These are all books we have enjoyed throughout the years. Truth be told we’ve enjoyed most of these middle-grade books in high school. There is something about middle-grade fiction that draws us, not sure what it is, but we love the lessons hidden in it, the beauty, the innocence. So here are twenty-five middle-grade books everyone should read! Enjoy!
1. The Green Ember (The Green Ember Series Book 1#)
Heather and Picket are extraordinary rabbits with ordinary lives until calamitous events overtake them, spilling them into a cauldron of misadventures. They discover that their own story is bound up in the tumult threatening to overwhelm the wider world.
Kings fall and kingdoms totter. Tyrants ascend and terrors threaten. Betrayal beckons and loyalty is a broken road with peril around every bend.
Where will Heather and Picket land? How will they make their stand?
2. On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness (Wingfeather Sage Book 1#)
Once, in a cottage above the cliffs on the Dark Sea of Darkness, there lived three children and their trusty dog, Nugget.
Janner Igiby, his brother, Tink, and their disabled sister, Leeli, are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that they love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang, who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice. The Igibys hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.
3. Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes
Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is the utterly beguiling tale of a ten-year-old blind orphan who has been schooled in a life of thievery. One fateful afternoon, he steals a box from a mysterious traveling haberdasher—a box that contains three pairs of magical eyes. When he tries the first pair, he is instantly transported to a hidden island where he is presented with a special quest: to travel to the dangerous Vanished Kingdom and rescue a people in need. Along with his loyal sidekick—a knight who has been turned into an unfortunate combination of horse and cat—and the magic eyes, he embarks on an unforgettable, swashbuckling adventure to discover his true destiny.
4. Urchin of Riding Stars (The Mistmantle Chronicles Book 1#)
On a night of riding stars, a tiny squirrel is found abandoned and close to death on a distant beach. Adopted and raised by a kindly, eccentric squirrel, Urchin has no idea of his powerful destiny or of the way he will influence the island of Mistmantle.
The rule of the good King Brushen and Queen Spindle is threatened by an evil plot from within the court. When their young prince is found murdered, the isle is thrown into turmoil. Behind the scenes, the wicked Lord Husk and Lady Aspen are determined to take control. But to underestimate the power of the islanders and the ancient prophecies is a big mistake…
5. Sweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster
It’s been five years since the Sweep disappeared. Orphaned and alone, Nan Sparrow had no other choice but to work for a ruthless chimney sweep named Wilkie Crudd. She spends her days sweeping out chimneys. The job is dangerous and thankless, but with her wits and will, Nan has managed to beat the deadly odds time and time again.
When Nan gets stuck in a chimney fire, she fears the end has come. Instead, she wakes to find herself unharmed in an abandoned attic. And she is not alone. Huddled in the corner is a mysterious creature—a golem—made from soot and ash.
Sweep is a heartrending adventure about the everlasting gifts of friendship and wonder.
6. The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic
Ten-year-old Persimmony Smudge lives a boring life on the Island in the Middle of Everything, but she longs for adventure. And she soon gets it when she overhears a life-altering secret and suddenly finds herself in the middle of an amazing journey. It turns out that Mount Majestic, the rising and falling mountain in the center of the island, is not really a mountain – it’s the belly of a sleeping giant! It’s up to Persimmony and her friend Worvil to convince the island’s quarreling inhabitants that a giant is sleeping in their midst and must not be awakened. The question is, will she be able to do it?
7. The Prince Warriors (The Prince Warriors Book 1#)
As brothers, Xavier and Evan are used to battling each other. But now they’re discovering that there is a much bigger battle going on all around them. And it’s their turn to fight. The Prince Warriors is the first book in Priscilla Shirer’s epic new series that brings to life the invisible struggle ensuing in the spiritual realm. Xavier, Evan, and their friends have typical lives until they enter a mysterious land called Ahoratos. There they meet their guide, Ruwach, who offers wisdom and direction as the kids’ initial adventure begins—an adventure filled with armor and danger and a very real enemy.
Tyrone “Li’l T” Roberts meets Buddy when his family’s car accidentally hits the stray dog on their way to church. Buddy turns out to be the dog Li’l T’s always wished for–until Hurricane Katrina comes to New Orleans and he must leave Buddy behind. After the storm, Li’l T and his father return home to find a community struggling to rebuild their lives–and Buddy is gone. But Li’l T refuses to give up his quest to find his best friend.
9. The False Prince (The Ascendance Series Book 1#)
In a discontented kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point — he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well. As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.
10. Words on Fire
Danger is never far from Audra’s family farm in Lithuania. She always avoids the occupying Russian Cossack soldiers, who insist that everyone must become Russian — they have banned Lithuanian books, religion, culture, and even the language. But Audra knows her parents are involved in something secret and perilous. In June 1893, when Cossacks arrive abruptly at their door, Audra’s parents insist that she flee, taking with her an important package and instructions for where to deliver it. But escape means abandoning her parents to a terrible fate. As Audra embarks on a journey to deliver the mysterious package, she faces unimaginable risks, and soon she becomes caught up in a growing resistance movement. Can joining the underground network of book smugglers give Audra a chance to rescue her parents?
11. The Magicians Nephew (The Chronicles of Narnia Book 1#)
On a daring quest to save a life, two friends are hurled into another world, where an evil sorceress seeks to enslave them. But then the lion Aslan’s song weaves itself into the fabric of a new land, a land that will be known as Narnia. And in Narnia, all things are possible.
Narnia . . . a land frozen in eternal winter . . . a country waiting to be set free.
12. The Hobbit
Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all – a treasure-troving dragon named Smaug.
13. Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus
Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is that she was born without them. And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country knowing that she’ll have to answer the question over and over again.
Her new life takes an unexpected turn when she bonds with Connor, a classmate who also feels isolated because of his own disability, and they discover a room at Stagecoach Pass that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined. It’s hard to solve a mystery, help a friend, and face your worst fears. But Aven’s about to discover she can do it all… even without arms.
14. Wrinkle in Time
Meg Murray, her little brother Charles Wallace, and their mother are having a midnight snack on a dark and stormy night when an unearthly stranger appears at their door. He claims to have been blown off course and goes on to tell them that there is such a thing as a “tesseract”, which, if you didn’t know, is a wrinkle in time. Meg’s father had been experimenting with time-travel when he suddenly disappeared. Will Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin outwit the forces of evil as they search through space for their father?
15. Haunted Waters (Red Rock Mysteries Book 1#)
A crazy, wild drive from a deserted mining town makes it clear that someone’s after Bryce and Ashley Timberline. Will they survive long enough to find out who it is?
Bryce and Ashley Timberline are normal 13-year-old twins, except for one thing – they discover action-packed mystery wherever they go. Wanting to get to the bottom of any mystery, these twins find themselves on a nonstop search for truth.
16. Peter Pan
In pursuit of his lost shadow, a young boy named Peter Pan dashes into the bedroom of three children named Wendy, Michael, and John. After much blundering about, Wendy manages to reattach Peter’s frenetic shadow, and in return, Peter propositions the three siblings to accompany him back to his home in a place he calls Neverland.
A world of fantasy, flight, and fun, Neverland brings wonderment to Wendy and her brothers at every moment with Peter and his ageless band of Lost Boys, but with the magnificence that Neverland offers so too also lurks the evil Captain Hook…
17. Call it Courage
Maftu was afraid of the sea. It had taken his mother when he was a baby, and it seemed to him that the sea gods sought vengeance at having been cheated of Mafatu. So, though he was the son of the Great Chief of Hikueru, a race of Polynesians who worshipped courage, and he was named Stout Heart, he feared and avoided the sea, till everyone branded him a coward. When he could no longer bear their taunts and jibes, he determined to conquer that fear or be conquered– so he went off in his canoe, alone except for his little dog and pet albatross. A storm gave him his first challenge. Then days on a desert island found him resourceful beyond his own expectation. This is the story of how his courage grew and how he finally returned home. This is a legend. It happened many years ago, but even today the people of Hikueru sing this story and tell it over their evening fires.
18. Song for a Whale
From fixing the class computer to repairing old radios, twelve-year-old Iris is a tech genius. But she’s the only deaf person in her school, so people often treat her like she’s not very smart. If you’ve ever felt like no one was listening to you, then you know how hard that can be.
When she learns about Blue 55, a real whale who is unable to speak to other whales, Iris understands how he must feel. Then she has an idea: she should invent a way to “sing” to him! But he’s three thousand miles away. How will she play her song for him?
19. Anne of Green Gables
Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her.
20. Little House in the Big Woods (Little House on the Prairie Book 1#)
Little House in the Big Woods takes place in 1871 and introduces us to four-year-old Laura, who lives in a log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. She shares the cabin with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their lovable dog, Jack.
Pioneer life isn’t easy for the Ingalls family, since they must grow or catch all their own food as they get ready for the cold winter. But they make the best of every tough situation. They celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do their spring planting, bring in the harvest in the fall, and make their first trip into town. And every night, safe and warm in their little house, the sound of Pa’s fiddle lulls Laura and her sisters into sleep.
The nine books in the timeless Little House series tell the story of Laura’s real childhood as an American pioneer and are cherished by readers of all generations. They offer a unique glimpse into life on the American frontier and tell the heartwarming, unforgettable story of a loving family.
21. Treasure Island
A voyage for buried treasure spells trouble for cabin boy Jim Hawkins, who finds himself in the middle of a mutiny with some of the nastiest pirates to ever sail the seven seas.
22. Eight Cousin
Rose Campbell, is thirteen when her wealthy father dies. Rose has been motherless from a young age and has had very little contact with her extended family when she finds herself orphaned. A pretty and sweet girl she is suddenly in the care of her great-aunts, her father’s six brothers, their wives, and her seven male cousins. Rose must learn to find her place as a young lady and heiress in this new and often overwhelming world. “Eight Cousins” is full of the practical, healthy, and wholesome advice and wisdom that readers expect from Alcott and her timeless novels of young girls growing into independent, thoughtful, and respectable ladies. Rose’s story is also a touching and heartwarming glimpse of her struggle to overcome the sadness of the loss of her father and the hardship of adapting to a new environment following that loss.
23. The Little Maid of Mohawk Valley (The Little Maid Series)
In May 1777, little Joanne Clarke and her friend Nancy Wagner are taken captive by a Native American, an ally of the British army. They are left in the woods where they find the Indian’s pouch containing a letter with valuable information to the American Army at Albany.
24. El Deafo
Starting at a new school is scary, especially with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece’s class was deaf. Here, she’s different. She’s sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid that will help her hear her teacher. Too bad it also seems certain to repel potential friends.
Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom but anywhere her teacher is in the school—in the hallway . . . in the teacher’s lounge . . . in the bathroom! This is power. Maybe even superpower! Cece is on her way to becoming El Deafo, Listener for All. But the funny thing about being a superhero is that it’s just another way of feeling different . . . and lonely. Can Cece channel her powers into finding the thing she wants most, a true friend?
25. Orphan’s Song (Songkeeper Chronicles Book 1#)
Deep within the world of Leira flows a melody that was sung at the beginning of time by Emhran, the Master Singer. Now it is broken, buried, forgotten. But in each generation, a Songkeeper arises to uphold the memory of the Song against those who want it silenced forever.
When Birdie first hears the Song coming from her own mouth, her world shatters. She is no longer simply an orphan but the last of a hunted people. Forced to flee for her life, she must decide whom to trust—a traveling peddler, a streetwise thief, or a mysterious creature who claims to know her past.
With enemies at her heels and war threatening to tear her homeland apart, Birdie soon discovers an overwhelming truth: the fate of Leira may hinge on one orphan’s Song.
So there are the 25 middle-grade books we think everyone should read. If you have any suggestions for middle-grade books you think we should read feel free to leave them in the comments, or you can find us on GoodReads here.
Sisters Three (sistersthree) (452 books) | Goodreads
Let us know what you think of this list. What are you’re favorite MG books? Let us hear all about it in the comments! (Oh, except for spoilers, duh…no spoilers please! Lol…)
Thanks for reading this post, God Bless!
7 thoughts on “25 Middle-Grade Books Everyone Should Read”
Such an awesome post!!!!! Eee!!! *gives a hearty high five upon seeing The Green Ember at the top of the list* Wow, there are always more good books to read – I definitely haven’t read them all but am going to one day!!!! Wonderful list!!!!
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Thank you!!!! *High fives and hugs while screaming GE is the best!!!* Yes! These are some good ones….and we’ve discovered more since making this list…almost time for 25 more MG books everyone should read….lol….
Wonderful post, girls!! I knew about half of those and can’t wait to check out the other half! The one about Peter Nimble sounded especially interesting, as an author who has a blind character. 😉 Thanks for the list – I’ll definitely be referring to it again!
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Awww, thank you!!!! Yes, do!!! Oh, Peter Nimble is an awesome book!!! SO awesome! ANd it has a sequel, Sophie Quire and the Last Story Guard! Also so good!!!
Totally! We could probably make another one…hmmm, thinking future blog post…lol…We actually made this list back in July and posted it on the original Wix blog, but then we moved…so we were like, hmm, let’s pull it over here…lol…
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Heh, I’m glad you moved it!!
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Awesome!! I love so many of the books in this list! I read the Hobbit recently and I love it! The little house series is such a good series, and so is the Chronicles of Narnia!
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So glad you liked the list!! Thanks so much for the comment, Haley!