I don’t know if I’m reading more books than usual because of trying to stay home and avoid COVID-19, or if I’ve just got better contacts and a better sense of the middle grade book world these days, or if I’ve just gotten incredible lucky, but it seems like there have been a LOT of really amazing books published this year.
This list will focus on middle grade books, which are aimed at kids 8 to 12. I’ll do a separate post featuring young adult books, because there have been some fabulous titles there, too.
If you’re looking for a book that will sweep you away, make you laugh out loud, or make you get lost in another world, these are the books for you. Discover a real animal you probably didn’t know existed in MUSIC FOR TIGERS. Learn about cricket farming. Dolphins. Complex and changing friendships. It’s all here. Just waiting for you to crack the cover.
Note: Many of the buy links listed below are affiliate links, which help support this blog if you use them to shop. They do not cost you anything to use.
Best Middle Grade Books of Spring 2020
The Lost Tide Warriors by Catherine Doyle
Fionn and his friends face a growing army of Soulstalkers. Without his magic, Fionn and his friends must work together to summon an army of merrows before the island is overrun.
This is the second in one of my favorite series. (Read my review of book one.) If you liked A SNICKER OF MAGIC by Natalie Lloyd or THREE TIMES LUCKY by Sheila Turnage, or you are breathing and love a good story, please add this series to your reading list.
Finally Something Mysterious by Doug Cornett
Paul Marconi and his best friends have been longing for a mystery to liven up their small town. Then hundreds of rubber duckies appear in their neighbor’s yard, and the friends finally have something to investigate.
A perfect summer story about friends, amateur sleuthing and a whole lot of rubber duckies.
My Life as a Potato by Arianne Costner
Ben’s potato curse and a bouncing hot dog cause him to serve as the school mascot– a giant potato. Hilarity ensues as Ben struggles to keep his spud identity a secret from his friends and the prettiest girl in school.
Lots of fun antics and great character growth make this a perfect read for upper elementary students.
The Elephant’s Girl by Celesta Rimington
A telepathic message from an elephant and a quest from a ghost send Lex on a hunt that might just solve the mystery of who her family is and why the tornado brought her to the zoo when she was a baby.
A really sweet story about found families. If you liked FLORA & ULYSSES by Kate DiCamillo, you’ll want to read this one.
Music for Tigers by Michelle Kadarusman
From Goodreads: “A moving coming-of-age story wrapped up in the moss, leaves, and blue gums of the Tasmanian rainforest where, hidden under giant ferns, crouches its most beloved, and lost, creature.”
The Space Between Lost and Found by Sandy Stark-McGinnis
After Cassie’s mom is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, Cassie decides they need to have one more adventure to help her mom remember what matters most.
Ways to Make Sunshine
Between inventing new recipes, staging her own parade, and finding a talent for the school talent show, Ryan is a busy girl. She believes in making the best of any situation, even when life gets difficult.
A sweet story about family, friendship, facing fears, and learning to see beyond first impressions.
The Queen Bee and Me by Gillian McDunn
Meg doesn’t want to be in her best friend Beatrix’s shadow anymore, but stepping out on her own might cost the friendship. Especially when stepping out means joining a special science class with a quirky new girl Beatrix doesn’t like.
Fire in the Star by Kamilla Benko
The breathtaking conclusion to the Unicorn Quest series packed with magic, secrets, and the power of sisterhood.
If you like books by Jessica Day George, you really need to check out The Unicorn Quest series.
Chirp by Kate Messner
Mia faces secrets she’d rather forget and the challenge of making new friends while solving the mystery of who is trying to sabotage her grandmother’s cricket farm.
What books would you add to this list?
Have you read any middle grade books this year? What are some of the favorites from your late elementary-school/early middle school days that still stick with you today? Share the titles with me in the comments! I’d love to know if there are great titles I’ve missed.