12 Middle Grade Books I Cannot Wait For in May!

Updated: Apr 20, 2019

May is always my favourite month! Not only is it my birthday month, but the best books are always published in May and this month there are 12 middle grade books that I cannot wait for!


P.S. You can pre-order all the books by just clicking on the cover and you'll be taken to the Amazon page.


Rumblestar (The Unmapped Chronicle Book 1) by Abi Elphinstone


'Adventures are unpredictable and often terribly badly behaved – a bit like pickled onions if you’ve ever tried to fork one on a plate – but they have a way of unlocking people and turning them upside down so that all the astonishing things fizzing around inside them start to tumble out…’ Eleven-year-old Casper Tock hates risks, is allergic to adventures and shudders at the thought of unpredictable events. So, it comes as a nasty shock to him when he accidentally stumbles intoRumblestar, an Unmapped Kingdom full of magical beasts. All Casper wants is to find a way home, but Rumblestar is in trouble. An evil harpy called Morg is sending her followers, the Midnights, into the kingdom to wreak havoc and pave the way for her to steal the Unmapped magic for herself. But Casper cannot turn a blind eye because the future of his own world, he discovers, is bound up with that of the Unmapped Kingdoms.  And so, together with Utterly Thankless, a girl who hates rules and is allergic to behaving, and her miniature dragon, Arlo, Casper embarks upon an adventure full of cloud giants, storm ogres and drizzle hags. Can he, Utterly and Arlo, the unlikeliest of heroes, save the Unmapped Kingdoms and our world from the clutches of Morg and her Midnights?

Live a life filled with adventure with Abi Elphinstone in this brand NEW series where a whole new world is waiting to be discovered...


Be sure to read Everdark, one of this years World Book Day Books, the first adventure in The Unmapped Chronicles! Check out my review of Everdark here.



Malamander (The Legends of Eerie-on-Sea) by Thomas Taylor


Nobody visits Eerie-on-Sea in the winter. Especially not when darkness falls and the wind howls around Maw Rocks and the wreck of the battleship Leviathan, where even now some swear they have seen the unctuous Malamander creep…


Herbert Lemon, Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, knows that returning lost things to their rightful owners is not easy – especially when the lost thing is not a thing at all, but a girl. No one knows what happened to Violet Parma’s parents twelve years ago, and when she engages Herbie to help her find them, the pair discover that their disappearance might have something to do with the legendary sea-monster, the Malamander. Eerie-on-Sea has always been a mysteriously chilling place, where strange stories seem to wash up. And it just got stranger...



Wildspark (A Ghost Machine Adventure) by Vashti Hardy


A mind-bending adventure from the author of Brightstorm!


A year after the death of her older brother, Prue Haywood's family is still shattered by grief. But everything changes when a stranger arrives at the farm.


A new, incredible technology has been discovered in the city of Medlock, where a secretive guild of inventors have developed a way to capture spirits of the dead in animal-like machines, bringing them back to life.


Prue knows that the "Ghost Guild" might hold the key to bringing her brother back, so she seizes the stranger's offer to join as an apprentice. But to find her brother, she needs to find a wayto get the ghost machines to remember the people they used to be. Yet if Prue succeeds, all of society could come apart...



Where the River Runs Gold by Sita Brahmachari


Two children must risk everything to escape their fate and find the impossible... A brave, thought-provoking adventure by award-winning author, Sita Brahmachari.


Shifa and her brother, Themba, live in Kairos City with their father, Nabil. The few live in luxury, whilst the millions like them crowd together in compounds, surviving on meagre rations and governed by Freedom Fields - the organisation that looks after you, as long as you opt in.


The bees have long disappeared; instead children must labour on farms, pollinating crops so that the nation can eat. But Nabil remembers Before and he knows that the soul needs to be nourished as much as the body so, despite the risk, he teaches his children how to grow flowers on a secret piece of land hidden beneath the train tracks.


The farm Shifa and Themba are sent to is hard and cruel. Themba won't survive there and Shifa comes up with a plan to break them out. But they have no idea where they are - their only guide is a map drawn from the ramblings of a stranger.


The journey ahead is fraught with danger, but Shifa is strong and knows to listen to her instincts - to let hope guide them home. The freedom of a nation depends on it...



Starfell: Willow Moss and the Lost Day (Starfell Book 1) by Dominique Valente


The most spellbinding new children’s fantasy series of 2019, in a stunning hardback edition with beautiful black-and-white inside illustrations by Sarah Warburton. Perfect for fans of Cressida Cowell and Nevermoor.


Willow Moss, the youngest and least powerful sister in a family of witches, has a magical ability for finding lost things – like keys, or socks, or wooden teeth. Useful, but not exactly exciting...


Then the most powerful witch in the world of Starfell turns up at Willow’s door and asks for her help. A whole day – last Tuesday to be precise – has gone missing. Completely. And, without it, the whole universe could unravel.


Now Willow holds the fate of Starfell in her rather unremarkable hands... Can she save the day – by finding the lost one?


Step into Starfell, a world crackling with warmth, wit and magic, perfect for readers aged 8–12.



A Girl Called Justice by Elly Griffiths


Missing maids, suspicious teachers and a snow storm to die for... For a fearless girl called Justice Jones, super-smart super-sleuth, it's just the start of a spine-tingling first term at Highbury House Boarding School for the Daughters of Gentlefolk. For fans of Robin Stevens, Katherine Woodfine and Enid Blyton.


When Justice's mother dies, her father packs her off to Highbury House Boarding School for the Daughters of Gentlefolk. He's a barrister - specialising in murder trials - and he's just too busy to look after her alone.


Having previously been home-schooled, the transition is a shock. Can it really be the case that blondes rule the corridors? Are all uniforms such a charming shade of brown? And do schools normally hide dangerous secrets about the murder of a chamber maid?


Justice takes it upon herself to uncover the truth. (Mainly about the murder, but perhaps she can figure out her new nemesis - the angelic Rose - at the same time.) But when a storm cuts the school off from the real world, the body count starts to rise and Justice realises she'll need help from her new friends if she's going to find the killer before it's too late...



The Umbrella Mouse by Anna Fargher


A timeless tale of courage, resistance and friendship, The Umbrella Mouse is a heart-stopping adventure drawing on the true stories of animals caught in the conflict of WWII.


1944, and London is under attack. Young mouse Pip Hanway's safe and quiet world is turned upside down when her home, umbrella shop James Smith & Sons, is destroyed by a bomb. Orphaned and alone, she must begin a perilous quest to find a new home.


But the only way to get there is by joining Noah’s Ark, a secret gang of animals fighting the resistance in France, operating beneath the feet of the human soldiers. Danger is everywhere and as the enemy closes in, Pip must risk everything to save her new friends.


Beautifully illustrated by Sam Usher, Anna Fargher's debut novel takes you on an incredible journey through a war that reaches even the smallest of creatures.



The Secret Starling by Judith Eagle


Clara has lived a life of solitude, home schooled under her mean uncle's strict regime...until now!


The day that Uncle abandons Clara, leaving her with nothing but a wedge of 'guilt money' and a half empty, crumbling manor house, she is determined to do things her way for a change. And when streetwise Peter turns up, with his rescue cat and a surprising array of knowledge, she is sure that between them they have everything they need to survive.


But the house is to be sold...and Uncle has lied to Clara...and nothing, NOTHING is as it seems.


'Absolutely sparkling, enchanting storytelling from the very first page. Love this book!' - Hilary McKay



The Maker of Monsters by Lorraine Gregory


Brat has always lived in the isolated castle on the island, taking care of the vicious creatures that his master creates, waiting in terror for the moment when they are ready to be put to use. But then the unthinkable happens. The monsters get out. Now Brat must overcome his fears, and venture into the world he has hidden from his whole life. For the fate of everyone rests on his shoulders alone...

A thrilling new standalone adventure, inspired by Frankenstein, from Lorraine Gregory.


'A wonderfully pongy adventure championing inclusivity & friendship!' - Abi Elphinstone




Spies in St. Petersburg (Taylor and Rose Secret Agents) by Katherine Woodfine


With Sophie still missing in action after their explosive mission in Paris, Lil decides to take matters into her own hands. On a new mission for the Secret Service Bureau, can Lil find Sophie in misty, mysterious St Petersburg?


Can they uncover the identity of their true enemy and can they trust anyone – even the Bureau? It's time for Sophie and Lil to put their spy skills to the test.


Perfect for fans of Robin Stevens' Murder Most Unladylike series, Katherine Rundell and Emma Carroll.


Be sure to read the first book in the Taylor and Rose Secret Agents series, Peril in Paris!



The Secret Dragon by Ed Clarke


'So if you're not an animal that's alive today, and you're not an animal that's extinct either, what on earth are you?'


Mari Jones is desperate to be a real scientist, even though she's only eleven. So when she discovers a tiny dragon while fossil hunting on the beach, she's sure she can find a good scientific explanation - as long as she can keep it hidden long enough to study it.


Unfortunately for Mari, this is one secret that doesn't want to be kept. And as she starts to form a deeper bond with the mischievous dragon, she might have to admit that, when it comes to friendship, science might not have all the answers...




Lampie and the Children of the Sea by Annet Schaap


Lampie and the Children of the Sea is a prize-winning and enchanting fairytale adventure, set in a world of mermaids, pirates and stormy seas!

Every evening Lampie the lighthouse keeper's daughter must light a lantern to warn ships away from the rocks. But one stormy night disaster strikes. The lantern goes out, a ship is wrecked and an adventure begins.

In disgrace, Lampie is sent to work as a maid at the Admiral's Black House, where rumour has it that a monster lurks in the tower. But what she finds there is stranger and more beautiful than any monster. Soon Lampie is drawn into a fairytale adventure in a world of mermaids and pirates, where she must fight with all her might for friendship, freedom and the right to be different.


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