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2021 Nutmeg Middle Grade Nominees – Grades 7-8

You can also browse the full teen Nutmeg Nominee digital collection on OverDrive

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

In the world of Orléans, beauty is valued above all else. When Camellia turns 16 she becomes a Belle, given the power to transform the ugly for a price…However this beautiful world is covering an ugly secret and Camellia must decide how far she is willing to push her powers to uncover the horrible
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The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya

Summer vacation life in Miami is simple for thirteen year old Arturo: play ball, relax with Grandma’s delicious cooking, and work a few shifts washing dishes at his family’s restaurant. When a slick new developer comes to town, everything gets complicated quickly. Now all he has to do is save the restaurant, unite the town, and win the girl. There’s no way he can fail, as his family always says “lo mas importante, el el amor y la fe.”
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Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to
the World
by Ashley Herring Blake

Twelve year-old Ivy keeps her deepest secret in her notebook…which gets lost in the chaos when her home is leveled by a tornado. As her family is picking up the pieces, she’s trying to put her identity together. When Ivy meets a peculiar girl, she feels a connection, but she’s afraid of her feelings. Ivy has to figure out who she is and face the world after destruction.
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New Kid by Jerry Craft

7th grader Jordan Banks really wants to attend Art School, but his parents have other plans for him: going to a prestigious private school, where he faces being one of the only students of color. Can the new kid find his place in his new school culture while staying true to himself?
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The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani

Nisha was ripped away from all she had ever known during India’s 1947 Partition. Nisha, (half-Muslim, half-Hindu) and her family have just days to leave their home. In a series of diary entries she describes her difficult journey to a new India. As a refugee, Nisha searches to find her identity after leaving everything behind.
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Nyxia by Scott Reintgen

In a not-too-distant future where corporations control space exploration, a group of ten teenagers compete for coveted jobs on a newly discovered planet. Emmett Atwater has everything to gain and nothing to lose—except his life. This book is ‘Hunger Games’ meets ‘Ready Player One,’ in space.
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The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

Prince Sebastian has to find a bride. At least, that’s what his parents say. Sebastian has other plans. With the help of his best friend, the dressmaker Frances, he spends his nights dressed as the fashion icon Lady Crystallia—but Frances has her own dreams. Can they both keep each other’s secrets and still stay true to themselves?
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Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

When things start to get creepy on a field trip to a local farm, Ollie notices similarities between what’s happening, and the events in an old book she found. A mist rises and strangers give her ominous warnings about small spaces and a smiling man. Will Ollie be able to save herself and her classmates?
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The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore

It’s been a year since Lolly’s older brother was shot on 125th Street. In Harlem, your friends can provide protection but they can also get you killed. Lolly has always found an escape in designing fantasy Lego worlds. But now the real world is calling. Will the streets that claimed his brother claim Lolly too?
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The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor

People have always looked at Mason differently. After his best friend Benny was found dead on
Mason’s family farm, things get even worse. Now, when Mason’s new best friend Calvin goes missing, everyone looks to Mason for answers. But will anyone believe him?
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