HAPPY INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S BOOK DAY! In honour of the day, I decided that I would share some of my favourite middle grade novels and series. I’ve been a massive bookworm throughout my entire life; reading is and always will be a detrimental part of who I am. I am a strong believer that many of these books payed a role in shaping me into who I am today. I love and appreciate them all so much.
If you know a young reader, I would most certainly recommend any of these fantastic books to them!
Harry Potter – J. K. Rowling
Okay, let’s get the basic ones out of the way. I read the Harry Potter series for the first time when I was eight years old, and like most other people, I instantly fell in love. I quickly devoured the entire series, and immediately proceeded to read them again. And again. And again, and again, and again. Ten years later and this series still remains to be one of my favourites, as I’m sure it always will be.
Recommended for: Honestly, this series is a great pick for anyone of any age. Despite the fact that the target audience is 8-12 years old, they can be read and enjoyed by teenagers and adults too! They are very well-developed and layered stories that include something to appeal to everybody. There is a fascinating magic system, a mystery aspect in most of the books, a little bit of romance here and there, a fantastic cast of characters, lots of action, and the perfect touch of comedy. This is also a great series to read because they have phenomenal movie adaptations!
Percy Jackson and the Olympians / The Heroes of Olympus – Rick Riordan
I love Percy Jacskson! These books are incredibly well researched and very educational. I learned so much about Greek mythology and had a blast doing so. These books sparked a huge interest in mythology for me and I now love reading other books that involve mythology and continuing to learn more! I even took classes about ancient Greek and Roman civilization for some of my electives in university this year! I don’t think I would have done that if it weren’t for this series!
The characters in this series are bursting out of the page; they are incredibly well-developed. These books also have an extremely diverse cast of characters. The main characters are all of different races and have different body types, there are strong, inspirational male and female leads, and there are LGBTQ+ characters. Based on my experience, it’s not too common to see such diverse books in the middle grade genre, but it’s so important! I think that every reader can identify with the characters in some way. This series is also absolutely hilarious. There are countless scenes and pieces of dialogue that are very funny and memorable.
These books also hold so much sentimental value to me because they include Leo Valdez, the first character that I truly fell in love with. Leo was sweet, hysterically funny, and just so darn loveable – he was my first “book boyfriend” so to speak, so he will always hold a little piece of my heart.
Recommended for: This is another series that is perfect for almost anybody! I genuinely believe that this is one of the best series for a young reader because of the diversity, wonderful plots and characters, and entertaining way of learning about Greek and Roman mythology!
The Mother-Daughter Book Club – Heather Vogel Frederick
I can so clearly remember when my mother gave me these books as gift for my eleventh or twelfth birthday. I read the title and thought that it sounded so, so stupid. I had absolutely zero desire to ever read them, and it was months before I finally picked them up. And the only reason I did was because I had run out of things to read and I also didn’t want to make my mom feel bad. However, just a few chapters in and I was immediately hooked. I quickly devoured the entire series and I remember having to impatiently wait for the last book in the series to be released.
These books were surprisingly so much fun! The characters were entertaining, well-developed, and relatable – I think that every reader could probably see themselves in each of the girls in some way. Furthermore, the girls all act as fantastic role models!
Recommended for: This series is great for any young reader who is looking for a sweet series with a lovely group of characters that promotes wonderful relationships (between friends, family, and romantic partners) and positive messages.
Willow Falls – Wendy Mass
This series was fantastic! There were five books in the series, which all focused around different characters and somehow involved birthdays, but they each connected to each other. I can not even begin to explain how much fun this series was. The plot was extremely unique and intricate, and the cast of characters was phenomenal. I loved every single one of them. Each of the books had great story lines, wonderful characters, and were totally re-read worthy.
I’ve honestly adored absolutely everything that I have read by Wendy Mass and I couldn’t recommend her books highly enough.
Recommended for: This series is genuinely wonderful for anybody! Between the complex story lines, wonderful characters, sweet romances, and great humour, these books formed an all-around amazing series that I would highly recommend!
13 Treasures – Michelle Harrison
This is a trilogy that I fell in love with when I was younger. It’s a very unique and slightly dark twist on fairies. It was creative, thrilling, well-written and enticing. From what I can recall, the first book was better than the sequels, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the series and would highly recommend it!
Recommended for: This series is ideal for any reader with an interest in fantasy novels and/or fairies. The fairy world is immersive and it’s overall a great read!
Eight Keys – Suzanne LaFleur
Eight Keys is a truly beautiful story. I’ve read it more times that I can count. It’s a stunning coming of age tale about a twelve year old girl, Elise, who is discovering a beautiful and meaningful gift that his father left for her before he passed away. It involves a really interesting mystery aspect, in addition to lessons of love, loss, friendship, family, and growing up.
This is the only stand-alone novel on this list, but it deserves so much love and attention!
Recommended for: This is wonderful and heart-wrenching story that is perfect for any fan of contemporary novels.
Cupcake Diaries – Coco Simon
This is just a really sweet and fun series about a group of girls who become best friends in middle school and eventually make a small business out of baking cupcakes. The series was super cute and light-hearted, and all of the cupcake baking scenes were wonderful!
Recommended for: This series is perfect for any young reader who has an interest in cooking or baking, or if you are looking for quick and cute books about positive female friendships.
Poison Apple – Various Authors
I went through a little phase when I was about ten or so in which I became obsessed with these dark, “scary” stories and the Poison Apple series was probably my favourite. Some of the books weren’t as god, but there were a few that I loved and reread countless times, such as the ones pictured above.
Recommended for: This series is the perfect read for any young reader in search of suspenseful or slightly scary tales.
You’re Invited to a Creepover – P.J. Night
Here’s another series of middle grade “horror” stories that I adored. The cool thing about this series was even though each of the installments featured around different characters, a sleepover of some sort played a vital role in each of the stories. Some of them were better and scarier than others; in fact, I remember that each of the books had this little “Scare Meter” on the back to tell you how frightening the book would be. I always thought that these were a cute and fun edition!
Recommended for: This is another series that I would recommend for young readers with an interest in thrilling “scary” stories!
My Sister the Vampire – Sienna Mercer
This was a cute and fun series about a girl finds out she has a secret twin sister who is a vampire. I still remember when I ordered this series from the Scholastic Book Order when I was young and they came with a whole bunch of Halloween themed temporary tattoos. Gosh, do I ever miss the Scholastic Book Orders – walking into the classroom after recess to find a catalogue on my desk would be the highlight of my week! Oh, the good old days. I also remember doing a book report about this novel when I was in Grade 4. Good times, good times.
Recommended for: These are a very fun and easy read that I would recommend for any young reader in search of a light-hearted and entertaining series. These are also an excellent choice for anyone with an interest in a paranormal story!
Dork Diaries – Rachel Renee Russel
Okay, from a totally objective stand-point, these books probably aren’t that great. However, I had a lot of fun reading them when I was probably eleven or so. The format of them was very different from anything else that I had read at the time.
Recommended for: This series is a really good choice for someone who is hesitant to get into reading or doesn’t really enjoy books. These books are set up like a real diary with a lot of drawings and things like that, which makes for a very interactive and engaging read.
Have you read any of these series?
What were your favourite books when you were younger?
I’d love to discuss it in the comments down below!!
As always, thank you so much for reading! I hope you have a lovely night. 🙂
Stay healthy and safe!!! ❤