Hello everyone! Kim here. You know I love a good Middle Grade novel and March was a great time to fit a few more into my reading schedule. In March we celebrated #MiddleGradeMarch! Here are a few middle grade reads that I have read and recommend.
The Strangers, Margaret Peterson Haddix
What makes you you? The Greystone kids thought they knew. They’ve been a happy family, just the three of them and their mom. But everything changes when reports of three kidnapped children—who share the same first and middle names, ages, and exact birth dates as the Greystone kids. Before Chess, Emma, and Finn can question their mom about it, she takes off on a mysterious work trip. But puzzling clues left behind lead to complex codes, hidden rooms, and a dangerous secret that will turn their world upside down.
The Trials of Morrigan Crow, Jessica Townsend
A touch of whimsy and intrigue makes this book so much fun. Morrigan crow is slated for something very special, even though she’s not special in any way. I loved taking this journey with Morrigan as she’s swept into a magical world and tries to prepare for the trials that will decide her place in the Wundrous Society. The characters are quirky and a bit mysterious and make this a very likeable book.
Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday. But as she awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor. It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart – an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have.
The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, Stacy McAnulty
I love this adorable story of friendships made and friendships tested. Lucy, Lightning Girl, tries really hard to hide that she’s a math genius so she can fit in with the other 7th graders. She goes so far as to lie and purposefully fail assignments. But sometimes, you can’t hide what you are. She finally realizes that she can put her skills to good use through a group, school project. If people want to judge her then so what!
Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning when she was younger. The zap gave her genius-level math skills, and ever since, Lucy has been homeschooled. Now, at 12 years old, she’s technically ready for college. She just has to pass 1 more test — middle school! Lucy’s grandma insists: Go to middle school for 1 year. Make 1 friend. Join 1 activity. And read 1 book (that’s not a math textbook!). Lucy really doesn’t want to stand out as a genius in middle school! She just wants to be normal.
Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson
I was completely swept up in the world that Jacqueline Woodson paints. Stories of her childhood are told from a younger point of view which gives you a different feeling than if Woodson had just recalled her childhood as an adult. I loved this and felt at times that I was standing right next to her.
In vivid poems, Woodson 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.
The Bridge Home, Padma Venkatraman
A sad and heartbreaking tale of four children who band together to survive. The sweetness between them all really tugged at my heart strings. There are moments of hope and happiness peppered throughout but you’ll definitely feel the reality of their harsh way of life.
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.
Do you read Middle Grade books?