The Kids Are All Right

Middle Grade Novels in Verse, Book Earrings, and More!

Hi Kid Lit friends,

I write this from the middle of book tour, where I am hopping on planes, checking into hotels, and meeting thousands of kids and awesome librarians and teachers. It is so fun to celebrate a new book this way!

Bookish Goods

Book earrings

Book Earrings by ArtsyYellowRoom

I adore these book earrings! They are just what you need to show your love for books! $16

New Releases

Sweet and Sour book

Sweet and Sour by Debbi Michiko Florence (middle grade)

Debbi Michiko Florence is a master of tween lit, and her new novel is no exception! Sweet and Sour is all about the friendship turmoil that can happen in the pre-teen years. This is a story of Mai and her used-to-be-best-friend Zach. When they are thrown together again one summer, they both have to face the incident that caused their friendship to fall apart.

Berry Song book

Berry Song by Michaela Goade (picture book)

Michaela Goade is one of my favorite illustrators, and this is her first self-authored picture book. Berry Song is a love letter to life on an island and the seasons that bring gifts from the forest.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

Novels-in-verse are some of my favorite books. Check out these middle grade books and let me know what you think.

Planet Middle School cover

Planet Middle School by Nikki Grimes

No one does novels-in-verse like Nikki Grimes! In this beautiful book set in middle school, 12-year-old Joylin Johnson finds her world in disarray. Her friends are suddenly flirting with each other, basketball isn’t the same, and a new kid arrives that gives Joy all sorts of feelings. Will Joy survive middle school?

Jordan J and the Truth About Jordan J cover

Jordan J and the Truth About Jordan J by K.A. Holt

In the third book in The Kids Under the Stairs series, Jordan J *might* have made enemies of the entire school dance team due to his honest reviews of their dances in the school paper. But with his goal of making it onto his favorite dance show, he needs help and appeals to the only dance team member who is still talking to him. Can Jordan make his dream come true?

Red, White, and Whole cover

Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca

Newbery Honoree Rajani LaRocca pens a beautiful novel-in-verse about Reha, the only Indian American student at her school. Reha is torn between her family, with their traditions and high expectations of her, and school, where she feels different and unable to share who she really is. But when her mom gets really sick, she knows she needs to do everything in her power to help her mom get better.

In the Beautiful Country by Jane Kuo

Anna leaves her home in Taiwan for the “beautiful country,” the Chinese word for America. But moving to a new place is so much harder than she ever dreamed, especially when her parents struggle with making enough money and Anna struggles with the language and encounters bullies at school. This is an honest book about the challenges of being an immigrant in America.

A Seed in the Sun cover

A Seed in the Sun by Aida Salazar (Dial, 10/25/22)

In this compelling story by Aida Salazar, a young girl named Lula Viramontes is a farm worker alongside her family in California in 1965. Her dreams include joining a Mexican traveling circus, but such dreams seem far away when she spends her days in dangerous working conditions. When she meets labor rights activists, she realizes that she might have bigger dreams than she ever realized.

Tri-color corgi wearing a bow tie looking up for a treat

What are you reading these days?

Let me know! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at

Until next time,


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