HomeFeaturesBook Lists12 Anticipated Middle Grade Releases of 2022

12 Anticipated Middle Grade Releases of 2022

While it is a little misleading to call this article my most anticipated middle grade releases for all of 2022, since very little publishing information is given out this early in the year regarding fall releases … I’ve tried my best and searched my hardest through catalogues and websites to find titles that are coming out later than, well, January.

So here we are, Most Anticipated Middle Grade Releases of 2022 (at least the first half … )

Goodreads synopsis and release dates are given. 

Operation Sisterhood 

Anticipated release date: January 4, 2022

Written by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

Published by Crown Books for Young Readers

This story appealed to me when I saw someone write that if the Netflix Babysitters Club reboot was your thing, you needed to give Operation Sisterhood a try. It sounds like a big bowl of comfort soup: a big family squished into one Brooklyn Brownstone and trying to discover your place in the folds of family, are all themes right up my literary alley …

Bo and her mom always had their own rhythm. But ever since they moved to Harlem, Bo’s world has fallen out of sync. She and Mum are now living with Mum’s boyfriend Bill, his daughter Sunday, the twins, Lili and Lee, the twins’ parents…along with a dog, two cats, a bearded dragon, a turtle, and chickens. All in one brownstone! With so many people squished together, Bo isn’t so sure there is room for her. 

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Omar Rising

Anticipated release date: February 1, 2022

Written by Aisha Saeed

Published by Nancy Paulsen Books

So while this is technically a sequel, I do believe it is a spin off of a character that appeared in the first book and we should be able to follow along just fine… but hey, read book one: Amal Unbound, because apparently it’s pretty terrific. This one sounds powerful my friends, be prepared for some important conversations …

Omar knows his scholarship to Ghalib Academy Boarding School is a game changer, providing him–the son of a servant–with an opportunity to improve his station in life. He can’t wait to experience all the school has to offer, especially science club and hopefully the soccer team; but when he arrives, his hopes are dashed. First-year scholarship students aren’t allowed to join clubs or teams–and not only that, they have to earn their keep doing menial chores. At first Omar is dejected–but then he gets angry when he learns something even worse–the school deliberately weeds out kids like him by requiring them to get significantly higher grades than kids who can pay tuition, making it nearly impossible for scholarship students to graduate. It’s a good thing that in his favorite class, he’s learned the importance of being stubbornly optimistic. So with the help of his tightknit new group of friends–and with the threat of expulsion looming over him–he sets out to do what seems impossible: change a rigged system.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The Ogress and the Orphans

Anticipated release date: March 8, 2022

Written by Kelly Barnhill

Published by Algonquin Young Readers

I try not to play favourites with my anticipated releases lists because they all have piqued my interest for various, unique reasons (not to mention the anticipation sometimes sets up a book to fail), but if there could be only ONE story I’m allowed to buy on this list … it’d be this one. Oh my gosh – a kindly Ogress who helps Orphans? A town that is falling into misery – no libraries? no parks? no joy? … and the journey back to happiness lies in the hands of said kindly Ogress and children?? Oh my crackers, I cannot wait. Not to mention this is the Kelly Barnhill we’re talking about here …

Stone-in-the-Glen, once a lovely town, has fallen on hard times. Fires, floods, and other calamities have caused the people to lose their library, their school, their park, and even their neighborliness. The people put their faith in the Mayor, a dazzling fellow who promises he alone can help. After all, he is a famous dragon slayer. (At least, no one has seen a dragon in his presence.) Only the clever children of the Orphan House and the kindly Ogress at the edge of town can see how dire the town’s problems are. Then one day a child goes missing from the Orphan House. At the Mayor’s suggestion, all eyes turn to the Ogress. The Orphans know this can’t be: the Ogress, along with a flock of excellent crows, secretly delivers gifts to the people of Stone-in-the-Glen. But how can the Orphans tell the story of the Ogress’s goodness to people who refuse to listen? And how can they make their deluded neighbors see the real villain in their midst?

You can find it here: Bookshop.org


Anticipated release date: May 17, 2022

Written by Janet Key

Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers

I’m a major sucker for a good middle grade mystery, I blame it all on those happy summer days reading Nancy Drew! Add in a theatre that reminds me of R.L. Stine’s Phantom of the Opera and my inner 12 year old is dancing a happy jig!

Twelve-year-old Maren is sure theatre camp isn’t for her. Theatre camp is for loud, confident, artsy people: people like her older sister, Hadley—the last person Maren wants to think about—and her cinema-obsessed, nonbinary bunkmate, Theo. But when a prank goes wrong, Maren gets drawn into the hunt for a diamond ring that, legend has it, is linked to the camp’s namesake, Charlotte “Charlie” Goodman, a promising director in Blacklist Era Hollywood. When Maren connects the clues to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, she and her new friends are off searching through lighting booths, orchestra pits and costume storages, discovering the trail and dodging camp counselors. But they’re not the only ones searching for the ring, and with the growing threat of camp closing forever, they’re almost out of time.

A Duet for Home

Anticipated release date: April 5, 2022

Written by Karina Yan Glaser

Published by Clarion Books

Okay, yes I know I need to read the Vanderbeeker series. It’s on the list I swear! BUT, that doesn’t mean I’m any less excited for this popular author’s next story … which sounds like it’s probably gonna make me cry … just let the girl bring her viola!

It’s June’s first day at Huey House, and as if losing her home weren’t enough, she also can’t bring her cherished viola inside. Before the accident last year, her dad saved tip money for a year to buy her viola, and she’s not about to give it up now. Tyrell has been at Huey House for three years and gives June a glimpse of the good things about living there: friendship, hot meals, and a classical musician next door. Can he and June work together to oppose the government, or will families be forced out of Huey House before they are ready?

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The Mirrorwood

Anticipated release date: April 12, 2022

Written by Deva Fagan

Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

My daughter loved Rival Magic by this author, who really deserves more attention! Her stories are unique, imaginative, and underrated. I mean, a story about a cursed girl who lacks a face and must steal one from others? Add in a creepy, enchanted forest and you have my attention …

Fable has been cursed by what the people in her village call the Blight, a twisted enchantment that leaves her without a face of her own. To stay alive, Fable has to steal the faces of others, making her an outcast that no one trusts. When the fierce Blighthunter Vycorax comes to kill Fable to stop her curse from spreading, Fable narrowly escapes by fleeing into the thorny woods surrounding her small village. The treacherous forest has been ruled by a demon-prince for centuries, a deadly place trapped in time. Fable—and her opinionated feline companion, Moth—is the first to dare enter in a very long time. There, she encounters a tediously chatty skull, dangerously meddlesome deities, and a beast so powerful it tears at the fabric of reality, leaving nothingness in its horrible wake. Fable will soon discover that, in the Mirrorwood, nothing is quite like the stories say, and the perilous realm may be the only chance she has to break her curse and find her true self.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

The Clackity

Anticipated release date: June 8, 2022

Written by Lora Senf

Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

A deliciously spooky middle grade … what could be better? And this title? And that cover??

Evie Von Rathe lives in Blight Harbor—the seventh-most haunted town in America—with her Aunt Desdemona, the local paranormal expert. Des doesn’t have many rules except one: Stay out of the abandoned slaughterhouse at the edge of town. But when her aunt disappears into the building, Evie goes searching for her. There she meets The Clackity, a creature who lives in the shadows and seams of the slaughterhouse. The Clackity makes a deal with Evie to help get Des back in exchange for the ghost of John Jeffrey Pope, a serial killer who stalked Blight Harbor a hundred years earlier. Evie must embark on a journey into a strange otherworld filled with hungry witches, penny-eyed ghosts, and a memory-thief, all while being pursued by a dead man whose only goal is to add Evie to his collection of lost souls.

The School for Whatnots

Anticipated release date: March 1, 2022

Written by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Published by Katherine Tegen Books

As previously stated in Twelfth, I love a good middle grade mystery, and Margaret is a fantastic weaver of mystery and I’m eager to dive into her newest addition.

No matter what anyone tells you, I’m real. That’s what the note says that Max finds under his keyboard. He knows that his best friend, Josie, wrote it. He’d know her handwriting anywhere. But why she wrote it–and what it means–remains a mystery. Ever since they met in kindergarten, Max and Josie have been inseparable. Until the summer after fifth grade, when Josie disappears, leaving only a note, and whispering something about “whatnot rules.” But why would Max ever think that Josie wasn’t real? And what are whatnots? As Max sets to uncover what happened to Josie–and what she is or isn’t–little does he know that she’s fighting to find him again, too. But there are forces trying to keep Max and Josie from ever seeing each other again. Because Josie wasn’t supposed to be real.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org


Anticipated release date: April 5, 2022

Written by Claribel A. Ortega

Published by Scholastic Press

I never tire of middle grade (or any genre really) witch stories. Add “witch” in the title and I’ll gladly hand over my money! And when the blurb says for fans of Nevermoor? Yep, I’m sold … but you better be prepared to back up such high claims.

Every year, in the magical town of Ravenskill, Witchlings who participate in the Black Moon Ceremony are placed into covens and come into their powers as full-fledged witches. And twelve-year-old Seven Salazar can’t wait to be placed in the most powerful coven with her best friend! But on the night of the ceremony, in front of the entire town, Seven isn’t placed in one of the five covens. She’s a Spare! Spare covens have fewer witches, are less powerful, and are looked down on by everyone. Even worse, when Seven and the other two Spares perform the magic circle to seal their coven and cement themselves as sisters, it doesn’t work! They’re stuck as Witchlings—and will never be able to perform powerful magic. Seven invokes her only option: the impossible task. The three Spares will be assigned an impossible task: If they work together and succeed at it, their coven will be sealed and they’ll gain their full powers. If they fail… Well, the last coven to make the attempt ended up being turned into toads. Forever.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org


Anticipated release date: March 1, 2022

Written by Marjorie Liu, artwork by Teny Issakhanian

Published by Quill Tree Books

Did this graphic novel have me at it’s cover? Yep. But the synopsis full of all my favourite things like magic trees, witch queens, and dragons sold me.

Here’s the synopsis: Zuli is extraordinary–she just doesn’t realize it yet. Raised by mystical bird spirits in the branches of the Great Tree, she’s never ventured beyond this safe haven. She’s never had to. Until now.When a sinister force threatens the life-giving magic of the tree, Zuli, along with her guardian owl, Frowly, must get to the root of it. So begins an adventure bigger than anything Zuli could’ve ever imagined–one that will bring her, along with some newfound friends, face-to-face with an ancient dragon, the so-called Witch-Queen, and most surprisingly of all: her true identity.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Unseen Magic

Anticipated release date: February 22, 2022

Written by Emily Lloyd Jones

Published by Greenwillow Books

Having loved Emily’s YA novels – The Hearts We Sold and Bone Houses – I am all ears for her foray into middle grade. This story sounds wacky, weird, and full of charm … I mean we have magical tea shops, evil doppelgängers, and Bigfoot?!

Aldermere is a town with its own set of rules: there’s a tea shop that vanishes if you try to force your way in, crows that must be fed or they’ll go through your trash, and a bridge that has a toll that no one knows the cost of. Some say that there may even be bigfoots wandering through the woods. For Fin, Aldermere is her new home. But she’s worried that she’ll do something to mess it up–that she was the reason she and her mother have constantly moved from place to place for so long. When an upcoming presentation at her school’s science fair gives her increasing anxiety, Fin turns to magic to ease her fears. The cost is a memory, but there are things from her past Fin doesn’t mind forgetting. This will be the last time she relies on magic anyway, she’s sure. Except things don’t go exactly as planned. And instead of easing her anxiety, Fin accidentally unleashes an evil doppelganger. Suddenly Aldermere is overrun with unusual occurrences–and Fin is the only one who knows why. She will have to face her fears–literally–to stop it.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Nura and the Immortal Palace

Anticipated release date: July 5, 2022

Written by M.T. Khan

Published by Jimmy Patterson

Okay, this synopsis sounds fantastic. Portal fantasy always draw me in, but especially when they include jinn and opulent hotels that may also be sinister traps (why is this such a setting grab for me?).

Nura longs for the simple pleasure of many things—to wear a beautiful red dupatta or to bite into a sweet gulab. But with her mom hard at work in a run-down sweatshop and three younger siblings to feed, Nura must spend her days earning money by mica mining. But it’s not just the extra rupees in her pocket Nura is after. Local rumor says there’s buried treasure in the mine, and Nura knows that finding it could change the course of her family’s life forever. Her plan backfires when the mines collapse and four kids, including her best friend, Faisal, are claimed dead. Nura refuses to believe it and shovels her way through the dirt hoping to find him. Instead, she finds herself at the entrance to a strange world of purple skies and pink seas—a portal to the opulent realm of jinn, inhabited by the trickster creatures from her mother’s cautionary tales. Yet they aren’t nearly as treacherous as her mother made them out to be, because Nura is invited to a luxury jinn hotel, where she’s given everything she could ever imagine and more. But there’s a dark truth lurking beneath all that glitter and gold, and when Nura crosses the owner’s son and is banished to the working quarters, she realizes she isn’t the only human who’s ended up in the hotel’s clutches. Faisal and the other missing children are there, too, and if Nura can’t find a way to help them all escape, they’ll be bound to work for the hotel forever.

You can find it here: Bookshop.org

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