BEST BOOKS FOR Middle Grade

Stepping stone books to YA lit!

Life gets busy for our young people with homework and after school activities and around the tween years, reading for pleasure often declines - even in children who have previously loved reading. The pressure is on to help them find a balance between reading, social media, socialising, studying and extracurricular pursuits.

It is also a challenging age in terms of book choices as they begin to transition from younger reader books to books for more mature readers. This is where ‘middle-grade’ comes into play. Middle grade novels are most suitable for readers from 11-15 and are a great way to ‘hold the hands’ of young readers as they walk/read their way from younger fiction…to the world of YA fiction; a more gentle transition than if we went from say, junior fiction fairy books to hard core young adult novels with *all* the mature themes!

Middle-grade novels often feature themes of friendships, family, social issues and community or wider world issues, with relatable central characters. It is common for children to want to read novels with characters who are the same age or slightly older, using the experiences, mistakes and successes of characters to question how they might face similar realities in their own lives. Through the vicarious experience offered by reading novels, they have the opportunity to step into other peoples' shoes, developing empathy and understanding.

*NB: Please check theme and age suitability for your individual reader.

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'The Little Wave'

by Pip Harry

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'As Happy as Here'

by Jane Godwin

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'The Secrets We Keep'

by Nova Weetman

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'Sick Bay' 

by Nova Weetman

the-mulberry-tree

'The Mulberry Tree'

by Allison Rushby

the-turnkey

'The Turnkey' 

by Allison Rushby

how-to-bee

'How to Bee' 

by Bren MacDibble

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'The Dog Runner'

by Bren MacDibble

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'Ateban Cipher' (series)

by A.L. Tait

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'A Song Only I Can Hear' 

by Barry Jonsberg

sweet-adversity

'Sweet Adversity' 

by Sheryl Gwyther

when-you-reach-me

'When You Reach Me' 

by Rebecca Stead

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'Catch a Falling Star' 

by Meg McKinlay

raymie-nightingale

'Raymie Nightingale' (series)

by Kate DiCamillo

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'The Flyaway Girls' 

by Julia Lawrinson

timeslip

'The Timeslip Series'

by Belinda Murrell

homecoming

'The Tillerman Cycle'

by Cynthia Voigt

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'A Rose for the ANZAC Boys' 

by Jackie French

surface-tension

'Surface Tension' 

by Meg McKinlay

once

'The Felix Series'

by Morris Gleitzman