Recommendations, Part 4: Middle Grade and Young Readers

Darkest Dark, by Chris Hadfield
My eyes are not leaking: YOUR eyes are leaking. Ok, maybe it’s both of us. But it’s a lovely true book for space kids and space adults, and for kids afraid of the dark and their wide-awake parents. Gorgeously illustrated by the Fan brothers, this is a true Canadian gem.

King Baby, by Kate Beaton
Anyone who has ever been around a small tyrant will recognize King Baby and his loyal (if exhausted) subjects. Beaton brings the skill and humour from her ‘Hark, A Vagrant’ cartoons to bear in this charming story.

Mighty Jack, by Ben Hatke
Unlike most kids, Jack doesn’t love summer vacation. His mom takes a second job, and Jack is left to watch over his non-verbal sister Maddy. But at a flea market one day, Maddy speaks for the first time, and tells Jack to trade their mom’s car for a box of mysterious seeds. Zaniness ensues. If you liked Hatke’s wonderful Zita books, you’ll like Mighty Jack.

Narwhal: Unicorn Of The Sea, by Ben Clanton
Your early reader will love this sweet, goofy, imaginative story about a narwhal and his jellyfish best friend, with deep sea factoids. Narwhals are great! (And jellyfish too!)

Witch’s Vaccum Cleaner, by Terry Pratchett
This collection spans decades. Most of the stories are from the earliest part of Pratchett’s career, but some are more recent. All have his trademark humour and warmth. If you miss Pratchett as much as we do, this book is not to be missed.

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