Great Gifts for Middle-Grade Readers

Posted by Marie on November 13, 2017
Tahereh Mafi is the New York Times-bestselling author of the young adult series, Shatter Me. Her new release, Whichwood, is a companion piece to her middle-grade fantasy novel, Furthermore.



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Got a tween bookworm on your gift list? Middle-grade fiction bridges the gap between the innocence of children’s books and the nuances of young adult novels. They represent the golden age in a young reader’s life where they’re poised at the edge of the discovery; of exploring who they are and what they want to be. In fact, the books they read now will help shape the beginning of their journey of growing up.

So if you're looking to expand the horizons of the middle-grade readers in your life, these classic, moving, and whimsical picks from Mafi are the perfect stocking stuffers.

"Middle grade novels are my first love; these were the books I first discovered as a young person—the books that became the portal through which I discovered distant lands and fascinating new friends. Here are a list of some of my favorites for the young reader in your life."


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"I adored this book as a child. I reread it a couple of years ago, as an adult, and it made me cry all over again."




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"Jason is just, hands down, one of the most talented writers working today. This book is so special."




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"This book! It's stayed with me all my life."




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"A sweet, moving portrayal of life and loss. Ally is an artist."




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"It’s a tough call, but this might be my favorite Dahl book…Matilda was such a role model for my young self."




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"This one is for a slightly younger audience, but it’s a beautiful, stunning story—another knock out by Matt de la Peña—and the visuals are divine."





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"I was obsessed with this book when I was a kid. I probably read it about fifty times!"




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"This book needs no introduction, of course, but I just couldn’t keep it off the list. It’s a modern classic—one I can’t wait to share with my own daughter."




What books would you recommend for middle-graders? Share them with us in the comments!

See the complete coverage of our Gift Guide including:
Hilarious Reads for Kids of All-Ages
Enchanting Picture Books to Delight The Youngins
Fantastic Books for Fantasy Fanatics

Comments Showing 1-20 of 20 (20 new)

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message 1: by Lana (new)

Lana i would recommend any book written by Cornelia Funke, they are terrific reads for any age group!


message 2: by Jodi (new)

Jodi Eleanor and Park is just the beginning of my list!


message 3: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Maloney Jodi wrote: "Eleanor and Park is just the beginning of my list!"

That is definitely NOT a middle grade book. So much swearing in it.


message 4: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Jennifer wrote: "Jodi wrote: "Eleanor and Park is just the beginning of my list!"

That is definitely NOT a middle grade book. So much swearing in it."


I would have to agree, better for high school students.


message 5: by Luna (new)

Luna Xenia Carrie wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "Jodi wrote: "Eleanor and Park is just the beginning of my list!"

That is definitely NOT a middle grade book. So much swearing in it."

I would have to agree, better for high schoo..."


I would say that swearing in a book is not necessarily mutually incompatible with it being a middle-grade read. Speaking as an eighth-grader who has ridden the bus every day for the past three years, most of my peers would not be learning any new words from a swear-heavy book.


message 6: by Sam (last edited Nov 22, 2017 06:43PM) (new)

Sam I remember reading A Little Princess in middle school; it's the most timeless classic I've ever read, and definitely easy enough for most middle-grade readers. I never got around to reading The Secret Garden, another Burnett classic, but I bet it's just as good.


message 7: by Luna (new)

Luna Xenia JD wrote: "I remember reading A Little Princess in middle school; it's the most timeless classic I've ever read, and definitely easy enough for most middle-grade readers. I never got around to reading The Sec..."

I would agree that A Little Princess is a wonderful book for those of any age; I have never been particularly captivated by The Secret Garden, but I know that many people find it enjoyable.


message 8: by Noora (new)

Noora Lana wrote: "i would recommend any book written by Cornelia Funke, they are terrific reads for any age group!"

Cornelia Funke's The Thief Lord is what I grew up with in this age and to this day, my actions are affected by it! loved it.


message 9: by Lana (new)

Lana all her books are lovely, so imaginative and thrilling, i personally love the inkheart trilogy but i agree that thief lord is also very beautiful and set in venice, purely magical!


message 10: by sumayyah (last edited Nov 23, 2017 07:20AM) (new)

sumayyah Luna wrote: "Carrie wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "Jodi wrote: "Eleanor and Park is just the beginning of my list!"

That is definitely NOT a middle grade book. So much swearing in it."

I think they meant that not all middle graders are accustomed to the swear words. Not a lot of parents want their children reading books with things they shouldn't know. P.S not everyone goes to a school like that, in fact, I go to homeschool and I know lots other who do or prefer it.



message 11: by Lana (new)

Lana i have not read the books so cannot really know the extent of the swear words however i used to teach middle graders for many years and though some might be used to hearing swear words even at home and might even try using some of these words with their peers to show off i don't think this is something that should be encouraged by finding these words in books which come recommended for the age. i know many parents would definitely not approve such books where they to read them prior to their kids getting their hands on them!


message 12: by sumayyah (new)

sumayyah I recommend the Uncommon Magic series. Consists of two books.
1# 'A Pocket Full Of Murder'
2# 'A Little Taste Of Poison'
They are not classics and not well known but I really enjoyed them. It's fiction and fantasy. Trust me, by the end, you will love the characters.
I also recommend 'The War That Saved My Life' and 'The War I Finally Won' The first and second book in a series. It is historical fiction.


message 13: by Luna (new)

Luna Xenia I would also recommend Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (fantasy) and, for stronger middle-grade readers, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.


message 14: by Jennice (new)

Jennice not to forget Cornelia Funke's books!!!


message 15: by Jenine (new)

Jenine Lana wrote: "all her books are lovely, so imaginative and thrilling, i personally love the inkheart trilogy but i agree that thief lord is also very beautiful and set in venice, purely magical!"
i ADORE the Inkworld trilogy, it's so addictive! I think I'll buy it because I only borrowed the first book from the library... An old copy!


message 16: by Lana (new)

Lana Jenine wrote: "Lana wrote: "all her books are lovely, so imaginative and thrilling, i personally love the inkheart trilogy but i agree that thief lord is also very beautiful and set in venice, purely magical!"
i ..."

definetly worth having in anyone's library!


message 17: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Cornelia Funke's Inkheart is still my all time favorite!


message 18: by Dave (new)

Dave Bettinger "Crystal and Breanna: The Secret of Blackridge Farm," is my own middle grade reader, which has received rave reviews from the elementary and middle schoolers in my city who have read it. Co-written with my step daughter when she was eight years old, it is the first in a series of feel-good books about two fifth grade girls who go on adventures on their horses. We are constantly asked, even today while I was guest teaching in a local middle school, when the second book will be coming out. It's still in the works. :-)

Find it on the usual online bookselling sites. You may see a review from the School Library Journal... it's great until the last line. What they missed is that this is the start of a series, therefore there are many "loose ends" that are intended to be resolved in later books.

Buy it for your tween or teen son or daughter! It has equal appeal to all children. And please leave your own review!

Dave Bettinger and Barbara Mowry, co-authors


message 19: by FMT (new)

FMT The List
The Lunar chronicles
Booked
The hunger games
Chains
Divergent
The boy in striped pajamas
See you in the cosmos
Wildwood
Every day
Holes
Dead end in Norvelt
Everything, everything

These are all great middle grade books that I reccomend.


message 20: by Dave (new)

Dave Bettinger Barbara Mowry’s 1st-of-a-series book, “Crystal and Breanna: The Secret of Blackridge Farm” is a great read for middle schoolers and is continuously praised by all who have read it!


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