I raced through the five Cybils finalists earlier this month giving me an opportunity to tackle the healthy stack of books in my TBR (to be read) pile. I also have an eye on the future and books yet to be released. I call it my NYP (Not Yet Published) list. I have several sources to gather titles for my 2016 reading.

Publishers Weekly

Goodreads list of middle grade books scheduled for release in 2016 (393 total books last time I looked!)

Amazon’s Upcoming Hot New Releases.

Here are the five I’m awaiting with excited anticipation:

THE LAST BOY AT ST. EDITH’S by Lee Gjertsen Malone (February 23, 2016) edithsSeventh grader Jeremy Miner has a girl problem. Or, more accurately, a girls problem. Four hundred and seventy-five of them. That’s how many girls attend his school, St. Edith’s Academy.

Jeremy is the only boy left after the school’s brief experiment in coeducation. And he needs to get out. His mom won’t let him transfer, so Jeremy takes matters into his own hands: He’s going to get expelled.

Together with his best friend, Claudia, Jeremy unleashes a series of hilarious pranks in hopes that he’ll get kicked out with minimum damage to his permanent record. But when his stunts start to backfire, Jeremy has to decide whom he’s willing to knock down on his way out the door.


priceTHE REMARKABLE JOURNEY OF CHARLIE PRICE by Jennifer Maschari (February 23, 2016) Ever since twelve-year-old Charlie Price’s mom died, he feels like his world has been split into two parts. Before included stargazing and Mathletes and Saturday scavenger hunts with his family. After means a dad who’s completely checked out, comically bad dinners, and grief group that’s anything but helpful. It seems like losing Mom meant losing everything else he loved, too.

Just when Charlie thinks things can’t get any worse, his sister, Imogen, starts acting erratically—missing school and making up lies about their mother. But everything changes when one day he follows her down a secret passageway in the middle of her bedroom and sees for himself.

Imogen has found a parallel world where Mom is alive!

There’s hot cocoa and Scrabble and scavenger hunts again and everything is perfect . . . at first. But something doesn’t feel right. Whenever Charlie returns to the real world, things are different, and not in a good way. And Imogen wants to spend more and more time on the other side. It’s almost as if she wants to leave the real world for good. If Charlie doesn’t uncover the truth, he could lose himself, the true memory of their mother, and Imogen . . . forever.


COUNTING THYME by Melanie Conklin (April 12, 2016) thymeWhen eleven-year-old Thyme Owens’ little brother, Val, is accepted into a new cancer drug trial, it’s just the second chance that he needs. But it also means the Owens family has to move to New York, thousands of miles away from Thyme’s best friend and everything she knows and loves. The island of Manhattan doesn’t exactly inspire new beginnings, but Thyme tries to embrace the change for what it is: temporary.

After Val’s treatment shows real promise and Mr. Owens accepts a full-time position in the city, Thyme has to face the frightening possibility that the move to New York is permanent. Thyme loves her brother, and knows the trial could save his life—she’d give anything for him to be well—but she still wants to go home, although the guilt of not wanting to stay is agonizing. She finds herself even more mixed up when her heart feels the tug of new friends, a first crush, and even a crotchety neighbor and his sweet whistling bird. All Thyme can do is count the minutes, the hours, and days, and hope time can bring both a miracle for Val and a way back home.


maydayMAYDAY by Karen Harrington (May 24, 2016) Wayne Kovok lives in a world of After. After his uncle in the army was killed overseas. After Wayne and his mother survived a plane crash while coming back from the funeral. After he lost his voice.

Wayne has always used his love of facts to communicate (“Did you know more people die each year from shaking a vending machine than from shark attacks?”). Without his voice, how will he wow the prettiest girl in school? How will he stand up to his drill-sergeant grandfather? And how will he share his hopes with his deadbeat dad? It’s not until Wayne loses his voice completely that he realizes how much he doesn’t say.

Filled with Karen Harrington’s signature heart and humor, Mayday tackles an unforgettable journey of family and friendship.


MS BIXBY’S LAST DAY by John David Anderson (June 21, 2016) bixbysEveryone knows there are different kinds of teachers. The boring ones, the mean ones, the ones who try too hard, the ones who stopped trying long ago. The ones you’ll never remember, and the ones you want to forget. Ms. Bixby is none of these. She’s the sort of teacher who makes you feel like school is somehow worthwhile. Who recognizes something in you that sometimes you don’t even see in yourself. Who you never want to disappoint. What Ms. Bixby is, is one of a kind.

Topher, Brand, and Steve know this better than anyone. And so when Ms. Bixby unexpectedly announces that she won’t be able to finish the school year, they come up with a risky plan—more of a quest, really—to give Ms. Bixby the last day she deserves. Through the three very different stories they tell, we begin to understand what Ms. Bixby means to each of them—and what the three of them mean to each other.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
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14 Responses to FIVE FOR THE FUTURE

  1. Wow. What a great list. I want to read all of these! Actually, I have already read Mayday. I loved Karen Harrington’s earlier books and when she offered me an ARC, I jumped at the chance. I read it as soon as it came and I liked it even more than her earlier books, and that is saying a lot. I will put all the others on my TBR list. Thanks for the post.

  2. I have several of these on my radar, too. They all look great and I’m excited to be temporarily in charge of choosing and ordering books for my library. Thanks for the suggestions. So many great ones coming up!

  3. Wow, you just made my day by including my book, MAYDAY, on your list. Darn, I wish I still had more ARCs so I could send you one! I’m looking forward to these other books, too. Also, I can’t wait to read SAVING WONDER by Mary Knight.



  4. Greg! I just happened upon this, and I’m thrilled to see Counting Thyme on here! WHEEEE!!! I can’t wait to hear what you think of it. Personally, I’m waiting with bated breath for PAX by Sarah Pennypacker. 😀

  5. Sounds like some really great releases coming.

  6. lgjertsen says:

    So many awesome books this year! My TBR list keeps getting longer and longer. (and thanks for your appreciation of THE LAST BOY)

  7. Jen Maschari says:

    Thank you so much for sharing about CHARLIE! There are a lot of books I’m excited for (going to be a great year for middle grade). I’m can’t wait for FAR FROM FAIR by Elana K Arnold and THE BRIGHTEST STARS OF SUMMER by Leila Howland. Right now I am reading THE DISTANCE TO HOME by Jenn Bishop (out in June).

  8. Pingback: Five More for the Future | Always in the Middle…

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