Looking for the best Middle Grade fiction? We’ve got you covered with this list of fiction book for tweens!
But don’t think these are only novels for tweens, as adults, we love reading these types of books. They are filled with heart, good messages, and hysterical scenes.
So dive into this list of middle grade fiction and tell us which books are your favorite!
*The middle grade fiction post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some books have been gifted. All opinions are our own.
Coming of Age Middle Grade Fiction
Ghost runs and has been running since he was a small child. He started running when his father chased him down to the street with a loaded gun and he has not stopped since.
Now, he has been chosen for an elite track team that could go to the junior Olympics if Ghost can get his act together. He has natural, raw talent that can send him all the way if he can stop his past from catching up to him. This National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature is the perfect novel for tweens.
The story revolves around Jaime, who is being punished with community service hours at the library for the summer after she did something wrong in school. Jaime is reluctant to volunteer at first but quickly grows to love the staff and regulars at the library. I adored this charming tale and so did my kids. This is one of the fiction books for tweens that adults will love too!
A great middle grade fiction about camp (and yet another that was adapted into a movie!) Holes should be on every child’s list. And, if you are looking for bedtime stories for kids, this is a great read-aloud for a younger child that cannot read this themselves.
When a boy under a curse is sent to a detention camp he’s taught to behave by digging holes all day, every day. It doesn’t take long for him to realize he’s digging for a reason – but what are the camp wardens looking to find?
This novel for tweens was a Newberry Award winner for a reason. It gave the mom in me a bit of an anxiety attack when one of the characters fell down the well, but all’s well that ends well.
This tween book is a read that I’d recommend for all ages. In particular, I liked how it addressed bullying, being different, and overcoming shyness.
My son adored Pay Attention, Carter Jones. He loved the premise of the butler coming over to teach Carter to play cricket. He liked how Carter learned about how to be a gentleman from the butler who is strict, but exactly what the family needs during their troubling time.
He’s recommended to a few of his friends already and my mom even read it and enjoyed it! It’s a heart-filled, thought-provoking read in all the best ways. It’s one of our favorite tween novels.
Spy Novels for Tweens
The first book in Gibbs’s series is about Ben Ripley, a child CIA agent trying to defeat the evil organization Spyder. As he attends the secret junior CIA boarding school, he gets into loads of situations that put his espionage skills to good use.
Ben and his fellow agents tackle a new problem in each book of the series. They take place at various new locations as the series progresses. It’s already 10 books deep.
MI6 has recruited a bunch of kids to be their newest spy group – the City Spies. They attend boarding school while learning various spy tactics.
Soon they get to go on a mission to Paris to put what they learned into action. Subsequent books take place in San Francisco and Beijing. At this point, this series of middle grade fiction is on our pre-order series list.
The first in a series of middle grade novels, this first story captured the attention of my D.C.-obsessed son. After all, it opens in the National Gallery when a boy wakes up with amnesia.
Described as Dan Brown meets Jason Bourne, it lives up to those clever titles. It’s a fast-paced art caper that will keep your tween fully engrossed. It’s the first in a must-read series of fiction books for tweens.
What a fun story about an orphan girl tasked by the U.S. Marshalls to keep a family alive. As she enters into witness protection with them, she puts her street smarts and pick-pocketing abilities to good use.
But can she keep her new family safe? Will she be able to hide from her own past?
The first of three books in the Book Scavengers series, this story is all about Emily and James. They are on the hunt to uncover the latest game by Garrison Griswold.
Griswold has recently entered a coma and it’s up to Emily and James to uncover who attacked him before they get attacked next. This pick in our list of mystery novels for tweens is filled with fun and adventure.
Want some mystery novels for tweens? This is the list for you!
School Novels for Tweens
This is the story of Ahmet, a Syrian refugee, who ends up in Mrs. Khan’s 4th-grade class. At first, the students are wary of the strange new boy.
Soon, they learn that Ahmet has been separated from his family when he was trying to escape the war. Soon the kids were banding together to help Ahmet reunite with his family.
My son cried while reading this tween novel. The story touched his heart and evoked such compassion in him.
This realistic middle grade fiction story is so relevant to society today. The heroine of this story is a girl whose favorite book was just banned from her school library. She starts her own locker library filled with more banned books from the school’s library.
As she stands up for her right to read, she challenges adults in her community and learns about books’ power to unite everyone.
A must-read for kids in middle school, this is an amazing book about embracing differences, kindness, and being yourself. However, this would also be a wonderful read-aloud book for a younger audience. CW: This is one of the books that will make you cry.
August Pullman is a boy with an extraordinary facial difference. He has been homeschooled his entire life and is starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep. This novel for tweens is amazing and has a lesson about love and acceptance that everyone needs to read.
My kids all read this book one after another. In fact, they passed it to each other to read so they could all discuss it.
Chase wakes up in the hospital after falling off a roof and doesn’t remember anything- including his name. When he gets back to school, he sees how the kids react to him. Some kids worship him and other kids are terrified of him.
The questions become, who he was and who he wants to be. This is one of the best middle grade fiction novels.
My 3rd-grade math lover inhaled this tween book in 2 days. It’s all about a 12-year-old girl who was struck by lightning and became a math wiz.
She’s been homeschooled her whole life, but now her grandmother wants her to try to go to school just for one year. She has to make one friend, join one activity, and read one book that isn’t math related. Can she do it?
Fun Middle Grade Fiction Books for Tweens
This pick from our list of mystery books for tweens is another middle-grade story that adults will enjoy too. Mr. Lemoncello’s library is one of a kind. It’s full of holograms, logic puzzles, and hidden games.
To officially open the new library, a few lucky kids get to spend the night inside as they try to win Mr. Lemoncello’s game and be the first team to escape. If you are looking for great bedtime stories for kids, this series will hit the mark. This is also a great read-aloud book for you and your child to enjoy together.
This story appears on our list of middle grade fiction books about candy! I decided to read this book with my boys prior to our visit to Candytopia.
It was a lovely take on life at a candy factory and felt almost like an updated version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 4 kids are competing to win a candy-making contest to have their creation mass-produced. This is the first in a series of middle grade novels. It’s one of the must-read books for 11-year-olds.
Coyote Sunrise lives with her Dad, Rodeo on an old school bus, riding around the country but never returning to the place where her mother and sisters died.
Until Coyote gets a call from her grandma that the park where she hid a memory box is scheduled to be torn down. Soon Coyote needs to figure out a plan to get her dad back to Washington before she loses that box.
Filled with life lessons and charming strangers they meet and transport along the way, I adored Coyote and her unique life. My kids listened along to this coming-of-age novel with me too and they felt the same way. This is the first in a realistic fiction series starring Coyote.
This tween novel came so highly recommended that I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to the hype. But, I loved it. Is it about two girls who could not be more different whose fathers fall in love and send them to camp together so they can meet before they all become a family.
It is told through emails sent back and forth between the girls, family, and friends as well. It is so well written and is ultimately a story about friendship and unconditional love. This middle grade book deals with really complicated issues like what makes a family in a completely approachable way. It is this reason that this book is found on our Book Lists for 13-Year-Olds.
Roz the robot is stranded on an island all by herself. With no idea of how she got there or what she was created for, she has one question. Can she survive?
Soon Roz is befriending the local animals and feels at home on the island. But what happens when her past arrives on the island? This one ends on a cliffhanger, but there is a second book!
Realistic Fiction Books for Tweens
Kwame Alexander has won many awards for his incredible proses. This tween novel, the first in a series, is no exception having won both the Newberry and The Coretta-Scott King Award.
The Crossover is all about Josh Bell a basketball-loving middle-schooler who also loves to rap. He learns to grow up in this coming-of-ask story about Josh, his twin, and his family.
This is one of the many tween books for a 12-year-old being adapted. Look for the book adaptation starring LeBron James coming to Disney+ soon!
This recently banned book tells the story of Mia and her family who are immigrants from China. Mia’s struggles to be successful in America are met with the divide between classes in her school, the racism she faces, and her family’s quest to make ends meet.
I loved learning from Mia and watching her problem-solve to help her family as they took over caring for the Calivista Motel. If you are looking for realistic fiction middle grade books that skew a little younger, check out this realistic fiction book. This is one of the coming-of-age books for 11-year-olds that adults will love too!
Another great middle grade fiction book! This story is about a boy named Matthew who has severe OCD and has trouble leaving his house due to his anxiety.
Matthew is the last person to have seen the toddler next door before the four-year-old disappeared. I love the fact that this book looks at the world from Matthew’s point of view. It is a very readable, eye-opening book for 13-year-olds.
This charming story is about a bi-racial family in Harlem with 5 kids who are about to lose their home because their reclusive landlord won’t renew their lease.
My entire family enjoyed this delightful tale of the siblings trying to win their landlord over so they don’t have to leave home. Don’t worry. This is one of the best feel-good books on the list.
It was full of all the antics you would expect of a big family. You can find this tween novel on our list of The Best Family Audiobooks For Road Trips and Home Listening.
This novel for tweens is the winner of the National Book Award for good reason. I adored this middle grade fiction book. I spent half of it crying and the other half smiling. This is such a wonderful story about Grace who is adopted at birth.
When she finds herself pregnant, she puts her daughter up for adoption. This prompts her to look for her biological mother. What she finds are two siblings that she never knew about. This is an amazing story told from multiple points of view. Even though we included it in books that make you cry, you will love every moment.
For more middle grade books, check out our list of books for 10-year-old, 11-year-old, 12-year-old, or 13-year-old readers.
Graphic Novels for Tweens
Bree and her dad have just moved to Florida for her father’s new training program. She’s excited to join electives and make new friends until she realizes the only one she can join is swimming…and that makes her quite nervous.
Soon Bree begins counting on her neighbor Etta to give her swimming lessons, and ends up joining the swim team with the hopes of winning the big competition! This book for a 10 year old is an award winner!
This graphic novel is a Newbery Medal Winner and was an easy pick for a list of the best graphic novels of all time. Astrid and Nicole have done everything together until now. Astrid wants to go to roller derby camp.
And thus begins a summer of friendship, finding yourself, perseverance, and girl power. Astrid may be strong enough to endure middle school. Snag this if you are looking for a book for 11-year-olds.
This graphic novel has won numerous awards and for good reason. This is a thought-provoking story of a 7th-grade boy who wants to pursue his dream of becoming an artist.
Instead, his parents send him to a prestigious private school where he is one of the few diverse students. He can’t seem to figure out where he fits in at home or at school. This is a good one for kids who aren’t yet ready for Angie Thomas’s books.
Hudi is trying to figure out what sport he likes to play because he needs to lose weight. He’s trying to be healthy because of a serious illness he had as a younger kid.
He invents an imaginary friend named Chunky to help cheer him on. As he goes through sport after sport, the laughs roll in. But It’s not all fun and games, his dad loses his job and we get flashbacks of the medical problem that started his journey.
My son read this graphic novel in one sitting, while I listened to him giggling on the couch. I think it’s one of the perfect middle grade books for a 10-year-old reluctant reader!
The babysitters are back and updated for a new generation! I love that the stories in this series have been adapted into graphic novels.
The very first one, Kristy’s Great Idea, is about the formation of the Baby-Sitters Club and how the friends of the sitters developed. If you have middle schoolers, they should check out the Netflix book adaptation of this realistic fiction series.
Animal Fiction Books for Tweens
Rosanne does a marvelous job of telling the true story of a wolf trying to survive when he is separated from his family. Without the protection of his pack, Swift must learn how to thrive on his own.
Swift’s journey takes him across 1,000 miles of forests, highways, and rivers with danger facing him at every turn. We were riveted to this story when he listened on a recent family road trip. Even though this is a middle-grade book, we love this as a pick from novels about animals for adults as well.
Wow. This was one of the audiobooks for tweens I listened to with my own kids and we all just adored it.
It’s a story about a deaf girl who is struggling to connect with her community and a whale named Blue 52 who can’t find his ocean community either. She sets out to connect with Blue 52 and along the way she finds her inner strength in a beautiful
This middle grade fiction for 10-year-olds is delightful for adults too!
Based on the true story of Ivan, a gorilla trapped in a shopping mall, this feel good story is one of the best family audiobooks for any road trip.
Stella, a young girl gets Ivan to start painting again and she realizes how lonely he is. Bob, a stray dog, works to help Ivan and Ruby, a baby elephant, garner the attention they need to be sent to a better home.
This middle grade fiction book for tweens will touch your heart. Even though it is partially a sad book, the ending will make it worthwhile.
This is another book that every one of my children has read and loved. When Alice’s Aunt Polly dies, she takes her world-famous, secret pie crust recipe with her. In her will, she leaves the pie receipt to her cat, Lardo.
Who does she leave the cat to? Alice. Now, Alice and her friend have to find the recipe for happiness together in this endearing and funny novel for tweens.
The first book in the FunJungle series shows Gibbs at his best – funny and clever!
After a hippo dies at FunJungle zoo, it’s up to Teddy and his friend Summer to prove that the Hippo was actually murdered.
But investigating Hippo homicide is a dangerous affair. This funny story kept this former zoo employee quite entertained. Make sure you add this fiction book for tweens to your summer reading list!
Like middle grade fiction? You might want to check out this list of fantasy novels for tweens too!
Classic Middle Grade Fiction
I’m pretty sure this coming-of-age tween book is required reading for everyone! Jess Aarons has been practicing all summer so he can be the fastest runner in the fifth grade. And he almost is, until the new girl in school, Leslie Burke outpaces him. The two become fast friends and spend most days in the woods behind Leslie’s house, where they invent an enchanted land called Terabithia.
One morning, Leslie goes to Terabithia without Jess and a tragedy occurs. It will take the love of his family and the strength that Leslie has given him for Jess to be able to deal with his grief. This realistic fiction book set in the 70s is an award winner for a reason.
This middle grade fiction enchanted me as a young girl. The 6 “Egyptians” play in the back lot of an antique store, dressing up, performing rituals, and speaking with Oracles.
Then, a murder happens in the area and trouble comes to the lot. Don’t worry, there is a happy ending to this tween mystery book and also a sequel about gypsies!
An imperfect family, the Penderwick family (consisting of the father, 4 daughters, and their dog) go spend their three-week summer vacation at a cottage they rented. Mrs. Tifton, a grumpy, snooty woman, and her son Jeffry own the cottage that is part of the Arundel estate.
The first in a series of 5 middle grade fiction books about sisters, this wonderful book is perfect to read aloud at night or listen to on audio for a family roadtrip.
Peter Pan is one of Kirsten’s favorite childhood stories. The magical world of Neverland with it’s pirates, mermaids, and natives is so engrossing.
The story of Peter Pan and his adventures with the Darling children have inspired countless spin-off books, movies, and theatrical productions for a reason. It’s a must-read classic fiction book for tweens.
My mother was the first person to read this middle grade fiction to me and I was immediately drawn to Anne. She was smart, precocious, and has a way of making everyone love her while simultaneously finding new ways to get into trouble.
I read the book again when I was a teenager and then again as an adult. I will be reading this to my daughter next. Every time I read it, I am able to capture more of the nuances that are hidden within the pages. This is a beautiful book about friendship and found family.
I am not sure if this book is more popular in Canada but, one day I hope to visit Prince Edward Island. This is one of my (Jackie) all-time favorite books.
Historical Fiction Novels for Tweens
Three tales in one, the book is told in alternating chapters by three narrators. The stories feature Josef, a Jewish refugee fleeing WWII Germany, Isabel a Cuban girl on her way to Miami in 1994, and Mahmoud a Syrian refugee seeking asylum in Germany in 2015. The chapters rotate between the three characters and their stories do connect at the end in a meaningful and moving way.
The characters are all about 13-years-old but shoulder burdens that would be hard for an adult to handle. Gratz accurately portrays each child’s struggle with both grace and clarity – not shying away from difficult emotions and even death. If you love this YA historical middle grade fiction book, we have a list of Powerful WWII Books for Kids.
This historical fiction novel for 11-year-olds takes place in the Depression era. Stella lives in Bumblebee, North Carolina- the segregated south where the Klan still exists.
The book touches upon so many important concepts like the depression, voting rights, racism, family, and finding your inner strength. This middle grade fiction has a realistic ending, not a happy one and that left my daughter begging to read more.
The Parker Inheritance was such a fun listen! It reminded me of The Westing Game, which it references frequently and was clearly a source of inspiration in the best way.
Two new friends, both overcoming personal struggles, end up on a hunt to find a hidden fortune in the town of Lambert, South Carolina. Along the way, they encounter the racist past of the city and learned how the deep-rooted racism impacted Lambert long-term.
I loved the modern twist and more thought-provoking spin on the classic book trope of The Westing Game. It’s a must-listen and one of my favorite fiction books for tweens!
I listened to this feel-good book and it was unreal. I want my son to read this so badly but, I also want him to listen to it as well. The full-cast audiobook plays music so it is a full sensory experience.
The story is three tales woven together in one with a magical harmonica at the center. The story follows a harmonica as it lands in the hands of Freidrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California set during WWII.
Part fairy tale and part historical fiction, this is one of the novels about music that is amazing for middle grade and adults alike. We adore this novel for tweens.
I read this realistic fiction book in a few hours and immediately ordered the sequel The War I Finally Won. Ada is a 10-year-old girl who lives in a one-room world gazing at the world from one window. She was born with a club foot and teaches herself to walk in secret. When the children who lived in London were evacuated to go to the country at the start of WW2, Ada escapes her abusive mother and leaves London with her little brother.
There is so much depth to this book. It is a Newbury Honor book and the Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award for middle grade. This middle grade historical fiction is a story of love and survival in the face of overwhelming obstacles.
Do not be fooled by this middle grade fiction. It is emotionally crafted and brilliantly written and is my favorite on the list of WWII books for kids.
Did you find any middle grade fiction for your to-read list?
For more non-fiction, fantasy, and fiction books for tweens. Head to this post!