> Skip to content

Article  •  26 April 2022

 

The greatest middle grade books of 2022

Gripping new stories for ages 8–12.

Find your kid’s next favourite read in this collection of new books by bestselling authors, including Tim Harris, Felice Arena, Nat Amoore, Gabrielle Wang, Shivaun Plozza and more.

 

Rockstar Detectives by Adam Hills

When a priceless painting goes missing, twelve-year-old singing sensation Charley and her budding comedian friend George are shocked to discover that they are the prime suspects. Out February.

FUNNY • MYSTERY • WHEELCHAIR REPRESENTATION

 

Dear Greta by Yvette Poshoglian

Everything is going wrong for Alice in year six. First, she is assigned Greta Thunberg as her pen pal for the fictional writing assignment (why not Taylor Swift?!), and then she’s put in charge of the Harmony Day Food Fair, which has to go completely online and now seems impossible. As if she doesn’t have enough on her plate, Alice also gets kicked out of her bedroom by her Armenian grandmother coming to stay. Out March.

EPISTOLARY NOVEL • AUSTRALIAN-ARMENIAN LEAD • ACTIVISM

 

Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables Join Forces by Tim Harris and James Hart

Everyone’s favourite teacher, Mr Bambuckle, is back with more hilarious stories, shenanigans and silliness at Blue Valley School! This is the fifth book in the Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables series. Out March.

FUNNY • RIDICULOUS • SCHOOLYARD

 

The Unstoppable Flying Flanagan by Felice Arena

This is Specky Magee meets The Boy and the Spy – a funny, entertaining and moving story set against the backdrop of WWII in Australia, the women’s movement and the little-known history of women’s football. Determined to put on an all-girl football game to raise money for the troops, Maggie Flanagan is about to break all the rules. Out April.

HISTORICAL FICTION • AFL • ETHICS

 

Frankie Best Hates Quests by Chris Smith

An accessible Pixar-like fantasy for ages 8+ from the bestselling co-author of Kid Normal. Frankie is stuck at Grandad’s with her annoyingly nerdy brother for a whole week while her parents swan off to the Arctic. Worse still, Grandad gets kidnapped by gnoblins, forcing Frankie to embark on a rescue mission across a magical realm filled with strange creatures, dangerous enemies, and – worst of all – absolutely no WiFi. Out April.

FANTASY • FUNNY • ADVENTURE

 

Seven Days by Fleur Ferris

While enduring a boring school holiday in the country together, cousins Ben and Josh begin to unravel mysteries and discover shocking crimes after stumbling upon their great-great-grandfather’s journal – the final entry being from one hundred years ago, right after he was shot. Out May.

CRIME FICTION • MYSTERY • ACTION-PACKED

 

Princess Olivia Investigates: The Wrong Weather by Lucy Hawking

Olivia is delighted to finally give up her boring princess lessons and learn about real things, like volcanoes and the ocean and space! But Olivia is completely unprepared for the world that awaits her. With the help her some new friends, Olivia sets out to solve a mystery and save the Kingdom of Alez from climate destruction before it’s too late. Out May.

FANTASY • SCIENCE • CLIMATE ACTIVISM

 

We Run Tomorrow by Nat Amoore and Mike Barry

The bestselling author of Secrets of a Schoolyard Millionaire has joined forces with acclaimed graphic novelist Mike Barry to create a story of four kids – and four superheroes – who are taking their future into their own hands. Out May.

ILLUSTRATED NOVEL • FRIENDSHIP • RESILIENCE

 

Zadie Ma and the Dog Who Chased the Moon by Gabrielle Wang

Zadie Ma has a passion for telling stories, and she has a superpower – sometimes her stories come true. Zadie’s dearest wish is to have a dog of her own and so she starts to write the story of a poor unwanted dog called Jupiter, who’s just waiting to be rescued by a loving girl like Zadie. Jupiter is found, but a series of unlucky events means Zadie can’t write the happy ending she dreams of. Out June.

HISTORICAL FICTION • CHINESE-AUSTRALIAN LEAD • MAGICAL REALISM

 

All Four Quarters of the Moon by Shirley Marr

A big-hearted story of love and resilience. Making mooncakes with Ah Ma for the Mid-Autumn Festival was the last day of Peijing’s old life. Now, adapting to their new life in Australia, Peijing is noticing the cracks in her family as they face uncertainties around every corner. Out July.

FAMILY • CHINESE-AUSTRALIAN • CULTURE SHOCK

 

Cop and Robber by Tristan Bancks

A new nailbiter for ages 10+ from the bestselling author of Two Wolves. If your mum was a cop and your dad was a crim who needed your help to commit a crime, would you do it to save him? At what cost? Out July.

CRIME FICTION • FAMILY • ETHICS

 

A Reluctant Witch’s Guide to Magic by Shivaun Plozza

Willa is just an ordinary non-magical girl, living in the Wild – a city squished between two warring witch covens. She spends her days dodging wayward spells – from raining frogs to dancing chickens – all because of the witch war! No wonder she hates witches. But one day Willa discovers she is not ordinary at all. Out July.

FANTASY • WITCHES • MAGIC

 

The Midnighters by Hana Tooke

The bestselling author of The Unadoptables is back! A missing friend, a gothic city, a secret society full of wonder, invention and maybe a hint of magic . . . welcome to the world of the Midnighters. Out July.

MYSTERY • ADVENTURE • MAGIC

 

What About Thao? by Oliver Phommavanh

From the author of Thai-riffic comes a funny and heartfelt novel for ages 10+. Thao is a city kid who has recently moved to a small country town and is enjoying being the new kid at his tiny two-teacher school – until Kadir arrives and shakes things up. Out August.

RURAL COMMUNITIES • THAI-AUSTRALIAN LEAD • BELONGING

 

The Silver Sea by Belinda Murrell

In this beautiful sequel to The Golden Tower, Sophie returns to the world of Tuscia  – filled with magic, mystery, mischievous creatures and danger at every turn! Out August.

HISTORICAL FANTASY • BRAVERY • MAGIC

 

The Book of Wondrous Possibilities by Deborah Abela

Arlo Goodman lives with his uncle in a run-down flat above their bookshop. He has no friends, except for his pet mouse, Herbert. But when a girl called Lisette bursts into the shop and begs him to hide her from a murderer, Arlo’s life changes forever. Out August.

ADVENTURE • MAGICAL REALISM • FAST-PACED

Featured Titles

Rockstar Detectives
A fabulously funny debut novel from comedian and presenter of The Last Leg, Adam Hills, featuring a young detective dream team. Perfect for fans of Sharna Jackson, Robin Stevens and David Baddiel.
Read more
Dear Greta
When everything seems to be going wrong, sometimes you just have to stand up for what you believe in, even if it's just in your own little corner of the world ...
Read more
Mr Bambuckle's Remarkables Join Forces
Everyone’s favourite teacher, Mr Bambuckle, is back with more hilarious stories, shenanigans and silliness at Blue Valley School!
Read more
The Unstoppable Flying Flanagan
Another crowd-favourite from the number-one bestselling author of the Specky Magee series! This is Specky Magee meets The Boy and the Spy - a moving and inspiring story set against the backdrop of the Second World War in Australia, the women's movement and the little-known history of women's football. Another entertaining historical novel by one of Australia's most-acclaimed authors.
Read more
Frankie Best Hates Quests
ONWARD and Cressida Cowell meets The Wizard in my Shed in an accessible Pixar-like fantasy for 8-12 readers by bestselling author Chris Smith.
Read more
Seven Days
A fast-paced, action-packed story of how the past catches up to us, from bestselling and award-winning author Fleur Ferris.
Read more
Princess Olivia Investigates: The Wrong Weather
'The more we find out about the world around us, the more we can work out other, more complicated things, such as how the universe began or how life got started on Earth.' The brand-new series for readers aged 7 and upwards from the globally bestselling science educator, Lucy Hawking.
Read more
We Run Tomorrow
You can run from your past, but the future is tomorrow . . .
Read more
Zadie Ma and the Dog Who Chased the Moon
Meet Zadie Ma, a girl who writes magical stories that sometimes come true. Can Zadie bring to life her most important story of all . . . the one where she finds Jupiter, the dog of her dreams? From the Australian Children's Laureate for 2022-23. Shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards, the Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children's Literature in the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards, and the Queensland Literary Awards.
Read more
All Four Quarters of the Moon
A big-hearted story of love and resilience from CBCA award-winning author Shirley Marr, starring sisters and storytellers Peijing and Biju, a lost family finding their way, a Little World made of paper, a Jade Rabbit, and the ever-changing but constant moon.
Read more
Cop and Robber
A new nailbiter from the bestselling author of Two Wolves, The Fall and Detention.
Read more
A Reluctant Witch's Guide to Magic
Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service meets Cressida Cowell in this funny, quirky middle-grade fantasy about Willa, who must unravel a witchy mystery to save her city, her friends and herself.
Read more
The Midnighters
A missing friend, a gothic city, a secret society full of wonder, invention and maybe a hint of magic . . . welcome to the world of the Midnighters!
Read more
What About Thao?
From the author of the bestselling Thai-riffic, Con-nerd and The Other Christy comes a funny and heartfelt novel for 10+ about a city kid in a small country town who's enjoying being the new kid at his tiny two-teacher school – until Kadir arrives and things get interesting!
Read more
The Silver Sea
The second book in Belinda Murrell’s Tuscian series, set in an Italian Renaissance inspired world filled with magic, mystery, mischievous creatures, and danger at every turn!
Read more
The Book of Wondrous Possibilities
From bestselling author Deborah Abela, comes a middle grade adventure for 8-12-year-old heroes (even if they don’t know it yet).
Read more

More features

See all
Article
Award-winning and shortlisted books of 2023

Discover some of the best Penguin Random House books of 2023 with this list of award-winning and shortlisted titles this year.

Article
CBCA Book of the Year Notables 2023

Nine Penguin and Puffin books have been selected for the CBCA Book Awards Notables list this year.

Article
Authors were back on the road in 2022 - and we loved it!

Join us as we travel back in time through 2022 with the authors that hit the road this year.

Article
Gabrielle Wang shares why being the Children's Laureate is better than she expected

Halfway through her time as Laureate, Gabrielle shares what she enjoyed in 2022 and what she is looking forward to in 2023.

Article
Shivaun Plozza on painting, writing routines, and the book that inspired her to become an author

We chatted with Shivaun Plozza to learn more about her new book, A Reluctant Witch's Guide to Magic, and get some insight into her creative process.

Article
How Oliver Phommavanh wrote himself into his new book, What About Thao?

We sat down with Oliver Phommavanh to talk about his new book, What About Thao? Learn all about it and the personality traits he shares with the main characters.

Article
How a good group of friends helped author write children’s book during lockdown

Learn about The Book of Wondrous Possibilities and the writing group that helped the author perfect it.

Article
Tristan Bancks shares the number one skill he learned from his teachers

We recently caught up with Tristan to learn more about Cop & Robber and the influences that shaped his writing.

Article
Author shares the one theme nobody has noticed in new children’s book

All about Gabrielle Wang's new book, Zadie Ma and the Dog Who Chased the Moon.

Article
Shirley Marr shares experience as child that inspired new book

‘That memory will stay with me for a long time, it was really touching and something I will always remember.’

Article
Stock your school library with these wonderful books

26 books for school libraries that students will love.

Article
Does your kid hate reading? Try these graphic novels for every age group

Graphic novels are the perfect way to get disinterested readers to pick up a book. Check out some of the best graphic novels for kids of all ages. 

Looking for more articles?

See all articles