I recently read Hold Fast, a middle grade novel by Blue Balliett, and was very impressed by it.
The book begins with the disappearance of someone. The reader doesn't know who he is. Then there are several short, confusing passages that made me curious. What was happening?
The plot is about a girl named Early whose father disappears so her family becomes homeless. How can they survive? It gives a moving portrayal of what life is like for homeless people and helps the reader become more sympathetic and understanding of their plight.
But it also has an exciting and dramatic plot as Early tries to solve the mystery of her father's whereabouts.
This is a wonderful book and I think all middle grade kids should read it.