This week’s topic:
Top 5 middle grade books
(What are some of your favourite middle grade books?)
I enjoy reading middle grade novels. My favorite genre in this age group is, of course, fantasy. It’s just so enjoyable and lighthearted (even when the story is dark, there’s still some lightness to it so it doesn’t pull down the reader too deep into heavy emotions). Unfortunately, I haven’t read middle grade books as often as I’d like lately, but I’m hoping to correct that soon and start reading at least one middle grade book each month.
The books below aren’t all favorites, but I enjoyed reading each one.
Watch Hollow by Gregory Funaro
Watch Hollow is basically a fantasy-horror novel about siblings Lucy and Oliver Tinker who move to an old manor called the Blackford House so that their father can fix the cuckoo clock that operates the house. Blackford House is surrounded by a dark wood, which adds some creepiness to the story. While there, Lucy realizes that there’s something odd about the house and the wood around it.
I really enjoyed reading this book and was hooked the entire time. I liked how the characters’ relationships developed and the slight creepiness in the story. It’s not a scary read. I also liked that the parent is a single father because I hardly encounter that in middle grade fantasy.
Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez (illus.)
Nightlights is a beautifully illustrated fantasy graphic novel. I keep thinking of it as a story about a girl who is able to bring her whimsical drawings to life, but after rereading my review of it, I started to question that, lol! The protagonist does have vivid dreams about characters she draws.
Anyway, I highly recommend this. The story is sweet and the illustrations are gorgeous. If I can get my hands on a copy, I’ll reread it this month.
Shadow Weaver by MarcyKate Connolly
I really enjoyed this book. It’s another fantasy-horror novel that’s more slightly creepy than straight-up scary. It’s about a girl named Emmeline who can manipulate shadows and whose best friend is her own shadow. The story is set in a world where some people are blessed/cursed with special abilities.
I had fun reading this and was hooked throughout. It’s a duology and although I didn’t like the second book as much, it was still entertaining.
To Night Owl From Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer
This is actually a middle grade contemporary novel that strongly reminds me of the movie The Parent Trap. It’s about two girls who learn that their dads are dating and are conspiring to send them to the same summer camp. The girls vow never to become friends and to stop their dads from dating each other.
It’s an epistolary novel told through emails and, oh my gosh, it was such a fun read! I actually chuckled a few times. And it’s sweet too. Tears threatened my eyes in certain spots.
Amulet, bk. 1: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi (illus.)
Kibuishi’s Amulet series is great. It’s a fantasy comic book series about a girl named Emily who moves to her grandparents’ old home with her brother and her mom after a fatal car crash and quickly learns of about a world that needs her and her brother’s help.
It’s an interesting story accompanied by gorgeous art. The world it’s set in amazes me, and I like the creatures Emily and her brother encounter. It’s an exciting series to check out.
Bonus mentions: Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling; Nevermoor series by Jessica Townsend; Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, Kane Chronicles series by Rick Riordan; Chronicles of Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander