We are a little over halfway through the year, and I’m having a bit of a struggle this summer coming up with topics as I prepare for my usual autumn craziness, so I thought this might be a fun opportunity to shout about some middle grades. I read quite a few of them during the year, but I don’t talk about MGs outside of my wrap-ups usually, so I figured they deserved a little extra space. And there are so many beautiful covers, holy heck.
I haven’t read Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan yet, but wow, I forgot how beautiful it was until this moment, and now I need to go immediately purchase & read it. This actually might be the most beautiful cover on this list, and I can’t stop staring at it, and oh noooooo how did I end up on B&N, what a terrible thing, ahhhh.
Look, I’ve actually talked about Midsummer’s Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca quite a bit on the blog because LOOK AT THAT DAMN COVER. The macarons alone would have done it for me, but ya girl is a closeted donut lover AND SHAKESPEARE? COME AGAIN? Everything about this book screams at me, and I’m so grateful it exists.
I had a moment where I just bought a lot of food-related middle grade books, and I regret nothing. I haven’t read A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano yet, but it’s on my read this damn book soon list, both because the cover is adorable, and I just keep picking it up to stare at it, and Dia de los Muertos + baking + brujas = GIVE IT TO ME.
Gosh, I am never going to forget Sparrow by Sarah Moon because it just about broke my heart in two. It’s such a powerful book, and I want it to be in every elementary school library just so that maybe it reaches that one kid that really needs it and finally understands that they’re not alone.
Don’t even talk to me about The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty, okay. This is probably one of my most talked about middle grades on the blog, and for good damn reason. I love everything about this duology. EVERYTHING, YOU HEAR ME? Not only is the title glorious and the cover absolutely adorable, the inside is full of wonderful illustrations, and the writing is so good, and just sign yourself up for a good time already.
The same goes for Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers by Celia C. Pérez. Wow, honestly, I love that these two ended up together, they go so well! The inside of this book is just as sweet as the outside, and I loved having illustrations of the four girls to keep flipping back to.
Not only does The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla have a fantastic cover, and not only is it my favorite middle grade ever, it’s also one of my top ten favorite books of all-time. I was able to Skype with Pla a couple years ago because my mom reads this to a fifth grade class as a guest reader, and we reached out to see if Pla would be willing to talk to the students. It was such a wonderful experience, which made me love this book even more.
I really, really want to read Once Upon an Eid by Various, and I really don’t know why I haven’t already, so this may have also just ended up in my B&N cart? Oops? I usually adore short story collection covers–I don’t know why, I feel like all of them are just wonderful?–and this one is no exception. In fact, this one may be my favorite.
I’m realizing there are a bunch of amazing middle grades in my TBR that I don’t own yet, and Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga is another one. I may have to binge read a bunch of MGs so that I don’t feel bad about buying a bunch of new ones. Because that’s how this works, right?
Oh, I love Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk so much! I forgot about it until this list, and now I might need to go reread it. It’s honestly the sweetest story ever, oh my gosh. Wow? WOW. Okay, guys, you gotta read this right now. It’s about a boat that washes up on an island with an infant in it, and a crotchety old man begrudgingly takes care of her, which means he obviously decides he’ll die for this little girl, and there’s a little old witch lady, AND IT’S JUST SO GOOD.