New Series for Upper Elementary/Middle Grade

Some of my students have been racing through some of the action/adventures series in my library, so I’m making it my goal to find some new series for them to lock onto. Thanks to some suggestions from Drea and also some browsing through School Library Journal and Booklist, I’ve picked up a few this week that look like they have some potential.

Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror by Jennifer Finney Boylan

Thirteen-year-old Falcon Quinn and his neighbors, Max and Megan, board bus number 13 for school on an ordinary day in Cold River, Maine. Only the bus doesn’t take its ordinary route, and Falcon and his friends soon find themselves in an extraordinary place—on Shadow Island, at the Academy for Monsters.

With a student body stranger than the cast of any monster movie Falcon has ever seen, the academy is home to creatures and oddities of all kinds. In the academy’s atmosphere, Falcon’s friends begin to unleash and enjoy their monster natures, from flying with Pearl, La Chupakabra, to decaying with the “Zombie Snap.” Falcon has always felt different, with his one bright blue eye and one shadow-black eye, but is he really a monster? Will he discover the other thing that makes him different when he finds himself in the Black Mirror? And when he learns that the school’s mission is to teach students to hide their aberrant natures, Falcon and his friends need to find a way to fight back for their monster selves.

Bestselling author Jennifer Finney Boylan introduces Falcon, Max, Megan, and their band of monster friends in this first installment of a hair-raising and sidesplitting adventure of monstrous proportions.

Conspiracy365: January by Gabrielle Lord

On New Year’s Eve, Cal is chased down the street by a staggering, sick man with a deadly warning…”They killed your father. They’ll kill you. You must survive the next 365 days. Hurled into a life on the run the 15-year-old fugitive is isolated and alone.



Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

A statue; a coin; an old book. They look as dusty as everything else in the Faulkner Antiquarian Bookstore. But when Sam Saulkner slips the coin into the statue, he’s swept back to Scotland in 900 A.D. – the age of the Vikings!—where he must find both the statue and another coin in order to escape. It’s the first journey in an adventure that will take him to ancient Egypt, World War I, even Dracula’s castle…and a mystery that will end only if Sam can find his father in time – literally.


What other series would you suggest I try. I’m looking more at 4th and 5th graders reading these. I already have Percy Jackson, Fablehaven, Alex Rider and a few others. Any hidden gems you think I should look into?


  1. I hadn’t heard of that Falcon Quinn series. Looks promising. I read The Unwanteds which will come out in August, and I think kids will like it. (Though I’m not sure that the series is going to be the next Big Thing.)

  2. Kids seem to love Conspiracy 365! Another good series is The Ranger’s Apprentice and the Erin Hunter books, which seem to appeal to all ages. Sure Fire is also a good little series.

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