This July, the Middle Grade at Heart team is excited to feature a perfect summer read: Just South of Home by Karen Strong. Karen Strong’s middle grade debut is fun, suspenseful, spooky, and thought-provoking. It will entertain readers, and it will also give them a whole lot to think and talk about. We love the way it weaves together present and historical storylines, and lighthearted and serious moments.
Here’s a bit more about the book:
Cousins Sarah and Janie unearth a tragic event in their small Southern town’s history in this witty middle grade debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Stella by Starlight, The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, and As Brave as You.
Twelve-year-old Sarah is finally in charge. At last, she can spend her summer months reading her favorite science books and bossing around her younger brother, Ellis, instead of being worked to the bone by their overly strict grandmother, Mrs. Greene. But when their cousin, Janie arrives for a visit, Sarah’s plans are completely squashed.
Janie has a knack for getting into trouble and asks Sarah to take her to Creek Church: a landmark of their small town that she heard was haunted. It’s also off-limits. Janie’s sticky fingers lead Sarah, Ellis and his best friend, Jasper, to uncover a deep-seated part of the town’s past. With a bit of luck, this foursome will heal the place they call home and the people within it they call family.
Just South of Home received starred reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Booklist. It will transport you to a memorable summer in Warrenville, Georgia, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy your stay there! It’s also part of our MG@Heart summer reading BINGO game, along with many other fabulous summer reads. Let us know if you get BINGO…or if you complete the whole board!
Look out for our newsletter about Just South of Home on Monday, July 22 and join us for our Twitter chat about the book on Tuesday, July 30 at 8pm EST with the hashtag #mgbookclub!