the woods, Jenna worries that whatever took Reese is back to take her too. Can she trust her new scout leader? And will her new friend Norrie—who makes her laugh and reminds her so much of Reese—believe her?

After the unthinkable happens, the scouts, armed with their wits and toiletries, band together to fight the monster and survive the night.

It Happened to Anna by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Release Date: August 6th, 2024
This spine-tingling ghost story follows a tween girl who’s being literally haunted by loneliness until a new friendship upends her life. From the bestselling author of the Paola Santiago series!

Sadie Rivera has been haunted all her life by a vengeful ghost—a ghost that doesn’t want her to make any friends. The moment she tries? Cue exploding lightbulbs, chilling gusts of wind, and slamming doors.

Last year, Sadie got fed up. Last year, she made a best friend, Anna. So when the ghost caused an accident that killed her best friend, Sadie knew it was all her fault.

Which is why she’s not going to make any friends this year at her new school. At least until mysterious cool girl Mal shows up, and the ghost doesn’t bother her for once. But Mal wants Sadie all to herself—and she’ll do anything to make sure it stays that way.

The Crossbow of Destiny by Brandon Hoang
Release Date: August 6th, 2024

When Vietnamese American Freddie Lỗ finds herself in Vietnam for the first time since she was little, she's not quite sure how to feel. The memories of her extended family are more like distant echoes; she has a tough time speaking Vietnamese; and she can't help but feel like she just isn't Vietnamese enough.

Still, this is her chance to reconnect with her family, especially her Ông ngoại -- or grandfather -- who is receiving a lifetime achievement award. But when Ông ngoại is kidnapped, it's up to Freddie, her cousin Liên, and a mysterious boy named Duy to get to the crossbow before it ends up in the wrong hands.

In this Indiana Jones–style adventure, readers will travel through Vietnam -- from its seaside villages, through remote jungles, to the majestic Marble Mountains of Đà Nẵng -- as Freddie learns what it takes to be a hero.


We Are Big Time by Hena Khan, Illustrated by Safiya Zerrougui
Release Date: August 6th, 2024

SWISH! Cheer courtside for a Muslim teen as she joins an all-girls, hijab-wearing basketball team and learns that she’s much more than a score. This energetic graphic novel is inspired by a true story!

Aliya is new to Wisconsin, and everything feels different than Florida. The Islamic school is bigger, the city is colder, and her new basketball team is…well, they stink.

Aliya’s still excited to have teammates (although the team's captain, Noura, isn't really Aliya's biggest fan), and their new coach really understands basketball (even if she doesn't know much about being Muslim). This season should be a blast...if they could just start to win. As they strengthen their skills on the court, Aliya and the Peace Academy team discover that it takes more than talent to be great--it's teamwork and self-confidence that defines true success. 

For fans of The Crossover and Roller Girl, this graphic novel goes big with humor and heart as it explores culture and perceptions, fitting in and standing out, and finding yourself, both on and off the court.

Lion Dancers by Cai Tse
Release Date: August 13th, 2024
Former best friends become bitter rivals when one returns to lion dancing after a long absence in this vibrant and heartfelt middle grade graphic novel perfect for fans of Haikyu!! and Fence.

Young Wei dreamed of being a legendary lion dancer just like his dad. With his best friend Hung performing as the tail and Wei controlling the head, he knew they could become the next generation of lion dance champions. But after his dad’s sudden passing, Wei abruptly quits lion dancing—and his friendship with Hung.

Years later, Wei is stuck…in life, in school, and on the bench at games. That is, until he crashes a junior lion dance practice and feels his long-sleeping passion wake up within him once more. The team is happy to have another member to carry on the tradition, especially as one as preternaturally talented as Wei. There’s just one person who doesn’t want him the self-proclaimed star, Hung.

As Wei and Hung fight to be considered the top lion dancer, both will have to learn how to face their mistakes head-on and remember what it really means to be part of a team.

The Secret Dead Club by Karen Strong
Release Date: August 20th, 2024
The Baby-Sitters Club meets Stranger Things in this eerie middle grade novel about friendship, fitting in, and the afterlife, following a girl who discovers she’s not the only one at her new school who can see ghosts.

Wednesday Thomas sees ghosts. But that doesn’t mean she has to talk to them.

After a terrifying experience in an Arizona state park with a wicked ghost, Wednesday and her mother Olivia sell their RV and move back south to the family home in Alton, Georgia. Wednesday’s determined not to use her gift anymore—until she meets a group of girls who also know about the spirit realm.

There’s free-spirited Miki Okada and Southern belle Danni-Lynn Porter who seem to know about the ghosts who roam the school’s hallways, popular girl Alexa Scott who tells Wednesday to stay away from Miki and Danni-Lynn and not draw attention to herself, and mysterious neighbor Violet Delgado who died last year but still haunts the house across the street. Wednesday feels these girls have some kind of shared history, but it isn’t until Miki gives her an official invitation to the Dead Club that she starts to understand there’s a lot more going on with the ghosts in Alton and the girls who can see them.

And when another malevolent ghost threatens to harm Wednesday, it will take the help of new friends both living and dead to save her and banish the evil being to the spirit realm where it belongs.

Release Date: August 20th, 2024
In this thrilling new adventure, Tessa Miyata and her best friend Jin must battle the gods... and win. With magic abound and stakes higher than ever, this is a perfect pick for fans of Amari and the Night Brothers!  

After her first adventure in Tokyo, Tessa Miyata is having the best summer of her life with her best friend, Jin. Still, she wonders if she'll ever see Kit, the mythical Unlucky God that Tessa and Jin freed, or the last magical city again. 

Then, Tessa and Jin get magical, talking invitations informing them that they've been chosen to attend the Academy of Gods– to battle immortals on behalf of the Unlucky God! Win, and they'll be given the gift of immortality. Lose, and they'll forget everything they learned about the magical city and Kit will cease to exist. Tessa and Jin may be God Blessed, but they’re mortals amongst gods... Can they defeat the other clans? or will they lose Kit forever?

Release Date: August 20th, 2024
Netflix’s Wednesday meets Jodi Lynn Anderson’s The Memory Thief in this creepy and high-stakes middle grade adventure about a girl’s quest to save her cursed brother that takes her through perilous, monster-filled woods.

The Grimsbane women have been hunting witches and monsters for generations—ever since the Watcher, the most powerful witch in the Midwest, cursed the Grimsbane men to die untimely and unusual deaths. Part-time skater, full-time troublemaker Anna Grimsbane may be only twelve, but she’s been learning about hunting her whole life and is tired of waiting to do the real thing. She and her twin brother Billy are about to turn thirteen, the age the curse takes hold, and Anna wants to be on the front lines fighting to break it.

Only hours before he’ll become an accident-prone walking disaster, Billy runs away to find the Watcher himself. The Grimsbane women are all out on patrol, leaving it up to Anna and her friends Suvi and Rosario to find Billy before his recklessness hastens his demise. But the woods are crawling with cryptids, most of whom hate humans, and all of whom hate the Grimsbanes, and the deeper Anna gets into the forest, the clearer it is that reading about witch hunting is no replacement for practical experience.

Anna feels in over her head, especially as she starts to suspect she knows much less about her family history than she’d thought. As she races against the clock to find Billy before midnight, it becomes all too evident that he isn’t the only Grimsbane at risk for a grisly death tonight.

The Skeleton Flute by Damara Allen
Release Date: August 27th, 2024
The legend of the Pied Piper meets Sal and Gabi Break the Universe with a touch of Coraline in this spooky and suspenseful middle grade adventure about a boy whose wish goes horribly wrong and his fight to reunite with his real family.

Sam Windsor’s parents and younger siblings, Grayson and Addie, are his whole world, so when his parents announce they’re separating, Sam is devastated. He’d do anything to make his parents change their minds and keep the family together. When a stranger offers a flute made of bone that supposedly grants the player’s wish, Sam doesn’t really believe it will work but figures he has nothing to lose.

Surprisingly, the wish on the skeleton flute comes true. The next day, his parents are happily in love, with no plans for his dad to leave. But there’s a major problem: his parents’ relationship isn’t the only thing in his life that has changed, and some of the changes are definitely for the worse.

Caught in a world full of unintended consequences and familiar strangers, Sam has limited options for returning to his old life—worries, challenges, and all. Can he track down the mysterious man who gave him the flute and undo his wish?

A Sky Full of Dragons by Tiffany McDaniel
Release Date: August 27th, 2024
For younger fans of Witchlings and Eva Evergreen comes a light-hearted and whimsical middle grade fantasy about a young girl who must save her witch aunt from an uncommonly voracious hat.

Where dragons take flight, through the dark of the night. Where the fire ignites, you will find the light.

Aunt Cauldroneyes is always looking into cauldrons. She’s found everything from giggling moons to troll nose rings, but when she looks inside a purple cauldron one stormy night, she finds a girl with blue freckles.

The old witch raises the girl and names her Spella. They live in Hungry Snout Forest in a crooked house with doors enchanted to smell like chocolate. In the attic full of floating fabric and biting buttons, Aunt Cauldroneyes teaches Spella how to make magical hats for creatures like unicorns and dragons, giants and goblins.

When Spella turns eight, she receives an invitation to Dragon’s Knob, a school for wand witchery and wizardry. But on the very night Spella is set to leave, a stranger appears with a growling hat that swallows Aunt Cauldroneyes and steals her away!

To rescue her aunt, Spella must go up into a sky full of dragons and to her new school. With protesters outside the gates threatening the school’s academic freedom and a deepening mystery within the walls, Spella and her new friend Tolden are thrust into the mystery of her aunt’s disappearance and a long-buried secret hidden somewhere in the school.


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