Five Middle Grade Books That I Hope Win a Nerdie

Yesterday the Nerdy Book Club ballot opened for the 2015 Nerdies. Here are the 5 middle grade books that I’m nominating. It was super hard for me to narrow down my middle grade list down to 5 books.

The Fourteenth Goldfish

By: Jennifer L. Holm



I think Jennifer Holm’s The Fourteenth Goldfish is brilliant. Every word is meticulously placed in a way that weaves together this perfect middle grade novel in a way that only Ms. Holm can do.

Brown Girl Dreaming (This book might fit better in the Nerdy biography category)

By: Jacqueline Woodson


You see that National Book Award sticker on the cover? If you are like me you are trying to image where Penguin is going to put all the other stickers this book has a chance to win: Newbery, Sibert, Coretta Scott King, Printz, etc. Ms. Woodson has written an unforgettable book that our students’ grandkids will read 50 years from now.

Circa Now

By: Amber McCree Turner


Miles and Circa are two characters that will remain in my heart for as long as I am still breathing. I’m so thankful for this book.

Rain Reign

By: Ann Martin


I am a better person and a better teacher because of this book.

Wow. This book would have left a huge impact on 11 year old Colby. I wish he could have read this book when he was a kid.

Death By Toilet Paper

By: Donna Gephart



This book surprised me more than any other 2014 book. I went in expecting it to be a super silly and fun book, I left feeling lucky to be a teacher in a world where I can put books like Death By Toilet Paper in the hands of young readers.


Absolutely Almost

By: Lisa Graff


I know. I picked 6 books. The Nerdy Survey Monkey tells me that I can only nominate 5 books.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do.

Lisa Graff’s Absolutely Almost is crazy good. It’s one of those books that I read and thought: I wish books like this won the Newbery Medal. Maybe it will. I know that if I was on the committee I would bring this book to the table.


I thought this was going to be a silly book about toilet paper. I had no idea what it would be such a beautiful crafted and important book for young readers. If you haven’t read it, you must. It’s brilliant.


One 2015 book that I’m embarrassed to have not read is Deborah Wiles’s Revolution. I was about a third of the way through it when I ran into a high school history teacher friend. I knew that she would LOVE the book, so I let her borrow it. This was back in May. She still hasn’t returned it. I’m guessing that she loved it so much that she decided to keep it.

It just might be time for me to buy another copy.



3 thoughts on “Five Middle Grade Books That I Hope Win a Nerdie

  1. I’ve read CIRCA NOW and ABSOLUTELY ALMOST and love both of them! I’m hoping to finish THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH before #sharpschu 🙂 I’m hoping BROWN GIRL DREAMING ends up in my queue, too!


  2. Thank you for including Death by Toilet Paper among such fine company. Your generous words mean the world to me. Did you notice something fishy here? Three of the books have fish on the cover.
    Also, not sure how you can put a coherent sentence together these days with the wondrous birth of the newest Sharplet. Welcome to the world, Hobbes!


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