Your Kid’s Favourite Read 2023: Middle Grade

Your Kids Next Read Best Middle Grade Books 2023
Posted on December 4, 2023

It’s that time of year, when we ask the Your Kid’s Next Read community to share their young readers’ favourite reads of the previous 12 months.

This year, to make it easier to find what you’re looking for, we’ve broken our list up into categories share multiple lists of ‘favourite reads’ in different categories: picture booksearly chapter books (5-7), junior fiction (6-9), middle grade (10-13) and young adult (14+).

This post is all about middle-grade books, for readers aged 10-13 years old. There are some titles here that cross over with our junior fiction list, because kids come to reading at their own pace and stage.

Some of these books were published in 2023, some were not. One of the joys of a community like Your Kid’s Next Read is the ability for members to curate and create book lists that stretch way back through reading experiences, meaning any request or query results in a deep and thoughtful TBR pile on just about any subject.

Stand by also for Team YKNR’s favourite reads in 2023, coming soon.

These lists are great starting points when you’re looking for the next great read for your kid/s. Click the title to find out more about each book*.





Best middle grade books 2023Waiting for the Storks by Katrina Nannestad

We Are Wolves by Katrina Nannestad

Runt by Craig Silvey (ill. by Sara Acton)

Keeper of the Lost Cities (series) by Shannon Messenger


Best middle grade books 2023Skandar (series) by A. F. Steadman

To say my bookworm devoured this is an understatement.” – Louise

Nevermoor (series) by Jessica Townsend

Desperate for the next book...” – Fiona



Best middle grade books 2023August & Jones by Pip Harry

Sunshine on Vinegar Street by Karen Comer

Selfie by Allayne L. Webster

The Lost Library by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead


Best middle grade books 2023The Rebels of Mount Buffalo by Helen Edwards

A Murder Most Unladylike (series) by Robin Stevens

Miss Penny Dreadful (series) by Allison Rushby

Saltwater Boy by Bradley Christmas


Best middle grade books 2023Scar Town by Tristan Bancks

I put this on my 11-year-old’s Kindle after it was posted [in YKNR] and he hasn’t looked up since.” – Jane

Understanding Molly by Kelly-Anne Norman

A really interesting book whose main character has ADHD and ODD.” – Sara


Best middle grade books 2023The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

She read it for school, but it’s the book she’s still talking about.” – Corrie

Brotherband (series) by John Flanagan

Two Wolves by Tristan Bancks


Best middle grade books 2023A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson**

My daughter (12) really enjoyed it.”  – Michelle 

Cop & Robber by Tristan Bancks

Lion: A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley


Best middle grade books 2023How To Be Prime Minister (And Survive Grade 5) by Carla Fitzgerald

A huge hit here.” – Anna

Rocky by Amanda O’Shea

The Last Dragonslayer (series) by Jasper Fforde


Best middle grade books 2023The Turnkey (series) by Allison Rushby

Chloe (graphic novels series) by Greg Tessier

Descendants (series) by Melissa De La Cruz

Twisted Fairytales (series) by Holly Hook


Best middle grade books 2023The Secret Library of Hummingbird House by Julieanne Negri

My 11 year old loved it.” – Clare

The Ghost Locket by Allison Rushby

Wylah The Koorie Warrior (series) by Richard Pritchard and Jordan Gould


Best middle grade books 2023Most Dangerous by Steve Sheinkin

My son loved it.” – Mayumi

Holes by Louis Sacher

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell


Best middle grade books 2023The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell

[Our favourites are] all recommendations we received from YKNR, which we are thankful for.” – Rebecca

The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

The Explorer by Katherine Rundell


Best middle grade books 2023The Ranger’s Apprentice (series) by John Flanagan

We are nearly finished the series of 12 and my 10-year-old son is refusing to take a break between each book…” – Louise

Alex Rider (series) by Anthony Horowitz

Tomorrow When The War Began by John Marsden


Best middle grade books 2023The Wintrish Girl by Melanie La’Brooy

My 11 year old is eagerly awaiting the second instalment!” – Thora

Millie Mak The Maker by Alice Pung (ill. by Sher Rill Ng)

The Hotel Witch by Jessica Miller


Best middle grade books 2023Kay’s Anatomy by Adam Kay (ill. by Henry Paker)

(“A friend gave it to us for [my son’s] ninth birthday and it took us a while to get to it, but when we did, we both devoured it and have gifted it to others regularly since.” – Louise)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams



Best middle grade books 2023The First Summer of Callie McGee by A. L. Tait

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley

Twitch (series) by M. G. Leonard

I, Spy by Rhian Tracey


Best middle grade books 2023Astonishingly Good Stories (series) by R. A. Spratt

My son adores R. A. Spratt.” – Lana

Hamlet is Not Ok by R. A Spratt

The Lorikeet Tree by Paul Jennings


Best middle grade books 2023The Mud Puddlers by Pamela Rushby

Enola Holmes (series) by Nancy Springer

Epic Zero (series) by R. L. Ullman

Impossible Creatures by Katherine Rundell


Best middle grade books 2023Queenie in Seven Moves by Zanni Louise

Max Einstein (series) by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

The War I Finally Won by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley

Lockwood & Co by Jonathan Stroud


Best middle grade books 2023Kip of the Mountain by Emma Gourlay

Percy Jackson (series) by Rick Riordan

Amari and the Night Brothers (series) by B. B. Alston

Harry Potter (series) by J. K. Rowling


Best middle grade books 2023Special Forces Cadets (series) by Chris Ryan

Wonderscape by Jennifer Bell

City Spies by James Ponti

Ali Cross by James Patterson


Best middle grade books 2023Dogs of the Deadlands by Anthony McGowan (ill. by Keith Robinson)

E-Boy by Anh Do (ill. by Chris Wahl)

Klawde Evil Alien Warlord Cat (series) by Emily Chenoweth

Eragon (Inheritance Cycle series) by Christopher Paolini


Best middle grade books 2023Adventures on Trains (series) by M. G. Leonard, Sam Sedgman (ill. Elisa Paganelli)

Heroes of Olympus (series) by Rick Riordan

Friday Barnes (series) by R. A. Spratt

The Trials of Apollo (series) by Rick Riordan


Best middle grade books 2023Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan

Crookhaven (series) by J. J. Arcanjo

All The Wrong Questions (series) by Lemony Snicket

The Monkey Who Fell From the Future by Ross Welford


You might also like

Your Kid’s Favourite Read 2023: Picture Books

Your Kid’s Favourite Read 2023: Chapter Books

Your Kid’s Favourite Read 2023: Junior Fiction


*This post contains affiliate links. See contact page for details

**NB: publisher’s recommended reading age is 14+ 


Allison Tait on why children's literature mattersAre you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait, aka A.L. Tait, and I’m the author of middle-grade series, The Mapmaker Chronicles, The Ateban Cipher, and the Maven & Reeve Mysteries. My latest novel THE FIRST SUMMER OF CALLIE McGEE is out now. You can find out more about me here, and more about my books here.

If you’re looking for book recommendations for young readers, join the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook community, tune in to the Your Kid’s Next Read podcast and sign up for the Your Kid’s Next Read newsletter


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