Hello there to all of you readers of Notebooks and Novels, and a big thank you to Micaiah for giving me this chance to guest post on her gorgeous blog! Because she asked me to come up with something literary related, I’m here today to recommend you books – but not just for you.
Chances are that if you’re an avid bookdragon like myself you look for every opportunity to promote your bookish tastes in your younger siblings, younger cousins, nieces and nephews. Those open minds are as ready as a sponge to soak up all the information you can offer them. So here I’m here to be helpful, by listing, by genre, books that your 8 to 13 year old charges are sure to adore.
^^ note: since I don’t really read the modern MG fiction anymore most of these are “older” books ;D what I used to read in my day lol
ANIMAL FANTASY: Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White
HISTORICAL FICTION: Goodbye Marianne by Irene N. Watts
The first book of the Escape from Berlin trilogy, this book tells the sad story of Marianne Kohn, a young Jewish girl whose life is being torn apart by WWII. Losing family, friends, and freedom, she has to escape the country all alone. Though a more serious type of story, this is a great place to introduce younger readers to historical fiction and one of the most heartbreaking eras of history.
CLASSIC: The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
It’s quite possible that your young friends might know this one, but I JUST COULD NOT LEAVE IT OUT. This series introduced me to fantasy and I’ve been in love with the world beyond the wardrobe ever since. Not only is there a whole new land to discover, but we have mythical creatures, exciting plots and adventures, conflicts between good and evil, the most loveable cast, and wonderful allegory. You just cannot miss recommending Narnia – it’s a classic for a good reason.
ADVENTURE: The Cooper Kids series by Frank Peretti
Eight Indiana Jones style adventures from the perspective of children AND Christians. Jay and Lila Cooper follow their archeologist dad on many excavations and research projects, often unearthing strange and sinister mysteries in the process. I love how Peretti weaves mystery/thriller stories for children and does not shy away from including the supernatural – even though most of the mysteries do have logical explanations. But not always. And therefore these books will not let go of any reader who dares to set foot in them.
SUPERHERO: Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World by Bryan Davis
Twelve year old Eddie Hertz is a kid inventor and a superhero who patrols streets at night and hopes to become like Damocles – the greatest superhero in the city. But when Damocles loses power and their great arch nemesis threatens the city with earthquakes – it all falls into Eddie’s hands … and that of his sidekick sister. I highly appreciated the sibling relationships, easy to understand explanations of technology and gadgets, as well the PLOT TWIST at the end.
MYSTERY: The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
These books, though originally created some eighty years ago, are timeless. The first one in the series gives you the origin story of four lovable orphaned children – Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny. In the rest of the series they solve a variety of mysteries and cases in a variety of settings. These books are not particularly thrilling, or danger-filled, in any sense and as the filmmakers of the recent movie versions pointed out – no one goes to prison at the end. A person is merely healed, emotionally. So while these may be a bit different from the thrillers we expect books to be today – I’d say it’s worth it. It’s a different type of delightful.
^^ btw the movies are amazing too.
FANTASY: Castle Glower series by Jessica Day George
“Tuesdays at Castle Glower are Princess Celie’s favorite days. That’s because on Tuesdays the castle adds a new room, a turret, or sometimes even an entire wing. No one ever knows what the castle will do next, and no one-other than Celie, that is-takes the time to map out the new additions.”
I haven’t actually read this myself, but my sister did – and loved it. She says it features a princess trying to save her kingdom; a lot of griffin riding; sinister plots, action, excitement; and great sibling relationships. Since I trust my sister’s judgment 110%, I completely recommend!
TIME TRAVEL: Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborn
My sister was mildly obsessed with this series as a ten year old – and even I enjoyed them. Jack and Annie’s quests and missions into past eras span some 55 books. The first Magic Treehousebooks are for the younger readers, while the Merlin Mission books get a bit longer. I really appreciate the historic details and the plots of individual books – as well as the over arching relationship they develop with Merlin, Morgan le Fay, and other magical friends.
NONFICTION: Christian Heroes: Then and Now series by Janet and Geoff Benge
I pretty much lived off these books in my childhood. Not only are they well written and educational, they’re sure to inspire young readers and teach life lessons from the stories of Christian heroes. From childhood to death, these approximately-20-chapter biographies highlight the most amazing moments and accomplishments of these people – showing how they grew up to fulfill their calling – and all in real story style. There’s no series I’d recommend more than this one, and that’s saying a lot.
GRAPHIC NOVEL: Geronimo Stilton and Thea Stilton
Geronimo and Thea books are a great hit in my family – everyone needs them. Geronimo Stilton and his gang of four are generally time traveling in the comics – always trying to thwart the plot of their archenemies the Pirate Cats . While a bit cliché at times, it’s extremely entertaining and laugh-worthy. Personally, I like Thea Stilton comics even more, even though they are about college life drama, helping the environment, and solving mini-mysteries. I’ll also take the moment to express my displeasure that Papercutz is discontinuing the graphic novel series – ABONDONING THESE LOVELY MICE FOR SOME PINK PAMPERED PONIES … err unicorns. However, read the existing editions – you’ll have a blast!
So that’s that, friends! Hope you all got some good ideas especially with Christmas rolling around. Be sure to let me know in the comments what middle grade books you want me to recommend to my siblings!
So long for now and stay awesome,
About the Author
Lisa Elis is a busy high school junior from Canada who spends her free time chasing many literary interests. She’s also into art and design, orchids and sunshine, plus all things that grow her wanderlust. Find her scrambling to post every week at www.thisinkwell.blogspot.com.