Rebounding with Some Middle Grade Reading for March!

With spring on the horizon, I thought it was time for some middle grade reading recommendations. On my blog Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb, I recently interviewed a trio of authors with new MG novels.

Margaret Finnegan is the author of the forthcoming novel Sunny Parker Is Here to Stay, which is based partly on her own experiences living in affordable housing. When I asked Finnegan what she hoped readers took away from the story, she said, "I always hope that readers finish my books feeling happy, like they’ve had a chance to laugh and relax. But I also hope they’ve enjoying stepping into someone else’s shoes," adding, "That’s the amazing thing about novels, right? They let us experience lives different from our own, and, in doing so, gain empathy and understanding."


Linda Crotta Brennan's new novel is The Selkie's Daughter. When I asked her how she created her protagonist, Brigit, she said, "Brigit inspired me to write The Selkie’s Daughter. One morning she strode onto the page of my journal. She was standing on a cliff hurling a prayer over the raging sea, 'Bring him home, bring him home, bring him home.'" She added, "Who was she? Who was 'he' and what had happened to him? I journaled further to discover the answers, finding them on the mist-shrouded coast of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia and its storied Celtic traditions. Brigit’s father was a fisherman, lost at sea, and her mother…well her mother was a selkie, a seal woman, a secret Brigit must keep from her suspicious neighbors."


Fred Bowen is the author of the new novel Extra Innings. He said of creating his main character Mike McGinn, an aspiring baseball pitcher, "I remember when my son was around 14 years old. He was too old for summer camps but too young for a job. He was at loose ends most of the summer, doing odd jobs around the house. But Liam loved baseball and that gave his summer some purpose and structure." He added, "I was remembering that summer when I came up with the character Mike. He is 14 years old and is enjoying his last summer without a job. But he is working hard to become a better pitcher."

Happy reading!

--Deborah Kalb




  1. I always love to hear about good new MG books. Thanks for sharing these Deborah.

  2. Fantastic. I especially love the idea of the 14-year-old baseball player.


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