Get book recommendations, tips & advice, and more tailored to your child's age.

Thank You!

The perfect book picks are on their way.

You're all set!

Growing Reader

Tween

The Best Middle Grade & Chapter Books of 2022

by Jennifer Garry

best-chapter-middle-grade-books-2022
Photography by Seana Williamson

Can we agree that book “Best of” lists are the best “Best of” lists?! Now that we’re all on the same page, here are some of the best chapter books and middle grade releases from 2022. There’s something for everyone: graphic novel enthusiasts, alien fans, history buffs, and more!

  • PAWS: Gabby Gets It Together

    by Nathan Fairbairn, illustrated by Michele Assarasakorn

    Also available from:

    This fun graphic novel series is perfect for fans of The Baby-Sitters Club! It’s about a group of three best friends who start a dog-walking service and quickly realize running a business is much harder than it seems. Between differences in opinion and a massive dog crisis, their business — and their friendship — is in trouble. Luckily, with a bit of problem-solving, the girls save the day.

    Also available from:
  • Tumble

    by Celia C. Pérez

    Also available from:

    When Addie’s stepdad proposes adopting her, it stirs up questions about her biological father. After finding a photo of him hidden in her mom’s stuff, Addie wants to learn more about him. Her journey leads her to a New Mexico ranch and a family full of legendary luchadores. She grows closer and closer to her paternal family, but can she rely on her dad?

    Also available from:
  • Different Kinds of Fruit

    by Kyle Lukoff

    Also available from:

    Rising sixth-grader Annabelle expects the new school year to be the same old boring story. But things change when a nonbinary student moves to town. For starters, Annabelle develops her first crush. Then, her dad reveals he is trans, and Annabelle realizes her community is not the warm and welcoming place she thought it was. And she decides to fight back.

    Also available from:
  • Pizza and Taco: Too Cool for School

    by Stephen Shaskan

    Also available from:

    Pizza and Taco — the coolest best buds — are back in their fourth hilarious graphic novel. It’s the start of the school year, and the friends know they will be the coolest snacks in class. And then they meet B.L.T. He is so cool but seems to have a different definition of what that means. Soon, the two friends find themselves in trouble and wonder if being cool is worth it.

    Also available from:
  • Holler of the Fireflies

    by David Barclay Moore

    Also available from:

    When Javari signed up for a STEM camp in a tiny Appalachian town, he knew it wouldn’t be anything like Brooklyn. He expected to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math during his summer in West Virginia. He didn’t expect to learn about racism or rich people or to have his entire world shaken up by his new friend, Cricket.

    Also available from:
  • The Area 51 Files

    by Julie Buxbaum, illustrated by Lavanya Naidu

    Also available from:

    The first book in a new sci-fi/mystery series, The Area 51 Files follows Sky, a girl sent to live with her mysterious uncle in Area 51. With super tight security and no contact with the outside world, Sky’s new home is a big adjustment. For one thing, there are aliens (called Break Throughs). But then, a few Break Throughs go missing the day Sky arrives — making her and her uncle prime suspects.

    Also available from:
  • The Ice Cream Machine

    by Adam Rubin

    Also available from:

    This hilarious book is a collection of six stories called “The Ice Cream Machine.” Each story is set in a different world with unique protagonists and features an illustration by a different artist. Kids will adore this weird and silly book! Even better, the book’s dust jacket can be turned into an envelope so kids can mail their own “The Ice Cream Machine” story to Rubin.

    Also available from:
  • Thirst

    by Varsha Bajaj

    Also available from:

    Minni finds herself part of two separate worlds. She lives in a poor section of Mumbai where it’s hard to get water. Restricted access, long lines, and thieves make the process even more difficult. But Minni also works in a high-rise where access to water is unrestricted — there’s even a swimming pool! When she realizes a member of the water mafia lives in the building, she has to decide whether to risk her life and expose him.

    Also available from:
  • The Ultimate Riddle Game for Kids

    by Zeitgeist

    Also available from:

    Kids who love a challenge will be huge fans of this book! From math to wordplay, it provides hours of brain-teasing fun. Play alone or play with a group as the riddles get more difficult with each chapter.

    Also available from:
  • King of the Ice #1

    by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Wayne Spencer

    Also available from:

    The first book in a spinoff of the Jada Jones series, King of the Ice centers on Miles Lewis. A big fan of sports and science, you would think a field trip to an ice skating rink for a physics lesson would make Miles ecstatic. But Miles has never ice skated before, and his friend RJ bets he can’t do it without falling. Determined to win but distracted by upsetting news about his grandma, can Miles do it?

    Also available from:
  • Sweet Valley Twins: Best Friends

    by Francine Pascal, illustrated by Claudia Aguirre, adapted by Nicole Andelfinger

    Also available from:

    Fun for kids and super nostalgic for their parents, the crew from Sweet Valley goes to middle school in this new graphic novel adaptation! Jessica and Elizabeth’s relationship takes a new twist when they start middle school. The twins have always been inseparable, but they suddenly realize they have different interests. What will these significant changes do to their relationship?

    Also available from:
  • Unstoppable Us, Volume 1: How Humans Took Over the World

    by Yuval Noah Harari, illustrated by Ricard Zaplana Ruiz

    Also available from:

    This one is for nonfiction lovers! Historian and philosopher Yuval Noah Harari takes readers on a journey through human history to explain how we’ve become the most powerful creatures on the planet. Starting with making fires and using stars to guide us, he shows how we got to where we are today.

    Also available from:
  • Fibbed

    by Elizabeth Agyemang

    Also available from:

    Nana tells wild stories that she swears are true. But when a bizarre explanation leads to trouble, her parents send her to Ghana for the summer. Nana is not happy. Her life takes a strange turn when she meets Ananse, the trickster spider of Ghanaian lore. Nana soon learns that the forest around her family’s village is magical and being drained by contractors. Can she, her cousin, her new friend, and Ananse save it?

    Also available from:
  • The Last Kids on Earth: Quint and Dirk's Hero Quest

    by Max Brallier, illustrated by Douglas Holgate

    Also available from:

    Picking up after The Last Kids on Earth and the Doomsday Race (the seventh book in The Last Kids on Earth series), this story follows best friends Quint and Dirk on their own adventure. With new monsters that affect the future and essential details coming to light for the series, fans will not want to miss this installment!

    Also available from:
  • Alien Summer #1

    by James S. Murray and Carsen Smith

    Also available from:

    A summer full of aliens, high-tech gadgets, and defending Area 51 (where her mom is the Director) is not the relaxing vacation Viv had in mind. Still, when aliens escape from a secret base underneath Area 51, she teams up with friends and her crush to save the day. This is the first book in what will be an exciting new series.

    Also available from:
  • Map of Flames (The Forgotten Five, Book 1)

    by Lisa McMann

    Also available from:

    The first book in an adventurous new series, Map of Flames follows five kids with supernatural powers. They have lived in isolation on a tropical island all their lives after their parents were forced into hiding. Their parents disappear one by one, and when the remaining parent dies, his daughter finds a map and a note to go back to the city to find her mom. When they do, the kids get thrown into a world with modern technology where being supernatural is a crime.

    Also available from:
  • Futureland: Battle for the Park

    by H.D. Hunter, illustrated by Khadijah Khatib

    Also available from:

    Cam is excited about the grand opening of his parents’ new flying theme park in Atlanta. Futureland is famous. You can take a walk inside your favorite video game, perform live on stage, and more. This new location outshines them all — until things go wrong. With major glitches and missing kids, Cam’s parents are getting blamed. Can he get to the bottom of it before it’s too late?

    Also available from:
  • Be Real, Macy Weaver

    by Lakita Wilson

    Also available from:

    When Macy’s mom proposes a big move so she can go to college, Macy is ready for a change. She wants a fresh start after a friend breakup, but her new life isn’t what she expected. To combat her loneliness, she needs to find a new best friend. Brynn seems like the perfect candidate — except that she already has a best friend. Macy tells an itty bitty lie to make herself seem more exciting, and things snowball from there. Ultimately, she has to fix her mess and learn to be true to herself.

    Also available from: