Image courtesy of Couleur on Pixabay.
Not a genre I normally reach for, middle-grade books have been fantastic hits for me lately. As this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is not quite something I haven’t discussed yet on the blog, I am dedicating my post to middle-grade books. In short, my discussion is of middle-grade books I want to get to this year (or early next year).
The Obvious Ones
10. Percy Jackson Books by Rick Riordan
I read the first two books of this initial series. While I had read the first two series in Riordan’s mythology-based middle-grade universe. But, after trying the first Apollo book from the library, I realized that Riordan gets really good. His books start to raise thoughtful discussions of morality, love, and courage. Engaging with his first series has led me to develop a great appreciation for his craftsmanship and the amount of thought he put into his work. Even his early stuff is impressive.
9. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
My brother rented the movie adaptation of this novel. His rave review of the film cemented a rather firm uncertainty regarding the story. It’s funny. I heard of the books way back in grad school. Even then, I was too hipster to read it because everyone liked it. Seriously, though, it has little to do with hipster culture and everything to do with the pressure of high expectations.
8. The Fairyland books by Catherynne M. Valente
Marines often talks about these books. Every time she does, she does so with tenderness. At some point, I want to meet September and her friends over at Fairyland. Marines did talk about how these stories are a manifestation of adulthood/growing up unfolding.
You May Not Have Seen These Coming
7. A Matter of Magic by Patricia C. Wrede
I genuinely believe in finding stories organically. This is something I am trying to develop in my reading experience. Anyway. Patricia C. Wrede has been coming up a lot. A Matter of Magic is about a girl who becomes a magician’s apprentice. It sounds so good. It sounds like this book may be a bit closer to a young-adult novel. But, it goes with all the themes I am interested in for this post.
6. Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull
Ah, yes. This is the inspiration behind this post. I am so in love with the protagonists of the story. Kendra and Seth are young, but not dim. They are bursting with lively curiosity in a world that is equally as vivid. PS: the satyrs are shady in this book. I am so excited to pick up the rest of the series throughout the months to come.
5. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
Part of me is unsure about this one because it seems more of a rambly type of story. But, again, the series keeps coming up. I am putting it as a “maybe.” I know this one is not necessarily a middle-grade story but it sounds kind of “young” to me. Correct me if I am wrong, please.
4. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
I bought the first book in this series ages ago and never picked it up. It features clever/genius kids. With echoes of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory type of competitions (but with cleverness as the focus), I think this story has so much potential. I like smart kid stories.
3. The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry
The title is a mouthful but it sounds like so much fun. A finishing school? For middle-grade audience? Yes!
2. Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
I am interested in seeing how Tamora Pierce handles a classic theme of a girl cross-dressing to become a knight. My knowledge of this book is limited but I noticed that sometimes this is a better approach.
1. So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane
A bit older than Harry Potter. I’m going all the way back to a fresh take on wizard stories. Plus, it features a library. I am in.