With the summer holidays fast approaching we are here to help get your kids away from their screens and into reading.
Join us on a trip through the best of our Middle Grade Fiction. Let’s get kids reading!
First up is our favourite boy genius…
Over the course of the six books in the Frank Einstein series, Jon Scieszka – a former teacher – takes his readers from Matter to Energy to Humans to Life to Earth and on through the Universe – from the smallest objects (atoms) to the largest (the cosmos). With side-splitting comedy and unique illustration from Brian Biggs, this series is a brilliant and hilarious 8-12 series that incorporates science into its story.
“I never thought science could be funny . . . until I read Frank Einstein. It will have kids laughing.” – Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid
“Dear Frank Einstein, Please invent time machine. Send your books back in time to me in 1978. Also a levitating skateboard. Tommy” – Tom Angleberger, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
“Kids will love Frank Einstein because even though he is a new character he will be instantly recognizable to the readers . . . Jon Scieszka is one of the best writers around, and I can’t wait to see what he does with these fun and exciting characters.” – Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl
“Jon Scieszka’s new series has the winning ingredients that link his clever brilliance in story telling with his knowledge of real science, while at the same time the content combination of fiction and nonfiction appeals to the full range of the market.” – Jack Gantos, Dead End in Norvelt
“Empowering boys to find a passion for reading is the life’s work of Jon Scieszka, the 59-year-old elementary school teacher turned multi-million-selling children’s author…a befuddlement that ‘the educational world cannot tap into the mania and energy’ that boys have for non-fiction, helped fuel Scieszka’s latest franchise. Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor is the first in a six-part series centred on its eponymous child genius hero. It integrates real science, immersive and educational illustrative diagrams and experiments that children can (safely) undertake themselves. But this isn’t a jazzed-up textbook.” Jon was interviewed by The Telegraph
“What advice would you give to your 10-year-old self?
Nothing. He wouldn’t listen.” Interview with Jon in The Guardian
“First in a new series by bestselling Jon Scieszka, Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor manages to successfully create a humourous and wacky story based around lots of scientific facts…The narrative is fast-paced and is greatly aided by the fabulous two-tone artwork by Brian Briggs which brings so much to the text.” Library Mice
“Jon Scieszka has created a unique world of adventure and science fiction. Young boys and robots with a life and mind of their own – the perfect combination!” Books Monthly
Frank Einstein loves to tinker, build and take things apart. He loves to observe, hypothesise, experiment and invent. Frank Einstein is a kid genius who loves figuring out how the world works by creating household contraptions that are part science, part imagination and definitely unusual.
After an uneventful experiment with a garage-lab artificially intelligent RoboBug, a lightning storm and a flash of electricity, Frank’s inventions—the robots Klink and Klank—suddenly come to life. Not exactly the ideal lab partners, the wise-cracking Klink and the overly expressive Klank are a help nonetheless as Frank attempts to perfect his Dark Energy Drive . . . that is until Frank’s arch nemesis, T. Edison, steals Klink and Klank for his evil doomsday plan! With the help of his friends, Frank sets out to rescue the robots and stop T. Edison from carrying out his twisted plans!
“I never thought I could read about the Hadron Collider and smile so all credit to Jon Scieszka for writing an accessible story about science…and I can’t wait for the second instalment of Frank’s adventures.” We Love This Book
‘Jon Scieszka’s new science fiction comedy series is charming, funny and unashamedly geeky. The story taps in terrifically to children’s natural curiosity and inquisition; a nuclear explosion of action, adventure and antimatter particles!’ Books For Keeps
“Magician? Anarchist? There’s something about Mr Jon Scieszka that can’t avoid twisting the traditional idea of a children’s book into something altogether more entertaining.” Sparky Teaching.
Our second Summer Reads book recommendation is The Terrible Two. A hilarious middle grade book full of pranks and cows…
‘Ingenious and hilarious! I couldn’t stop reading it! One of my favourite books of all time.‘ Victor age 11 Ottie & the Bea Bookclub
To continue reading you must solemnly swear you are a prankster, mischief maker and definitely up to no good…
Let us introduce you to Miles Murphy, pranking legend.
Miles Murphy is known for one thing and one thing only: pranking. He’s the best prankster his school has ever seen. So when he’s forced to move to boring Yawnee Valley (also known for one thing and one thing only: cows), he assumes he’ll be the best prankster at his new school too.
But, there’s one problem.
The school already has a prankster — a good one. A really good one…
What to do now?
1. Read a copy of The Terrible Two (for a taste you can read an extract here).
2. Laugh for a long time.
4. Watch Mac Barnett’s TED talk: Why a good book is a secret door.
6. Sign-up to our Newsletter so you don’t any news about the pranksters.
7. Wait expectantly for The Terrible Two Get Worse, out Autumn 2015.
Number Three in our Summer Reads book recommendation is El Deafo. Cece Bell’s uplifting & inspirational graphic novel.
El Deafo chronicles the author’s hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with a powerful and very awkward hearing aid called the Phonic Ear. It gives her the ability to hear–sometimes things she shouldn’t–but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her, Phonic Ear and all. Finally, she is able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become “El Deafo, Listener for All.” And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she’s longed for.
Recently nominated for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2015 & picked for inclusion in the 2015 Book Trust Best Book Guide this funny, deeply honest graphic novel memoir hits home for children and adults alike.
A serious subject treated with warmth and humour.’ Little London magazine
“Read El Deafo for the giggles, for the challenges, for the universal life experiences, and for the opportunity to be changed, even just a little. And for those readers who, like Cece, discover ways to turn the things the world calls weakness into the qualities they own as strengths, make sure to have a couple of capes on hand.” Matthew C. Winner, The Busy Librarian
‘It’s an honest and rather sweet tale of a girl coming to terms with her disability, and as such the kind of story that will strike a chord with any child who has felt ostracised or different. El Deafo is heartfelt, eye-opening, funny and beautifully drawn.’ The Financial Times
‘Inspiring and honest, this is a wonderful graphic novel.’ Book of the Week in We Love This Book and The Bookseller
Book Four on our Middle Grade Summer Reads List is Michael Buckley’s The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy Tale Detectives.
In book one of this much loved series we are introduced to orphaned sisters Sabrina and Daphne who have been sent to live with their mysterious grandmother, Relda Grimm. Relda lives in a town in rural New York State that experiences an extraordinary number of unexplained and unusual crimes. As it turns out, the two girls and their grandmother are the descendants of the Brothers Grimm, who rather than being folklorists, were historians and detectives of actual magical phenomena perpetrated by Everafters, a parallel race of magical beings. It’s the Grimm family’s legacy to keep the Everafters in line and Sabrina and Daphne are the last of the Grimm heirs. The girls quickly find themselves part of this fairy tale world…pitted against giants, who have been rampaging through town in their search for an Englishman named Jack, currently working at a Big & Tall store!
And that is only the beginning!
Discover the entire series:
Our final Middle Grade Summer Reads recommendation is hilarious, The Templeton Twins Have An Idea!
This book, the first in a funny, illustrated middle-grade series, is about two resourceful children who foil kidnappers bent on stealing their brilliant father’s ideas.
With a fast-paced plot, clever heroes, evil (albeit buffoonish) villains, a sly sense of humour the book has everything your young reader could want! PLUS, the book is filled with puns, word games and puzzles! AND, the illustrations by internationally acclaimed artist Jeremy Holmes give the book even more kid appeal. We give it two very enthusiastic thumbs up, now excuse us while we go and find Book Two…
Do YOU have any Summer Reads recommendations for 8-12 year olds? Let us know @abramschronicle!