11 Middle-Grade Must-Reads to Devour This Fall
Some children are addicted to sugar, while others are obsessed with the latest Snapchat filters and the endless quest for Pikachu in Pokemon Go — so what’s the cure? Pick up one of these delectably marvelous reads. From saving magical kingdoms to skiing undercover at spy school, these 11 middle-grade novels are sure to deliver the extraordinary adventure every kid craves this fall — and parents won’t get sued for trespassing trying to catch a digital monster, so that’s a win.1. Kalifus Rising: Legends of Orkney by Alane Adams ($11): Fans of the beloved Legends of Orkney series remember that our hero Sam Baron just freed the magical kingdom of Orkney from the wrath of the Red Sun, but his adventure doesn’t stop there. Now he must resist the temptations of witch enchantments and discover the elusive but powerful ancient artifact known as the Moon Pearl. This fast-paced, adrenaline-inducing tale is overflowing with spellbinding thrill, and every young reader will finish the last page with their imaginations full of fantastical literary satisfaction.2. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling ($15): Today’s middle graders didn’t have the typical iconic Harry Potter reading experience, but J.K. Rowling’s screenwriting debut is nothing short of fantastical. Whether their parents are seasoned muggle nerds or the special middle grader is new to the wizarding world of Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the must-read treat for every imagination this fall.3. Operation Tenley by Jennifer Gooch Hummer (15$): Move over every superhero to ever exist — there’s a new weather-controlling heroine in the world and she has our full attention. Tenley Tylwth is an elemental teen born with the extraordinary ability to toy with the climate and control the weather. There is only one problem: Mother Nature doesn’t like company. Tenley turns to the Fair One, an ancestor of fairies, to protect her abilities and life as Mother Nature threatens to blow them into oblivion forever. A total downpour of ingenious storytelling and thrill, Operation Tenley is one of the greatest additions to the world of tween literature.4. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan ($11): You know it’s going to be an unforgettable journey when Thor’s hammer — the most powerful weapon in the nine worlds — goes missing. That’s when Magnus Chase comes in, and his friends have the colossal responsibility of retrieving the hammer from enemy hands before the mortal worlds are destroyed by giants. Pfft, and middle graders think algebra tests are stressful.5. Snow Fright by Amie Borst & Bethanie Borst ($13): Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them… just kidding, mirrors are meant to suck you into the underworld and turn you into a zombie. At least that’s what happens to 12-year-old Sarah White, whose birthday gift was an unexpected makeover into a decaying, brain-loving member of the walking dead. Not loving the culinary world of flesh, Sarah enlists the assistance of a crow named Raven and a glowing necklace to rescue her humanity and her friends. Devouring this tale is just as effortless as plowing your way through your favorite treats on Halloween night — it’s so sweet and literarily delicious, you won’t be able to get enough.6. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill ($10): This stunning modern fairytale is sure to become a childhood favorite for middle graders around the world. Forest witch Xan is the kindest witch ever to grace the pages of children’s literature: She rescues children, nourishes them with “starlight” and delivers them to new families. Her usually amazing deed turns into a nightmare when she accidently feeds a baby moonlight instead of the starlight, turning the girl into a magical force that not even Xan is sure she can handle. Dripping with classical fairytale themes, this book will warm every child’s soul quicker than peppermint hot chocolate.7. Full of Beans by Jennifer L. Holm ($10): Remember Turtle in Paradise — you know, the Newbery Honor Book that made our children’s souls feel fuzzy for months after completion? Well, middle graders get another sweet dose of Holms’ storytelling genius when she introduces us to Turtle’s cousin, Beans. Convinced that all grown-ups lie, Beans is the ultimate fib detector. Set in the middle of the Great Depression, Beans stirs up a hilarious plan with consequences that not even Beans will be about to lie his way out of.8. The Rat Prince by Bridget Hodder ($13): The best prince is definitely a rat prince. When the Prince of Rats is transformed into Cinderella’s coachman, they must team up to save the Kingdom of Angland from a horrific force and terrible fate. Caveat: They only have until midnight to succeed. This is the magical and inspiring untold story from the iconic fairytale no middle grader (or parent) will want to miss.9. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier ($7): When Cat and her family move to northern California to treat her sister Maya’s cystic fibrosis, she isn’t pleased to leave her friends and school life behind. But when a neighbor informs the sisters that there are ghosts in the neighborhood, Maya goes on a mission to meet one, an act strongly disapproved by Cat, who harbors deep untold fears. This moving story celebrates the strength of family and the power of sisterhood. For those middle graders needing an extra insight on courage, Ghosts and all 256 stunning pages of it will teach you more than school ever will.10. Timmy Failure: The Book You’re Not Supposed to Have by Stephan Pastis ($9): From New York Times bestselling author Stephan Pastis comes the latest installment of every middle grader’s guilty reading pleasure: the Timmy Failure series. We can’t give away too much of the summary here — after all, this book isn’t supposed to exist. We will tell you that the delicious conspiracy-loaded story of our favorite hilarious, mischievous and relentless detective will leave every middle grader laughing out loud this fall.11. Spy Ski School by Stuart Gibbs ($10): What’s better than hitting the slopes? Hitting the slopes as a childhood spy. As one of the most stealthy and talented spies the school has ever seen, 12-year-old Ben Ripley amazes his peers and teachers as he stays alive in the most harrowingly dangerous situations. He’s so amazing that the CIA decides to activate Ben in a high-stakes mission, one that involves befriending Jessica Shang, the daughter of a Chinese crime boss. Ben follows Jessica undercover to the slopes of the Rocky Mountains, but believe us, everything goes wrong. This remarkable literary adventure will make every middle grader’s fall reading season more deliciously adventurous.
What books are your kids (or you) reading? Tweet us your picks @BritandCo!
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