Friday, October 28, 2016

The Middle Grade Crusade

Imagine you're a writer and your brother mentions off-hand that he's looking for books his daughter might like to read.

You might take that on as your next crusade.

I tweeted this yesterday, and the fabulous Twitter writing community came through.

Within hours, I had a nice, long list of recommendations. And since there's nothing better than sharing books, I've listed them below for anyone who enjoys Middle Grade* or is looking for something for their kids to read.

You might want to check for them at your local library or any bookstore. I've linked to amazon for simplicity's sake, so you can read the teasers.

Happy reading!

All of the books by Anne Nesbet, for example The Cabinet of Earths or Cloud and Wallfish.

Amber Lough's The Fire Wish and The Blind Wish.

The first two Warrior Cats series by Erin Hunter, beginning with Warriors #1: Into The Wild.

The Redwall series by Brian Jacques, beginning with Redwall.

Last in a Long Line of Rebels by Lisa Lewis Tyre.

The Ninja Librarians: The Accidental Keyhand and the sequel by Jen Swann Downey.

The Case of the Missing Moonstone and the sequel by Jordan Stratford.

Megan Jean Sovern's The Meaning of Maggie.

A Snicker Of Magic by Natalie Lloyd (what an amazing title!).

Lynda Mullaly Hunt's Fish in a Tree.

Kristin Levine's The Lions of Little Rock.

The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill (omg, another cool title!).

Angie Sage's Magyk and the rest of the series.

Sarah Prineas's The Magic Thief series.

The Ascendance Trilogy starting with The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen.

The Thief and the rest of that series by Meghan Whalen Turner was recommended twice!

Jaleigh Johnson's The Mark of the Dragonfly (*swoon* I think I'm a fabulous-title-junkie)

My Seventh Grade Life in Tights by Brooks Benjamin.

Susie Salom's Kyle Finds Her Way.

Rae Ann Parker's The Devil's Backbone.

Any book by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, for example, The War That Saved My Life or Jefferson's Sons.

Shannon Hale's novels, including The Princess Academy.

Several books by Jessica Day George, like Tuesdays At The Castle.

Gail Carson Levine's stories, for example Stolen Magic.

Patricia C. Wrede has written several books and series. Here's one: The Enchanted Forest Chronicles.

And by far, the most recommended author was Tamora Pierce.
·         -Some suggested The Circle of Magic books. The first is Circle of Magic: Sandry's Book.
·         -Some recommended the Song of the Lioness books beginning with Alanna: The First Adventure.
·         -Some said "everything Tamora Pierce ever wrote."

I will admit I haven't read some of these books, but my Twitter friends generally have amazing taste.

Have suggestions of your own? I'd love to see them in the comments!

*Middle Grade's target audience is approximately 8-12 years old (but I've really enjoyed some of these too!).


  1. For sequel readers:
    The second Ninja Librarians books by Jen Swann Downey is The Sword in the Stacks.
    The second case for Jordan Sratford's Wollstonecraft Detective Agency is The Case of the Girl in Grey.

  2. Jason Reynolds has a new MG out called Ghost, the first in a series.

  3. So I have a few recs. BLACKBIRD FLY by Erin Entrada Kelly (wonderful story about Filipino American girl and finding her own place in the world). CHARLIE BONE SERIES by Jenny Nino (a Harry Potter-esque series w/ magic, a school, friends & adventure). GEORGE by Alex Gino (a story about a trans girl finding the courage to be who she is). AKATA WITCH by Nnedi Okorafor (age range 12-17, story of a girl w/ magic in Nigeria but some violence). Harry Potter (I know this is obvious, but had to say it!) Narnia series (also obvious, but still). THE GIVER SERIES by Lowis Lowry (age range 12-17, mature subjects but excellent books. Maybe for the future.) SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES by Holly Black, BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA, A WRINKLE IN TIME, and last THE RANGER'S APPRENTICE SERIES by John Flanagan (age range 10-14 years)

  4. Thank you for these additions, Mayken, Chris and Jennifer!

    Chris, I haven't read GHOST, but I did read THE BOY IN THE BLACK SUIT (YA) by Jason Reynolds, and it was excellent, so I'm sure GHOST is great too.

    And Jennifer, I wanted to list GEORGE and A WRINKLE IN TIME myself but just forgot! Thanks for adding them. I've also heard AKATA WITCH is really good.