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All the Greys on Greene Street

Laura Tucker, illus. by Kelly Murphy (Viking)

In a beautifully narrated, Konigsburg-tinged art mystery set in early-1980s New York City, newcomer Tucker skillfully balances themes of mental illness, friendship, and creativity in tough circumstances.

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Freedom Fire (Dactyl Hill Squad #2)

Daniel José Older (Scholastic/Levine)

The Dactyl Hill Squad series continues with Magdalys and company heading south to find her Union soldier brother in the midst of Civil War–era Louisiana. Older again creates a winning blend of history, fantasy, and characters battling oppression—all while on pteroback.

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Knights vs. Monsters

Matt Phelan (Greenwillow)

Phelan follows his Knights vs. Dinosaurs with a second illustrated adventure. A crew of knights and an archer battle a menagerie of monstrous creatures, rendered in epic graphic novel style spreads that are infused with plenty of humor.

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Me and Sam-Sam Handle the Apocalypse

Susan Vaught (S&S/Wiseman)

An autistic girl becomes an amateur detective after her father is blamed for a theft. With the aid of her friend, new kid Springer Regal, and her faithful Pomeranian, Sam-Sam, Jesse Broadview sets out to find the true culprit.

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My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich

Ibi Zoboi (Dutton)

National Book Award finalist Zoboi sets her middle grade debut in 1984 Harlem, where 12-year-old Ebony-Grace Norfleet, who lives in Alabama and likes to escape into the world of science fiction, is visiting her father.

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Shouting at the Rain

Lynda Mullaly Hunt (Penguin/Paulsen)

Delsie, who is fascinated by weather patterns, lives with her grandmother in Cape Cod. As she grapples with feelings of self-doubt and abandonment as well as a wish for a more conventional family structure, Delsie strikes up a surprising friendship.

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Up for Air

Laurie Morrison (Amulet)

Debut author Morrison realistically captures the challenges and uncertainties of middle school in this sensitive novel about a girl struggling to form an identity while navigating a learning disability and finding success on her swim team.

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