I utterly failed at MiddleGradeMarch this year and finally read one of the Horrible Histories books. I’ll consider that a win! Let me talk about that/those books for two seconds and then I’ll link some of my favorite MiddleGrade Reads from prior years to make up for my total lack of features.
I think it’s important (and getting more difficult) to find good and age appropriate Middle Grade books so I do try to participate every year. March was busy though 🤷♀️
So I bought a Horrible Histories book for my niece called Dark Knights and Dingy Castles, and it was just about everything I’ve come to expect from these books. Tons of good facts, funny illustrations, and thankfully not dumbed down too much for the age group. Kids love gross facts and there’s definitely some poop involved. The illustration above shows mad cows and a guy peeing, but are you going to forget crenels vs merlons after that?
I think it’s great how the illustrations are goofy but also help with recall. Heck knows I don’t remember dry historical reading.
Long story short this one talks all about tournaments, brave and cowardly knights, castles, sieges, and a ton more. It’s great. These books have been around forever (1997 this one) and they have staying power for a reason! 100% recommend for the age group and/or anyone who wants to read horrible history for fun
I also wanted to link a few of my MG favorites over the years. Obviously there’s Fablehaven and Skulduggery Pleasant and all the “regular” MG favorites, but let’s look at a relatively diverse list of some of the indies and small press MG books that I’ve loved over the past few years!
Geanna Culbertson is one of my favorite people in the indie and young reader community, you can read an amazing author interview I did with her here where we talk all about age appropriateness and her lovely MG series Crisanta Knight. I reviewed the first few of them on here too back in the day. Princesses saving the day, fairy tales, and girl power, heck yeah
A really cool little book by an Indian author is Asha and the Spirit Bird. A girl is guided through an adventure possibly by the spirit of her grandmother to save the family farm. It is a beautiful story set in rural India and I loved it endlessly
The White Fox is by Chinese author Chen Jiatong and now the first two books have been translated into English. It’s sad at times and well done in all regards as a fox goes on an adventure after watching his parents die
Dealing with anxiety, family addiction, parental strain, and a lot of other things at a completely age appropriate level, is one of my favorite MG books EVER: The Wild Path by Sarah Baughman. I love the magic wild horses and not so magic actual horses that the main character uses to hold on to magic in a difficult time of change
Last but not least is another of my favorite MG series: The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night. She has so much magical artwork and interactive things for this great series that’s HP with a lot more girl power and cute dragons. Ivy Lovely is out to solve a curse and prove her heritage as she works her way through a magical school of discovery and beyond. Um…apparently I have to upload my reviews for books one and two but trust me, they’re lovely books. Here’s a link to check them out
What are your favorite MG books? Have you read any of these??