Here are some middle reader books that have crossed our desks recently:
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"HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, BOOK 8: How to Break a Dragon's Heart," by Cressida Cowell, Little, Brown and Company, 299 pages, $12.99
Hiccup and Toothless are stranded on the unsafe and possibly haunted Beach of the Broken Heart. They must overcome several dangers or risk being fed to the Beast.
"GHOSTS OF ROCKVILLE, BOOK 1: Search for the Dominion Glass," by Justin Heimberg, Seven Footer Press, $16.95, 275 pages (ages 8-12)
When Jay, a ghost-hunting kid, receives a paper with nothing on it, he doesn't think much of it until it thrusts him and his friends into an adventure of finding the key that will unlock a mysterious artifact. It comes with a MagicView to help see "hidden" objects throughout the book.
"ROBBIE FORESTER AND THE OUTLAWS OF SHERWOOD ST." by Peter Abrams, Philomel Books, $16.99, 320 pages (ages 10 and up)
When Robyn Forester helps a homeless woman, she ends up with a bracelet that gives her and her friends power to help fight social injustices like modern-day Robin Hoods.
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More middle reader books recently released:
"MISSING! A Cat Called Buster," by Windy Orr, 128 pages (ages 7-10): When Mr. Larsen goes to the hospital, Buster, his cat with an attitude, goes missing. A neighborhood family tries to find Buster in this second book in the Rainbow Street Shelter series.
"THE EXTRAORDINARY EDUCATION OF NICHOLAS BENEDICT," Trenton Lee Stewart, 470 pages (ages 8-12): Nine-year-old Nicholas Benedict is an orphan with an unfortunate nose, but he's a genius. When he's sent to a new orphanage, he finds bullies and strange circumstances along with a mystery that could change his life.
"LOVE OF THE GAME," by John Coy, 192 pages (ages 8-12): Four sports loving friends tackle the challenges of middle school and football in this third installment of the 4-for-4 series.
"THE GREATEST SPORTS TEAMS RIVALRIES," by Matt Christopher, 130 pages (ages 8 and up) (nf): A look at five legendary rivalries: Yankees vs. Red Sox; Celtics vs. Lakers; United vs. Galaxy; Canadians vs. Bruins and Bears vs. Packers.
"MAGGIE & OLIVER OR A BONE OF ONE'S OWN," by Valerie Hobbs, illustrated by Jennifer Thermes, 192 pages (ages 8-12): Maggie is a young maid who is thrown out for asking too many questions and finds a dog she names Lucky as they search for a place to call home.
"AN ACCIDENTAL ADVENTURE: We Dine with Cannibals," by C. Alexander London, 354 pages (ages 8-12): Oliver and Celia end up going to the Amazon with their father to search for the Lost City of Gold and have humorous and crazy adventures along the way in the second installment in this series.
"THE OTHER FELIX," by Keir Graff, 176 pages (ages 8-12): When Felix goes to bed, he goes to the land of monsters and one night he meets a boy just like him who knows how to fight the monsters.
"DEADTIME STORIES: Grave Secrets," by Annette and Gina Cascone, 192 pages (ages 8 and up): Featuring a girl with a pet cemetery in her backyard for the family's pets, the mystery starts when she uncovers something more than a dead pet. Scheduled to be adapted for film this year.
"DUMPLING DAYS," by Grace Lin, 260 pages (ages 8-12): Pacy Lin and her family go to Taiwan for a month in the summer, and Pacy, who doesn't speak the language, learns a bit about the culture and herself as she has adventures there.
"POPULAR CLONE," by M.E. Castle, 306 pages (ages 8-12): Fisher Bas is 12 years old, a geeky science genius and growth stunted. Tired of the daily torment, he clones himself one weekend thinking he has the perfect solution to his problems of surviving middle school until the clone is more popular than he is and is clone-napped by an evil scientist.
"TALES OF A SIXTH GRADE MUPPET: Clash of the Class Clowns," by Kirk Scroggs, 224 pages (age 8-12) : Life is sweet for Danvers Blickensderfer, who has transformed into a Muppet, until a new kids comes to town and steals the spotlight. (Available May 15)
"THE CASE OF THE DEADLY DESPERADOS: Western Mysteries, Book One," by Caroline Lawrence, 272 pages (ages 8-12): Set in 1862 in the Nevada Territories, 12-year-old P.K. Pinkerton is on the run from desperadoes who killed his foster parents.
"OBI, Gerbil on a Mission!" by M.C. Delany, 200 pages (ages 8-12): In this second installment of the Obi series, a new pet puppy comes to live at the gerbil's house. When the puppy gets lose, Obi must find a way to bring him back.
"DOUBLE DOG DARE," by Lisa Graff, 290 pages (ages 8-12): Two fourth-graders, new move-in Kansas Bloom and hardworking Francine Halata, start out as arch enemies when they are competing for the on-air home room announcement anchor spot through a series of dares, but discover they have a lot more in common than they initially thought.
"REMARKABLE," by Lizzie Foley, 325 pages (ages 8 and up): In the town of Remarkable, everyone is extraordinary is some way except 10-year-old Jane Doe, who is unnoticed until a strange pirate and criminals show up and it's up to Jane to come to rescue.
"THE STORM MAKERS," by Jennifer E. Smith, 378 pages (ages 8 and up): The summer for twins Simon and Ruby gets exciting when Simon is told he is a storm-maker and must stop the plans of a deadly storm-maker.
"PEACE, LOVE AND CUPCAKES: The Cupcake Club," by Sheryl Berk and Carrie Berk, 193 pages (ages 9 and up): In a effort to make friends and survive fourth grade, Kylie starts a cupcake club, but the mean girl at school is intent on stopping her.
"REVENGE: Jason Steed," by Mark A. Cooper, 240 pages (ages 9 and up): Jason Steed is 11 and thanks to being in the wrong place at the wrong time, several people are after him and he must rely on his martial arts training to clear his name.
"ONE FOR THE MURPHYS," by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, 224 pages (10 and up): Thanks to a betrayal from her mom, 12-year-old Carly Connors is in foster care with the Murphy family, including their three boys, and wonders if happy families do exist and how she fits in — until her mother comes back. (Available May 10.)
"TRACING STARS," by Erin E. Moulton, 233 pages (ages 10 and up): Indie, who is the "fish freak" of her community, wants to make friends and impress her older sister Bebe, but everything she tries simply doesn't seem to work. (Available May 10.)
"CIRCLE OF CRANES," by Annette LeBox, 341 pages (ages 10 and up): Thirteen-year-old Suyin is a poor orphan with a gift for languages and unusual connection to the nearby cranes who she is taken to New York City and is forced to work in a sweatshop. It seems hopeless until the cranes come to life in this fairy tale.