Middle Grade

A Galaxy of Whales

When Fern hears about a photo contest with a big cash award, she decides she’ll enter and win! After all, photography is her passion (and was an interest she shared with her dad, who has recently died). She knows she can take a prize-worthy photo during one of the whale-watching tours her mom runs.

But her neighbor (and nemesis), Jasper, is also planning to enter the contest. It’s another frustration for Fern while she’s already coping with the worry that her best friend, Ivy, might not want to spend time with her anymore. This August couldn’t be more important: She needs to win Ivy back, and maybe the prize money can help.

With a splash of oceanfront adventure and all of friendship’s ebbs and flows, this endearing summer novel is touching and also a whole lot of fun.

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

The Islands of Elsewhere

With hints of magic and plenty of adventure, this seaside story of siblings on a hunt for treasure is just right for fans of The Penderwicks and The Vanderbeekers.

Not many kids have an island in their backyard, but suddenly, the Snolly sisters have three. They’re staying at Granddaddy’s seaside property for the summer, which includes the mysterious Fairy Islands: Fairy, Little Fairy, and Ghost. The people in Misty Cove call them “in-between places,” and say they’re full of magic—a magic that gets inside you.

But ten-year-old Bee Snolly doesn’t believe in magic—she just wants to help her ill Granddaddy. And if she and her sisters can unravel the mystery of the Fairy Islands in time, they may discover a long-buried secret that could help them all.

  • A Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) Best Book for Kids & Teens
  • An Amazon Editors’ Pick

“Via a cozy, magic-dusted family story that features a bewitching setting, Fawcett creates endearing and affectionate characters with realistic tensions.” —Publishers Weekly

 

“In addition to the strong characterization and magical setting, the story weaves in realistic topics that many children will recognize from their own lives, including bullying, aging grandparents, and divorced parents, all the while validating their feelings.” —Kirkus

“Watching the sisters move from bickering to cooperation and back is a delight, and Fawcett has a knack for making even marine-life characters essential to the story, allowing the offbeat town to develop beyond its considerable quirkiness.” —The Horn Book

The Grace of Wild Things

An inventive and fantastical reimagining of Anne of Green Gables—with magic and witches!—that explores found family, loss, and the power of a girl’s imagination, from the acclaimed author of The Language of Ghosts and The School Between Winter and Fairyland. Perfect for readers who loved The Girl Who Drank the Moon and Serafina and the Black Cloak.

Grace has never been good at anything except magic—not that anyone believes her.

While other children are adopted from the orphanage, nobody wants Grace. So she decides to make a home for herself by running away and offering herself as an apprentice to the witch in the nearby woods. After all, who better to teach Grace to use her magic? Surely the witch can’t be that bad.

But the witch is that bad—she steals souls for spells and gobbles up hearts. So Grace offers a deal: If she can learn all 100½ spells in the witch’s grimoire, the witch will make Grace her apprentice. But if Grace fails, the witch can take her magic. The witch agrees, and soon an unexpected bond develops between them.

But the spells are much harder than Grace expected, and when a monster from the witch’s past threatens the home Grace has built, she may have to sacrifice more than her magic to save it.

  • A Texas Lone Star Reading List nominee
  • A Vermont Golden Dome Book Award nominee
  • Winner of the 2023 Cybil Award for MG speculative fiction
  • One of Bank Street’s Best Children’s Books of the Year

★ “An exuberant tale of belonging and hope.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

★ “(Grace’s) endearing character—just as charming as the original Anne (no mean feat)—is by turns funny, wise, determined, and poignant…A magical, witchy, and thoroughly successful homage to a classic.” —Kirkus (starred review)

The School Between Winter and Fairyland

A fresh and exciting twist on magical boarding schools, the well-loved Chosen One trope, and the nature of true heroism—from the author of The Language of Ghosts and Ember and the Ice Dragons. Perfect for fans of middle grade fantasies including the Serafina series by Robert Beatty and Neil Gaiman’s Coraline. 

Twelve-year-old Autumn Malog is a servant at the enchanting Inglenook School, where young magicians study to become the king’s future monster-hunters. Along with her Gran and three too many older brothers, she works as a beastkeeper, tending to Inglenook’s menagerie of terrifying monsters.

But when she isn’t mucking out the wyvern stalls or coaxing the resident boggart to behave, Autumn searches for clues about her twin brother’s mysterious disappearance. Everyone else thinks he was devoured by the feared Hollow Dragon, but Autumn is convinced she’s heard—and glimpsed—him calling to her from within the castle walls. But who will believe a lowly servant?

So when Cai Morrigan, the “Chosen One” prophesied to one day destroy the Hollow Dragon, comes to her for help, Autumn agrees on one condition: Together, they’ll search for her brother and uncover the dark truth at the heart of enchanting Inglenook School once and for all.

  • Shortlisted for the 2022 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award (Ontario Arts Council/Ontario Arts Foundation)
  • One of Bank Street’s Best Children’s Books of the Year
  • A 2023 Sundogs Award nominee (Manitoba Young Readers Choice)
  • A 2023 Rocky Mountain Book Award nominee
  • A Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) Best Book for Kids & Teens

★ “Themes of class, education, and equality are interwoven seamlessly, providing additional food for thought. Once readers are buried in the pages, they’ll beg to know when the sequels are coming out. A magical addition to any bookshelf.” —Kirkus (starred review)

★“In this lively fantasy, Fawcett plays with familiar tropes (magical schools, chosen ones), centering a female protagonist, a fresh take on heroics, and a clearly built world layered with history” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“With delicious personal interactions, an adventure that gets deeper as the tale progresses, and a setting that Hogwarts fans might like to climb into, this familiar-yet-original fantasy hits all the marks.” —The Horn Book

The Language of Ghosts

The Penderwicks meets Howl’s Moving Castle in this thrilling middle grade fantasy adventure about a trio of royal siblings who unlock a long-forgotten magical language in their bid to reclaim their stolen throne—perfect for fans of Kelly Barnhill and Robert Beatty.  

Forced into exile on an enchanted, moving island, ex-princess Noa Marchena has two missions: reclaim her family’s stolen throne and ensure that the dark powers her older brother, Julian, possesses don’t go to his head in the process. But between babysitting her annoying little sister, Mite, and keeping an eye on the cake-loving sea monster that guards the moving island, Noa has her hands full.  When the siblings learn that their enemies are searching for a weapon capable of defeating Julian—whose legendary spell weaving is feared throughout the kingdom—once and for all, they vow to get to it first. To everyone’s surprise, the key to victory turns out to be a long-lost magical language—and only Noa can speak it.  

But what if by helping her brother, Noa ends up losing him?

  • A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
  • A Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) Best Book for Kids & Teens
  • A 2022 Silver Birch Award Honour Book (Ontario Library Association)
  • A 2022 Sundogs Award nominee (Manitoba Young Readers Choice)

★ “A sly, cake-eating sea serpent; an elderly dragon familiar; and vain otters who can “move in and out of death” make for an endearing supporting cast, while the siblings, with their distinct personalities and inevitable squabbles, make for an authentic focal point. Fans of Eva Ibbotson and Diana Wynne Jones will appreciate Fawcett’s well-paced, wholly imaginative middle grade romp.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A sheer delight…A terrific read for fantasy fans.” —Kirkus

Ember and the Ice Dragons

A stunning middle grade fantasy about a girl who used to be a dragon and her adventure to save her new home—perfect for fans of the Nevermoor and His Dark Materials series.

Ember St. George is a dragon. At least she was before her adoptive father—a powerful but accident-prone Magician—turned her into a human girl to save her life.

Unfortunately, Ember’s growing tendency to burst into flames at certain temperatures—not to mention her invisible wings—is making it too dangerous for her to stay in London. The solution: ship Ember off to her aunt’s research station in frigid Antarctica.

Though eccentric Aunt Myra takes getting used to, Ember quickly feels at home in a land of ice storms, mischievous penguins, and twenty-four-hour nights. She even finds herself making friends with a girl genius called Nisha and a mysterious orphan named Moss.

Then she discovers that Antarctica is home to the Winterglass Hunt, a yearly tradition in which rare ice dragons are hunted for their jeweled scales. Furious, Ember decides to join the hunt to sabotage it from the inside.

But being an undercover dragon isn’t easy—especially among dragon hunters. Can a twelve-year-old fire dragon survive the dangers that come her way in the Antarctic wilderness and protect the ice dragons from extinction?

  • A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
  • A 2021 Sundogs Award Nominee (Manitoba Young Readers Choice)
  • A 2021 Silver Birch Award Honour Book (Ontario Library Association)

“Stunning descriptions and well-rounded characters are woven into a story that hums with excitement and adventure, which will leave readers wanting more of Ember and her magical world.” —Booklist

“A perfect choice for especially creative young readers, Fawcett’s new book is as irresistibly charming and unconventional as its heroine.”  Quill & Quire

“Fresh and original.” —Kirkus