Flying Lessons: Anthology of Diverse Stories for Middle Grade Readers

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Flying Lessons & Other Stories by Ellen Oh

Middle grade readers find themselves in a tricky spot when searching for books to read.

As the mother of an 11-year-old who reads practically a book a day, I find it challenging to keep a steady supply of books for her.  Not only is she and avid reader, but her reading level well beyond our county’s fifth grade level assessment.

Some parents may want a child with advanced reading skills to dive into “harder” books–which usually means YA books. I hear this often from our favorite librarians. Some 10 and 11-year-olds aren’t ready to deal with the darker subject matter in YA books. Obviously, you know your child best but I trust our local children’s librarians. They’ve known the kids since I dragged tiny Sophia, then Jaxson, to toddler storytimes.  Our librarians have a good sense of what my kids will enjoy reading.

Flying Lessons edited by Ellen Oh

Both my daughter and I are always on the hunt for middle grade books for her to read. We try to stick to middle grade books, but there’s just not that many that appeals to her. That’s why I’m so excited for We Need Diverse Books’ Flying Lessons & Other Stories, an anthology written just for middle graders. Edited by Ellen Oh, the anthology is a collection of stories by talented authors such as Soman Chainani (School for Good and Evil), Grace Lin (a household favorite), Tim Tingle, Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming), and many more.

Yes, I do work for We Need Diverse Books, but I’ve been waiting my entire life for a book like this. 

I grew up searching for books with characters who looked like me that wasn’t about immigrants or boat people. I grew up looking for books that told stories I could relate to.

I’m glad that my kids can find books that reflect who they are. And that they can read stories about cultures and lives different from them. Learning about other cultures is how we grow and learn empathy and compassion. My kids have access to more diverse books than I ever did. We still have a long way to go, but I’m grateful for the authors, illustrators, and publishers who believe in diverse books.

Flying Lessons & Other Stories has something for everyone. Add it to your library today.

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