Today’s post about Singaporean literature comes from Mairin Raisdana at UWCSEA East and Kim Beeman at Tanglin Trust. We have picked out a range of our favorite books for middle grades written in and about Singapore, suitable for children ages from 10 to 14. You can find Barb’s previous post about picture books from Singapore here, her post about chapter books for younger readers here, and our overview of publishers, bookstores, and other resources for SingLit here.
Timothy and the Phubbers. Author: Ken Kwek. Illustrator: Lolita Chiong. Epigram books, 2018. ISBN: 9789814757973.
Timothy and the Phubbers is a humorous book that takes on the topic of people’s addictions to mobile devices, as well as the mischief that Secondary One students can get into while trying to survive school bullies and science fairs!
Kelly and the Krumps. Author: Ken Kwek; Illustrated by Lolita Chiong. Epigram Books, 2019. ISBN: 9789811700682.
Kelly and the Krumps takes on the topic of students being overwhelmed by academic pressure,”tiger” parents, and tech overload. The main character is a girl who secretly joins a local dance group as a way to escape the intense pressure.
Mount Emily. Author: Low Ying Ping; Illustrated by Chee Jia Yi. Epigram Books, 2016. ISBN: 9789814655934.
A series of four books which centres on two time-traveling 13-year-old students at Mount Emily Girls’ School. The books feature time travel with a strong focus on female teen friendship whilst exploring the girls’ family backgrounds and how they deal with their very different problems. Mount Emily was shortlisted for the Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award in 2018.
Triple Nine Sleuths. Author: Maranna Chan. Epigram Books, 2013. ISBN: 9789810751067.
A series of nine books detailing the adventures of Triple Nine Sleuths. Corey, Colton and Stacy must solve a series of intriguing mysteries, facing danger and shadowy suspects along the way. As the intrepid teens search for answers, big secrets are revealed and surprising connections are drawn between old cases.
Girl Overboard! A Rose Among Thorns. Author: Sheri Tan; Illustrator: Fernando Hierro. Epigram Books, 2014. ISBN: 9789810795740.
Girl Overboard! is a three-book series by Sheri Tan about a young girl who has just moved to Singapore from New York. Things aren’t easy for Rosie Smith. Peek into her diary for tales about her spider-obsessed little brother, EMBARRASSING episodes at school and making friends—and enemies—in her new home, Singapore. Narrated with honesty and charm, and peppered with humorous illustrations, Girl Overboard! is a fresh new series whose heroine you’ll find yourself rooting for.
Sherlock Sam. Author: A.J. Low; Illustrated by Andrew Tan (Drewscape). Epigram Books, 2014. ISBN: 9789810747503.
This series of fourteen books introduces readers to Sherlock Sam, Singapore’s Greatest Kid Detective. With Watson the robot and the rest of the Supper Club, Wendy, Jimmy, Nazhar, and Eliza, Sherlock Sam will stop at nothing to solve a mystery, no matter how big or small. Winner of Red Dot Book Awards 2013-2014 Younger Readers’ Category, 1st Place. Selected for National Library Board’s READ! Singapore 2014.