Middle Grade Recommendations

So Middle Grade May is coming! I personally have been leaning a little bit more towards middle grade during this hectic time in the world. Not only because I work a lot with kids who are readers and I like to have something to talk about but because the world is insane. I am feeling overwhelmed by work and life and all the pandemics. Middle Grade tends to be a lighter feeling while reading. They are easy to fly through, have familiar feelings, and often an element of whimsy.

If you like folklore/mythology and growing as a person, you may like…

  • Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia
    • This is the story of Tristan Strong who is feeling weak and stuck after the death of his best friend, Eddie. He accidentally creates a portal into the world of Midpass while trying to keep the book he created with Eddie from being stolen. It is a wonderful story about myth, grief, and the power of storytelling. Fair warning: you will likely cry. Tristan Strong

If you like girl power and fighting smarter not harder, you may like…

  • Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
    • As with every heir to the kingdom, when the prince comes of age to wed the priests select a realm of the land to find his bride. For the first time in history a small quarry town on-top of the highest peak of Mount Eskel is chosen. Miri and the other eligible young girls in town are taken to a princess academy to learn about life beyond the quarry for the first time. It is a wonderful story of female friendship and the power of education. Truly one of my favorites.

Princess_Academy

If you like animals and meeting new people, you make like…

  • Circles in the Stream by Rachel Roberts
    • Three very different girls, Emily, Adriane, and Kara, are all drawn to the same animal preserve. There they find magical creatures  seeking refuge from their homes. The girls must find a way to harness magic, keep the animals secret, and find a place where the animals can be safe from the evil that follows. This is the start to a 12 book series and every book is worth it. I’m sorry the covers aren’t great. Circles in the Stream

If you like mysteries and have dreamed of running away, you may like…

  • From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L Konigsburg
    • This one is a little bit more of a classic and one of my Mom’s favorites from her own childhood. Where a brother and a sister tired of their siblings and school decide to run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While hiding in the museum they end of in the middle of a huge art mystery. mixed up files

If you like comics and are afraid of starting over, you may like…

  • Amelia Rules! by Jimmy Gownley
    • This graphic novel series follows Amelia as she moves from Manhattan with her mom after her parents divorce. She makes weird friends and handles basically, real life from school to bullies to friends that get sick. Amelia doesn’t always handle things well but she always handles them. It is a wonderfully drawn as well, just looking at it will make you smile. 51REKK68GFL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_

If you like fairy tales and coloring outside the lines, you may like…

  • School of Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
    • I don’t know that there will be a recommendations that I can’t slide this into. I LOVE this series. Every four years 2 children or  “readers” are brought into The Endless Woods to the School for Good and Evil to train to be the heroes and villains of the fairy tales we all know. Two best friends, Sophie and Agatha, are taken away to the schools and are horrified when they are both dropped into the “wrong” one. It is a wonderful story about binaries, fate, and friendship.the school for good and evil

 

 

Universal Book Recommendations

So I know a lot of people in these unsettling times are looking for things to read. I feel like a lot of times people want really specific book recommendations like just like X,Y, and Z that they have previously read. But I think that there are lots of books that people would like if they picked it up. So here is a list of universal book recommendations that I think at the least people will enjoy reading.

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot (pseudonym): This is an autobiographical collection of stories of an English vet in the 1930s. We start with James as a new young vet surgeon in Yorkshire.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: I feel like most people have at least heard of this book or at least the TV show. It is a dystopian classic about a woman adjusting to a new world order.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster: Milo is a bored boy who is stuck alone in his room, when one day the phantom tollbooth shows up. He is transported to the Kingdom of Wisdom where something is amiss. Bonus- you will learn what letters of the alphabet taste like.

Journey into the Whirlwind by Eugenia Ginzburg: Another nonfiction! (I actually surprised myself in this). Journey into the Whirlwind is a autobiography of a journalist who lived during Stalin’s reign. Most has to do with her time in the Gulag and relationship that formed in the Soviet Union.

The White Dragon by Anne McCaffery: This is a classic set on the World of Pern. It follows Jaxom, a young man trying to find his place in the world as a ruler and a dragon rider. He and the white dragon (who is not supposed to exist) are try to prove their place in the world.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire: This is a short mystery about a school. A school where children find their way after returning to this earth from a portal world. There is something for everyone and it’s a a quick story.

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples: (Adult Recommendation) This is a graphic novel series that follows a two soldiers on the opposite side of raging galactic war have fallen in love and had a child together. It has great artwork and is a beautiful fresh story.

No matter what stories you like I think that you will enjoy these. Have fun and stay safe!