The best middle grade books about good allyship

Rebecca Petruck Author Of Boy Bites Bug
By Rebecca Petruck

The Books I Picked & Why

A Place at the Table

By Saadia Faruqi, Laura Shovan

Book cover of A Place at the Table

Why this book?

A timely, accessible story exploring themes of food, friendship, family, and what it means to belong, featuring sixth-graders Sara, a Pakistani American, and Elizabeth, a white, Jewish girl taking a South Asian cooking class taught by Sara's mom. I loved watching these two very different girls develop into friends. Beautifully written—and delicious!


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A Good Kind of Trouble

By Lisa Moore Ramée

Book cover of A Good Kind of Trouble

Why this book?

I appreciated how generous and kind this novel is while not flinching from difficult truths–and still managing to end with hope.


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Front Desk

By Kelly Yang

Book cover of Front Desk

Why this book?

I love when an author can make me cry and cheer in equal measure.


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You Don't Know Everything, Jilly P!

By Alex Gino

Book cover of You Don't Know Everything, Jilly P!

Why this book?

When Jilly’s sister Emma is born deaf, she realizes the world is going to treat Jilly, who is white and hearing, differently from Emma, and Jilly’s new friend Derek, who is a Deaf, Black ASL user. Within a world where kids like Derek and Emma aren't assured the same freedom or safety as kids like Jilly, Jilly starts to learn all the things she doesn't know–and works to discover how to support her family and friends. Gino uses their trademark humor, heart, and humanity to show readers how being open to difference can make you a better person, and how being open to change can make you change in the best possible ways.


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New Kid

By Jerry Craft

Book cover of New Kid

Why this book?

Seventh-grader Jordan Banks loves drawing cartoons, but instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics. A timely, honest graphic novel about starting over at a school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real. I loved this so much, I immediately bought five more copies to give away. 


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