June Middle Grade Pick of the Month

Middle grade is a term that refers to books written for readers between the ages of eight and twelve. In this column, Erica will recommend great books for children in this age group!

Sir Callie and the Champions of Helston by Esme Symes-Smith
Library Catalog: Print
Libby: eBook and eAudiobook

In a world where girls have magic and boys become knights, nonbinary Callie has always been determined that their gender will not be able to stop them from becoming a proud knight of the realm. When their father is summoned to the capital Helston, Callie leaps at the chance to come along and make their dream come true. But prejudice and bigotry run rampant in Helston, and there are enemy forces gathering nearby. Will Callie be able to force an entire city to make the change they know is right?

While the first volume in Callie’s story is not the lightest of reads, it is an inspiring one. Callie is fighting a battle that seems impossible at first, but with persistence and understanding is able to rally allies and stand tall in the face of injustice. The messages in this novel are powerful and important, especially in today’s times.

Check out the book that Booklist Reviews called (in a starred review!) “a story of adventure and magic, but also one of bigotry and bias…the pages are crowded with loudly queerphobic antagonists, but hope and courage and progress are depicted in equal measure…a can’t-miss, one-of-a-kind (for now!) page-turner, bursting with heart”; PW Reviews described as “an uplifting debut [where] Symes-Smith skillfully crafts an an emotionally rich adventure starring an intersectionally inclusive cast of courageous characters; and School Library Journal praised as “a must-have for every library” and “an important book that will capture every reader’s heart and imagination.”

Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

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