My favorite genres are fantasy and science fiction so it’s with great delight that I get to tell you about a few new (and old) middle grade chapter book favorites. I love how these two genres deal with good versus evil and imaginative worlds. It’s so fun to read!
Favorite Sci-Fi and Fantasy Chapter Books
The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
If you’re a Riordan fan, you’ll want to know about the chapter titles. In this book, they’re haiku. Because this book is about Apollo who is the god of poetry, among other things, and is now human. The tone of this book is slightly different than Riordan’s other series since we’re seeing things from Apollo’s arrogant but bewildered perspective — which somehow Riordan makes appealing to readers. (A hard task to be sure!) As the misadventures ensue (because life is hard when you have no godly powers anymore), Apollo begins to see himself for less than perfect. In this story, we meet new demigods such as Demeter’s daughter, Meg, and encounter familiar favorites like Percy Jackson.
Space Case and Spaced Out by Stuart Gibbs
review written by 11-year old JJ
This series was AMAZING! It was a murder mystery on the moon. I can never turn down a good, realistic si-fi PLUS murder mystery. It has it all! It was placed in 2040 and their second-in-command had died. He had walked out the airlock (to the moon’s surface) with his space suit on wrong– he died in seconds. Everyone thought he had gone crazy, but Dashiel Givson suspected differently. Murder. The first book is almost mirrored in the second –the base commander this time disappears. With just enough breaking the rules, they can figure out where she is and who did it.
The Secret Destiny of Pixie Piper by Annabelle Fisher
This book is light-hearted and fun to read — it’s about a girl who loves to write poetry and discovers she’s a descendant of Mother Goose — which she initially rejects because she wants to be more normal. Eventually, she accepts her destiny when she raises a goose she names Destiny and then must rescue Destiny from an malicious kidnapper.
The Kidnap Plot (The Extrordinary Journeys of Clockwork Charlie) by Dave Butler
This started slow for me but once I passed a few chapters, the pacing picked up and I was hooked. This is a world of both fantasy creatures (trolls and such) and science fiction steampunk (clockwork / steam Victorian London). Charlie, a very sheltered Indian boy, must venture out into the world when his father is kidnapped right before his eyes. As he searches for his father, Charlie meets an amazing variety of characters, and learns about the Iron Cog, The Anti-Human league, and the reason his father was taken. Oh, he also figures out why his father wanted to shelter him and the truth about who he is.
The Lost Compass (Fog Diver) by Joel Ross
I LOVED this second book!! The story picks up after the kids successfully deliver their beloved mentor to Port Oro where they discover that they’re still not safe — Lord Kodoc is still hunting them attacks the city in order to weaken their defenses and to kidnap Chess. Chess must dive into the fog, deep underground to find the Compass that will save their world. It’s dangerous, probably deadly, but he’s the only one who can do it. Lots of action, plot twists, and even humor. (First in the series is Fog Diver.)
Jonny Jakes Investigates: The Hamburgers of Doom by Malcolm Judge
Johnny is the anonymous reporter for the tell-the-truth secret school newspaper, The Woodford Word. His latest investigation is the unusual principal, an alien who is somehow brainwashing the whole school and the parents and turning them into chubby zombies. (The title is a BIG hint.) He pairs up with a girl named Julie, his friend Norris, and an unusual drama teacher to find a way to stop the alien principal from fattening up the students to eat them all. This sounds weird but it’s actually a great story of perseverance, friendship, and old-fashioned investigative journalism.
Time Stoppers by Carrie Jones
In yet another neglectful foster home, Annie is forced to fend for herself. She meets Jamie, a boy who has just realized that his so-called parents are trolls who are fattening him up to eat. The two are rescued by a third girl named Eva who takes them to a nearby city filled with magical creatures. Once there, as they begin to learn the truth about who they are, the friends must outwit an evil enemy who is determined to destroy the town. Overall a great fantasy adventure!
Dark Life by Kat Falls
When the oceans swallowed much of the earth, humans either moved into stacked cities or the ocean floor. Ty lives in the ocean but his way of life is threatened by murderous outlaws who steal and kill. He befriends a Topside girl named Gemma who is looking for her missing older brother. Together they learn that her brother, a former medical-experiment prisoner, is the leader of a dangerous outlaw group and has Dark gifts just like Ty does. This book has action and intrigue from the get-go and I think you’ll love every minute of it. (Next in the series is Rip Tide.)
The Neptune Project by Polly Holyoke
What an fascinating, compelling story! When the government cracks down and discovers her mom’s secret lab, Nere learns that her mom has experimented on her . . . and many other kids . . . so that they can survive underwater. Suddenly Nere has gills and is forced to swim for her life to meet up with the other kids who are part of the Neptune Project, traveling to where her not-really-dead-after-all father has built an underwater headquarters. The journey is dangerous and there’s tension within the group. Will they survive the trip and if they do, to what end? (The second book, The Neptune Challenge, is also fantastic.)
The Ruins of Gorlan: Ranger’s Apprentice book 1 by John A. Flanagan
This isn’t new but it’s SO AMAZING that I thought I better tell you all about it. Plus, if you love this first book, there are many more in the series to keep you reading and reading and reading. 🙂 We follow a boy named Will as he’s apprenticed to become a Ranger, a job he’s unsure about. But as he develops a relationship with his master and learns what being a Ranger is all about (spying for the kingdom), Will comes to embrace his new life. When an old enemy of the kingdom sends out dangerous beasts to attack Will’s master, Will is instrumental in getting help and killing the creatures. Action, fantasy, adventure, friendship, excellent writing — this book has everything!
Under Their Skin by Margaret Peterson Haddix
In this sci-fi world, brother and sister twins discover a big and dangerous secret. Their parents are robots, and so are all the adults in the world! It’s an interesting story with more books forthcoming.
The Novice The Summoner by Taran Matharu
(this is the only YA book listed, it’s best for ages 12+)
Fletcher’s an orphan, raised by the town’s blacksmith, that finds a book about magic and summons a demon. Through a series of events, he lands at a school for mages where he will learn to use his demon to fight the Empire’s enemies. Captivating writing and action make this a series I can’t wait to keep reading.
For MORE chapter book recommendations try: