The Apothecary by Maile Meloy is a great historical fiction for middle grade readers.
I was originally intrigued by The Apothecary because Maile Meloy is somewhat local to me. However, The Apothecary is a truly entertaining read. Janie Scott is the protagonist of the series: a fourteen year old girl who's just been forced to move from Los Angeles to London by her parents who have been accused of being communists. The story is set in 1952 so being accused of Communism is a huge deal. Janie tries to adjust to life in London, but almost right away, she's drawn into a plot surrounding spies and alchemy.
The romance subplot seems sort of unnecessary. It seems like the romance is only there to give a reason behind Janie's actions which could have been explained through simple curiosity almost just as easily.
Overall, The Apothecary is well-worth the read. And I'll keep my eye out for the sequel.
Favorite Quote: To be a kid is to be invisible and to listen, and to interpret things that aren't necessarily meant for you to hear--because how else do you find out about the world?
Middle Grade March Count : 11