Friday Five: Five Books Your Kids Will LOVE! (Middle Grade Edition)

Happy Friday! Once again, my #FridayReads is exactly the same as it has been off and on for the last few weeks.  This week I have picked BACK UP (#FridayReads – Doctor Sleep by Stephen King ) I don’t know why I keep stepping away from this one. I do though.  So, rather than talk about Dr Sleep, again…..  Lets do a Friday Five.

This week, I want to talk about kids. 

This past Monday, I posted a list that I was sent by Penguin.  This was a list of books that will turn your kid into a reader.  Several people messaged me and were surprised that none of the books on that list were the more popular books out there.  I addressed this down in the comments of my post: 15 Books That Will Transform YOUR Kid Into a Reader!

Well, this list was put out by Penguin, so naturally all the books on it are more recent Penguin titles. I don’t disagree with any of the ones that we have actually read. Brandon absolutely loved SYLO (as in constantly asks if the sequel is out yet) and Jesse’s niece, who reviewed THE APPRENTICES series for us, loved that series.

As a mom, I can honestly say that age 8-12 is such a hard age range to buy for because they are in that weird stage where they are old enough for more “drama” but still not quiet ready for “relationship” stuff. I went through this with Sis, and still am. She is such an advanced reader (tested – currently she is at a 12 grade level), but at 13 she still is not “into boys” so all this YA mess just does not interest her AT ALL. I noticed the other day, that she is reading the complete works of Sherlock Holmes right now. So…

 

So, in my opinion, here are FIVE BOOKS YOUR KID WILL LOVE! (the Middle Grade Edition)  This list is recommended books for grades 3-6 (ages 8-12)  I’ve tried to include a synopsis for you, as well as the reading level and genre information.  Every child is different, and you can use their current likes and interests to help you pick the books that will be most compatible with your child.

 

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In no particular order:

1

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Release Date: 2008-09-30
ATOS Book Level:    5.1 (typical 5th grader)
Interest Level:    Middle Grades Plus (MG+ 6 and up)
AR Points:    10.0
Rating:    3.0
Genre:    Fiction

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy.He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead.There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy-an ancient Indigo Man beneath the hill, a gateway to a desert leading to an abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family. . . .Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times bestselling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, the graveyard book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages.

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Why this book is making my list:  For one, I absolutely LOVE this book. Read my  REVIEW OF NEIL GAIMANS GRAVEYARD BOOK.  More importantly, your kid will love this book!  They can even watch/listen to the book being read over on www.mousecircus.com by the author, himself, Neil Gaiman.  This book is a mystery, drama, and adventure all rolled into one.  Your kid will love the characters and the “scary” backdrop.

 

Awards:   

  • Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award/Honor
  • Boston Globe/Horn Book Award/Honors
  • ALA Notable/Best Books
  • Kate Greenaway Medal/Honor Book
  • Newbery Medal
  • Kirkus Editors Choice/Best Book
  • Carnegie Medal/Honors
  • IBBY Honor List
  • Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature
  • VOYA Award/Honor
  • Horn Book Fanfare
  • Booklist Editors’ Choice; Family Life-Death; Mysteries-Supernatural

Lists:

  • Recommended Reading-YALSA Teens’ Top Ten
  • Recommended Reading-Junior Library Guild Selection
  • Recommended Reading-Atlantis Subscriptions
  • Recommended Reading-YALSA Best Books for YA
  • Recommended Reading-Junior Library Guild-2009 Winter Jr./Sr. High;

 

2


Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Release Date: 1998-10
ATOS Book Level:    5.5 (typical 5th grader)
Interest Level:    Middle Grades (MG 4-8)
AR Points:    12.0
Rating:    3.5
Genre:    Fiction/Fantasy/Adventure

Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility.

All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley—a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry’s room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in eleven years.

But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry—and anyone who reads about him—will find unforgettable. For it’s there that he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic in everything from classes to meals, but a great destiny that’s been waiting for him… if Harry can survive the encounter.

 

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Why this series is making my list:  Come on you guys, there is no way you can have a list of books for middle grade level readers and NOT include the Harry Potter series. You just can’t.  This series, over the years, has introduced MILLIONS of children to reading and undeniably turned millions into life long readers.  This is one of those rare series in which the characters grow right along side our kids. They spend their childhood WITH these characters. There is action, adventure, fantasy, and even a touch of romance.  This series quite literally has something for EVERYONE, regardless of the genre you “usually” like.

Awards:   

  • NCTE Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts
  • YALSA Top Ten
  • ALA Notable/Best Books
  • SLJ Best Book
  • ABC (Assoc. of Booksellers for Children) Choice
  • Carnegie Medal/Honors
  • ABBY Children’s Award/Honor Book
  • Booklist Editors’ Choice
  • Bilby Award
  • Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature
  • State Award

Lists:

  • Recommended Reading-California Recommended Lit., English, 6-8
  • Recommended Reading-Children’s Literature Choice
  • Recommended Reading-IRA/CBC Choice
  • Recommended Reading-California Recommended Lit., English, 3-5
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2012-Grade 7: 40 Most Read Books Overall
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2012-Grade 4: 40 Most Read Books Overall
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2012-Grade 6: 40 Most Read Books Overall
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2012-Grades 9-12: 40 Most Read Books Overall
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2012-100 Most Read Fiction, ATOS Book Levels 4.0-5.9
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2012-Grade 5: 40 Most Read Books Overall
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2012-Grade 8: 40 Most Read Books Overall
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2013-Grade 6: 40 Most Read Books Overall
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2013-Grade 7: 40 Most Read Books Overall
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2013-Grade 8: 40 Most Read Books Overall
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2013-100 Most Read Fiction, ATOS Book Levels 4.0-5.9
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2013-Grade 5: 40 Most Read Books Overall

3


The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) by Rick Riordan

Release Date: 2005-06-28
ATOS Book Level:    4.7
Interest Level:    Middle Grades (MG 4-8)
AR Points:    13.0
Genre:    Fiction

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends — one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena — Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

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Why this series is making my list:  Ive not met a middle grade male, who has read this series, and DIDN’T like it.  Full of action, adventure, and drama.  Enough so, that even little girls get sucked into the stories!

Awards:

  • NCTE Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts
  • ALA Notable/Best Books
  • SLJ Best Book
  • ALA Best Book for Young Adults

Lists: 

  • Recommended Reading-NY Publ. Library Best Books for the Teen Age
  • Recommended Reading-Al’s Book Club (Al Roker)
  • Recommended Reading-YALSA Popular Paperbacks
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2012-Grade 8: 40 Most Read Books Overall
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2012-Grade 7: 40 Most Read Books Overall
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2012-100 Most Read Fiction, ATOS Book Levels 4.0-5.9
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2012-Grade 5: 40 Most Read Books Overall
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2012-Grades 9-12: 40 Most Read Books Overall
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2012-Grade 4: 40 Most Read Books Overall
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2012-Grade 6: 40 Most Read Books Overall
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2013-100 Most Read Fiction, ATOS Book Levels 4.0-5.9
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2013-Grade 4: 40 Most Read Books Overall
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2013-Grade 5: 40 Most Read Books Overall
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2013-Grades 9-12: 40 Most Read Books Overall
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2013-Grade 6: 40 Most Read Books Overall
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2013-Grade 7: 40 Most Read Books Overall
  • What Kids Are Reading, 2013-Grade 8: 40 Most Read Books Overall

4


13 Treasures (13 Treasures Trilogy) by Michelle Harrison

Release Date: 2011-05-10
ATOS Book Level:    5.3
Interest Level:    Middle Grades (MG 4-8)
AR Points:    11.0
Genre:    Fiction/Fantasy/Adventure

Tanya is no ordinary girl. She can see fairies. But not the fairies we imagine. Evil fairies who cast spells on her, rousing her from her sleep and propelling her out of bed. At wit’s end with her daughter’s inexplicable behavior, Tanya’s mother sends her away to live with her grandmother at Elvesden Manor, a secluded countryside mansion on the outskirts of a peculiar Essex town. There is plenty to explore, as long as Tanya stays away from Hangman’s Wood- a vast stretch of forest, full of catacombs and notorious for people losing their lives. Fifty years ago a girl vanished in the woods, a girl Tanya’s grandmother will not speak of. As Tanya learns more about this girl, she finds herself dangerously close to vanishing into the fairy realm forever.Debut author Michelle Harrison weaves an intricate mystery into a beautiful and haunting fantasy that captures a rich world of fairy lore where only the color red can offer protection.

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Why this series is making my list:  I absolutely LOVED this series, and more importantly, so did my daughter!  Read my REVIEW OF 13 TREAUSRES and my REVIEW OF 13 CURSSES.  We even loaned the books out to several classmates in her school until it got stolen out of her locker.  This series has great characters, emotional content, and an adventure you’ll just have to read to believe. 

Awards:

  • SLJ Best Book

5


The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott

Release Date: 2007-05-22
ATOS Book Level:    6.4 (typical 6th grader)
Interest Level:    Middle Grades (MG 4-8)
AR Points:    14.0
Rating:    3.82 stars on Goodreads
Genre:    Fiction/Adventure

 

Synopsis: While working at summer jobs, 15-year-old twins, Sophie and Josh, find themselves caught up in a deadly, centuries-old struggle between rival alchemists, Nicholas Flamel and John Dee, over the possession of secret formulas.

He holds the secret that can end the world.

The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330. Nearly 700 years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life.The records show that he died in 1418.But his tomb is empty.

The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects—the Book of Abraham the Mage. It’s the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. That’s exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won’t know what’s happening until it’s too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it.Sometimes legends are true.And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time.

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Why this book is making my list:  Boys seem to love this series.  It is filled with adventure, and it has a few “family values” snuck in here and there.  As a parent, getting morals into my kid’s head without beating them in is a big PLUS.  LOL

Honorable mentions from me:

I really hope this list will help you find something your young reader will love.  Studies have shown that children who read a lot, become life long readers.  Finding something they LOVE is how we get them to want to read MORE. Ya know?

How about you?  What FIVE BOOKS DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR MIDDLE GRADERS?  Make up a blog post or a video this weekend sharing your favs!  Link it up down below!

If you post a Friday Five: Five Books Your Kids Will LOVE! (Middle Grade Edition) post this weekend, come on back and link it up!

If you tweet it, lets use #FridayFive as the hashtag!

 

*Just as a side note – I absolutely LOVE the TOP TEN TUESDAY blogs, hosted by the Broke and Bookish. LOVE THEM.  But for me – TEN things is a lot, and I almost always already have a post lined up on Tuesdays!  I also love the FRIDAY FAVORITES videos my favorite Beauty Gurus do over on Youtube! (Friday Favorites and Fudgeroos is probably my fav!)  Anyway, I thought I would kind of fun to combine the two memes, and post a random Favorite or Five on the weeks when my #FridayReads is the same as the week before!  Not trying to rip off anyone’s meme idea, just trying to incorporate them into my blog in a such a way that works for me. So…

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