My Favorite Stand-Alone Books (Middle Grade Edition) | What to Read Wednesdays

What to Read Wednesdays

What to Read Wednesdays is a weekly post just for recommendations. If you’re like me and are always looking for new book recommendations (despite having a never-ending-always-growing TBR pile), then this is the post for you! Each week I’ll be posting my recommendations for a specific theme, which will change week-to-week.

Feel free to let me know in the comments if there is a genre you’d like to see some recommendations for! I am an eclectic reader and I hit up almost any genre, so if there’s a type of book that is your favorite thing and you’d like a recommendation, let me know!

Anyways, now for the book recs!

My Favorite Stand-Alone Middle Grade Books

Last time I wrote up blurbs on my favorite YA stand-alones, but today I want to talk up my favorite middle-grade stand-alones. The world of middle-grade fiction has grown so much since I was an elementary student. Kids these days are so lucky to have so much choice and there are some really smart books being written in this genre, even when I was young. I am really excited to talk about these books! I hope you enjoy.


The Nest | Kenneth Oppel

I love this book, plain and simple. I’ve talked about Kenneth Oppel’s books before on this blog, but this is my favorite of his. It rides the edge of creepy/ethereal. It also touches on some heavy topics, like mental illness, but it’s handled so well for this age-group. The writing is superb and you will not want to put this book down.


Ella Enchanted | Gail Carson Levine

Best Cinderella retelling of all time, you cannot change my mind. What has it got? Well, the best main character out of any book, Ella, who is the strongest of empowering female characters. It’s also got adventure, humor, and a supportive, beautiful relationship that is born out of mutual trust and friendship. And also fantasy creatures like gnomes and ogres. What’s not to love? (Also, the movie version of this is in-name-only and straight-up garbage. If you haven’t read the book, but seen the movie, you must do yourself a favor and immediately read this book. You’ll see what I’m talking about).


The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket | John Boyne

This is the only Boyne book I’ve read, but I’d like to read more, since this book is one of my favorites. It’s just so quirky, but at the same time it has some really pure moments, philosophical conversations, and a gentleness that you don’t often get to see in books. I love recommending this book because while it does have supernatural elements (the main character floats), it also talks about some very realistic things that children go through. I love it so much.


The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane | Kate DiCamillo

I don’t know if it’s DiCamillo’s goal to make my cry when I read her books, but it’s happened on more than one occasion (don’t get me started on Because of Winn-Dixie). This book hits you right in the feels. I was shaken and I couldn’t stop thinking about this book for days after reading it (and I read it as an adult). This is the kind of book that I wish I could read again for the first time. I experienced the magic of storytelling with this book. The main character goes through such a transformation on the journey he undergoes throughout the course of this book. I will never forget how much this book touched me and I always recommend it to anyone because it will make you feel so many things.


The Inquisitor’s Tale | Adam Gidwitz

This is such a unique story. It’s also fascinating to me that it’s middle-grade. You don’t often see middle-grade books set in the 1200s. This book follows three different children and it reads a little like The Canterbury Tales in that the story is being told by those who had a run-in with one or more of these children and is telling their tale at an inn. There are some supernatural elements, discussion of religion and race, and life/death. It’s so brilliantly written and I was so absorbed in the story while reading it. I also recommend the audio – it was fantastic.

How about you?

What are some of your favorite middle-grade books? Please post yours in the comments and share the love! I hope you enjoyed the post and thank you for stopping by!

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