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may 2019 Best Chapter Books

Updated Jul. 23, 2019
Rescue in the Rockies book
#1
Rescue in the Rockies
Written and illustrated by Rita Feutl
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Janey, fourteen, is spending the holidays in the Rocky Mountains with her grandma and her grandma’s new beau, Charlie, who has brought along his grandson, Max. Mysteriously, Janey finds herself hopping back and forth between different time periods, all in the area of Banff, Alberta. And if that wasn’t enough to spoil a vacation, she also has to deal with Max and his grumpy moods. Eventually she discovers the reason for the time-traveling and for Max’s surliness. Together on one last trip, Max and Janey travel into the past and solve the mystery.

Kid Normal and the Rogue Heroes book
#2
Kid Normal and the Rogue Heroes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Since becoming Kid Normal, Murph Cooper and the Super Zeroes – fellow students with arguably less-than-useful talents like the ability to conjure tiny horses from thin air – have been catching bad guys all over the place. But being a hero isn't easy, especially when you can't tell anyone about your epic adventures and your classmates still don't believe you've got what it takes. And then, far away in a top-secret prison, the world's most feared supervillain breaks his thirty-year silence. His first words? “Bring Kid Normal to me!” This supervillain was responsible for stealing the powers from some of the greatest Heroes Alliance members of all time. Does Murph have what it takes to bring him down? With black-and-white illustrations throughout, this laugh-out-loud story proves that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

TBH #4: TBH, IDK What's Next book
#3
TBH #4: TBH, IDK What's Next
Written and illustrated by Lisa Greenwald
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Three BFFs set out to have the BEST SUMMER EVER in the fourth book in this addictive series told entirely in text messages. BFFAEs Prianka, Cece, and Gabby are ready to have an unforgettable summer—but they don’t agree on what that means. For Cece and Gabby, everything is CAMP, CAMP, CAMP! But Prianka wants to forget about sleeping in the woods and hang out at the pool before her big family trip to India. Gabby won’t stop obsessing over the likes on her camp photos while Cece won’t pick up her phone at all. With “back-to-school” looming and relationships changing at lightning speed, can CPG4Eva sort out their differences before classes start and things really change?

The Sound of Silence book
#4
The Sound of Silence
Written by Myron Uhlberg
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Myron Uhlberg was born the hearing son of deaf parents at a time when American Sign Language was not well established and deaf people were often dismissed as being unintelligent. In this young reader adaptation of his acclaimed memoir, Hands of My Father, Uhlberg recalls the daily difficulties and hidden joys of growing up as the intermediary between his parents' silent world and the world of the hearing.

The Magpie's Library book
#5
The Magpie's Library
Written by Kate Blair
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

When Silva and her family visit her grandfather, they find that his health has taken a bad turn. As they struggle with this news, Silva seeks escape in books at the local library. But she gets more than she bargained for when a magpie guides her to a magical room containing books that she can not only read, but also live in. Silva finds herself in the worlds of the characters, who turn out to be real people. People she knows. There’s a catch, though: she soon discovers that the magpie has lured her to these books for selfish and dark reasons.

Epic Athletes: Alex Morgan book
#6
Epic Athletes: Alex Morgan
Written by Dan Wetzel and illustrated by Cory Thomas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Kicking off his new series of sports biographies for young readers, journalist Dan Wetzel pens a page-turning book about the life of US Women's Soccer star Alex Morgan! Fierce competitor. World Cup winner. Role model. U.S. Women's Soccer star Alex Morgan has earned each of these impressive titles throughout her incredible career. As a young girl growing up in Southern California, she dreamed of being a professional soccer player, fighting to compete on the international stage against the world's greatest athletes. Flash forward to the present and Alex Morgan has emerged as the face of U.S. Women's soccer, famous for her clutch, late-game goals, and an inspiration to kids across the country. Just in time for the 2019 Women's World Cup, bestselling author Dan Wetzel details the rise of an American champion in this uplifting biography for young readers, complete with dynamic comic-style illustrations.

Fenway and Hattie in the Wild book
#7
Fenway and Hattie in the Wild
Written by Victoria J. Coe
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In the fourth book in the adorable middle-grade series, Fenway gets a taste of the wild when he goes on a back-to-school camping trip with Hattie. When Hattie starts using a word Fenway hasn’t heard in a long, long time – “skool” – some other things change as well. Hattie’s bushy ponytail disappears, clothes that smell like no one ever wore them get tossed around her room, and she smells nervous much more than usual. Then the family fills the Food Box with yummy hot dogs and loads it in the car. Fenway is thrilled that he gets to go along where ever they are going, and is even more excited when they arrive in the wilderness with tons of new scents to investigate, dogs and humans to meet, and lots of meat cooking over fires. Hattie seems excited about it all, too, and happy her friend Angel also came, but when more families arrive with lots of new kids, she smells nervous again. Especially when one certain kid that all the others seem to follow everywhere starts bossing everyone around. Fenway can sympathize, because a tiny dog is doing the same thing to all the other dogs. Fitting in can be a tough business, but luckily both Fenway and Hattie come around to realizing that being true to themselves is much more important.

Endling #2: The First book
#8
Endling #2: The First
Written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by Max Kostenko
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Endling #2: The First is the second book in an epic middle grade animal fantasy series by Katherine Applegate, Newbery Medal-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author of The One and Only Ivan, Wishtree, and Crenshaw! To learn if she truly is the last dairne in the world—the endling—Byx and her friends must travel into the snow-covered mountains of the country of Dreyland, where they hope to uncover the truth behind the legend of a hidden dairne colony. But the threat of war across the lands continues to grow with each passing day. As the group confronts untold dangers at every turn, they will ultimately uncover a treacherous plot that involves the other powerful governing species. With both her dreams and all the creatures of Nedarra on the brink of extinction, Byx and her friends are determined to never give up hope. Soon they find themselves the unlikely leaders in a simmering rebellion that risks everything they hold dear. Byx may be the last of her kind, but will she also be the first to lead the revolution? In this sequel to the New York Times bestselling first book—which received four starred reviews—Katherine Applegate once again delivers an action-packed middle grade fantasy with a unique setting, enthralling characters, and gripping adventure that is perfect for fans of Rick Riordan, Brian Jacques, and Tui T. Sutherland.

Bravelands #4: Shifting Shadows book
#9
Bravelands #4: Shifting Shadows
Written by Erin Hunter
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Set in the African savannah and told from three different animals’ points of view, Bravelands will thrill readers who love Spirit Animals and Wings of Fire, as well as the fans who’ve made Erin Hunter a #1 nationally bestselling phenomenon. A false leader has been destroyed—but Bravelands is still in grave danger. Stinger’s death should have brought peace to the land; but no Great Parent has stepped forward, and now the fate of Bravelands hangs in the balance. With a mysterious threat lurking in their midst, all members of the Great Herd must find the strength to walk the right path or risk the end of Bravelands forever.

Other Words for Home book
#10
Other Words for Home
Written by Jasmine Warga
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A gorgeously written, hopeful middle grade novel in verse about a young girl who must leave Syria to move to the United States, perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Aisha Saeed. Jude never thought she’d be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her hometown start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives. At first, everything in America seems too fast and too loud. The American movies that Jude has always loved haven’t quite prepared her for starting school in the US—and her new label of “Middle Eastern,” an identity she’s never known before. But this life also brings unexpected surprises—there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude might just try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is. This lyrical, life-affirming story is about losing and finding home and, most importantly, finding yourself.

All the Ways Home book
#11
All the Ways Home
Written by Elsie Chapman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Sometimes, home isn’t where you expect to find it. After losing his mom in a fatal car crash, Kaede Hirano--now living with a grandfather who is more stranger than family--developed anger issues and spent his last year of middle school acting out. Best-friendless and critically in danger repeating the seventh grade, Kaede is given a summer assignment: write an essay about what home means to him, which will be even tougher now that he's on his way to Japan to reconnect with his estranged father and older half-brother. Still, if there's a chance Kaede can finally build a new family from an old one, he's willing to try. But building new relationships isn’t as easy as destroying his old ones, and one last desperate act will change the way Kaede sees everyone--including himself. This is a book about what home means to us—and that there are many different correct answers.

Neekna and Chemai book
#12
Neekna and Chemai
Written by Jeannette Armstrong and illustrated by Barbara Marchand
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Neekna and Chemai are two little girls growing up in the Okanagan Valley in the time before European contact. Through these two friends, we learn about the seasonal life patterns of the Okanagan First Peoples. The girls spend time with Great-Grandmother, who tells them about important ceremonies, and they gather plants with Neekna's grandmother. Grandmother explains how bitterroot came to be an important food source, and why the people give a special ceremony of thanks at its harvest. Grandmother also tells the story of how a woman was changed to a rock to watch over the Okanagan Valley. Neekna understands how important it is that she has received the knowledge passed down for generations, from great-grandmother to grandmother to mother.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!