Middle Grade 2023

Hover over the photo of the wrapped gifts to see the complete unboxing underneath!

Mystery at the Earhart House

September Box

The Amelia Six by Kristin L. Gray
  • Page 8
    "While she and Dad talked shop, I reached into the duffel bag at my feet and found my Rubik's Cube."
    - a custom designed weekender bag.
  • Page 141
    "A few quick turns on my cube-right, left, right, and I'd made a wish. Two wishes in fact."
    - a Rubik's cube.
  • Page 244
    "I caught a glimpse of Mom's pilot wings pinned to my jacket. Then I saw my shiny new pin fastened next to hers and my heart exploded like a million stars."
    - a custom wings pin.

  • The Brave Explorer

    August Box

    The Adventure is Now by Jess Redman
  • Page 20
    "Milton's ensemble included many-pocketed pants that unzipped into shorts, a patch-covered vest, hiking boots, and a utility belt, complete with flashlight, and other wilderness trekking necessities."
    - a wilderness adventure kit including vest, hat, wind-up flashlight, and compass.
  • Page 103
    "Fig was busy unzipping a small pocket in her utility belt. From inside, she produced a small plastic jar with a hole-poked lid."
    - a bug catching kit including plastic insects, magnifying glass, specimen jars, and more.
  • Page 304
    "Milton unwrapped the newspaper, slightly terrified it might contain more bugs. It didn't. Inside was a pair of binoculars."
    - a pair of binoculars.

  • Village of Magic

    July Box

    The Leopard Behind the Moon by Mayonn Paasewe-Valchev
  • Page 30
    "As Ezomo walked, he blew warm air into his cupped hands and peeked with one eye at the frog hopping around his palms."
    - a wooden frog instrument.
  • Page 83
    "Ezomo did not see the old drum lying in the dirt, and when his elbow brushed against the instrument, it boomed."
    - a custom designed spinning drum.
  • Page 221
    "Bisa chased Humongous the bird around the forest and cornered him in a banana tree."
    - a custom designed rubber band flying bird.

  • Journey of the Wolf

    June Box

    The Wolf of Cape Fen by Juliana Brandt
  • Page 5
    "Winnie closed her eyes and felt around on the floor, grabbing up the wooden owl Pa had carved for her birthday."
    - a wooden owl keychain puzzle.
  • Page 129
    "Her eyes slammed shut and arms shot up to block the light. Eliza screamed and dropped the lantern."
    - a custom travel lantern.
  • Page 254
    "She laid out the cards as required for Kings and Queens, dealing enough for both Dire and me to play."
    - a custom designed set of XL playing cards.

  • School of Vikings

    May Box

    The Last Shadow Warrior by Sam Subity
  • Page 52
    "He extracted a plastic cup from the side pouch of his backpack and sipped a bright orange liquid through a plastic straw."
    - a set of two collapsible travel cups with lids.
  • Page 121
    "Granny V extracted a bingo card from her bag and slid it across the table to us along with a red tube that I assumed was the dauber."
    - a set of two ink daubers and pad of 50 road trip and 50 restaurant bingo sheets.
  • Page 272
    "That's when I noticed that if the light hit the spoon at just the right angle, its form seemed to shift. Like it wasn't just a spoon but something much larger and more dangerous. Its shape flicked between a spoon and...a Viking battle-ax."
    - a set of two inflatable axes.

  • Toy Shop of Wonders

    April Box

    Winston Chu vs. the Whimsies by Stacey Lee
  • Page 82
    "'I brought you your own practice ukulele, plus chord charts.' He deposited the ukeleles in our living room, then handed me a sleek presentation folder."
    - a DIY wooden ukelele.
  • Page 175
    "He glanced up at an inflatable moon hanging in a corner. Just under it a poster of the phases of the moon ran the length of one wall. He was a real lunatic, a moon fanatic."
    - an oversized inflatable moon beach ball.
  • Page 242
    "There, on her upper lip, the Mischief Mustache was poised like a peregrine about to dive-bomb a vole."
    - a sheet of six mustache stickers.
  • Page 357
    "From my backpack, I slid out a present for Mom. She took the twisty gold object and examined it carefully. 'Your dad was a unicorn. Rare and wonderful. Happy Dad-iversary.'"
    - a gold twisted lollipop.

  • The Bayou Curse

    March Box

    The Monster Hypothesis by Romily Bernard
  • Page 4
    "'I don't know what I was thinking.' Kick flipped to a new page in her experiment book and scribbled."
    - a custom science experiment journal.
  • Page 28
    "A picture of Figgis fell off the wall and onto Kick's bed. Even upside down, the alligator looked hungry."
    - a photograph of Figgis the alligator.
  • Page 29
    "She wedged one foot and then the other into sneakers, and allowed herself two minutes to check her latest experiment: glow-in-the-dark slime."
    - a set of three, glow-in-the-dark slimes.
  • Page 209
    "Mrs. Flagg flipped off the light and plunged the classroom into dark. And the green glowing message scrawled across the projector screen emerged: The curse of Bohring is here. No one will escape."
    - an ultraviolet pen with light.

  • Survival Island

    February Box

    The Forgotten Five: Map of Flames by Lisa McMann
  • Page 117
    "Seven let the encyclopedia fall open to the Ch section. There was a folded slip of paper inside that he thought at first was being used as a bookmark. He pulled it out and opened it. 'What's this?' Cabot's eyes widened as Seven examined it. She casually leaned in to read it, too."
    - a printed version of the letter written in the story.
  • Page 154
    "They went together, rising out of the water in their gray parachute clothing and backpacks. When they were waist deep, Tenner stopped to pull the sunglasses out of his backpack and put them on."
    - a set of night vision spy goggles and an invisible ink pen (inside the box)
  • Page 202
    "She turned the backpack inside out. At the bottom of the main compartment, she spied a small pocket held shut with Velcro. She pressed it and felt something lump. 'Secret compartment.' She pulled the Velcro apart, then reached inside. Her eyes widened as she pulled out a tiny velvet pouch. Carefully she loosened the pouch strings, then poured the contents into her hand. They sparkled in the sun. 'Diamonds,' she whispered, then swiftly counted them. 'Thriteen of them.'"
    - a bright teal, one-shoulder backpack plus a small drawstring bag containing thirteen diamonds, just like in the story!