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Experience the best in middle grade fiction with inspiring authors from Random House.

And, see how these great titles connect to state standards.

If you're looking to learn more about award-winning authors, Random House Children's Books has them. Discover great titles that connect to state standards to make lesson planning for your middle grade programs easy. Explore these titles, learn more about the authors behind the books and be sure to download the Random House Children's Books brochure today and get your students started with a lifetime of learning.


 
The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall

Jeanne Birdsall

Jeanne Birdsall lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, with her husband. Their house is old and comfortable, full of unruly animals and surrounded by gardens.

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette

"If you've someone who'd like to be introduced into this world for the first time or someone who's been reading the books straight through, it makes no difference. Both will enjoy this newest Penderwickian challenge. Both will be intrigued and pleased. Both will love it. You will too for that matter."

School Library Journal

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The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

Christopher Paul Curtis

He was a great reader, but as a youth he could not find books that "were about me." He wrote his first book, The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963, in longhand in the children's room of the Windsor Public Library. His son Steven typed his father's drafts into their computer and served as first reader. Curtis's writing – and his dedication to it – has been greatly influenced by his family members. With grandfathers like Earl "Lefty" Lewis, a Negro Baseball League pitcher, and 1930s band leader Herman E. Curtis, Sr., of Herman Curtis and the Dusky Devastators of the Depression, it is easy to see why Christopher Paul Curtis was destined to become an entertainer.

"To me, the highest accolade comes when a young reader tells me 'I really liked your book.' The young seem to be able to say 'really' with a clarity, a faith, and an honesty that we as adults have long forgotten. That is why I write."

— Christopher Paul Curtis

The Mighty Miss Malone

"Curtis effortlessly weaves historical tidbits into his tale, while maintaining his focus on the resolve and faith that drive Deza and her family forward."

Publishers Weekly

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The People of Sparks by Jeanne Du Prau

Jeanne DuPrau

A Thomas Mann quote "A writer is someone for whom writing is harder than it is for other people" lends inspiration and guides DuPrau's writing, which she often finds to be a challenging task. She lives in California where she loves to garden. Come inside award-winning author Jeanne DuPrau's imaginary worlds, where the characters may be fictional, but their reactions to potential catastrophes remind us what all humans are capable of when faced with the threat of war, starvation, or extinction.

The People of Sparks

"…its immediacy and drive make it a good choice for even reluctant readers."

School Library Journal, starred review

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The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming

Candace Fleming

"I have always been a storyteller. Even before I could write my name, I could tell a good tale. As I grew, I continued to write stories. But I never really thought of becoming an author. Instead, I went to college where I discovered yet another passion – history. I didn't realize it then, but studying history is really just an extension of my love of stories. After all, some of the best stories are true ones – tales of heroism and villainy made more incredible by the fact they really happened."

— Candace Fleming

The Great and Only Barnum

ALA Best Books for Young Adults
ALSC Notable Book
YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults

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 Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff

Patricia Reilly Giff

Patricia Reilly Giff and her husband reside in Weston, Connecticut. They have three children and five grandchildren. In 1990, Giff combined her two greatest loves – children's books and her family – and, with her husband and her children, opened The Dinosaur's Paw, a children's bookstore named after one of her Kids of the Polk Street School novels. This store is part of Giff's quest to bring children and books together.

Lily's Crossing

Newbery Honor

"Details… are woven with great effect into a realistic story… "

The Horn Book, starred

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The Black Heart Crypt by Chris Grabenstein

Chris Grabenstein

Winner of two Anthony and four Agatha Awards, Chris writes fast-paced and fun page-turners for children and adults. He's also a playwright and screenwriter not to mention a former advertising executive and improvisational comedian. Sometimes he sleeps.

Currently, Chris and his beautiful, beloved wife J.J. live in New York City with three cats (Parker, Tiger Lilly, & Phoebe Squeak) and a dog named Fred who starred in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on Broadway. And, yes, Zipper the dog in The Haunted Mysteries is based on Fred!

The Black Heart Crypt

"An instantly engaging and wildly creative mystery that is sure to have readers looking at their humble local library in a new light… An ode to libraries and literature that is a worthy successor to the original madman puzzle-master himself, Willy Wonka."

Booklist, starred review

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Squish by Jennifer L. Holm

Jennifer L. Holm

Jennifer L. Holm is a New York Times bestselling children's author and the recipient of three Newbery Honors for her novels. Jennifer collaborates with her brother, Matthew Holm, on two graphic novel series - the Eisner Award-winning Babymouse series and the bestselling Squish series. Her new novel is The Fourteenth Goldfish. She lives in California with her husband and two children.

Squish

"If ever a new series deserved to go viral, this one does."

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

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Scat by Carl Hiassen

Carl Hiassen

Carl Hiaasen was only six years old when his father recognized his interest in writing and gave him a typewriter. After graduating from the University of Florida, Hiaasen became a general assignment reporter for the Miami Herald. Now he writes a regular column for the paper and bestselling satirical novels about environmental issues and crooks of all persuasions. Together, Hiaasen's novels have been published in 34 languages, which is 33 more than he is able to read or write. Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida, where he still lives with his family.

Scat

IRA-CBC Children's Choice

"This well-written and smoothly plotted story, with fully realized characters, will certainly appeal to mystery lovers."

School Library Journal, starred

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 Wonder by R.J. Palacio

R.J. Palacio

R.J. Palacio lives in NYC with her husband, two sons and two dogs. For more than 20 years, she was an art director and graphic designer, designing book jackets for other people while waiting for the perfect time in her life to start writing her own novel. But one day several years ago, a chance encounter with an extraordinary child in front of an ice cream store made R.J. realize that the perfect time to write that novel had finally come. Wonder is her first novel. She did not design the cover, but she sure does love it.

Wonder

School Library Journal Best of Children's Books
Publishers Weekly Best of Children's Books
Booklist Best of Children's Books
Kirkus Reviews Best of Children's Books

"A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder."

Kirkus Reviews, starred

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 Brian's Hunt by Gary Paulsen

Gary Paulsen

Gary Paulsen's realization that he would become a writer came suddenly when he was working as a satellite technician for an aerospace firm in California. One night he walked off the job, never to return. He spent the next year in Hollywood as a magazine proofreader, working on his own writing every night. Then he left California and drove to northern Minnesota where he rented a cabin on a lake; by the end of the winter, he had completed his first novel. Paulsen's wife, Ruth Wright Paulsen, is an artist who has illustrated several of his books. He divides his time between his dog kennel in Alaska, his ranch in New Mexico and his sailboat on the Pacific.

Brian's Hunt

Newbery Honor

Gary Paulsen is the author of more than 200 books and his work was awarded the Newbery Honor multiple times. He received the Margaret Edwards Award from the American Library Association in 1997.

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Holes by Louis Sachar

Louis Sachar

Louis Sachar was born in East Meadow New York enjoyed school and was a good student, but it wasn't until high school that he really became an avid reader. J.D. Salinger and Kurt Vonnegut were the authors who first inspired him. Other favorite authors include E.L. Doctorow, Margaret Atwood, E.B White, Richard Price and Kazuo Ishiguro. After graduation in 1976 he decided to try to write a children's book, which eventually became Sideways Stories from Wayside School which was accepted by a publisher during his first week at Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. His wife Carla the inspiration for the counselor in There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom. They were married in 1985. Their daughter, Sherre, was born in 1987. We live in Austin, Texas along with our dog, Watson.

Holes

Newbery Medal Winner
National Book Award
Boston Globe Horn Book Award
Christopher Award

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Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli

Jerry Spinelli

Growing up, Jerry Spinelli was really serious about baseball. He played for the Green Sox Little League team in his hometown of Norristown, Pennsylvania, and dreamed of one day playing for the major leagues, preferably as shortstop for the New York Yankees. He lives with his wife and fellow writer, Eileen, in Pennsylvania. While they write in separate rooms of the house, the couple edits and celebrates one another's work. Their six children have given Jerry Spinelli a plethora of clever material for his writing. Jerry's dedication to his craft and his unique storytelling skills make him a perfect candidate for a classroom author study. His stories bring to life characters that make his readers laugh, cry and even learn something about themselves.

Hokey Pokey

"A masterful, bittersweet recognition of coming-of-age."

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"This unforgettable coming-of-age story will resonate with tween readers and take its rightful place beside the author's Maniac Magee and Louis Sachar's Holes."

School Library Journal, starred review

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Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

Wendelin Van Draanen

Wendelin Van Draanen has been everything from a forklift driver to a high school teacher but is now enjoying life as a full-time writer. Critics and readers alike have embraced the books in the Sammy Keyes mystery series. From the new Gecko and Sticky series for younger readers, to the wildly popular middle grade mystery series Sammy Keyes, to compelling contemporary young adult novels like Flipped and Runaway, students of every age and reading level will find a character to root for and follow. Ms. Van Draanen lives with her husband and two sons in California.

Flipped

"Van Draanen has another winner in this eighth-grade 'he-said, she-said' romance."

School Library Journal, starred review

"We flipped over this fantastic book."

The Chicago Tribune

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Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt

Cynthia Voigt

Cynthia Voigt enjoyed a middle class childhood with 2 sisters and twin brothers who were lovingly referred to by her father as having a full house, three queens and two jacks. She has held a long list of jobs ranging from babysitter to teacher. Her present work is as a writer-grandmother. She lives with her husband in Maine.

Homecoming

Honored with the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Outstanding Literature for Young Adults.

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Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea

Rob Buyea

Rob Buyea taught third and fourth graders in Bethany, Connecticut, for six years before moving to Massachusetts, where he now lives with his wife and three daughters. He teaches biology and coaches wrestling at Northfield Mount Hermon School.

Because of Mr. Terupt

Indies Choice / E.B White Honor Book
Cybils Middle Grade Award Finalist
New Voices Pick by the Association of Booksellers for Children

"Mr. Terupt follows in the footsteps of those inspiring teachers who encourage their students to think for themselves, question the conventions they understand about school, and become better people… Readers will find much to ponder on the power of forgiveness in Buyea's meditative first novel."

Booklist

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Navigating Early by Clare Vandepool

Clare Vanderpool

Clare Vanderpool loves to read, research, and travel. Writing Navigating Early gave her the opportunity to do all three. On a research trip to Maine, she explored lighthouses, walked on sandy beaches, visited a boarding school, and even took her own trek on the Appalachian Trail. She lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband and four children.

Navigating Early

Printz Honor Book

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Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead

Rebecca Stead

Rebecca Stead grew up in New York City and began writing in elementary school, where she was free to climb under a table, or sit in a windowsill and allow her imagination to take her to other places and times. She graduated from Vassar College and later, law school. She is married and has two sons.

Liar & Spy

A New York Times Notable Children's Book
NPR Outstanding "Backseat Read" ages 9-14

Best Children's Book – Publishers Weekly, The Horn Book, School Library Journal, Kirkus, and The Wall Street Journal

"This is as close to perfect as middle-grade novels come."

Publishers Weekly

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Into the Firestorm by Deborah Hopkinson

Deborah Hopkinson

Deborah Hopkinson has written more than 40 books for young readers. She is also the author of the middle-grade novel Into the Firestorm: A Novel of San Francisco, 1906. Her unique way of framing the past leads young readers to think critically and become engaged with history.

Into the Firestorm

"Middle graders in search of quick, entertaining historical fiction-ideal for book reports-should take a look."

The Bulletin

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Flesh & Blood So Cheap by Albert Marrin

Albert Marrin

An author of numerous highly regarded nonfiction books for young readers and his many honors include the Washington Children's Book Guild and Washington Post Nonfiction Award for "outstanding lifetime contribution that has enriched the field of literature," the James Madison Book Award for lifetime achievement, and the National Endowment for the Humanities Medal awarded to him by President George W. Bush.

Flesh & Blood So Cheap

National Book Award Finalist

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