2014 was the year of amazing middle grade reads. I read a lot of books that really shone, and I had a difficult time narrowing the list down. If you have a child in the 8-12 age range, or if you love middle grade books yourself, you will definitely want to check out some of these books.
Neversink by Barry Wolverton
An incredible story about oppression and the fight for freedom and independence.
The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky by Holly Schindler
This little gem is about beauty, art, and perception. It’s about a young girl who accomplishes extraordinary things in spite of the people who tell her she can’t.
Operation Bunny by Sally Gardner
Full of surprises and magic, Operation Bunny is a delightful fantasy about a young girl who inherits an extraordinary antique shop.
A Question of Magic by E. D. Baker
A new twist on the tale of Baba Yaga. E. D. Baker delivers a lovely story of magic, friendship, and bravery.
Ava and Pip by Carol Weston
This story is about two sisters, one who is very shy, one who is not, and the way they deal with themselves and each other. It’s heartwarming and a great read for any kid that is shy or knows someone who is.
Bite-Sized Magic by Kathryn Littlewood
A culinary adventure for the entire family! This sweet book is funny, adventurous, and an all around great read. It’s the third book in the Bliss series, so start at the beginning and have some fun reading about this family of magical bakers!
The Real Boy by Anne Ursu
If you want to read a seriously amazing fairy tale, read The Real Boy. It took my breath away. It’s a beautiful story about magic and the consequences of selfishness.
The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle, and The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw by Christopher Healy
For kids that love to laugh, The Hero’s Guide series is the perfect read. Each book is full of gut busting humor. Even after reading the entire series back to back, I didn’t want it to end.
Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson
For kids that are moving on to young adult books and like survival stories. This book is all about a girl, her dogs, and the boy they find lost in the Alaskan wilderness. It’s a fast paced adventure that young readers will love.
Twerp by Mark Goldblatt
An honest and riveting book, Twerp tells the story of a young boy trying to figure out his place in middle school and the mistake that has plagued his conscience for months.
These two fairy tales make the reader take a step back and examine themselves. They are surprisingly deep for middle grade novels, and involve themes like friendship, loyalty, kindness, and self-esteem. They focus a lot on the way we perceive ourselves and the way we think about others. They are also breathtaking adventures that snag a reader and refuse to let them go.
The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
For fans of all things that go bump in the night, The Night Gardener is a creepy book that will give readers chills and keep them reading long after lights-out.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
This book has started an incredible movement toward kindness. It’s about a young boy with a disfigured face and the people he interacts with. Truly a remarkable book.
Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
It should come as no surprise that the author of The Tale of Despereaux and The One and Only Ivan has concocted yet another beautiful story that young readers love. This book is quirky, funny, and adorably illustrated. It tells the story of Flora and the squirrel she saves from a vacuum cleaner. The point of view alternates from Flora’s to Ulysses in a brilliant, entertaining way.
How Come? Every Kid’s Science Questions Explained by Kathy Wollard
For science loving kids, this is a gold mine. It contains hundreds of questions and their scientific answers.
What great middle grade books have you read in 2014?