Middle grade novels of history, adventure, comedy, and mystery

 
  New this September!

Lord of the Mountain

Country music has deep roots, and one of the deepest was a legendary series of 1927 recording sessions in the little town of Bristol, Tennessee. In Lord of the Mountain, the sessions are witnessed by thirteen-year-old Nate Owens. Nate’s father is a sad, wild-eyed preacher, and his mother hides a secret melody that drives Nate into the mountains, where he joins the Carter Family and discovers the heart of American music.

This remarkable novel deftly winds history and fiction together in a compelling and moving story of music and identity.... Kidd crafts a voice and a journey that is, like the Carter Family’s songs, both old and new, rooted in tradition yet fresh and distinct.... A must-have for school and public library collections.

School Library Journal (starred)

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  New in paperback

On Beale Street

When Johnny Ross hears the blues for the first time, he has no way of knowing that his life is about to change. Living in Memphis in 1954 means that Johnny’s world is completely segregated—until he decides to go to Beale Street to get more of the blues. There he meets a young man named Elvis Presley, and the lines in his black-and-white existence begin to blur.

“Kidd portrays the music scene with the enthusiasm of a blues fan while mining the layers of racism in a town where ‘there was black. There was white. But there was never gray.’ ...Johnny’s journey of self-discovery is rooted in a vividly described setting and well-drawn characters.”

Kirkus Reviews

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Room of Shadows

In modern-day Baltimore, a house crouches like a spider, terror takes root in the closet, and Edgar Allan Poe, summoned by a young man’s anger, gets the glorious death he deserved.

 

“Kidd’s latest historical fiction novel mixes the macabre world of gothic horror with middle school angst…. Definitely recommended for budding horror hounds.”

School Library Journal

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Dreambender

“This surprisingly upbeat dystopian tale may remind many readers of Lois Lowry’s The Giver.... Kidd tells an enjoyable story that features both appealing protagonists and well-presented ideas about the importance of creativity and following one’s dreams.”

Publishers Weekly

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Night on Fire

“In a powerful historical story that confronts uncomfortable truths about racism, Kidd creates strong-willed, contemplative heroines while capturing period details and the energy of the civil rights movement.

Publishers Weekly

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The Year of the Bomb

“Ever so aptly billed ‘Stand by Me meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers,’ this multilayered historical novel features a quartet of quarrelsome—but loyal in the crunch—13-year-olds responding to the anxieties of the McCarthy-era Cold War.”

Kirkus Reviews

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Monkey Town

The Summer of the Scopes Trial

“A unique and heartfelt story of a likable girl maturing through an unforgettable summer in American history. An excellent read and a wonderful piece of literature.”

School Library Journal (starred)

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On Beale Street

“Kidd portrays the music scene with the enthusiasm of a blues fan while mining the layers of racism in a town where ‘There was black. There was white. But there was never gray.’ Johnny has an affinity for the gray, and Sun Records begins to feel like home.”

Kirkus Reviews

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Sammy Carducci's Guide to Women

“A charming, delightful, and well-written novel that will appeal to both sexes.”

Children’s Book Review Service

“The funny scenarios and sharp one-liners give this book instant appeal.”

School Library Journal

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Second Fiddle

A Sizzle & Splat Mystery

“Kidd’s ability to manufacture suspense out of the doings of a youth orchestra is admirable; moreover, his neat plot is executed in a breezy style. Even readers who have never heard of Mozart will find themselves immersed…. Definitely entertaining.”

Booklist

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The Glitch

A Computer Fantasy

Benjamin Bean hates computers the way most kids hate homework. Suddenly, Benjy’s worst nightmare comes true—he’s trapped inside a computer.

• Junior Literary Guild selection

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Sizzle & Splat

“Kidd has a wry sense of humor that never lets up during this unusual case, and his main characters are delightful individualists. The result is a book that is all sizzle.”

School Library Journal (starred)

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Who Is Felix the Great?

Tim Julian has been feeling pretty empty ever since his father died. So when he has to write a report for his eleventh grade English class on a once famous person, Tim suddenly remembers Felix the Great, the legendary Chicago Cubs shortstop who had been his father’s hero.

• Books for the Teen Age

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Dunker

“Author Ronald Kidd lends a light and readable style to this well-paced novel. Readers will enjoy the celebrity problems and the inside look at a recording studio as well as the action on the basketball court.”

School Library Journal

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That's What Friends Are For

“The story is beautifully written and deals with both friendship and death in a way teenagers can identify with. I wish I had had this book when I was a teenager and a close friend died.”

Children’s Book Review Service

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