More Awesome Middle Grade Novels Adults Will Love

Why should adults read Middle Grade Novels? There’s some great MG novels out there! The best ones are well-written and have an important message.

MG Novels can be just the ticket when you’re too stressed to follow a complex adult novel.

They often have a straight forward story line that is easy to follow. Often they have a limited cast of characters. They are less likely to shift back and forth in time and place.

They often offer an easy escape that requires little mental energy.

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The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

I believe that great fiction rings true.  Even one with a preposterous premise.

The Age of Miracles tells the story of a family dealing with the slowing of the earth’s rotation.  Every day is longer, every night is longer.  All the implications, all the choices, all the consequences.

The premise is preposterous, but the story still rings true.  Why?  Because it shows the resiliency of the human spirit in the face of cataclysm.  It shows the importance of deep relationship in the face of crisis.  It shows the inevitability of coming of age, whether or not the earth turns.

I liked the main characters.  That helped a lot.

I liked the traditional values portrayed in the story.  Which goes to show, you CAN have a great story without a moral slide.

Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead

I loved this book written for middle grades and I read it twice.

It gets five stars for being wholesome and a thumbs up for real heroes.  When I read middle grade, I find myself identifying with the teachers and principals.  Ha.

I loved the two families portrayed here and the real struggle with how twelve year olds deal with the heavy issues of life.

I liked her style.  I liked her characters.  I loved seeing the main character win the battles in his world.

Carry On, Mr Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham

Good story.  In the tradition of Johnny Tremain, except based on an historical person.

Nat Bowditch was very smart, but he wasn’t able to go to Harvard because of his family’s difficult financial position, it was necessary for him to work to earn his keep. So he was indentured at age 12 to work as a bookkeeper.

The story inspires kids to persevere in the face of difficult circumstances.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

What a great book!  Highly recommended for all ages.

I love the way it tackles head on mega topics: embarrassment, shame, discouragement, rising above difficult circumstances, the elements of a true friendship. 

August Pullman is a likable fellow.  If he were a jerk, this story wouldn’t have worked.

It strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a person.  Where do you fit into society.  How does society react to you?

It’s not just an overcomer story.  It’s a family systems story.  Our family of origin matters so much when it comes to what we believe about ourselves.

I love the middle school principal in this story.  I love the way he has such a deep understanding of kids.  I love how he can see past the surface level to what is happening beneath the surface.  This is so good for teachers, administrators, youth pastors, everyone who deals with kids.  And for kids, themselves.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

I’m tempted to go back and re-read this book now that I know the ending.

The plot was slow moving until all the pieces starting falling into place and it made sense.

From goodreads–

“Winner of the 2010 Newbery Medal. Miranda is an ordinary sixth grader, until she starts receiving mysterious messages from somebody who knows all about her, including things that have not even happened yet. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she’s too late. “

Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist

It’s interesting to stop and think about what it’s like to be blind from birth. How impossible it is to picture anything. What it means for your social interactions.

Add the fact that you’re sixteen years old and transferring from a blind school to a public school. How do you relate to others?

This is an engaging, feel good story. Satisfying.

Five stars for being wholesome and well-written. Technically, this is a Young Adult novel, not middle grade. Sarah Mackenzie of the Read Aloud Revival has a great explanation of the difference between middle grade books and young adult books, and why YA is a genre, not a reading level.

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