I loved all of these new and very good middle grade chapter books – from detectives to manicurists, fantasy to mystery – and I think you’ll find something exciting for your child to read. 🙂 Middle grade refers to the chapter books for children ages eight or nine to about twelve. (I’ve added a favorite YA – young adult – book, too.)
Sparkle Spa: Purple Nails and Puppy Tails by Jill Santopolo (ages 7 – 10)
Surprisingly, I thought this was a delightful new middle grade chapter book series. Sisters, Aly and Brooke, start their own nail business in the back room of their mother’s nail salon for their soccer friends. To help a local animal shelter, the girls decide to give free pedicures to help support the shelter’s efforts find homes for the animals. And yes, pet-icures are in the story, too!
Sherlock, Lupin & Me: The Dark Lady by Irene Adler (ages 9 – 13)
I totally love this story — so does my 11-year old! The setting is late 1800s, France. The heroes? Three best friends, one of whom just happens to be Sherlock Holmes. Only in this story, he’s a young boy. You’ll fall in love with the spunky, Irene Adler, our author and junior detective as she and her best friends seek to solve the small beach town’s greatest mystery.
Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab by Science Bob Pflugfleder and Steve Hockensmith (ages 9 – 12)
A Mystery with Electromagnets, Burglar Alarms, and Other Gadgets You Can Build Yourself
You don’t need to be a science geek for this story because by the time you get done, you’ll want to be one anyway. Siblings Nick and Tesla are shipped off to live with their mad-scientist Uncle Newt for the summer while their parents are . . . doing something with soy beans in Uzbekistan. (Or so they say.) When left to fend for themselves, they discover something very suspicious happening at the old mansion down the street, more than just losing their rocket in that yard. And of course, they must invent more gizmos to get it back. And discover why a girl in the window holds up a sign to go away. Fun and adventurous and sure to be a winning middle grade series.
Minerva Mint The Order of the Owls by Elisa Puricelli Guerra (ages 7 – 10)
Minerva lives in a huge but run-down mansion (that she owns) with her guardian, a quirky artist who found her abandoned at a train station (with the house deed.) Every year, her guardian put an ad in the papers to find her real parents. And, every year imposters answer the ad. This year is no different for imposters but this year, Minerva has two friends her own age. Minerva and her friends not only run off the imposters, but discover answers about Minerva’s past. On the easier side of middle grade.
The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett (ages 10+)
I love how Harnett takes a beautiful historical story and infuses it with magical realism. In this chapter book, we’re transported to the English countryside during World War II when children were evacuated out of London. The girls find two boys in the ruins of an old castle – boys who have also been removed from London, only from another historical period.
The Templeton Twins Make a Scene by Ellis Weiner, illustrated by Jeremy Holmes (ages 8 – 12)
An amusing adventure of the twins who must save their father’s job and invention with the help of an incompetent babysitter and a very sarcastic narrator. Better than the first book. This is a middle grade chapter book series.
The Midnight Tunnel: A Suzanna Snow Mystery by Angie Frazier (ages 8 – 12)
My 12-year old says this is a GREAT mystery. Set in 1905 in New Brunswick, Suzanna works at her family’s inn. When a young guest disappears, Suzanna’s detective uncle arrives for the search. But, Zanna finds clues of her own that lead her to think there is more than one mystery going on.
Dangerous by Shannon Hale (ages 12+)
I’m a HUGE Shannon Hale fan so I was excited that she branched out to YA. I devoured this book! Maisie’s dream of attending the NASA-like summer camp turns into a nightmare when she’s exposed to alien technology that embeds in her body, giving her special powers. But powers for what? An alien invasion?
Don’t miss these book lists:
- Books for kids who like Diary of a Wimpy Kid
- Books for kids who like Junie B. Jones
- Best chapter books series that kids will love
You might also want to read this post of 26 books for kids who like Harry Potter.
Books for 8-year olds
Books for 9-year olds
Books for 10-year olds
Books for 11-year olds
Books for 12-year olds
Download my "Can't Put 'Em Down" book lists for your kids ages 3 - 13.
Also, I'll send you a bonus "23 Reasons to Read" printable poster!