Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fabulous books: for middle-graders

Hi everybody!

The craziness continues this week. So far we've had two dress rehearsals and a play cast meeting. Tonight and tomorrow are dance recitals, then Friday we're heading out with Child for a 3-day school campout. No internet! No *computers* even!

Good thing I finished the most recent rewrite of SALVAGED yesterday. I can spend downtime at the campout reading down that big 'ol pile of books I've got.

Speaking of books...I've been having so much fun re-discovering old books and finding new ones with Child. She's 8, and an enthusiastic reader. We read together every night, and she checks out stacks from the library herself. I always feel bad when I have to pull her away from reading, because she gets SO intense on a book she has no idea what's going on around her at all. It's a joy to see.

Since I've got a great list of books for 8+ that we love, I thought I'd share...and see what MG books you guys love!

Our Current Favorites:

  • Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace
  • Pippi Longstocking books by Astrid Lindgren
  • Judy Blume, especially the Fudge/Superfudge books
  • Ballet Shoes, Theater Shoes, etc. by Noel Streatfeild
  • Little House in the Big Woods (she just started it) by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • James & the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  • Nancy Drew series
  • The Littles series by John Peterson
  • Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  • Any Beverly Cleary, but especially Ramona 
  • Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
Recent books/series we LOVE:
  • Sisters Eight by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, Greg Logsted, & Jackie Logsted
  • Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley
  • Ivy & Bean by Annie Barrows
  • Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell (she's reading this by herself, and she laughs out loud all the time while reading)
  • Just Grace by Charise Mericle Harper
  • Spiderwick Chronicles by by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
  •  Mary Margaret, Center Stage by Christine Kole MacLean
Other series books she gulps in an hour:
  • Magic Treehouse by Mary Pope Osborne
  • Cam Jansen by David A. Adler
  • A-Z mysteries by Ron Roy
  • The Rainbow Magic books by Daisy Meadows
  • Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park
  • Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown
  • (many more I've forgotten)

Next I want to try Clarice Bean and Judy Moody. We also have the Anne of Green Gables set waiting for when she's interested. Given this list--and the fact that she really likes the more "challenging" books right now--what else should we try? What middle grade books do you love right now?


Shari said...

Great list! My son (11) is currently devouring the Percy Jackson series. Other recent MGs he and I love include:

- A Crooked Kind of Perfect (Linda Urban)
- The Wednesday Wars (Gary Schmidt)
- When You Reach Me (Rebecca Stead)
- Tale of Despereaux, Because of Winn Dixie, The Magician's Elephant (Kate DiCamillo)
- Theodosia series (Robin LaFevers)
- The Magic Thief series (Sarah Prineas)

Susan Adrian said...


Thanks for sharing yours! I am totally adding these to the list. :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

The just read the second book in The Magic Thief series and loved it. Also When You Reach me. When my daughter was younger, we had fun reading the Magic Tree House series and Junie B. Jones.

Too Cute to be Very Interesting said...

My favorite middle grade author of all time is Gordon Korman. He's Canadian (so right there you know he's funny) and if you guys like him, he's written more than 50 books, so you'll have a lot to choose from! I'd start with I Want To Go Home, No Coins Please, or This Can't Be Happening At MacDonald Hall.

Deniz Bevan said...

I just reread Charlotte's Web the other day. Love the other classics on your list, especially Pippi, Fudge and Ramona. And Roald Dahl! Hmm, maybe I'll go re read some of those...

Catt said...

Aww, I'm getting so nostalgic right now!

When I was younger I used to really like the Emily Windsnap series by Liz Kessler, The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs by Betty Birney, Rules by Cynthia Lord, and Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles, and the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riodan.

Happy reading!

Jeanie W said...

The Clementine books by Sara Pennypacker have a similar feel to the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary. They're not challenging, but they're funny. I'm enjoying reading the classic Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh right now. If daughter likes The Littles, she might like to try The Borrowers.

Helen said...

The Deltora Quest books by Emily Rodda have a lot of little puzzles/riddles that you have to work out with the main character.

The Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix is also really good.

And I do love quite a lot of the books you have on your list :-)

hannah said...

I am CRAZY about the Casson Family series by Hilary McKay.

Susan Adrian said...

Wow, I never came back to answer posts on this thread? *slaps hand*

You guys are great!

Natalie: Thanks! I do need to check out The Magic Thief. I love Sarah Prineas, so...just haven't gotten there yet!

TooCute: Thank you! I've never heard of Gordon Korman, so will check him out.

Deniz: Happy to help! It's always fun to go back and read the classics.

Catt: I have not read ONE of those. Thanks so much for the recommendations!

Susan Adrian said...

Jeanie: Oooh, thank you! I'll add them to the list. Child likes a good mix of challenging and funny.

Helen: I LOVE puzzles/mystery books. Thank you!

hannah: Yay! More to check out! Thanks. Never too many book recommendations.