Middle Grade Recommendations

Middle Grade is one of those categories I find a bit slippery. As a reader, I may categorize something YA that is actually found in the Children’s Section or Middle Grade Section of a bookstore. Please note that as you poke around in my reading recommendations.

As notes on my page On Reading, I am an eclectic reader of a variety of books. My tastes may not be as conservative or as wild as yours. Please note that and consider each book for your own use. I read for the storytelling content.

The Books

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate is a heart-warming fictional story based on a real-life captive gorilla Ivan, kept for entertainment at a mini mall in Tacoma, WA. As a child, I was taken to see Ivan and I broke down in tears because I felt he ought to have a larger home, if not outright freedom. As an adult reader, I found this book captured that sentiment, but also gave Ivan a voice in the way only magical realism in fiction can.

Stowaway by John David Anderson is an action adventure set in space, but also a story about brothers, friendship, and found families with a thought-provoking twist about alien technology.

Homebound, a Sequel to Stowaway by John David Anderson. Brilliant, swashbuckling, action-packed adventure in space with excellent characters and some of the best pop culture references I’ve ever read in a MG book.
I don’t want to give anything away, for either the first or the second in this series, but I will say I think the aliens are interesting, the alien worlds even more so, and the characters have depth in the first book and it gets even better in the second.
Highly recommended.

The Lion of Mars by Jennifer L. Holm is a heart-warming adventure set on Mars. The protagonist is one of several children raised on Mars and when discovers there is more to his home planet than he previously realized, he has to act to set things right.

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson: This wonderful, heartwarming graphic novel caught my attention from the start with sympathetic characters, a great storyline which builds on the tension between two friends whose interests are beginning to separate them and includes some rocking roller derby scenes. This is a great coming of age, young teen graphic novel.
And good for those of us who are young at heart, too. 🙂
I plan to read it again.

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