The best middle grade books written by collaborators

Shannon Hitchcock Author Of Flying Over Water
By Shannon Hitchcock

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?

Sara is Pakistani American; Elizabeth is Jewish. When the two girls become partners in a South Asian cooking class, there are inevitable missteps e.g. — Elizabeth invites Sara to go trick or treating, not realizing Halloween is taboo for Muslims. I especially like the part when the girls establish ground rules for their friendship. One of the rules is that you can ask the other person anything you’re curious about. What better way to learn? As a bonus, young readers will be introduced to some delicious new foods!

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When Stars Are Scattered

By Omar Mohamed, Victoria Jamieson

Book cover of When Stars Are Scattered

Why this book?

Perfect for graphic novel fans, When Stars Are Scattered proves that collaborators are not limited by format. I like this book because it delves into the day-to-day life inside a refugee camp by a young man who actually lived inside one. This book moved me to tears in several places.

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Same Sun Here

By Silas House, Neela Vaswani, Hilary Schenker

Book cover of Same Sun Here

Why this book?

Same Sun Here is told by pen pals Meena and River in their letters to each other. Meena is an Indian immigrant living in New York City. River lives in the coal mining region of Kentucky. I am from a rural area myself so was especially drawn to River’s voice and the rural setting. 

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Save Me a Seat

By Sarah Weeks, Gita Varadarajan

Book cover of Save Me a Seat

Why this book?

Most of the books I’ve read by collaborators have fairly somber tones, but not Save Me A Seat. This book is laugh-out-loud funny. Joe has lived in the same town all his life. Ravi’s family recently moved from India. The boys seem to have nothing in common until they team up against the biggest bully in their class.

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Two Naomis

By Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, Audrey Vernick

Book cover of Two Naomis

Why this book?

I like Two Naomis because it realistically handles a situation lots of kids may find themselves in—after a divorce, how to become friends with the children of a parent’s boyfriend/girlfriend. In this case, both girls are named Naomi and aren’t especially keen on being thrown together. As a bonus, this book has a sequel called, Naomis Too.

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