Middle Grade Readers

This category contains 289 posts

HERE IN THE REAL WORLD by Sara Pennypacker

I was not excited to read this book. I enjoyed Sara Pennypacker’s Clementine series with my kids when they were younger, but–and I am in the minority here–I did not like Pax; in fact, I DNF’d it. When Here in the Real World was chosen by my Mock Newbery group as the April read, and … Continue reading


I am always drawn to stories that involve dogs…and simultaneously leery of them (because the dog is so often killed off as a plot point in literature). For those of you who are like me: don’t worry. A Home for Goddesses and Dogs is a tender story about a 13-year-old girl finding her way through … Continue reading

DEAR SWEET PEA by Julie Murphy

I had read Julie Murphy’s YA novel Dumplin’ and thought it had some really great insights into body image and body language (as in the words we use to talk about female bodies in particular). When I saw she had a new middle grade novel I was excited to get my hands on a copy. … Continue reading

PARKED by Danielle Svetcov

I just finished Parked earlier today and there are so many things I want to say about it! This one was not on my radar at all until it showed up as a suggestion from someone in the Mock Newbery group I belong to on Goodreads. I had a hard time finding it–our local library … Continue reading


Redwood and Ponytail is a beautiful LGBTQ coming of age novel for middle-grade readers. Written in free verse by K.A. Holt it is the story of Kate and Tam, who meet at the beginning of their seventh grade year. Kate appears at first to be a stereotypical cheerleader, complete with ponytail, red bow in her … Continue reading

SCARY STORIES FOR YOUNG FOXES by Christian McKay Heidicker

I picked up Scary Stories for Young Foxes on two different occasions at the library in 2019 and put it back on the shelf. For whatever reason, I just wasn’t interested. When I saw it had been named a 2020 Newbery Honor Book I was still skeptical but decided I would make an effort to … Continue reading


11-year-old Scoob (William) jumps at his grandmother’s invitation to accompany her on a road trip in her new RV. He doesn’t know why or where she’s heading but Scoob is anxious to escape his current grounding and the crushing weight of his father’s disappointment at home. Scoob is increasingly concerned by his G’ma’s demeanor and … Continue reading

LOOK BOTH WAYS by Jason Reynolds

Usually I enjoy Jason Reynold’s work.¬†Look Both Ways? Not so much. Part of my problem–I think–were my expectations of the book. The jacket copy read: Jason Reynolds weaves ten tales (one per block) about what happens after the dismissal bell rings, into one wickedly funny, piercingly poignant look at the detours we face on the … Continue reading

FUNNY GIRL Edited by Betsy Bird

I truly enjoyed¬†Funny Girl. Edited by Betsy Bird, Funny Girl is a collection of poems, stories, comics, and essays by women authors, aimed specifically at girls around the 3rd to 6th grade demographic. The contents are both fictional and personal experiences, by turns witty and inspiring. Many of the best voices in current children’s literature … Continue reading

FURTHERMORE by Tahereh Mafi

Furthermore was a 3.5/5 star read for me. I love the premise of the story: a young girl finding a way to accept and claim who she is as an individual while simultaneously defining how she belongs in the world around her–all the moments of joyful discovery, of loneliness, and the stings of rejection that … Continue reading