{Top 5} Children’s + Middle Grade Books

Today’s Top 5 Wednesday is one I’m really excited about! Children’s and Middle Grade books are so important and I love to talk about them. This is where we cut kids off at the pass and instill in them a life-long love of reading. They’re great escapism for children from boredom, but they also work in a similar way for adult readers as well.

Life gets busy. There are some days that are just so chaotic, between finishing up larger books and writing reviews and trying to have a social life, that I just can’t contemplate jumping into another huge novel right away. When that feeling starts wearing me down, one of my favorite retreats is into a Middle Grade book.

As an adult reader, the genre for me represents the innocence and magic of my childhood. Every time I jump into a middle grade story, or browse the section at the bookstore, I am reminded of those days when I would beg my parents to take me to the bookstore, and how excited I would be to pick up another book. Also, this is a really great ‘escape’ genre for me. It feels nice to unwind with a quick, fast-paced book that is easy to read and doesn’t require a ton of investment on the reader’s part. Even better if the book includes some artwork that get children even more compelled to keep reading. Note: I’m purposefully leaving off Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, as those should be considered givens for me!

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{Top 5} Middle Grade Books


{The Chronicles of Narnia}
by C.S. Lewis
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Starting off with an old school classic! Thus far, I’ve only read the first two books in the series, but I quite enjoyed them. Lewis has a really unique and classic-sounding narrative voice that I quite enjoyed. I also love that the books are peppered with artwork of the characters, creatures and environments that are encountered along the way during the story. It makes for a really fun and memorable adventure.


{The Animorph Series}
by Katherine Applegate
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The second I saw what the topic was for this week, I knew I had to include this series. Besides Harry Potter, this was a formative series of my youth! I remember being absolutely fascinated as a child by those covers, with the tweens that morphed into some type of animal. I think I read every single book as a child of this series and the spin-off series, until my mom gave them all away as she thought I’d outgrown them. I don’t think I’ll ever revisit them, as the nostalgia is too great and I know it would ruin it, but I also don’t think I’d ever really outgrow them, or series like them. And yes, I had to choose a Tobias cover because he was totally my favorite.


{The Little House Series}
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
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This was another formative series of my childhood. I think my interest in it was spurred from the fact that my mom absolutely loved the television series, and always had an episode playing at least once a day when it come on tv. Of course, once I discovered that there was a book series centered around it that had been written by Laura herself, I jumped on them and read them all straight though. I remember very little of them now in comparison to the show, unfortunately, but I still have a great fondness for them and think that if I had a child I would be happy to get them interested in this series.


{Where the Wild Things Are}
by Maurice Sendak
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Now for a real throwback to my childhood. This was probably one of the first books I truly got engrossed in as a young child. I think even before I could read, I was obsessed with the artwork and the ideas in the story. The monsters probably sparked my lifelong love of all things fantasy, and for that I’ll be forever grateful.


{The Lockwood and Co. series}
by Johnathan Stroud
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I’m including this one as a reminder to myself to read it, ASAP. A few of my friends on goodreads absolutely rave about this series. Its a paranormal Middle Grade series. It’s rated quite highly and seems to have somewhat of a cult following to it. I’m very excited to check it out soon!


What do you think about my choices? What are some of your favorites? Do you ever like to go back and revisit genres written for a younger audience?

Thanks for reading!

xoxo

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48 thoughts on “{Top 5} Children’s + Middle Grade Books

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  1. I love love love Where the Wild Things Are, it’s probably the first book I actually remember reading to myself☺. I really need to get round to reading the Narnia series too… (As I’ve been saying for at least 5 years😂)

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  2. I loved the Little House series too! I have such fond memories of reading them! I never watched the show though. I also loved the Chronicles of Narnia, I completely forgot about that series 🙂

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  3. I would definitely say, never, ever reread Animorphs. You will shatter all of that warm nostalgia that you hold for them, when you discover that they’re actually pretty poorly written to have held such a high place in your childhood. I only made it to book 30 or so before I realized I was growing older and recognizing they weren’t as good as I used to think they were.

    Chronicles of Narnia is something that I think nobody outgrows. Even now, I enjoy going back and reading them (mostly because I understand them more now that I’m older). They’re much shorter than I remember them to be, as I reread The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe in a little under twenty minutes while relaxing in the bathtub a few weeks ago.

    Laura Ingalls was also such a large part of my childhood. It was the first true “series” that I read. I’ve read many heart-shattering “truths” about the series since I’ve grown up, though, the biggest being that Jack the bulldog didn’t die by the Shores of Silver Lake, but was traded for a pony while they were still in Kansas. Heartbreaking.

    “Where the Wild Things Are” seems so out of place in this list, as you’ve grouped a picture book with middle-grade chapter books. Don’t sell either category short by overlapping the two! They’re two distinct categories that each deserve their own post (in my opinion, at least). I took an entire class on children’s literature my final year of undergrad, and it was one of the best classes I’ve ever taken. I also had the privilege of teaching this book to preschoolers last summer, and it was a great experience.

    Instead of Lockwood & Co, read Stroud’s Bartimaeus series. It’s absolutely beyond incredible, and was one of my favorite series for a long time, despite the ending.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, thanks for the awesome comment Lauren! See, that’s exactly what I was worried about with Animorphs. I see that the ratings on Goodreads are really hit and miss, verging closer to miss and that is enough for me to know to leave well enough alone.

      It was surprising to me too when I realized how show the Chronicles of Narnia books were. The way they are spoken of made me think they were sweeping epics of similar proportion. They’re still epic, but much more bite sized than books we normally see today.

      I’m glad that Laura Ingalls was a big part of your childhood too! And wow, that really is heartbreaking. 😦 But so is meeting your heroes – at least so I hear.

      Hahaha I hear you with Where the Wild Things are. I wish I could have included more childrens books in this list, but alas, I’m merely participating in a larger Top 5 Wednesday, and I don’t make the topics. If I did, I would definitely have split the two up.

      I’ve never heard of that series! Thank you for cluing me into it! I’ll add it to my list. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m an English grad student; long and thoughtful comments/posts is what I do! (Just try to get me to summarize, though; that’s something that just doesn’t happen! Ha!)

        I feel like I’m left out because I tried GoodReads once or twice and could never get into it. The interface was just too clunky for me. Maybe it’s improved in the past few years?

        It’s a great trilogy. The best parts are the footnotes — the main character, Bartimaeus (his parts of the books are in first person) uses footnotes to communicate extra things, and they’re pretty hilarious.

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      1. Hey there… I wanted to give you a heads up that you are the “Recommended Blogger to Know” on my 365 Daily Challenge tomorrow. I wanted to give you a heads up and let others on your site know it was coming… so glad to be connected with you! Thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I am actually on a hunt for good middle-grade books and so glad you posted this. My son is very interested in the Animorphs and The Chronicles of Narnia. Thanks for posting!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I completely forgot about Animorphs! Oh my gosh the memories! I thought those were some of the neatest stories! The Chronicles of Narnia series I actually didn’t read until I was older, other than “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”. Robert Muncsh is my go-to for awesome book reading memories as a kid 🙂 Great list! Some I haven’t heard of so I’ll have to add them on Goodreads!

    Liked by 1 person

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