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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


Rockstar Detectives Adam Hills

A fabulously funny debut novel from comedian Adam Hills featuring a young detective dream team, perfect for fans of Sharna Jackson, Robin Stevens, David Baddiel and David O'Doherty.

Buy now
Buy now

Dear Greta Yvette Poshoglian

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 ...

Buy now
Buy now

Mr Bambuckle's Remarkables Join Forces Tim Harris, James Hart

Everyone’s favourite teacher, Mr Bambuckle, is back with more hilarious stories, shenanigans and silliness at Blue Valley School!

Buy now
Buy now

The Unstoppable Flying Flanagan Felice Arena

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.

Buy now
Buy now

Frankie Best Hates Quests Chris Smith

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.

Buy now
Buy now

Seven Days Fleur Ferris

A fast-paced, action-packed story of how the past catches up to us, from bestselling and award-winning author Fleur Ferris.

Buy now
Buy now

Princess Olivia Investigates: The Wrong Weather Lucy Hawking

'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.

Buy now
Buy now

We Run Tomorrow Nat Amoore, Mike Barry

You can run from your past, but the future is tomorrow . . .

Buy now
Buy now

Zadie Ma and the Dog Who Chased the Moon Gabrielle Wang

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?

Buy now
Buy now

All Four Quarters of the Moon Shirley Marr

A big-hearted story of love and resilience, 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.

Buy now
Buy now

Cop and Robber Tristan Bancks

A new nailbiter from the bestselling author of Two Wolves.

Buy now
Buy now

A Reluctant Witch's Guide to Magic Shivaun Plozza

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.

Buy now
Buy now

The Midnighters Hana Tooke

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!

Buy now
Buy now

What About Thao? Oliver Phommavanh

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!

Buy now
Buy now

The Silver Sea Belinda Murrell

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!

Buy now
Buy now

The Book of Wondrous Possibilities Deborah Abela

From bestselling author Deborah Abela, comes a middle grade adventure for 8-12-year-old heroes (even if they don’t know it yet).

Buy now
Buy now

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Deborah Abela delves into the inspiration behind her hit middle grade series, Grimsdon, and reflects on how her books spark discourse around climate change. 

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Book trailers for kids

Find your new favourite book by checking out the book trailer first! 

Activity
Princess Olivia Investigates activity pack

Explore world science topics with Princess Olivia!

Book clubs
All Four Quarters of the Moon book club questions

There’s so much to talk about in this big-hearted story 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 . . .

Activity
Rockstar Detectives word search

Download a free activity page.

Q&A
Adam Hills shares the inspiration for his debut children's book

Rockstar Detectives is out now at your local bookshop.

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