New kid in school
By Véro Dupuis
Have you ever been the new kid in school? Although you naturally think it’s going to be a tough period, it’s also a time where you get the rare opportunity to set aside your old masks and finally present yourself to others the way you truly are! And if you’re the new kid this year, don’t forget that you may be the last one to join the group, but there are certainly others in your new environment who will remember being in the same boat in the past. This month, the Sunnyside branch of the Ottawa Public Library recommends middle-grade books in which the main characters overcome the stress of changing schools and friends and eventually embrace their new life.
Tales of a Seventh-grade Lizard Boy
In this graphic novel, we meet Tommy, a lizard boy who is a refugee straight from the center of the Earth! His family members hide their real appearance by using special powers. Tommy befriends another new boy at his school, Dung Tran, who gets teased because of his Vietnamese name. Dung’s parents are scientists and are working on solving the mystery of sinkholes suddenly appearing all around the world. How long can Tommy hide that he knows the truth about those holes?
Fans of uber-popular graphic novels Smile and The Baby-Sitters’ Club series will love this series. Danny is in seventh grade, and she needs a new best friend, pronto. When she inherits a magic sketchbook, which makes any drawing a reality, Danny decides to draw herself the perfect friend! (I know, it sounds like a great idea – but think again).
The 11:11 Wish
After her family moves to Arizona, Megan decides to leave her dork reputation behind and start fresh. She is quickly pulled into a feud between popular girls. After escaping this perilous situation by using magical powers she just obtained (yippee!), she starts using those powers to solve various social dramas at school, only to find magic comes at a high cost (bummer).
Family feuds, mysteries, and shapeshifting powers – you will find them all in this book. Ali has already gone through nine different moves over the years, and her family is now moving to New Brunswick to live in her great-grandmother’s magical house. She intends to use her typical “copycat” tactic – always copy the popular kids (they are popular for a reason after all). However, things are different this time as she just came into her inherited powers as a shapeshifter and can literally change into any living thing!
New Kids & Underdogs
Robyn is used to being the new kid – it’s her sixth time! She has a whole set of rules on what to do to make the transition easier, which mostly add up to blending in and avoiding trouble. When her mom insists that she sign up for one after-school activity, Robyn decides to take a dog-agility class with her two dogs, Fudge (deaf-blind) and Sundae (anxious). The dogs are quickly dismissed because of their special needs. It might be time for Robyn to set her rules aside, brew up some trouble and stand up for change. A great book for dog-lovers!
Welcome Back, Maple Mehta-Cohen
Maple’s friends don’t know she’s dyslexic, but she does have a gift for inventing stories, so when she learns she has to repeat fifth grade, she pretends that she’s been asked to stay behind as a special assistant to the teacher. How long will she be able to fool her old friends?
Join our new Middle-Grade Book Club!
Never run out of great books to read again! Our colleague Caitlin will be launching a new book club for readers aged nine to 12 at the Sunnyside library every second Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. starting Oct. 12. To register, visit our website, call 613-580-2940 or talk to us in person. Everybody’s going to be a “new kid” in this club as we’re just starting. We’ll be happy to meet you!
Véro Dupuis is a librarian at the Ottawa Public Library. She enjoys books with gorgeous illustrations and learning about other cultures.