Some of the greatest and most loved middle grade book series in children’s books are speculative fiction, including Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and A Wrinkle in Time. Why not feed the frenzy and give your readers more of what they crave?
But first, what is speculative fiction? Speculative fiction is any book in the genre of fiction that takes place in a world other than our own. This includes fantasy, science fiction, post apocalyptic or dystopian fiction, and even alternative history. The origins of speculative fiction are usually seen as answering the question, “What if?”
Middle Grade Speculative Fiction Books
Here are some sci fi and fantasy speculative fiction for your middle grade readers:
Nic Blake and the Remarkables: The Manifestor Prophecy by Angie Thomas
On her twelfth birthday, Nic is excited to finally be able to use her magical Gift, but nothing goes as expected. Instead, she must prove that her father is innocent of a horrible crime. Along the way, she learns that what she thought she knew about her family wasn’t the whole truth at all.
The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat
Sai is determined to escape the slums and her father’s life of crime. When the queen announces a competition to map the fabled Sunderland continent known for both dragons and riches, Sai finds a way to join.
The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton
Ella is the first Conjurer to attend the Marvellers school. Being first isn’t easy, and she must continuously prove she belongs. With the help of a few friends, she is able to solve several mysteries and find her place at school.
Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor by Xiran Jay Zhao
When Zachary finds out that he is descended from the first Chinese emperor, he is shocked. But not as shocked as he is to learn that the Emperor’s spirit needs him to head out on a quest to seal the spirit portal before all of China is destroyed. Combines ancient Chinese mythology and modern video games.
Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega
Seven has been waiting her entire life to be placed in a coven. Nothing goes right, and she is declared a “spare,” a witch who is destined to become a second-class citizen and never receive her full powers. Seven would rather be a toad than have this happen, so she asks for an impossible task, one that if completed will allow her and the other two spares to become true witches.
The School for Whatnots by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Taking place sometime in the future, when wealthy parents can choose to protect their children from either being bullied or becoming bullies by enrolling them in schools where the rest of the class is made up of “whatnots,” childlike androids who learn and grow along with the human child. But what if one of the whatnots is actually human?
The Dark Lord’s Daughter by Patricia C. Wrede
Kayla is at the State Fair with her adoptive mother and brother when they find themselves suddenly whisked to an unfamiliar world. They learn that Kayla’s birth father was a Dark Lord, and Kayla was sent to Minnesota by jealous aunts. Now that she has been found, they expect her to claim her inheritance and become the Dark Lady of her father’s land.
Stowaway by John David Anderson
Leo has been living on the spaceship Beagle for the past three years with his father, his brother Gareth, and a 30-person crew, ever since the Djarik attacked Earth. When Beagle is attacked and disabled, and his father is kidnapped, it feels like things can’t get worse. Then, their ship is boarded by space pirates!
Weird Kid by Greg Van Eekhout
Many middle schoolers feel like they don’t belong, but Jake Wind is an actual alien. He fell to earth as a blob of goo and turned into a human baby when his parents found him. Things have been changing this summer, though, and he’s having trouble holding his human shape.
The Legend of Greyhallow by Summer Rachel Short
What if you could step into the world of your favorite fantasy adventure movie? For Ainsley and Tobin, that becomes a reality. Their parents bought the abandoned home of the famed movie director of the Greyhallow series. They find the original movie reels, which act as a portal to the world of Greyhallow.