Hilo Book 2: Saving the Whole Wide World by Judd Winick. Random House, 2016, 193 pages Reading Level: Middle Grade, ages 8-10 Recommended for: ages 6-12, especially boys Bottom Line: The exuberant boy-robot Hilo is back from “the void,” pursuing his mission to destroy his arch-enemy Razorwark and discover his own origin and purpose. In
The BFG by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake. Puffin Books, 2001 (first published 1982). 199 pages. Reading Level: Middle grades, ages 8-10 Recommended For: Read Aloud to ages 4 and up, independent reading for ages 8 and up Bottom Line: After the BFG snatches Sophie from her orphanage, she learns a lot about giants
The Magic Mirror: Concerning a Lonely Princess, a Foundling Girl, a Scheming King, and a Pickpocket Squirrel by Susan Hill Long. Knopf, 2016, 308 pages Reading Level: Middle grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10-up Bottom Line: A few language cautions aside, this medieval fantasy tale illustrates some profound truths about finding oneself in the
The Trials of Apollo Book 1: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan. Disney-Hyperion, 2016, 376 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, 10-12 Recommended for: ages 12-15 Bottom Line: This storyline of the series, which focuses on the now mortal god Apollo, is great in theory, but the first book is lackluster and inappropriate for younger readers.
The Goblin’s Puzzle: Being the Adventures of a Boy with No Name and Two Girls Called Alice, by Andrew S. Chilton. Knopf, 2016, 279 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, 10-12 Recommended for: ages 10-15 Bottom Line: This lively tale combines a fairy-tale plot and likeable characters—even a likeable dragon—with philosophical musings. The Boy has nothing,