Bookshelf Tour, Pt. 17 | Middle Grade (begins)

It’s time to tour the middle grade books!! 🤣😆🤣

This is my favorite shelf after the adult fantasy bookshelf and the comic book ones. I don’t read a lot of middle-grade fantasy these days, but I’m trying to get back to doing so. Back in college, the majority of books I read for fun were middle-grade fantasy. They were a nice break from the heavy reading and analysis I had to do for classes. They were light reads that were fun and quick to get through.

These days, I’m so focused on the many adult fantasy books on my TBR that I’ve neglected the middle grade ones. But not anymore! In September, I’ll start making more effort to read at least one each month.

So let’s take a look at the bookcase we’re currently touring:

Okay, so I’m getting a little ahead of myself because I forgot that the first row of this shelf has some overflow from the classics shelf, so you’ll see some of those books mixed in with the middle grade ones. Here, let’s take a look.

I have a couple things up front for decor: a collection of three notebooks in the Ravenclaw colors that my brother got for me, a box of chocolates in wrapping inspired by classic art (this box of chocolates have been on my shelves for years; I’ve yet to eat them because I like the wrapping, lol, smh), Aang and Momo from Avatar: the Last Airbender, tucked into the corner is a little book on the Pisces zodiac sign:

Astrology Gems: Pisces (February 19 — March 20) by Monte Farber & Amy Zerner

A cute, illustrated book with quick facts about people born under the Pisces sun sign.

STACKED: Horizontally

The Diary of a Nobody by Rudyard Kipling

Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

After that are two booklets on the Declaration of Independence and critical thinking.

The Old Nurse’s Story by Elizabeth Gaskell, illus. by Seth

The Face: Cartography of the Void by Chris Abani

The Face: A Time Code by Ruth Ozeki ★★★★☆ ½

This is such a good read, and a unique one too. It’s like a mini memoir, and it’s from a series where authors write about their face. In A Time Code, Ozeki stares at her face for three hours and writes down her thoughts. It’s an interesting exercise that I’d love to try.

The Madness of Cambyses by Herodotus, transl. by Tom Holland ★★☆☆☆ ½

A snippet from Herodotus’s The Histories about a king of Persia who was believed to be mad (he certainly seemed so).

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe ★★★★☆

This tiny book contains three of Poe’s short stories: “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” and “The Cask of Amontillado.” All are good reads, but the “Tell-Tale Heart” was most thrilling and entertaining to read and thus my favorite.

Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti

It’s one of my favorite poems and the reason why I ended up purchasing these four books from the Penguin Little Black Classics series: The Madness of Cambyses, The Tell-Tale Heart, Goblin Market, and Caligula.

Caligula by Suetonius, transl. by Robert Graves ★★★☆☆ ½

This snippet is taken from Graves’ translation of Suetonius’s The Twelve Caesars. And, wow! This one could have been called The Madness of Caligula!

Language by Xiaolu Guo

The Pocket Rumi by Rumi

Heart of Darkness and Selected Short Fiction by Joseph Conrad ★★★★★

One of my favorite classics despite how problematic it is. It’s a novella about a young man journeying up the Congo River to look for a dude named Kurtz, who went mad. The narration really pulled me in. It was like reading a thriller.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald ★★★★★

I actually stole this copy from the family bookshelf because I knew no one else would read it, lol. It’s one of my favorite classics too, which is funny because I hated it when I read it in high school. I don’t care much for the story, I just love how it’s written. 

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

The White Witch of Rosehall by Herbert G. de Lisser ★★★☆☆

This is one of the oldest books I own. I think I had it before I moved to this country. The story is based on an urban legend in Jamaica that Annie Palmer, the mistress of Rosehall plantation, used obeah to kill her husbands, all three of whom mysteriously died. I actually don’t remember anything about this book, I only remember the legend because I was SO scared of Annie Palmer when I was little and never wanted to visit Rosehall. I still haven’t visited there. When I was little, I was told if you should visit Rosehall and look into a mirror there, you will see Annie Palmer looking at you. 😨 Nope! I messes with no ghosts. I consider this one a classic too. Herbert G. de Lisser was a Jamaican journalist.

Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes by Edith Hamilton ★★★☆☆

It’s a quick overview of popular stories from Greek/Roman and Norse myths.

The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson ★★★★★

My memory of this story is very foggy, but I remember it being a lot of fun. I’d love to reread it. All I remember is a pirate and then like a battle on an island…? Something like that.


The Dollmaker of Krakow by R.M. Romero

Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin (illus.)

Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall by Aaron Safronoff, illus. by Dane Glasgow

A Tear in the Ocean by H.M. Bouwman, illus. by Yuko Shimizu

The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

The Search for Wondla by Tony DiTerlizzi (illus.)

Winterhouse by Ben Guterson, illus. by Chloe Bristol

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Macabre Tales by Washington Irving ★★★★☆

A collection of Irving’s short stories. It’s a pretty good read. I read it so long ago that now I only remember bits of the ones that left an impression: “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”


Wildwood by Colin Meloy, illus. by Carson Ellis

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, illus. by Jules Feiffer ★★★☆☆

I really want to reread this. I didn’t find it as amazing as everyone claims it to be when I first read it, but it was fun and quirky.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Dream on Monkey Mountain by Derek Walcott

A play that takes place in a jail cell… I don’t remember much about it. I had to read it for class, but I didn’t care for it and had a hard time understanding what was going on. I consider it a classic. Derek Walcott was a St. Lucian poet and playwright.

Classics for Pleasure by Michael Dirda ★★★★★

One of my favorite books about books. Dirda writes book reviews for the Washington Post. In this book, he shares his reviews of some of the classics he’s read. My plan after completing this was to read all the books Dirda mentioned. I got only to one book — She by H. Rider Haggard — but I plan to continue at some point.

Black No More by George S. Schuyler ★★★☆☆

I want to reread this book!!! Maybe I’ll read it in September and then We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

If He Hollers, Let Him Go by Chester Himes

Caribbean Mythology and Modern Life: 5 Plays for Young People by Paloma Mohamed

I read this for a Caribbean lit. class. I remember nothing about it, nothing at all. So weird. I mean, if you remember nothing about a book, should it still be considered read? (I’ll count it as read for the stats at the end, but it’s weird that I don’t remember anything except that there’s a soucouyant in it…I think.)

Candide by Voltaire

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne ★★★★★

I really enjoyed reading this. It’s a sci-fi classic about a young man who journeys to the center of the earth with his uncle. It was so entertaining. I liked the interaction between the protagonist and his uncle. (I also like all the cheesy movies based on this story 😆.)

How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster ★★★★★

Another favorite book about books and reading. This was a fun read, and I’d love to reread it. It too got me excited to read all the classics mentioned in it.

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat ★★★★☆

I need to reread this as well because I’ve forgotten much, but I recall that I liked it. It’s a book of short stories. I think the majority of the stories are set in Haiti and are centered on women.

← Bookshelf Tour, Pt. 16 | Classics (continues)

Bookshelf Tour, Pt. 18 | Middle Grade (continues)


Total books in this row(s) = 42
How many I completed = 20
How many I will unhaul = 0

Total shelves so far = 8
Total books so far = 634
How many completed = 256
How many I will unhaul = 23


19 thoughts on “Bookshelf Tour, Pt. 17 | Middle Grade (begins)

  1. For a second I was like ‘wait, Heart of Darkness isn’t middle grade’? LOLOL
    I don’t read much MG these days either, just once in a while, but there’s a lot of great MG being published right now so I think kids are super lucky in that regard.


  2. I absolutely love Heart of Darkness, and The Treasure Island, and Verne! Though I can’t say the same about The Great Gatsby, just can’t stand this book, I find it so boring, lol 😂😂 but maybe it’s because I only read a translation?
    Love to your your shelves with you, Zezee, it’s always fun! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🤣🤣 Lol! Well, I thought Gatsby was beyond boring when I first read it. Now I love it because of the prose. I didn’t care much for the characters or the plot. I just really like how the words came together, lol.
      Thank you! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this! Such a creative idea for a post. I am also a bit Gatsby fan. It’s funny how books that did nothing for you in school suddenly become so important when you find them again on your own


  4. Nice! It’s so fun to get a look at someone else’s bookshelves. Middlegrade books always have the best covers


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