I hope you’re doing well and you’re having a fantastic day. Today I’m bringing you another round of recommendations: Middle grade and children books!
I don’t pick from these two genres very often, but when I do… I get invested in the stories! I’m currently reading an amazing Sophie Anderson book, and that is what inspired this post!
If you have young kids and want to read them good stories of bravery and adventure, this is the recommendation post for you! Or if you’re like me and just want to read something magical and fun, this one is also for you!
Let’s take a look at the books then:
And here they are! You have two classic books that I loved and three (fairly) recent books… either way, these are amazing and I would always recommend them. So let’s go through them individually!
1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Starting off strong with the amazing classic “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl!
This is a middle grade that everyone should read at least once in their life. This book is special, wholesome and incredibly magical – basically everything you would want in a fantasy middle grade book! This was my first ever Roald Dahl book, and let me tell you: I completely understand why his books are so popular.
It’s a book that teaches kids to be humble, behave and be good to others. Not only that, but it’s incredibly fun! The characters are amazing and quirky and every single one of them serves a very specific purpose in delivering a message.
I highly recommend it if you never gave it a try. Also, if you are a fan of the movies, you definitely need to read it!
“Greetings to you, the lucky finder of this Gold Ticket from Mr Willy Wonka! I shake you warmly by the hand! Tremendous things are in store for you!
One miraculous moment changes Charlie Bucket’s life forever.
A boy who only gets to eat cabbage soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner finds a Golden Ticket that will take him into Willy Wonka’s magical chocolate factory.
Joining him on the tour are four horrible blighters:
Augustus Gloop – a great big greedy nincompoop, Veruca Salt – a spoiled brat, Violet Beauregarde – a repulsive little gum-chewer and Mike Teavee – a TV addict.
With a chocolate river, crafty squirrels and mysterious Oompa Loompas, Mr Wonka’s chocolate factory is the strangest, most magnificent place Charlie has ever seen.
What other surprises are in store for the lucky ticket winners?”
2. The House With Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson
The second recommendation I’m bringing to you today is “The House With Chicken Legs” by Sophie Anderson. Let me tell you something about Sophie Anderson’s books: they are middle grade perfection! To me she is the best middle grade writer, hands down.
This book in particular blew me away with how amazing it was. I can honestly say this is probably my favorite middle grade of all time – so that’s saying a lot! Not only was the story beautiful and full of magic, but it was written with a solid story with great meaning. Definitely check the synopsis below to see what the story is about! As a nice bonus, you get a lot of references to Russian culture, so I’m happy to say I learned a thing or two.
The illustrations that appear alongside the story are amazing and capture beautifully the essence of the story. The book wouldn’t be the same without them and I’m glad she worked with such an amazing artist to bring the story to life!
I highly recommend it if you like a good story with depth and meaning behind it. I can’t stress this enough: if you like middle grade books, you need this in your life!
“All 12-year-old Marinka wants is a friend. A real friend. Not like her house with chicken legs. Sure, the house can play games like tag and hide-and-seek, but Marinka longs for a human companion. Someone she can talk to and share secrets with.
But that’s tough when your grandmother is a Yaga, a guardian who guides the dead into the afterlife. It’s even harder when you live in a house that wanders all over the world . . . carrying you with it. Even worse, Marinka is being trained to be a Yaga. That means no school, no parties–and no playmates that stick around for more than a day.
So when Marinka stumbles across the chance to make a real friend, she breaks all the rules . . . with devastating consequences. Her beloved grandmother mysteriously disappears, and it’s up to Marinka to find her–even if it means making a dangerous journey to the afterlife.”
3. Castle of Tangled Magic by Sophie Anderson
Another Sophie Anderson that I think is worth mentioning is “The Castle of Tangled Magic”.
This is such a cute book! It has a very creative story that you’ll want to keep reading until you’re finished with the book.
What I liked the most from this book was definitely the lessons behind the story. Lessons such as “belief is a very powerful thing” and “magic is everywhere” are only a few of the lessons this book teaches. The characters were amazing and I loved that even though they were all so different, they worked together to help Olia (the main character).
Saara Soderlund is the illustrator (once again) and she did an amazing job with this book. It really brought the story to life!
Another cool thing about it is that it is themed after slavic folklore! So that was another fun aspect of the book.
It’s beautifully written, full of details and magical touches! You can tell the author really took her time with this book, because you can feel the love through the pages. Definitely worth picking it up!
“Magic and whimsy meet in this Howl’s Moving Castle for a new generation from the critically adored Sophie Anderson, author of The House with Chicken Legs.
Twelve-year-old Olia knows a thing or two about secrets. Her parents are the caretakers of Castle Mila, a soaring palace with golden domes, lush gardens, and countless room. Literally countless rooms. There are rooms that appear and disappear, and rooms that have been hiding themselves for centuries. The only person who can access them is Olia. She has a special bond with the castle, and it seems to trust her with its secrets.
But then a violent storm rolls in . . . a storm that skips over the village and surrounds the castle, threatening to tear it apart. While taking cover in a rarely-used room, Olia stumbles down a secret passage that leads to a part of Castle Mila she’s never seen before. A strange network of rooms that hide the secret to the castle’s past . . . and the truth about who’s trying to destroy it.”
4. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
Another book I want to share with you today is “The Girl Who Drank the Moon” by Kelly Barhhill. I found this story to be very magical! It made me dream because it’s told like a fairytale and you get completely immersed in this fictional world. It is a very atmospheric book because the author does an amazing job on awakening your senses – I swear I could almost hear the birds chirping, smell the woods and feel the magic from the moon!
The characters are adorable, and I promise you will fall in love with every single one of them! I loved how there were two cute magical creatures added to the mix (who worked like companions to the lead), a sweet witch and a magical grandmother everyone would want in their life.
It’s definitely a story that makes you dream and takes you to a magical place. It’s targeted as middle grade, but it’s really a beautiful story for every age!
“Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and deliver them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.
One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule–but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her–even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known.”
5. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
And to finish this list with a bang, I’m bringing you another amazing classic “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”! If you don’t know, this story was inspired by a little girl named Alice Liddell who Lewis Carroll liked to tell stories to.
So how would I describe “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”? In a nutshell: this book is the definition of childhood, nonsense and craziness. I can confidently say that I’ve never read a book like this, and I completely understand why it became so popular among people of all ages.
I highly encourage you to read this book, no matter how old you are. It is a beautiful story that reminds you of what it was like to be a child. When you are a kid, nothing really matters and nothing is taken seriously, as it should be. It’s a remarkable piece of art and I definitely recommend it.
Just a piece of advice: if you can, get a copy with the original illustrations from John Tenniel!
“On a drowsy afternoon by a riverbank, a young and distracted Alice follows a rabbit into a fantastical underground world that grows curiouser and curiouser. Dared, insulted, amused, and threatened by a succession of anthropomorphic creatures, the indomitable Alice falls deeper into a swirl of the imagination where logic has no place.
Referenced, resourced, analyzed, and embraced since its publication in 1865, Carroll’s masterpiece of the irrational has inspired such varied artists as Walt Disney, Marilyn Manson, Jerome Kern, James Joyce, and Tim Burton. It stands as one of the most extravagantly and ingeniously absurd works in the English language.”
And there you have it! These are some of my favorite middle grade/children books. I hope you found this recommendation post interesting and I hope you found yourself some new books to read! As usual, I’m always looking for book recommendations so let me know if you have any for me!
Thank you for taking the time to read this post! I hope you liked what I had to share with you today. I’ll see you in the next one! 🙂