We have an amazing list of middle-grade reads. It was so difficult to narrow down this list from the multitude of amazing books. So, in order to help us narrow down the choices, we divided the list into three groups. We have classics, books from Reading Olympics, and newer books that are sure to become classics. This year, my son took part in the Reading Olympics. Kids from schools all over the area come together to participate. The kids answer questions about details in the books. I wanted to include these books in our list of middle grade reads. There is a great variety of books and each one offers something different and fun for kids. All together, we have more than 70 books! We are sure to have books for even the most avid reader.
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“Trees can’t tell jokes, but they can certainly tell stories. . . .
Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood “wishtree”—people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red’s branches. Along with a crow named Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red’s hollows, this wishtree watches over the neighborhood. More…”
“Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. More…
“A poignant middle grade debut about the friendship between a white girl and an elderly black woman in the 1960s South
Alice is angry at having to move to Rainbow, Georgia—a too small, too hot, dried-up place she’s sure will never feel like home. Then she gets put in charge of walking her elderly neighbor’s dog. But Clarence won’t budge without Miss Millie, so Alice and Miss Millie walk him together. More…“
“The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330.
The legend: Nicholas Flamel discovered the secret of eternal life.
The records show that he died in 1418.
But his tomb is empty.
Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. More…“
“A 2017 Newbery Honor Book
Winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Award
An exciting and hilarious medieval adventure from the bestselling author of A Tale Dark and Grimm. Beautifully illustrated throughout!
The Inquisitor’s Tale is one of the most celebrated children’s books of the year! ★ New York Times Bestseller ★ A New York Times Editor’s Choice ★ A New York Times Notable Children’s Book ★ A People Magazine Kid Pick ★ A Washington Post Best Children’s Book ★ A Wall Street Journal Best Children’s Book ★ An Entertainment Weekly Best Middle Grade Book ★ A Booklist Best Book ★ A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book ★ A Kirkus Reviews Best Book ★ A Publishers Weekly Best Book ★ A School Library Journal Best Book ★ An ALA Notable Children’s Book More…“
Lisa Thompson’s debut novel is a page-turning mystery with an emotionally-driven, complex character study at its core — like Rear Window meets The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
Matthew Corbin suffers from severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. He hasn’t been to school in weeks. His hands are cracked and bleeding from cleaning. He refuses to leave his bedroom. To pass the time, he observes his neighbors from his bedroom window, making mundane notes about their habits as they bustle about the cul-de-sac.
When Ada’s clubfoot is surgically fixed at last, she knows for certain that she’s not what her mother said she was—damaged, deranged, crippled mentally as well as physically. She’s not a daughter anymore, either. Who is she now? More…“
“You’re Never Too Young to Fight Censorship!
In Ban This Book by Alan Gratz, a fourth grader fights back when From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg is challenged by a well-meaning parent and taken off the shelves of her school library. Amy Anne is shy and soft-spoken, but don’t mess with her when it comes to her favorite book in the whole world. More…”
“Music, magic, and a real-life miracle meld in this genre-defying masterpiece from Newbery Honoree Pam Muñoz Ryan!
Winner of a 2016 Newbery Honor, ECHO pushes the boundaries of genre, form, and storytelling innovation.
Lost and alone in a forbidden forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica. More…
JOSEF is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world . . .ISABEL is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety in America . . .MAHMOUD is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe . . .More….
“Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?” Dozens of children respond to this peculiar ad in the newspaper and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests, which readers take along with them. Only four children–two boys and two girls–succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children could complete. More…“
“In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. More…“
“Priscilla “Cilla” Lee-Jenkins is on a tight deadline. Her baby sister is about to be born, and Cilla needs to become a bestselling author before her family forgets all about her. So she writes about what she knows best—herself! Stories from her bestselling memoir, Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire, include: More…“
“August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. More…“
“Twelve-year-old Artemis is a millionaire, a genius-and above all, a criminal mastermind. But Artemis doesn’t know what he’s taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren’t the fairies of the bedtime stories-they’re dangerous! More…”
“Robert Edwards Stevens, nicknamed “Qwerty,” likes digging in his backyard when he’s in a bad mood. He doesn’t dig for anything special — he just digs to get his mind off things. One day, when he’s really angry and has a lot on his mind, he starts digging…and THUNK! He hits something, a wooden box with a famous signature:
Thomas A. Edison. More…”
“In a tumbledown castle in the Western Highlands of Scotland lives the Boggart. He is invisible — an ancient mischievous spirit, solitary and sly, born of a magic as old as the rocks and the waves. He has lived in Castle Keep for centuries, playing tricks on the owners. But the last Scottish owner has died and left the castle to his great-nephew Robert Volnik of Toronto, Canada. More…“
“When Wahoo Cray’s dad—a professional animal wrangler—takes a job with a reality TV show called Expedition Survival!, Wahoo figures he’ll have to do a bit of wrangling himself to keep his father from killing Derek Badger, the show’s inept and egotistical star. But the job keeps getting more complicated: Derek Badger insists on using wild animals for his stunts; and Wahoo’s acquired a shadow named Tuna—a girl who’s sporting a shiner courtesy of her father and needs a place to hide out. More….“
“Nine-year-old David has recently lost his mother to a freak accident, his salesman father is constantly on the road, and he is letting his anger out on his grandmother. Sarcastic and bossy 13-year-old Primrose lives with her childlike, fortuneteller mother, and a framed picture is the only evidence of the father she never knew. Despite their differences, David and Primrose forge a tight yet tumultuous friendship, eventually helping each other deal with what is missing in their lives. More…“
“A distinctive new voice in children’s fiction
Francie lives with her mother and younger brother, Prez, in rural Alabama, where all three work and wait. Francie’s father is trying to get settled in Chicago so he can move his family up North.
Unfortunately, he’s made promises he hasn’t kept, and Francie painfully learns that her dreams of starting junior high school in an integrated urban classroom will go unfulfilled. More…“
“This historic time-travel fantasy is a riveting sequel to a bestselling classic.
Ten-year-old Matt Carlton and six friends are accidentally swept back in time–to Boston in 1776! The British now occupy the city, and redcoat guards are everywhere! While the boys are being held captive by a den of Patriot spies, the girls have been taken in by a wealthy Tory family. More…“
“In Thailand she was named Oy, but here in America the teachers call her Olivia. Other things are not so easy to change, however. When Oy draws a portrait of herself with brown hair and eyes as round as coins, her classmate Frankie makes fun of her and calls her Chinese. And the popular girl Liliandra barely speaks to her, until she learns that Oy has something very special: a Thai dancing dress from her grandmother, shimmering with pink silk and golden threads, that makes her look like a princess. More…”
“The Newbery Medal-winning author of Walk Two Moons, Sharon Creech, introduced Jack in Love That Dog, a New York Times bestseller. Both Love That Dog and Hate That Cat are approachable, funny, warm-hearted introductions to poetry told from the point of view of a very real kid wrestling with school assignments.
These books are fast reads that will be welcomed by middle graders as they too wonder how poetry and schoolwork connect with their interests and how to uncover their true voices. More…“
“Araminta Ross was born a slave in Delaware in the early 19th century. Slavery meant that her family could be ripped apart at any time, and that she could be put to work in dangerous places and for abusive people. But north of the Mason-Dixon line, slavery was illegal. If she could run away and make it north without being caught or killed, she’d be free. More…“
“A stirring, dramatic story of a slave who mails himself to freedom by a Jane Addams Peace Award-winning author and a Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist.Henry Brown doesn’t know how old he is. Nobody keeps records of slaves’ birthdays. All the time he dreams about freedom, but that dream seems farther away than ever when he is torn from his family and put to work in a warehouse. Henry grows up and marries, but he is again devastated when his family is sold at the slave market. Then one day, as he lifts a crate at the warehouse, he knows exactly what he must do: He will mail himself to the North. After an arduous journey in the crate, Henry finally has a birthday — his first day of freedom. More…“
“Stephen Satlow is an eight-year-old boy living in Brooklyn, New York, which means he only cares about one thing – the Dodgers. Steve and his father spend hours reading the sports pages and listening to games on the radio. Aside from an occasional run-in with his teacher, life is pretty simple for Steve.
But then Steve hears a rumor that an African American family is moving to his all-Jewish neighborhood. It’s 1948 and some of his neighbors are against it. Steve knows this is wrong. His hero, Jackie Robinson, broke the color barrier in baseball the year before. More…“
“Half of me was thinking, Georgina, don’t do this. Stealing a dog is just plain wrong. The other half of me was thinking, Georgina, you’re in a bad fix and you got to do whatever it takes to get yourself out of it.
Georgina Hayes is desperate. Ever since her father left and they were evicted from their apartment, her family has been living in their car. With her mama juggling two jobs and trying to make enough money to find a place to live, Georgina is stuck looking after her younger brother, Toby. And she has her heart set on improving their situation. More…“
“Visiting his dad’s hometown in Japan four months after his father’s death would be hard enough for Ben. But one morning the pain turns to fear: first, a massive earthquake rocks the quiet coastal village, nearly toppling his uncle’s house. Then the ocean waters rise and Ben and his family are swept away-and pulled apart-by a terrible tsunami. More…“
“Sylvia Earle first lost her heart to the ocean as a young girl when she discovered the wonders of the Gulf of Mexico in her backyard. As an adult, she dives even deeper. Whether she’s designing submersibles, swimming with the whales, or taking deep-water walks, Sylvia Earle has dedicated her life to learning more about what she calls “the blue heart of the planet.” More…“
“Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. More….”
“On a foggy night in Amsterdam, a man falls from a rooftop to the wet pavement below. It’s Archibald McQuinn, the notorious cat burglar, and he’s dying. As sirens wail in the distance, Archie manages to get out two last words to his young son, March: “Find jewels.” More….“
Jeffrey Lionel “Maniac” Magee might have lived a normal life if a freak accident hadn’t made him an orphan. After living with his unhappy and uptight aunt and uncle for eight years, he decides to run–and not just run away, but run. This is where the myth of Maniac Magee begins, as he changes the lives of a racially divided small town with his amazing and legendary feats. More…“
“A funny, heartwarming, and heartbreaking contemporary story about three boys, one teacher, and a day none of them will ever forget.
Everyone knows there are different kinds of teachers. The boring ones, the mean ones, the ones who try too hard, the ones who stopped trying long ago. The ones you’ll never remember, and the ones you want to forget. Ms. Bixby is none of these. She’s the sort of teacher who makes you feel like school is somehow worthwhile. Who recognizes something in you that sometimes you don’t even see in yourself. Who you never want to disappoint. What Ms. Bixby is, is one of a kind. More…“
“Winner of the Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Times bestseller!
This stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendships. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this novel is told from the point of view of Ivan himself. More….“
“With almost 4 million copies sold over 50 years after its original publication, generations of readers have now journeyed with Milo to the Lands Beyond in this beloved classic that Philip Pullman says “comes up bright and new every time I read it . . . it will continue to charm and delight for a very long time yet. And teach us some wisdom, too.” Enriched by Jules Feiffer’s splendid illustrations, the wit, wisdom, and wordplay of Norton Juster’s offbeat fantasy are as beguiling as ever. More…“
“When Alice’s Aunt Polly, the Pie Queen of Ipswitch, passes away, she takes with her the secret to her world-famous pie-crust recipe. Or does she? In her will, Polly leaves the recipe to her extraordinarily fat, remarkably disagreeable cat, Lardo . . . and then leaves Lardo in the care of Alice. More…“
“The first book in the beloved Poppy series by Newbery Medal–winning author Avi, with illustrations from Caldecott Medal–winning artist Brian Floca
A mouse has to do what a mouse has to do. Ragweed is determined to see the world. He leaves his family and cozy country home and sets off by train for the big city. What wonders await him: music, excitement, new friends…and cunning, carnivorous cats! More…“
” Nora Rose Rowley is a genius, but don’t tell anyone.
Nora’s managed to make it to the fifth grade without anyone figuring out that she’s not just an ordinary kid, and she wants to keep it that way.
But then Nora gets fed up with the importance everyone attaches to test scores and grades, and she purposely brings home a terrible report card just to prove a point. Suddenly the attention she’s successfully avoided all her life is focused on her, and her secret is out. And that’s when things start to get really complicated….More…“
“Bravest heart will carry on when sleep is death, and hope is gone.
Rowan doesn’t believe he has a brave heart. But when the river that supports his village of Rin runs dry, he must join a dangerous journey to its source in the forbidden Mountain. To save Rin, Rowan and his companions must conquer not only the Mountain’s many tricks, but also the fierce dragon that lives at its peak. More…“
“What happens when a star player ends up on the worst team? He either learns to lose or he stops playing the game he loves. These are the choices facing Jake, who has gone from champion to last place, testing his sportsmanship every time his soccer team gets waxed. But it’s his teammate Kevin who shows Jake that being a good captain means scoring and assisting off the field as much as being the star player on it. More…”
“In the bleak winter of 19 0, Nazi troops parachuted into Peter Lundstrom’s tiny Norwegian village and held it captive. Nobody thought the Nazis could be defeated—until Uncle Victor told Peter how the children could fool the enemy. It was a dangerous plan. They had to slip past Nazi guards with nine million dollars in gold hidden on their sleds. More…“
“But there is one thing that hasn’t changed—the whispering trees outside her window. Cassie’s trees, which have stood for centuries, are a great source of comfort to her. But they are also worth a lot of money. With Cassie’s daddy gone to lay tracks for the railroad, it seems like no one can stop Mr. Andersen from forcing Big Ma to sell their valuable trees. More…“
When is a summer vacation not really a summer vacation?
“Sunny Lewin has been packed off to Florida to live with her grandfather for the summer. At first she thought Florida might be fun — it is the home of Disney World, after all. But the place where Gramps lives is no amusement park. It’s full of . . . old people. Really old people. More…“
“A brave mouse, a covetous rat, a wishful serving girl, and a princess named Pea come together in Kate DiCamillo’s Newbery Medal–winning tale.
Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. More…“
“A brilliant portrait of two American heroes from the award-winning creators of The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy)!
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were very different.
John Adams was short and stout.
Thomas Jefferson was tall and lean. More…“
“Newbery honor winner, New York Times bestseller, Edgar Award Finalist, and E.B. White Read-Aloud Honor book.
A hilarious Southern debut with the kind of characters you meet once in a lifetime
Rising sixth grader Miss Moses LoBeau lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC, where everyone’s business is fair game and no secret is sacred. She washed ashore in a hurricane eleven years ago, and she’s been making waves ever since. More…“
“A vision of dignity and freedom and a powerful role model for girls and women of all races.
“I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. I was promoted from the fields to the washtubs. I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods. I have built my own factory on
my own ground.” More…“
“Twelve-year-old Molly and her ten-year-old brother, Michael, have never liked their seven-year-old stepsister, Heather. Ever since their parents got married, she’s made Molly and Michael’s life miserable. Now their parents have moved them all to the country to live in a house that used to be a church, with a cemetery in the backyard. More…“
“Peter is thrilled that Grandpa is coming to live with his family. That is, until Grandpa moves right into Peter’s room, forcing him upstairs.
Peter loves his grandpa but wants his room back. He has no choice but to declare war! With the help of his friends, Peter devises outrageous plans to make Grandpa surrender the room. But Grandpa is tougher than he looks. Rather than give in, Grandpa plans to get even. More…“
“Enter the hilarious world of ten-year-old Kenny and his family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan. There’s Momma, Dad, little sister Joetta, and brother Byron, who’s thirteen and an “official juvenile delinquent.”
When Byron gets to be too much trouble, they head South to Birmingham to visit Grandma, the one person who can shape him up. And they happen to be in Birmingham when Grandma’s church is blown up. More…“
“When orphaned Mary Lennox, lonely and sad, comes to live at her uncle’s great house on the Yorkshire moors, she finds it full of secrets. At night, she hears the sound of crying down one of the long corridors. Outside, she meets Dickon, a magical boy who can charm and talk to animals. Then, one day, with the help of a friendly robin, Mary discovers the most mysterious wonder of all — a secret garden, walled and locked, which has been completely forgotten for years and years. Is everything in the garden dead, or can Mary bring it back to life? More…“
“Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her. More…“
“J. M. Barrie’s classic children’s story is reimagined in this delightful full-color deluxe edition filled with all-new illustrations and ten removable features specially designed by MinaLima, the award-winning design studio behind the graphics for the Harry Potter films. More….“
“Alone in a new country, wealthy Sara Crewe tries to settle in and make friends at boarding school. But when she learns that she’ll never see her beloved father gain, her life is turned upside down. Transformed from princess to pauper, she must swap dancing lessons and luxury for hard work and a room in the attic. Will she find that kindness and genorosity are all the riches she truly needs? More…“
“An iconic classic, The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum is a must-read for adults and children alike. Follow the yellow brick road! Dorothy thinks she is lost forever when a terrifying tornado crashes through Kansas and whisks her and her dog, Toto, far away to the magical land of Oz. To get home Dorothy must follow the yellow brick road to Emerald City and find the wonderfully mysterious Wizard of Oz. More…“
TREASURE ISLAND is an adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, narrating a tale of “buccaneers and buried gold”. It was originally serialized in the children’s magazine Young Folks between 1881 through 1882 under the title Treasure Island, or the mutiny of the Hispaniola, credited to the pseudonym “Captain George North”. It was first published as a book on 14 November 1883 by Cassell & Co.
“A shipwreck; a deserted island; a single family, wondering if they can survive. Rich in suspense and surprises, The Swiss Family Robinson entices young readers to come along on a wonderful adventure, where each moment brings a new thrill. Featuring amazingly resourceful characters and a wondrous landscape bursting with exotic wildlife and plants, it’s an irresistible tale of ingenuity. More…“
“Following Sterling’s spectacularly successful launch of its children’s classic novels (240,000 books in print to date),comes a dazzling new series: Classic Starts. The stories are abridged; the quality is complete. Classic Starts treats the world’s beloved tales (and children) with the respect they deserve–all at an incomparable price. More….“
“The moving story of a handsome horse who lives a life of hardship and kindness.”
Referring to Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, H. L. Mencken noted that his discovery of this classic American novel was “the most stupendous event of my whole life”; Ernest Hemingway declared that “all modern American literature stems from this one book,” while T. S. Eliot called Huck “one of the permanent symbolic figures of fiction, not unworthy to take a place with Ulysses, Faust, Don Quixote, Don Juan, Hamlet.”
‘The Wind in the Willows’ is a true classic of Children’s literature. It was penned by Kenneth Grahame (1859 – 1932) and first published in 1908. Alternately slow moving and fast paced, it focuses on four anthropomorphised animal characters in a traditional bucolic version of the English Thames valley. ‘The Wind in the Willows’ is a novel notable for its adventure, mysticism, morality and unceasing camaraderie; loved and appreciated more than a century after its initial publication. More
“Terribly unhappy in his family’s crowded New York City apartment, Sam Gribley runs away to the solitude-and danger-of the mountains, where he finds a side of himself he never knew.”
“It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.
“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.”