10 New and Magical Middle Grade Books
Baker’s Magic by Diane Mahler ages 8 – 12
When an evil mage takes over the country, destroying trees and crops to grow his tulips. When Bree learns of this, she vows to help the trapped princess escape to find the council of magicians. This is a wonderful story with a lovely ending.
The Door by the Staircase by Katherine Marsh, illustrations by Kelly Murphy ages 8 – 12
I LOVED this book — it’s a fantastic Baba Yaga story about a brave and smart orphan girl, Mary, who wants a home, even if it’s with Baba Yaga. She just has to figure out how to be sure Baba Yaga won’t eat her and she does so with help from her friend Jacob and MAGIC!
Dead Boy by Laurel Gale ages 8 – 12
This is such an amazing story — about wishes gone wrong, magic, friendship, and love. Crow is dead, the stinking, rotting, maggots kind of dead. But he’s so lonely because his mother (who isn’t dead) won’t let hi leave the house. He sneaks out to meet his new neighbor girl, Melody. The duo discover a frightening shape-shifter that grants wishes that they hope will help make Crow alive again. There are tests to pass and truths to be revealed.
Behind the Canvas by Alexander Vance ages 8 – 12
What if the great artists possessed magic that allowed them to create an entire world of their paintings? When Claudia discovers a human boy, Pim, who has been trapped in this world (for 300 years) she’s sent by Granny Custos to this word to rescue her friend, Pim. When she arrives, she’s captured and taken to a cafe where she meets one of Rembrandt’s self-portraits and learns that Pim works for the witch and isn’t who he said he was. I loved this excellent fantasy adventure so much — not just the story but how skillfully the author wove in the famous paintings and artists. The footnotes are hilarious — you’ll learn a LOT and be quite entertained.
The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox ages 8 – 12
Kat and her siblings are sent away from London during the bombing of WWII. But something is wrong and terrifying with Lady Eleanor and the creepy castle where they’re staying. It could by Nazi spies or is it something even more sinister?
Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den by Aimée Carter ages 8 – 12
When his mom is kidnapped by rats, Simon is forced into a war between his previously unknown Animalgams relatives. It turns out his mom is of the Birds and his deceased father is of the Wolves (Mammals) and he will be able to change into his animal when he is old enough. To save his mom and with a new friend named Jam, he first visits the sanctuary of the Birds and then the dangerous Animalgam Academy, home base of the Mammals and it’s evil ruler, his grandmother the Alpha. He faces betrayal, confusion, and secrets and bigger worries than finding his mom. This is a fun-to-read adventure with relatable characters and interesting plot twists.
Nightmares! the Sleepwalker Tonic by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller, illustrated by Karl Kwasny ages 9 – 12
Something is happening to the nearby town of Cypress Creek — the people addicted to a strange potion and act like zombies. Could it be that the door is open into the land of Netherworld? Sibling jealousy, mortal danger, and crazed twins make this dangerous and magical world a thrilling sequel just as excellent as the first.
Secrets of Bearhaven by K.E. Rocha ages 8 – 12
Spencer’s bear-advocate human parents are in trouble so to his surprise, he’s taken to a safe place in the forest — a community of only bears. I enjoyed this story very much although I did have some trouble buying into the plot — are bears really maltreated these days? would bears really wear collars all the time just in case their human friends visited and they needed to communicate in English? If you can suspend disbelief, this is a fun fantasy series for animal- and adventure- lovers.
The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands ages 10 – 14
Christopher’s apprenticed to an apothecary whose just been murdered in the same way as many other apothecaries. He and his best friend decide to solve the puzzles and find new clues to find the culprits for these horrible crimes. They hope it’s not the dangerous cult they’ve been hearing about — and are as surprised as us when they find out what’s really going on. Part historical, part fantasy, and all adventure.
The Curse of the Were-Hyena (A Monstertown Mystery) by Bruce Hale ages 8 – 12 (on the easier side)
Your kids will love this new action-packed fantasy adventure series from the talented Bruce Hale. In this first book, that comes out in July 2016, Carlos and Benny notice strange behaviors from their favorite teacher. They’re convinced he is changing into a were-something-or-other. Using their comic book store owner friend, brains, and courage to save their teacher, they must must stop the original were-hyena from making more, before it’s too late. Absolutely fantastic and funny, this is a new must-read book.