I’ve posted booklists here on the blog before, but it’s dawned on me that I haven’t created and/or posted a themed booklist for middle grade books. So, for today’s Middle Grade Monday post I’m sharing with you a booklist I put together, with one of my favorite themes: road trips!
So without further adieu …
Popularity Papers: The Rocky Road Trip by Amy Ignatow
“It’s summertime, and Julie and Lydia are going on a road trip! After all the ups and downs of their first year in junior high, they’re looking forward to seeing the sights and getting some new perspective on their quest for popularity. Papa Dad and Daddy will provide the transportation, and they’ll provide the entertainment.
At first Julie and Lydia use their Powers of Observation to catalog the traditions and oddities of each new location they visit, but soon their attention turns to parents and family and negotiating sensitive family dynamics. By the time the duo hits familiar streets again, they may have to accept some uncomfortable truths, but their journey is infused with the humor, heart, and truthfulness that Amy Ignatow is known for.”
Road Trip by Jim Paulsen
“Dad and Ben haven’t been getting along recently and Dad hopes a road trip to rescue a border collie will help them reconnect. But Ben is on to Dad’s plan and invites Ben’s thuggish buddy, Theo. The family dog, Atticus, comes along too and the story is told by Ben and Atticus. When their truck breaks down, they commandeer an old school bus, along with its mechanic, Gus. Next, they pick up Mia, a waitress escaping a tense situation. Only sharp-eyed Atticus realizes that Theo is on the run—and someone is following them.”
Barfing in the Backseat: How I Survived My Family Road Trip by Henry Winkler
“Hank’s dad has decided to enter a crossword-puzzle tournament, and he wants to make a family road trip of it! So the family piles into the car along with Frankie and Katherine the iguana (Hank and Emily each get to bring a friend). When they reach their destination, they’ll get to spend the day at a roller-coaster park during Hank’s dad’s tournament! The only caveat is that Hank has a homework packet to finish before they get there . . . which he somehow manages to lose at a stop along the way. Suddenly, Hank doesn’t feel so good . . . Can Hank and Frankie rescue the lost packet and get Hank on a roller coaster?”
From Texas With Love by Dan Gutman
“The wackiest road trip in history continues in book four of the New York Times bestselling Genius Files series, following twins Coke and Pepsi as they dodge villains and visit weird-but-true landmarks from Texas all the way to Roswell, New Mexico! With the real-kid humor that has earned him millions of readers around the world, and featuring all new weird-but-true locations around America, this fourth book in the New York Times bestselling Genius Files series is absolutely batty!
After their explosive escape at Graceland, twins Coke and Pepsi are ready to resume their trip across America—only now in a convertible instead of the RV. They travel through Arkansas and Oklahoma, visiting weird-but-true tourist stops along the way, and finally end up in Texas, home of the Weird Capital of the Country, Austin. The twins’ many enemies—the bowler dudes, Mrs. Higgins, and Dr. Warsaw—all swear that they’re done chasing Coke and Pepsi for good. But when the twins start receiving more codes and ciphers from a mysterious robotic voice, they know someone‘s after them. They just have to figure out who before the mystery villain finds them first.”
See You In The Cosmos by Jack Cheng
“11-year-old Alex Petroski loves space and rockets, his mom, his brother, and his dog Carl Sagan—named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to L.A., Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on earth, his earth, is like. But his destination keeps changing. And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare him for the secrets he’ll uncover—from the truth about his long-dead dad to the fact that, for a kid with a troubled mom and a mostly not-around brother, he has way more family than he ever knew.”
Drive Me Crazy by Terra Elan McVoy
Lana and Cassie have met only once before, at the wedding of Lana’s Grandpa Howe and Cassie’s Grandma Tess two months ago. They didn’t exactly hit it off—in fact, depending on who you ask, that first meeting was either an embarrassment or a disaster—but they’re about to spend an entire week together, just the two of them and their honeymooning grandparents, road-tripping in Cassie’s grandmother’s Subaru.
Lana thinks a summer road trip sounds like fun, but the backseat is a crowded place for two tween girls with two huge secrets to hide, and this bumpy road to friendship is full of unexpected twists and turns. Like it or not, they’re in this together, full speed ahead on the adventure of a lifetime. ”
Sway by Amber McRee Turner
“In this funny, moving novel, ten-year-old Cass takes a roadtrip with her dull-as-dirt dad, only to learn that he has a few surprises up his sleeve, including the power of Sway, a family secret that just might be magical.”
The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla
“Charlie wishes his life could be as predictable and simple as chicken nuggets.
And it usually is. He has his clean room, his carefully organized bird books and art supplies, his favorite foods, and comfortable routines.
But life has been unraveling since his war journalist father was injured in Afghanistan. And when Dad gets sent across country for medical treatment, Charlie must reluctantly travel to meet him. With his boy-crazy sister, unruly twin brothers, and a mysterious new family friend at the wheel, the journey looks anything but smooth.
So Charlie decides to try and spot all the birds that he and his dad had been hoping to see together in the wild. If he can complete the Someday Birds list for Dad, then maybe, just maybe, things will turn out okay…
Equal parts madcap road trip, coming-of-age story for an unusual boy, and portrait of a family overcoming a crisis.”
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney
“A family road trip is supposed to be a lot of fun . . . unless, of course, you’re the Heffleys. The journey starts off full of promise, then quickly takes several wrong turns. Gas station bathrooms, crazed seagulls, a fender bender, and a runaway pig—not exactly Greg Heffley’s idea of a good time. But even the worst road trip can turn into an adventure—and this is one the Heffleys won’t soon forget.”
Zip by Ellie Rollins
“A girl discovers adventure at every highway turn in this effervescent debut that’s Savvy meets Little Miss Sunshine
After Lyssa’s mother dies, her kind but clueless new stepfather moves with her to the suburbs of Seattle in the hopes of making a fresh start. But Lyssa feels lost and adrift in the rainy Northwest without her mom. And when she finds out that her old house in Texas is about to be bulldozed, something snaps inside her. Fiercely determined, Lyssa climbs onto her scooter and sets off cross-country to save her home.”
If you would like to participate in this #middlegrademonday, please share you middle grade, road trip themed book on Twitter, using the above hashtag!
(All summaries from GoodReads)