I recently had the pleasure of reading two outstanding middle grade novels that I would highly recommend.
Just Like Jackie by Lindsey Stoddard tells the story of 11-year-old Robinson Hart who is having a difficult time in school dealing with anger issues. She is being raised by her grandfather who is the only family she has ever really known, but lately she has noticed that he is forgetful, sometimes can’t finish his sentences, and has even forgotten her name on occasion. The Kirkus review states:
Stoddard debuts with a quiet but powerful narrative that gently unpacks Alzheimer’s, centers mental health, and moves through the intimate and intense emotional landscape of family—what seems to break one and what can remake it.
In Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson, we meet six classmates who are placed in an experimental classroom to help them work through some learning difficulties. Most of them are also facing challenges at home. Their teacher provides the space and time they need to talk freely, find their voices, and support each other.