Top 5 Tuesday #48: Middle Grade Books

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by Shanah, the Bionic Book Worm, and now managed by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

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



19 thoughts on “Top 5 Tuesday #48: Middle Grade Books

  1. What an awesome list. I usually always just pull out the “A Series of Unfortunate Events” card when it comes to MG. Still working through that series again though hahah I do love the sound of Watch Hollow though. It sounds creepy good! And I’m glad that Amulet got mentioned here! I need to continue that series myself. 😮


    1. I totally recommend Watch Hollow. It’s fun with a hint of creepy. I think I read one of the A Series of Unfortunate Events books when I was younger. I certainly remember watching the show that came out couple years ago. It’s def for kids but for some reason I liked watching it while doing my hair, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, these look great! I read the first few Amulet books with my son when he was in the right age range, but once he got older, we/I never continued. I remember really enjoying what I read! Maybe I should go back and finish the series on my own…


  3. All of these are new to me. I don’t read much middle grade, but I’ve actually created a middle grade section of my TBR because I’ve found they can sometimes be a great break from other reading. There’s just something a little different about good ones, maybe they’re a little simpler, perhaps taking me back to when I was younger. Two I have and might read soon are Minor Mage by T. Kingfisher and The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. Thanks for this list of 5 more (and the bonus mentions). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are indeed great for that reason. In years past, I’d turn to them when I’m reading two hefty books at once. I actually got into MG books in college. It’s how I was able to maintain my love of reading as an English major lol.
      That Barnhill book is very popular. I’ve been curious about it too.


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