70 Middle Grade Novels I Can’t Wait To Read In 2019

One of the most fun parts of being a book blogger is keeping up with new and upcoming releases. Between cover reveals, promotional emails, publisher catalogues, Goodreads list and more, we’re constantly learning about which books to look out for next. While it’s really exciting to make a to-be-read list for the upcoming year and plan which books you want to read first, it can also be really overwhelming, especially when it comes to keeping track of them all. Back in October, I asked on Twitter whether anyone would be interested in learning a little about which 2019 releases I’m most excited about, and the answer was a resounding yes! While I had originally planned on creating only one post, showcasing both 2019 middle grade and young adult novels, because there were so many upcoming releases I was excited about, I’ve decided to separate the posts into two, one for each intended age group. Because many of the books below don’t yet have a firm publication dates or book cover, I’ve also included a category at the conclusion of this post for these releases and have created a temporary graphic for each so that I would still be able to include them.

Please Note: If you’re a middle grade author with a novel being published in 2019 and you don’t see your book on this list, please don’t be hurt or upset! This list is entirely subjective and based on my own personal reading taste. My favourite genres are contemporary, realistic fiction and historical fiction, which is why you won’t see many books outside of these two genres on this list. While I try my best to remain up-to-date about upcoming releases, it’s also entirely possible that I simply haven’t heard of your book yet! If you’re the author of a 2019 middle grade novel that you think might make a good fit for me, please don’t hesitate to reach out – I would love to hear from you!

For even more wonderful middle grade novels being published in 2019, please check out this Goodreads list, which includes nearly 300 middle grade novels being published next year for you to choose from. Hopefully you’ll be able to find the perfect book for you!

Publication Date January 8th 2019 by Henry Holt & Company (BYR)
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Five years.

That’s how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, criss-crossing the nation.

It’s also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters in a car crash.

Coyote hasn’t been home in all that time, but when she learns that the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished ― the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box ― she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days…without him realizing it.

Along the way, they’ll pick up a strange crew of misfit travelers. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. And then there’s Gladys…

Over the course of thousands of miles, Coyote will learn that going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all…but that with friends by her side, she just might be able to turn her “once upon a time” into a “happily ever after.”



Publication Date January 8th 2019 by Aladdin
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A basketball-loving girl makes a wish to never miss a basket in this charming middle grade novel that pushes girl power to the max!

Lizzy Trudeaux loves basketball. She doesn’t have much by way of money, but she has access to the community court, a worn ball named Ginger, and she practices constantly. After fighting to join the boy’s team at her school, Lizzy is finally given the opportunity to show off her hard-earned skills.

When she answers what she believes is another bill collecting phone call, Lizzy receives a magical wish: the ability to sink every shot. Pure Swish. Now eviscerating the competition in the boy’s league is small potatoes — she has the skills to dominate in the NBA. With the help of her BFF Toby and some viral video action, Lizzy goes all the way to the Philadelphia Bells’ starting lineup, making history and taking names. Then, just as she’s about to go face to face with her hero, the best player on the planet, things begin to fall apart. But Lizzy isn’t a quitter and she’ll play her hardest for the love of the game.




Publication Date January 22nd 2019 by HMH Books For Young Readers
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For decades, people have asked the question: Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? But just who is this infamous and elusive globe-trotting criminal?

A skilled thief on a mysterious mission, Carmen Sandiego is endlessly pursued by ACME and Interpol. But the woman in the red fedora is always one step ahead! In this novelization, based on the Netflix animated series, Carmen shares her own backstory for the first time ever. Now, it’s time to find out…Who in the world is Carmen Sandiego.


Publication Date February 5th 2019 by Clarion Books
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Carter Jones is astonished early one morning when he finds a real English butler, bowler hat and all, on the doorstep — one who stays to help the Jones family, which is a little bit broken.

In addition to figuring out middle school, Carter has to adjust to the unwelcome presence of this new know-it-all adult in his life and navigate the butler’s notions of decorum. And ultimately, when his burden of grief and anger from the past can no longer be ignored, Carter learns that a burden becomes lighter when it is shared.




Publication Date February 5th 2019 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Once upon a time, a girl named Kristy Thomas had a great idea: to form The Baby-Sitters Club with her best friends. And now twelve-year-old Malia Twiggs has had a great idea too. Technically, she had Kristy’s idea. (And technically, little kids seem gross and annoying, but a paycheck is a paycheck). After a little convincing, Malia and her friends Dot and Bree start a babysitting club to earn funds for an epic birthday bash. But babysitting definitely isn’t what they thought it would be.

Three friends. No parents. Unlimited snacks. And, okay, occasionally watching other people’s children. What could possibly go wrong?




Publication Date February 12th 2019 by Aladdin
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The small town of Clarkville has seen better days. Ever since the Cohen factory burned down a few years ago, jobs are scarce and unemployment is high. But each year for one night the Carnival of Wishes and Dreams comes to town and everyone gets to indulge in a little wonder and delight. And for three girls who each receive notes asking them to meet the anonymous sender at midnight at the Ferris Wheel, it’s an evening that promises to be truly magical.

Audrey McKinley can’t believe someone would ask her to ride the Ferris Wheel. Everyone in town knows she’s afraid of heights; the last time she rode the Ferris Wheel it ended with her having a panic attack. But ever since her dad lost his job after the Cohen factory burned down he’s been working too little. The carnival gives him a chance for some seasonal work, and she plans to spend the evening checking up on him and making sure he does his job. Maybe she’ll face her fears tonight, after all.

Grace Chang isn’t supposed to go to the carnival. It’s too close to the burned remains of the old Cohen factory — the place where her firefighter father lost his life. And they always rode the Ferris Wheel together, so that’s also something Grace isn’t supposed to do. But since her mom just announced they’ll be moving away from Clarkville the day after the carnival, Grace is sick of only doing things she’s supposed to do. She’ll be at the carnival. And she is definitely riding that Ferris Wheel.

Harlow Cohen is surprised anyone would want to ride the Ferris Wheel with her. Harlow used to be popular. But ever since her grandparents’ old factory burned down and so many people lost their jobs, many of the kids at school blame her — and her rich family — for their own parents’ worsening economic situations. Harlow can never resist a dare, but when a note arrives asking her to meet an anonymous person at the Ferris Wheel at midnight, she’s far from certain it will be a friend waiting for her.

Can these three girls put their differences aside long enough for their wishes to come true? And is it possible to save a friendship that once seemed lost for good?




Publication Date February 12th 2019 by Walden Pond Press
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When you’re an identical twin, your story always starts with someone else. For Iris, that means her story starts with Lark.

Iris has always been the grounded, capable, and rational one; Lark has been inventive, dreamy, and brilliant – and from their first moments in the world together, they’ve never left each other’s side. Everyone around them realized early on what the two sisters already knew: they had better outcomes when they were together.

When fifth grade arrives, however, it’s decided that Iris and Lark should be split into different classrooms, and something breaks in them both.

Iris is no longer so confident; Lark retreats into herself as she deals with challenges at school. And at the same time, something strange is happening in the city around them, things both great and small going missing without a trace.

As Iris begins to understand that anything can be lost in the blink of an eye, she decides it’s up to her to find a way to keep her sister safe.




Publication Date February 26th 2019 by Scholastic Press
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Can Lety find her voice before it’s too late?

Lety Muñoz’s first language is Spanish, and she likes to take her time putting her words together. She loves volunteering at the Furry Friends Animal Shelter because the dogs and cats there don’t care if she can’t always find the right word.

When the shelter needs a volunteer to write animal profiles, Lety jumps at the chance. But grumpy classmate Hunter also wants to write profiles — so now they have to work as a team. Hunter’s not much of a team player, though. He devises a secret competition to decide who will be the official shelter scribe. Whoever helps get their animals adopted the fastest wins. The loser scoops dog food.

Lety reluctantly agrees, but she’s worried that if the shelter finds out about the contest, they’ll kick her out of the volunteer program. Then she’ll never be able to adopt Spike, her favorite dog at the shelter!




Publication Date February 26th 2019 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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Celi Rivera’s life swirls with questions. About her changing body. Her first attraction to a boy. And her best friend’s exploration of what it means to be genderfluid.

But most of all, her mother’s insistence she have a moon ceremony when her first period arrives. It’s an ancestral Mexica ritual that Mima and her community have reclaimed, but Celi promises she will NOT be participating. Can she find the power within herself to take a stand for who she wants to be?


Publication Date March 5th 2019 by Rick Riordan Presents
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How did a raw chicken get inside Yasmany’s locker?

When Sal Vidon meets Gabi Real for the first time, it isn’t under the best of circumstances. Sal is in the principal’s office for the third time in three days, and it’s still the first week of school. Gabi, student council president and editor of the school paper, is there to support her friend Yasmany, who just picked a fight with Sal. She is determined to prove that somehow, Sal planted a raw chicken in Yasmany’s locker, even though nobody saw him do it and the bloody poultry has since mysteriously disappeared.

Sal prides himself on being an excellent magician, but for this sleight of hand, he relied on a talent no one would guess…except maybe Gabi, whose sharp eyes never miss a trick. When Gabi learns that he’s capable of conjuring things much bigger than a chicken – including his dead mother – and she takes it all in stride, Sal knows that she is someone he can work with. There’s only one slight problem: their manipulation of time and space could put the entire universe at risk.

A sassy entropy sweeper, a documentary about wedgies, a principal who wears a Venetian bauta mask, and heaping platefuls of Cuban food are just some of the delights that await in his mind-blowing novel gift-wrapped in love and laughter.




Publication Date March 5th 2019 by Yellow Jacket
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Join the Gemini Detective Agency and help the teenage sleuths solve the theft of a priceless necklace!

Twins Zach and Evie Mamuya and their friend Vishal Desai make up the Gemini Detective Agency, which is mainly an excuse to get pizza together or hit the go-kart track. But when a priceless diamond necklace known as the North Star is stolen before an auction, the kids tag along with the twins’ crime reporter mom and find a few clues that make them think this was no ordinary robbery.

With the help of their classmate Sophia Boyd, the Gemini Detective Agency is on the case! Will they be able to sort through the clues and solve the mystery in time?

Readers will love this interactive mystery, where clues can be found throughout the illustrations at the end of each chapter!




Publication Date March 5th 2019 by HarperCollins
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Alma has everything she needs, except answers to her questions. Her mother won’t tell her why her beloved stepfather, Adam, is suddenly gone this summer. Or about life in Portugal, where her parents met. Not even about her father, who Alma cannot find, no matter how many graveyards she searches with her best friend, Julia.

Then Alma’s mother shocks her by moving them both to Lisbon so Alma can fall in love with the vibrant city where her father grew up. There she discovers she has more family than she could have imagined.

She hopes Portugal holds the answers she’s been desperately searching for, but it turns out finding the truth may be more complicated than she, or her mother, bargained for.




Publication Date March 12th 2019 by Balzer + Bray
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Twelve-year-old Shayla is allergic to trouble. All she wants to do is to follow the rules. (Oh, and she’d also like to make it through seventh grade with her best friendships intact, learn to run track, and have a cute boy see past her giant forehead.)

But in junior high, it’s like all the rules have changed. Now she’s suddenly questioning who her best friends are and some people at school are saying she’s not black enough. Wait, what?

Shay’s sister, Hana, is involved in Black Lives Matter, but Shay doesn’t think that’s for her. After experiencing a powerful protest, though, Shay decides some rules are worth breaking. She starts wearing an armband to school in support of the Black Lives movement. Soon everyone is taking sides. And she is given an ultimatum.

Shay is scared to do the wrong thing (and even more scared to do the right thing), but if she doesn’t face her fear, she’ll be forever tripping over the next hurdle. Now that’s trouble, for real.




Publication Date March 12th 2019 by Algonquin Young Readers
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Everything is changing for Becket Branch. From subways to sidewalks to safety rules, Becket is a city kid born and raised. Now the Branch family is trading urban bustle for big green fields and moving to Gran’s farm, where Becket has to make sense of new routines from feeding animals to baling hay. And as much as Becket loves to yell “Beautiful Alert!” there’s a lot about the countryside that is just plain odd.

But Becket is ready to put her own spin on country life. Whether selling her mouth-puckering lemonade, feeding hostile hens, or trying to make a best friend of her new neighbor Frieda Franca, Becket is determined to use her city smarts to get a grip on farm living. Laugh and learn with Becket as she mucks through the messy, exuberant human experience of change she didn’t ask for, in a story that sparkles with quirky characters and lasting connections.




Publication Date March 19th 2019 by HarperCollins
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Life used to be great for Rose: full of friends, a loving mom, and a growing fashion blog.

But when her mother dies in a car crash, Rose is sent away to live with a strange grandmother she hardly knows and forced to attend a new school where mean girls ridicule her at every turn.

The only place Rose finds refuge is in her grandmother’s greenhouse. But one night she sees a strange light glowing from within it. She goes to investigate…and finds herself transported back five hundred years to Hatfield Palace, where she becomes servant and confidant of the banished princess Elizabeth, daughter of King Henry VIII.

Rose soon discovers something else amazing — a locket with two mysterious images inside it, both clues to her own past. Could the greenhouse portal offer answers to the mysteries of her family…and their secrets?




Publication Date March 26th 2019 by Feiwel and Friends
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Gideon hates the idea of moving to Nevada from the East Coast. It’s so empty and hot in his new neighborhood. Only one person his age lives nearby: the girl next door, Roona.

Gid notices right away that Roona is…different. She wears roller skates and a blanket as a cape when she needs to feel strong. What he doesn’t bargain for, however, is how far outside his comfort zone Roona will take him as she enlists his help in finding her long-gone father. For a kid who’s not allowed to ride his bike more than a few blocks from home, this will be the adventure of a lifetime.




Publication Date March 26th 2019 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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When Sunny St. James receives a new heart, she decides to set off on a “New Life Plan”: 1) do awesome amazing things she could never do before; 2) find a new best friend; and 3) kiss a boy for the first time.

Her “New Life Plan” seems to be racing forward, but when she meets her new best friend Quinn, Sunny questions whether she really wants to kiss a boy at all. With the reemergence of her mother, Sunny begins a journey to becoming the new Sunny St. James.




Publication Date March 26th 2019 by Scholastic Press
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Twelve-year-old Mallie knows better than to dream. In Coal Top, you live the story you’re given: boys toil in the mines and girls work as servants. Mallie can’t bear the idea of that kind of life, but her family is counting on her wages to survive.

It wasn’t always this way. Before the Dust came, the people of Coal Top could weave starlight into cloth. They’d wear these dreaming clothes to sleep and wake up with the courage to seek adventure…or the peace to heal a broken heart. But now nothing can penetrate Coal Top’s blanket of sorrow.

So when Mallie is chosen for a dangerous competition in which daring (and ideally, orphaned) children train flying horses, she jumps at the chance. Maybe she’ll change her story. Maybe she’ll even find the magic she needs to dream again.

But the situation proves even more dangerous when Mallie uncovers a sinister mystery at the heart of Coal Top’s struggles – a mystery some powerful people will do anything to protect.




Publication Date March 26th 2019 by Scholastic Press
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Clea can’t control her thoughts. She knows she has to do her homework…but she gets distracted. She knows she can’t just say whatever thought comes into her head…but sometimes she can’t help herself. She know she needs to focus…but how can she do that when the people around her are always chewing gum loudly or making other annoying noises?

It’s starting to be a problem – not just in school, but when Clea’s playing chess or just hanging out with her best friend. Other kids are starting to notice. When Clea fails one too many tests, her parents take her to be tested, and she finds out that she has ADHD, which means her attention is all over the place instead of where it needs to be.

Clea knows life can’t continue the way it’s been going. She’s just not sure how you can fix a problem that’s all in your head. But that’s what she’s going to have to do, to find a way to focus.


Publication Date April 2nd 2019 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Eleven-year-old Anthoni Gillis is not the kind of kid who believes in fairies, unicorns, or even the word “maybe.” She’s more of a comic-books girl. So when her mom brings her to Thunder Lake for a summer at the Showboat Resort, she doesn’t believe the local rumors about the Boulay Mermaid.

Anthoni has bigger fish to fry. She’s always wanted a True Blue Friend. But it’s been hard to find one, since for the past five years she’s been bouncing from town to town, helping her mother sell Beauty & the Bee cosmetic products to keep them both afloat. This summer will be different, though. Anthoni has a plan ― a foolproof checklist for making lifelong friends! There won’t be any maybes this time.

But as she grows entangled in local gossip, and her mother stretches the truth, Anthoni must decide if she’ll “stick to the plan,” like always, or dive into a summer full of extraordinary possibilities.




Publication Date April 2nd 2019 by HarperCollins
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Trace Carter doesn’t know how to feel at ease in his new life in New York. Even though his artsy Auntie Lea is cool, her brownstone still isn’t his home. Haunted by flashbacks of the accident that killed his parents, the best he can do is try to distract himself from memories of the past.

But the past isn’t done with him. When Trace takes a wrong turn in the New York Public Library, he finds someone else lost in the stacks with him: a crying little boy, wearing old, tattered clothes.

And though at first he can’t quite believe he’s seen a ghost, Trace soon discovers that the boy he saw has ties to Trace’s own history — and that he himself may be the key to setting the dead to rest.




Publication Date April 9th 2019 by Bloomsbury Children’s Books
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Twelve-year-old painter Esther can’t wait to attend Camp Vermeer, the most prestigious art camp around. But when her stepdad accidentally drives up the wrong mountain, she lands at Camp Archimedes — a math camp! Determined to prove herself to the other campers, she tackles a brain teaser that’s supposed to be impossible and solves it in a single day. But not everyone is happy about it…someone wants her out of camp at any cost, and starts leaving cryptic, threatening notes all over the grounds. Esther doesn’t know who to trust. Will she solve this riddle before it’s too late?

Featuring tricky logic puzzles readers can solve along with the characters and starring a unique, smart, and crafty young heroine, this story has just the right mix of mystery, humor, and wit.




Publication Date April 16th 2019 by Balzer + Bray
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When Cady Bennett is sent to live with the aunt she didn’t even know she had in the quaint mountain town of Julian, she isn’t sure what to expect. Cady isn’t used to stability, after growing up homeless in San Diego with her dad.

Now she’s staying in her mother’s old room, exploring the countryside filled with apple orchards and pie shops, making friends, and working in Aunt Shell’s own pie shop — and soon, Cady starts to feel like she belongs.

Then she finds out that Aunt Shell’s shop is failing. Saving the business and protecting the first place she’s ever really felt safe will take everything she’s learned and the help of all her new friends. But are there some things even the perfect pie just can’t fix?




Publication Date April 23rd 2019 by Disney-Hyperion
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When a string of dognappings grips her Denver neighborhood, Kazu Jones vows to track down the culprits. She can’t stand to see more dogs go missing-especially once her neighbors’ beloved pet is taken because of her gigantic mistake.

With the help of her gang-including her best friend and expert hacker, March; and her ginormous, socially anxious pup, Genki-Kazu uncovers evidence that suggests the dognapping ring is bigger than she ever imagined. But the more she digs, the more dangerous her investigation becomes. The dognappers are getting bolder, and Genki could be next…




Publication Date April 30th 2019 by Imprint
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With her parents off traveling the globe, Lenora is bored, bored, bored ― until she discovers a secret doorway into the ultimate library. Mazelike and reality-bending, the library contains all the universe’s wisdom. Every book ever written, and every fact ever known, can be found within its walls. And Lenora becomes its newly appointed Fourth Assistant Apprentice Librarian.

She rockets to the stars, travels to a future filled with robots, and faces down a dark nothingness that wants to destroy all knowledge. To save the library, Lenora will have to test her limits and uncover secrets hidden among its shelves.




Publication Date April 30th 2019 by Bloomsbury Children’s Books
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Eleven-year-old December knows everything about birds, and everything about getting kicked out of foster homes. All she has of her mother is the book she left behind, The Complete Guide to Birds: Volume One, and a message: “In flight is where you’ll find me.” December believes she’s truly a bird, just waiting for the day she transforms and flies away to her real home. The scar on her back must be where her wings have started to blossom – she just needs to find the right tree and practice her flying. She has no choice; it’s the only story that makes sense.

When she’s placed with Eleanor, a new foster mom who runs a taxidermy business and volunteers at a wildlife rescue, December begins to see herself and what home means in a new light. But the story she tells herself about her past is what’s kept December going this long, and she doesn’t know if she can let it go…even if changing her story might mean that she can finally find a place where she belongs.


Publication Date May 7th 2019 by Simon Schuster Books For Young Readers
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Twelve-year-old Sarah is finally in charge. At last, she can spend her summer months reading her favorite science books and bossing around her younger brother, Ellis, instead of being worked to the bone by their overly strict grandmother, Mrs. Greene. But when their cousin, Janie arrives for a visit, Sarah’s plans are completely squashed.

Janie has a knack for getting into trouble and asks Sarah to take her to Creek Church: a landmark of their small town that she heard was haunted. It’s also off-limits. Janie’s sticky fingers lead Sarah, Ellis and his best friend, Jasper, to uncover a deep-seated part of the town’s past. With a bit of luck, this foursome will heal the place they call home and the people within it they call family.




Publication Date May 7th 2019 by Amulet Books
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Thirteen-year-old Annabelle struggles in school, no matter how hard she tries. But as soon as she dives into the pool, she’s unstoppable. She’s the fastest girl on the middle school swim team, and when she’s asked to join the high school team over the summer, everything changes. Suddenly, she’s got new friends, and a high school boy starts treating her like she’s somebody special—and Annabelle thinks she’ll finally stand out in a good way. She’ll do anything to fit in and help the team make it to the Labor Day Invitational, even if it means blowing off her old friends. But after a prank goes wrong, Annabelle is abandoned by the older boy and can’t swim. Who is she without the one thing she’s good at?




Publication Date May 7th 2019 by Balzer + Bray
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Jude never thought she’d be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her hometown start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives.

At first, everything in America seems too fast and too loud. The American movies that Jude has always loved haven’t quite prepared her for starting school in the US — and her new label of “Middle Eastern,” an identity she’s never known before. But this life also brings unexpected surprises — there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude might just try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is.




Publication Date May 7th 2019 by Algonquin Young Readers
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Fig, a sixth grader, wants more than anything to see the world as her father does. The once-renowned pianist, who hasn’t composed a song in years and has unpredictable good and bad days, is something of a mystery to Fig. Though she’s a science and math nerd, she tries taking an art class just to be closer to him, to experience life the way an artist does. But then Fig’s dad shows up at school, disoriented and desperately searching for Fig. Not only has the class not brought Fig closer to understanding him, it has brought social services to their door.

Diving into books about Van Gogh to understand the madness of artists, calling on her best friend for advice, and turning to a new neighbor for support, Fig continues to try everything she can think of to understand her father, to save him from himself, and to find space in her life to discover who she is even as the walls are falling down around her.




Publication Date May 7 th 2019 by Little, Brown Books For Young Readers
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In the small town of Griever’s Mill, eleven-year-old Ben Cameron is expecting to finish off his summer of relaxing and bird-watching without a hitch. But everything goes wrong when dark clouds roll in.

Old Man Crandall is the first to change – human one minute and a glass statue the next. Soon it’s happening across the world. Dark clouds fill the sky and, at random, people are turned into frozen versions of themselves. There’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no one knows how to stop it.

With his mom on the verge of a breakdown, and his brother intent on following the dubious plans put forth by a nameless voice on the radio, Ben must hold out hope that his town’s missing sparrows will return with everyone’s souls before the glass plague takes them away forever.




Publication Date May 14th 2019 by Henry Holt & Company
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Sometimes life isn’t a piece of cake…

When Jingwen moves to a new country, he feels like he’s landed on Mars. School is torture, making friends is impossible since he doesn’t speak English, and he’s often stuck looking after his (extremely irritating) little brother, Yanghao.

To distract himself from the loneliness, Jingwen daydreams about making all the cakes on the menu of Pie in the Sky, the bakery his father had planned to open before he unexpectedly passed away. The only problem is his mother has laid down one major rule: the brothers are not to use the oven while she’s at work. As Jingwen and Yanghao bake elaborate cakes, they’ll have to cook up elaborate excuses to keep the cake making a secret from Mama.




Publication Date May 14th 2019 by Wendy Lamb Books
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Twelve-year-old Nova is eagerly awaiting the launch of the space shuttle Challenger – it’s the first time a teacher is going into space, and kids across America will watch the event on live TV in their classrooms. Nova and her big sister, Bridget, share a love of astronomy and the space program. They planned to watch the launch together. But Bridget has disappeared, and Nova is in a new foster home.

While foster families and teachers dismiss Nova as severely autistic and nonverbal, Bridget understands how intelligent and special Nova is, and all that she can’t express. As the liftoff draws closer, Nova’s new foster family and teachers begin to see her potential, and for the first time, she is making friends without Bridget. But every day, she’s counting down to the launch, and to the moment when she’ll see Bridget again. Because Bridget said, “No matter what, I’ll be there. I promise.”




Publication Date May 14th 2019 by Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
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When the apocalypse came to Avery, Kentucky, Great Aunt Gustine was out getting a pedicure at Nails, Nails, Nails, Dad was teaching ninth grade English at Avery High School, and Mom was working with her bomb-sniffing dog near a place called Mosul in Iraq. The person who stole $2,103 from the high school’s library fund that my father was responsible for was out spending the money, and our middle school principal, Mr. Jorgansen, was someplace he had no business being. Again.

When the cops show up at Jesse’s house and arrest her dad, she figures out in a hurry that he’s the #1 suspect in the missing library fund money case. With the help of her (first and only) friend Springer, she investigates, but she can’t shake the feeling that she isn’t exactly cut out for being a crime-solving hero. Jessie isn’t neurotypical, which means that she’s “on the spectrum or whatever.” But when a tornado strikes Avery, Springer, Jesse, and her Pomeranian Sam-Sam are given the opportunity to show what they’re really made of.




Publication Date May 21st 2019 by Aladdin
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For Archie, the start of summer means another stint at Camp Shady Brook, where there is a lot more to the camp than meets the eye — just like Archie and his now blended family. But thanks to a con Archie developed last year, he’s finally somebody…and he’s not going to lose that status to the new girl, Vivian.

For Vivian, thanks to an incident That Shall Not Be Named or Spoken Of, her summer of exotic travels with Mom and Dad has turned into traveling to a dump of a summer camp in the middle of nowhere.

But thanks to perfect timing, Vivian soon finds herself in a ring of kids trying to out-con each other – and discovers Camp Shady Brook is more like Camp Shady Crook. And when one final, massive con could cost Vivian the first friends she’s had in a while, can she and Archie figure out a way to make things right?




Publication Date May 28th 2019 by Simon Schuster Books For Young Readers
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It’s the summer before eighth grade and Flor is stuck at home and working at her family’s mattress store, while her best friend goes off to band camp (probably to make new friends). It becomes even worse when she’s asked to compete in the local honey pageant. This means Flor has to spend the summer practicing her talent (recorder) and volunteering (helping a recluse bee-keeper) with Candice, her former friend who’s still bitter about losing the pageant crown to Flor when they were in second grade. And she can’t say no.

Then there’s the possibility that Flor and her family are leaving to move in with her mom’s family in New Jersey. And with how much her mom and dad have been fighting lately, is it possible that her dad may not join them? Flor can’t let that happen. She has a lot of work to do.




Publication Date May 28th 2019 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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Sarah Anne loves lacrosse, and the MK Nightshade series that everyone was obsessed over in grade school. The problem is that she’s still obsessed, which is way too nerdy for a popular kid like her. So she hides her geekiness with a set of rules meant to keep her geek and jock selves separate.

Except when she’s offered a spot in a Nightshade fandom contest, where the winner gets to see the new movie premiere in LA. No one seems to think Sarah Anne can win, since she’s up against a pair of guys in high school – but the more she’s called a fake fan, the more determined she is to wipe the floor with her competition. As long as none of her friends or anyone at school knows what she’s doing.

Can she keep her geek identity a secret, win the contest, and manage to keep her friends even though she’s been living a lie? Sarah Anne is going to have to make some choices about what’s truly important to her and which rules she’s going to break to stay true to herself.


Publication Date June 4th 2019 by Yellow Jacket
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Can Mimi undo the mayhem caused by her baking in this contemporary-fantasy retelling of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream?

Eleven-year-old Mimi Mackson comes from a big Indian American family: Dad’s a renowned food writer, Mom’s a successful businesswoman, and her three older siblings all have their own respective accomplishments. It’s easy to feel invisible in such an impressive family, but Mimi’s dream of proving she’s not the least-talented member of her family seems possible when she discovers a contest at the new bakery in town. Plus, it’ll start her on the path to becoming a celebrity chef like her culinary idol, Puffy Fay.

But when Mimi’s dad returns from a business trip, he’s mysteriously lost his highly honed sense of taste. Without his help, Mimi will never be able to bake something impressive enough to propel her to gastronomic fame.

Drawn into the woods behind her house by a strangely familiar song, Mimi meets Vik, a boy who brings her to parts of the forest she’s never seen. Who knew there were banyan trees and wild boars in Massachusetts? Together they discover exotic ingredients and bake them into delectable and enchanting treats.

But as her dad acts stranger every day, and her siblings’ romantic entanglements cause trouble in their town, Mimi begins to wonder whether the ingredients she and Vik found are somehow the cause of it all. She needs to use her skills, deductive and epicurean, to uncover what’s happened. In the process, she learns that in life, as in baking, not everything is sweet…




Publication Date June 11th 2019 by First Second
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It’s the night of the annual Autumn Equinox Festival, when the town gathers to float paper lanterns down the river. Legend has it that after drifting out of sight, they’ll soar off to the Milky Way and turn into brilliant stars, but could that actually be true? This year,Ben and his classmates are determined to find out where those lanterns really go, and to ensure success in their mission, they’ve made a pact with two simple rules: No one turns for home. No one looks back.

The plan is to follow the river on their bikes for as long as it takes to learn the truth, but it isn’t long before the pact is broken by all except for Ben, and (much to Ben’s disappointment) Nathaniel, the one kid who just doesn’t seem to fit in.

Together,Nathaniel and Ben will travel farther than anyone has ever gone, down a winding road full of magic, wonder, and unexpected friendship*.

*And a talking bear.


Publication Date July 9th 2019 by Scholastic Press
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Juliet is now an official member of the Starry Beach Club, and loves working with her new friends, Emma and Carmen, to make people’s wishes come true. Living away from her dad is still hard, and she misses her best friend from her old town, but she has her friends and the bookmobile, and San Diego feels more like home than ever.

But then she learns that the bookmobile is going to have to shut down. The owner of the parking lot wants to start charging rent, and soon the bookmobile won’t be able to stay in business.

The Starry Beach Club comes up with different ways to save their favorite store, but none seem to work. But then Emma gets the idea to have a crafts fair…and she wants Juliet to sell her paintings! Juliet is nervous, and isn’t sure whether she’s ready to put herself on display. Meanwhile, Carmen is feeling anxious about the possibility of her mother being deported. Will Juliet be able to be brave for herself and for Carmen?




Publication Date July 16th 2019 by Clarion Books
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12-year-old Ali adores her reality-show celebrity father, Survivor Guy, and hopes to follow in his footsteps. But when he invites her on location, Ali is sure she won’t survive one episode…until she learns the truth: The show isn’t just her dad and a camera. It’s a huge crew and set, with stunt doubles! When a wildfire strikes and Ali and two other kids miss the last rescue helicopter, suddenly, the fight for survival is real. Will she find the self-confidence she needs so they can work together and get out of the wilderness alive?

STEM themes and plot strands about body image and divorce are subtly woven into this page-turning tale.




Publication Date July 30th 2019 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Eleven-year-old Wunder Ellis is a miracologist. In a journal he calls The Miraculous, he records stories of the inexplicable and the extraordinary. And he believes every single one. But then his newborn sister dies, at only eight days old. If that can happen, then miracles can’t exist. So Wunder gets rid of The Miraculous. He stops believing.

Then he meets Faye ― a cape-wearing, outspoken girl with losses of her own. Together, they find an abandoned house by the cemetery and a mysterious old woman who just might be a witch. The old woman asks them for their help. She asks them to believe. And they go on a journey that leads to friendship, to adventure, to healing ― and to miracles.




Publication Date July 30th 2019 by Scholastic Press
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When superstitious Sab sees a giant black butterfly, an omen of death, she knows that she’s doomed! According to legend, she has one week before her fate catches up with her – on her 11th birthday. With her time running out, all she wants is to celebrate her birthday with her entire family. But her sister, Ate Nadine, stopped speaking to their father one year ago, and Sab doesn’t even know why.

If Sab’s going to get Ate Nadine and their father to reconcile, she’ll have to overcome her fears – of her sister’s anger, of leaving the bubble of her sheltered community, of her upcoming doom – and figure out the cause of their rift.

So Sab and her best friend Pepper start spying on Nadine and digging into their family’s past to determine why, exactly, Nadine won’t speak to their father. But Sab’s adventures across Manila reveal truths about her family more difficult – and dangerous – than she ever anticipated.

Was the Butterfly right? Perhaps Sab is doomed after all!


Publication Date August 20th 2019 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
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Twelve-year-old Luna loves the nighttime more than anything else. It’s when no one gives her “that look” about the half mask she has to wear while healing from a disfiguring car accident. It’s also the perfect time to sit outside and draw what she sees. Like the boy and girl from the new family next door…zipping out of the window in a zeppelin and up to the stars.

At first she thinks she’s dreaming. But one night they catch her watching. Now Luna spends her nights on adventures with them, as they clean full moons, arrange constellations, and catch jars of stardust. She even gets to make a wish on a shooting star they catch.

But Luna learns that no wish is strong enough to erase the past — as much as she may hope to.




Publication Date August 27th 2019 by Nancy Paulsen Books
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Karina Chopra would have never imagined becoming friends with the boy next door – after all, they’ve avoided each other for years and she assumes Chris is just like the boys he hangs out with, who she labels a pack of hyenas. Then Karina’s grandfather starts tutoring Chris, and she discovers he’s actually a nice, funny kid. But one afternoon something unimaginable happens – the three of them are assaulted by a stranger who targets Indian-American Karina and her grandfather because of how they look. Her grandfather is gravely injured and Karina and Chris vow not to let hate win. When Karina posts a few photos related to the attack on social media, they quickly attract attention, and before long her #CountMeIn post – “What does an American look like? #Immigrants #WeBelong #IamAmerican #HateHasNoHomeHere” – goes viral and a diverse population begin to add their own photos. Then, when Papa is finally on the road to recovery, Karina uses her newfound social media reach to help celebrate both his homecoming and a community coming together.


Publication Date October 8th 2019 by Charlesbridge
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Jade wishes her family could leave their no-name town in Colorado already. What kind of place can’t keep a few nice flowers alive or considers three stores a mall, anyway? Everybody else made sure to move away sooner than later, including every best friend Jade’s ever had. But it’s tricky to leave when her dad’s recovering from cancer. So, stuck in a dead-end town with absolutely zero friends, Jade makes one up. In the pages of her notebook, she writes all about Zoe—the most amazing best friend anyone could dream of. The stories flow around-the-clock, especially during boring science lessons or lonely lunch periods.

But the plot really thickens when Jade loses her notebook and an actual girl named Zoe shows up at school. In real life. Jade notices that new Zoe seems to have an awful lot in common with made-up Zoe. But who could pull off something this incredible? More importantly, are Jade and the real Zoe destined to be best friends, regardless of how or why Zoe turned up in the first place?


Publication Date 2019 by Scholastic
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Coco meets Stranger Things in Claribel Ortega’s middle grade debut, based on Dominican folklore in which 12-year-old girl Lucely Luna must save the ghosts of her lost loved ones, living as fireflies, with the help of her best friend Syd and her witch grandmother Babette, before evil spirits haunting St. Augustine destroy them and the only home she’s ever known.




Publication Date 2019 by Scholastic
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The Forgotten Girl tells the story of a girl who accidentally summons a ghost on a snowy night. With the help of her best friend, family, and neighbors, she must solve a mystery to help the spirit bring justice to an abandoned segregated graveyard and finally find peace.




Publication Date 2019 by Scholastic
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The Carrier is set in turn-of-the-century Lithuania, where books have been outlawed, and a girl becomes involved in the struggle to keep the printed word — and her country’s culture and identity — alive.




Publication Date 2019 by Aladdin
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When her middle school shuts down Red Club, a period support group through Aunt Flo’s ups-and-downs, Riley Dunne and her friends fight back. But will tampon crafts, maxi-pad art installations, and dress code rebellions lead to all-out war or social change?




Publication Date 2019 by Aladdin
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A contemporary middle grade novel in the vein of Flora and Ulysses, about a curmudgeonly parrot who composes poems and dreams of escape, the precocious 12-year-old boy who works at the pet shop where the parrot was born, and an eccentric, lonely old woman who has a penchant for chocolate cherry crumble pie.




Publication Date 2019 by Capstone
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The Friendship Lie centers on almost 11-year-old Cora, who uses a mysterious diary she finds in the trash to mend her relationship with her once-best friend.




Publication Date October 1st 2019 by Balzer + Bray
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No Synopsis Yet Available (It’s written by Julie Murphy. Enough said. I don’t need to know what it’s about to know I will buy it and love it.)




Publication Date 2019 by Knopf
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Sauerkraut is a middle grade comedy about a boy haunted by the ghost of his great-great grandmother and an old family recipe.




Publication Date 2019 by Dial
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The Wild Place follows 12-year-old Cass, who after reconnecting with her maternal grandmother discovers she is a descendant of Etta Place, mistress of the Sundance Kid, and finds herself on a journey to unearth long-lost outlaw treasure.




Publication Date 2019 by Oni Press
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The Lemonade Affair follows 10-year-old genius Robbie, who opens a state-of-the-art lemonade stand that can make any flavor of lemonade imaginable. However, he finds himself in competition with Daphne, another kid on his block who sells lemonade, and their ensuring Lemonade War might just put the whole city in danger.




Publication Date 2019 by Lee & Low
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Speculation is a historical fantasy inspired by the works of Edward Eager, in which Winna Cole discovers a pair of magical spectacles that reveal both the friendly ghosts of her African-American ancestors and a dangerous family curse.




Publication Date 2019 by Sourcebooks
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In Case of Emergency follows a 12-year-old girl who is babysitting her neighbors in a semi-rural neighborhood on an island off the Seattle coast, when an earthquake knocks out the power grid and leaves them stranded and disconnected from the mainland.




Publication Date June 2019 by Affirm Press
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Rosebud is the story of what happens when 11-year-old Hayley Whelan tries to bring her horror-movie vision to the big-screen over the summer holidays.

Friendships will be tested, the fake blood will flow, and the snacks budget will be well and truly blown in this wonderful, heart-warming reel of contemporary Australian middle grade.




Publication Date 2019 by Little, Brown Books For Young Readers
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The Light In The Lake follows a 12-year-old girl who finds herself caught between her love of science and her late twin brother’s belief in magic, when the mountain lake he drowned in shows signs of water pollution and reveals clues about a mysterious creature that might live in its depths.




Publication Date 2019 by Chronicle
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A Girl, A Raccoon, and The Midnight Moon is set in a slightly fantastical version of New York City, where bookish Pearl, the daughter of the librarian, teams up with a ragtag neighborhood crew including a tap-dancing new friend, an older boy Pearl has a crush on, and a pack of uniquely skilled raccoons that live in the library basement, in an attempt to save their branch from closure.




Publication Date 2019 by Carolrhoda Books
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Set in 1881, Cardslinger follows 13-year-old Jason “Shuffle” Jones on a quest to find his missing father, the creator of a popular card game that may offer clues to his whereabouts.




Publication Date 2019 by Scholastic
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Coral follows a second-generation Chinese-American girl as she navigates middle school while trying to reconcile her Chinese heritage with the “American” expectations of her peers. The story will include elements of fantasy and Chinese folklore, and feature themes of family, friendship, identity, and food as cultural connection.




Publication Date 2019 by Little, Brown Books For Young Readers
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Pavi Sharma’s Guide To Going Home is a middle grade debut about foster kid and entrepreneur Pavi Sharma, who runs a business teaching other kids how to navigate the foster care system. When one of her clients gets placed with the worst family Pavi’s ever had, only she can save her from the same fate.




Publication Date 2019 by HarperCollins
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Summer and July is a contemporary coming-of-age story that follows the friendship between a goth girl filled with fake phobias and a free spirit who isn’t as strong as she appears to be.




Publication Date 2019 by Balzer + Bray
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The. Best. At. It. is about a gay Indian-American boy growing up in a small town in Indiana, dealing with the shifting dynamics of friendship and bullying in middle school, who has decided that everything in his life will get better if he can just find that one special thing he’s the best at.




Publication Date 2019 by Little, Brown Books For Young Readers
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The Fresh New Face of Griselda tells the story of Griselda’s struggles with the changes in her family after they lose their home, and her plan to fix their problems by selling makeup at school.




Publication Date 2019 by Atheneum
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Inspired by true 12th-century accounts, The Green Children of Woolpit tells the story of a girl who comes upon two mysterious, green-skinned children, only to learn their terrible secret and become caught up in their dark past.




Publication Date 2019 by Disney-Hyperion
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Midnight On Strange Street tells the story of a tight-knit group of friends on a glowboarding team discover that they have powers of telekinesis and telepathy; despite their best efforts to stay inconspicuous, they catch the attention of a mysterious, powerful man in their city — and maybe even forces beyond the earth’s atmosphere.




Publication Date 2019 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
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In a world where the light from the stars is the only thing that keeps the world safe from dark creatures, a boy, his dog, and the town baker’s daughter must race to rescue the stars and find his father, the local Star Shepherd, before too many stars fall from the sky.

One response to “70 Middle Grade Novels I Can’t Wait To Read In 2019”

  1. This is such an excellent, thorough list! I can’t wait to read Midsummer’s Mayhem and Tangled in Time has such a beautiful cover! Lots of new to me books to explore also. Two other 2019 MG books I’m excited for: Transformed: The Perils of the Frog Prince and Summer of a Thousand Pies.

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