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Middle Grade books aren’t just for kids, I love them too. From non-fiction to classics to new releases, I’m sharing my favorite middle grade books of 2021!
Everyday I look forward to reading to my kids. I inherited this habit from my mom and I build it into our school day. It has brought with it shared family memories and wonderful discussions. Although we homeschool and I use the time to anchor our day, I also know many public school families who read aloud after dinner or before bed–even with teenagers in the house!
This past year we read some great books. Some were chosen for school, like Unbroken, and some were chosen for pure fun, like A Place to Hang the Moon.
I’m excited to share with you five of my favorite middle grade books from 2021!
Unbroken: An Olympian’s Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive by Laura Hillenbrand (The Young Adult Adaption)
From the first chapter my kids were riveted with this story. Sometimes it was hard to believe all that happened within the book could really happen to one person! It was hands down my kids’ favorite non-fiction book last year. Although this is technically a YA adaption, my kids were ten and thirteen years old when we read it and they were deeply transformed by it.
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
|My kids really liked this book more than I did. I felt like the plot was a bit convoluted and hard to follow. One character actually had three names, so . . . |
That said, I liked several aspects about this story that many children’s books don’t include. First, the main character has some anxiety struggles, which is great so kids that have similar struggles can identify with that character. Second, he’s an adopted child who struggles a bit with his identity and feeling torn between wondering about his birth parents yet loving his adopted parents. Lastly, I liked how involved his parents are and how he has a good relationship with them. When so many books don’t have strong parental figures, it was nice to see this in a middle grade story.
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
After Reynie, Constance, Sticky, and Kate pass some very strange and mysterious tests, they end up going on the mission of a lifetime! This story was adventurous and also very thought-provoking and relevant to current culture. The characters were lovable, smart, and quirky. It was a favorite with all my kids from seven through fourteen, which is saying something!
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
|I forgot how hilarious Tom Sawyer is! Mark Twain paints a realistic picture of boyhood in so many ways, like when he describes the boys wrestling each other in the water. It reminded me of my boys in the pool this summer. Tom is such a master manipulator and Twain’s sarcastic voice adds satirical hilarity.|
A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus
|This was a delightful book with an old-fashioned, classic feel. It was a bit slow to get going, but then we fell in love with the main characters and the ending was warm-hearted and endearing. It’s perfect for book-loving kids (or grown-ups).|
What were your (or your kids’) favorite middle grade books from last year?
Share them in the comments!
My boys LOVE Mysterious Benedict. Right now we’re in book 4 of the Wingfeather Saga–my 14yo has already read them but it’s the first time for my 11yo and he’s hooked! I love them more every time I read them.
My fave middle grade for 2021 was Everything Sad is Untrue–it was incredible!! One of my favorite novels of the year, period. I guess it might be more YA than middle grade tho…
Have you/your girls read Betsy-Tacy? That was one of the first chapter books I read to Miriam last year and she absolutely loved it.
This year, both of my boys (9 & 11) really enjoyed reading Wonder by R. J. Palacio. My 6th grader read it for his homeschool literature class. I had planned a unit and paced the reading out over a few weeks with activities to complete along the way. After a couple of days, I had to speed up his pacing because he loved it so much that he wanted to sit and read it for hours. We also enjoyed watching the movie after he was finished reading.