#FiveOnFriday Middle Grade Books

For today’s #FiveOnFriday, I would like to talk about five of my favorite middle grade books and/or series. Let’s get to it!

First, I absolutely loved Victoria Schwab’s City of Ghosts.
The first book in the Cassidy Blake series primarily takes place in Edinburgh (where Schwab is actually currently living). Cass’s parents are ghost hunters and receive the opportunity to film a TV program. What makes this book so interesting is Cass can ACTUALLY see ghosts! This book follows her adventure through Edinburgh as her parents film their show and her experiences in one of the most haunted cities in the UK.
It was such an interesting story with likable characters. Victoria Schwab is already one of my favorite authors. I feel like a lot of adult fantasy books, even books just for an adult audience tend to be more complicated. Often, they’re just more involved and adults expect a lot more from the story. Sometimes it’s nice to just enjoy an MG book that is just written well without the complications of adult problems.

Next, I’d like to talk about The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz. Retellings are one of my favorite genres. Though this isn’t really a retelling, I love that it involves Disney characters and their children. We follow Mal, Maleficent’s daughter, and her experiences on the island where all the villains were banished. We witness her transition from following in her mother’s footsteps, to realizing that may not have to be her path.
I watched the Descendants movie first and expected this book to be the same story, but it was not. If you did enjoy the movie(s) or just enjoy retellings, I would recommend this book.

I also loved Pax by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Jon Klassen. This was an absolutely beautiful story that I read kind of by accident. I needed to choose a book for a readathon and was limited on time. I found this while browsing through “currently available” middle grade books on my Libby app.
Peter rescued Pax when he was just a kit. When Peter’s father has to go off to war, Peter is forced to leave Pax alone in the woods while he is sent to live with his grandfather. Racked with guilt, Peter leaves his grandfather’s home in the dead of night to go in search of Pax. We follow him on his adventure and share in his experiences on his search for his best friend.
I may have even cried a little at one point. I highly recommend this book for all ages.

My fourth MG book/series I would recommend is 13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison. Tanya can see fairies. In the first book of the series, she is sent to spend the summer with her grandmother. She becomes involved in a mystery and begins pursuing clues. There are a lot of surprises in this book that made the whole story delightful. If I remember correctly, there may be a couple of scary and dark scenes in this series, so if you’re concerned about these things for younger readers, I’d suggest reading the series yourself first. I read this series as an adult and I don’t have children, so I’m not always sure what can be considered the appropriate age to read certain books.

Last, I’d like to be cliche and recommend the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. I’m always interested in anything related to mythology, especially Greek mythology. These books have action, adventure, humor and magic. I found myself thoroughly engaged in most of the books, eager to find out what happened next and I also found myself laughing out loud at some parts.

That’s my list this week for five of my favorite MG books and series. What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!
-V

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