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Hello Hello! How are you?
I thought it was time for another discussion post on my blog, and what better post than one about middle-grade books? I have been reading a lot more middle-grade books in the last year or so thanks to Noly from The Artsy Reader who got me into this genre, and thanks to the Middle Grade Marvels book club I have been co-hosting with Noly and Holly since May last year.
Why do I read middle-grade books?
But before I get into my top 10 MG books to read soon, I want to tell you WHY exactly I read this genre/age groupe.
The simple fact is that although middle-grade books are written for children between the ages of 7/8 and 11/12, they are some of the most diverse, deep and intricate books I’ve had the chance to read lately. A lot of themes are touched upon in middle-grade stories, making this “genre” such a rich one to read from.
If you didn’t already know or think that you couldn’t possibly read these books because they are not aimed at you, I think that from the ages of 7/8, anyone can read MG books. They are not JUST for kids, since a lot of the themes and plots are also extremely relatable for adults. MG compiles books based on friendship, family, grief, bullying, school and home life, disability, race, and so many more themes that are both important and needed, both for the young and the older readers.
So, if you feel like you want to try some middle-grade books out but don’t know where to start, you can join our Middle Grade Marvels book club on Twitter and/or Goodreads, find our Recommendations list here, or you can keep on reading to find out which MG books I want to pick up soon!
My top 10 middle-grade books to try soon!
Aru Shah and the End of Time (#1 Pandava) by Roshani Chokshi
Twelve-year-old Aru Shah has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she’ll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from her latest archaeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, travelling to Paris, and having a chauffeur?
One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru’s doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don’t believe her claim that the museum’s Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again.
But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it’s up to Aru to save them.
The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and journey through the Kingdom of Death. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that?
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Jacqueline Woodson, one of today’s finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.
The Polar Bear Explorer’s Club (#1 The Polar Bear Explorer’s Club) by Alex Bell
It sounded like a respectable and worthy enough death for an explorer – tumbling from an ice bridge to be impaled upon a mammoth tusk – but Stella really, really didn’t want that to happen, just the same.
Join Stella Starflake Pearl and her three fellow explorers as they trek across the snowy Icelands and come face-to-face with frost fairies, snow queens, outlaw hideouts, unicorns, pygmy dinosaurs and carnivorous cabbages . . .
When Stella and three other junior explorers get separated from their expedition can they cross the frozen wilderness and live to tell the tale?
Frostheart (#1 Frostheart) by Jamie Littler
Way out in the furthest part of the known world, a tiny stronghold exists all on its own, cut off from the rest of human-kin by monsters that lurk beneath the Snow Sea.
There, a little boy called Ash waits for the return of his parents, singing a forbidden lullaby to remind him of them… and doing his best to avoid his very, VERY grumpy yeti guardian, Tobu. But life is about to get a whole lot more crazy-adventurous for Ash.
When a brave rescue attempt reveals he has amazing magical powers, he’s whisked aboard the Frostheart, a sleigh packed full of daring explorers who could use his help. But can they help him find his family . . . ?
The Wishing Spell (#1 The Land of Stories) by Chris Colfer
Alex and Conner Bailey’s world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern-day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.
The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.
But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.
The Boy, the Bird and the Coffin Maker by Matilda Woods
Alberto lives alone in the town of Allora where fish fly out of the sea and everyone knows everybody’s business. There he makes coffins for the great and small, but being the only coffin maker in town can be lonely. That is until a little boy and a magical bird enter his life and change it forever.
The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman
When Viji and her sister, Rukku, whose developmental disability makes her overly trusting and vulnerable to the perils of the world, run away to live on their own, the situation could not be more grim. Life on the streets of the teeming city of Chennai is harsh for girls considered outcasts, but the sisters manage to find shelter on an abandoned bridge. There they befriend Muthi and Arul, two boys in a similar predicament, and the four children bond together and form a family of sorts. Viji starts working with the boys scavenging in trash heaps while Rukku makes bead necklaces, and they buy food with what little money they earn.
They are often hungry and scared but they have each other–and Kutti, the best dog ever. When the kids are forced from their safe haven on the bridge, they take shelter in a graveyard. But it is now the rainy season and they are plagued by mosquitos, and Rukku and Muthu fall ill.
As their symptoms worsen, Viji and Arul must decide whether to risk going for help–when most adults in their lives have proven themselves untrustworthy–or to continue holding on to their fragile, hard-fought freedom.
The Midnight Guardians by Ross Montgomery
When Col’s childhood imaginary friends come to life, he discovers a world where myths and legends are real. Accompanied by his guardians – a six-foot tiger, a badger in a waistcoat and a miniature knight – Col must race to Blitz-bombed London to save his sister.
But there are darker forces at work, even than the Nazi bombings. Soon Col is pursued by the terrifying Midwinter King, who is determined to bring an eternal darkness down over everything.
The War That Saved My Life (#1 The War That Saved My Life) by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
An exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds set during World War 2, from the acclaimed author of Jefferson’s Sons and for fans of Number the Stars.
Ten-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.
So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?
Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
Twelve-year-old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the starkly beautiful Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift on a small boat when she was just hours old, Crow’s only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their fierce and affectionate neighbor across the sandbar.
Crow has always been curious about the world around her, but it isn’t until the night a mysterious fire appears across the water that the unspoken question of her own history forms in her heart. Soon, a chain of events is triggered, leading Crow down a path of discovery and danger.
Of course, there are so many other middle-grade books on my TBR, and in a range of different genres and touching on multiple different themes, but these are the ones that I’ve put right up the top because I want to read them as soon as I can.
I didn’t count any on-going series that I’ve already started since there are many, but I definitely want to continue some such as Pages & Co by Anna James, Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend, The Ships of Shadows by Maria Kuzniar, Cassidy Blake by Victoria Schwab, and many more!
That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed reading this post and will want to try more MG books either alone or with our book club. See you soon, stay safe,