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60+ short middle-grade novels kids will love

60+ short middle-grade novels kids will love

I’ve been busy.

Noticing a trend in the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook (YKNR) community of members looking for ‘short middle-grade novels’, I set out to write an article for the YKNR newsletter’s paid subscribers about what might be driving the interest, some bookseller recommendations and some insights from writers about the joys and challenges of writing ‘short’.

You can read it here (we have a free trial available so you can have a look at what we’re doing over there!).

But, of course, I also asked the wonderful YKNR community for its recommendations – specifically for middle-grade novels that are 240 pages or under – and, of course, our members delivered!

I’ve compiled a list below of those recommendations, indicating page numbers where available. Click the title to see more about the book or to purchase.*

Hope you find a great new book for your young reader here! Let me know if you do!

 

60+ Short Middle-Grade Novels (240 pages or under)

 

Middle-grade novels up to 150 pages

Miss Penny Dreadful (series) by Allison Rushby (144 pages)

Frindle by Andrew Clements (128 pages)

Kingdom of Silk (series) by Glenda Millard (96 pages) “Such beautiful books that treat difficult subjects so gently. The vocabulary, the descriptions make me stop reading to just appreciate them.” – Amanda

Annabel Again by Meg McKinlay (144 pages)

How to be the New Person by Anna Branford (128 pages)

Sea Glass by Rebecca Fraser (112 pages) “For 7-12 year olds. We loved it! (Was shortlisted in Readings Children’s Prize last year.” – Danielle

Uncle Xbox by Jared Thomas (64 pages)

Birrung The Secret Friend by Jackie French (144 pages)

Losing The Plot by Annaleise Byrd (144 pages)

Swimming on the Lawn by Yasmin Hamid (144 pages)

Barney and the Secret of the Whales by Jackie French (144 pages)

Rowan of Rin (series) by Emily Rodda (138 pages) “Emily Rodda is the master of a whole story in a small novel.” – Gillian

 

Middle-grade novels 151-180 pages

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park (162 pages)

Answers in the Pages by David Levithan (176 pages)

The Elephant by Peter Carnavas (180 pages)

Songbird by Ingrid Laguna (176 pages)

Blueback by Tim Winton (168 pages)

Rocket by Dave Lowe (180 pages)

The Dragon Defenders (series) by James Russell (180 pages)

 

Middle-grade novels 181-200 pages

Warhorse by Michael Morpurgo (192 pages)

The Barrumbi Kids (series) by Leonie Norrington (196 pp) “Actually my kids didn’t read this, but I did and loved it.” – Suzy

Aster’s Good Right Things by Kate Gordon (196 pages)

Ella At Eden (series) by Laura Sieveking (192 pages)

Michaela Mason’s Big List Of Worries (series) by Alexa Moses (192 pages)

Music for Tigers by Michelle Kadarusman (192 pages)

The Lorikeet Tree by Paul Jennings (192 pages)

The Reindeer and the Submarine by Beverley McWilliams (200 pages)

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (192 pages)

The Midnight Zoo by Sonya Hartnett (192 pages)

The Unstoppable Flying Flanagan by Felice Arena (192 pages)

 

Middle-grade novels 201-239 pages

My Brother Ben by Peter Carnavas (208 pages)

The Unlikely Heroes Club by Kate Foster (208 pages)

The First Summer of Callie McGee by A. L. Tait (208 pages)

Who Am I? by Anita Heiss (208 pages)

Huda and Me by H Hayek (208 pages)

A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll, illustrated by Kay Wilson (208 pages)

When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park (208 pages)

Exit Through The Gift Shop by Maryam Masters (216 pages)

The Lost Library by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead (224 pages)

The Callers by Kiah Thomas (224 pages)

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate (224 pages)

Surface Tension by Meg McKinlay (224 pages)

Tiger Daughter by Rebecca Lim (224 pages)

Berani by Michelle Kadarusman (224 pages)

How to Bee by Bren MacDibble (224 pages)

Cog by Greg van Eekhout, illustrated by Beatrice Blue (224 pages) “Has been popular in my school library with y7/8s.” – Amy

Some Places More Than Others by Renee Watson (224 pages)

The Mud Puddlers by Pamela Rushby (224 pages)

The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo (224 pages)

 

Middle-grade novels 240 pages

Ferris by Kate DiCamillo (240 pages)

Ban this Book by Alan Gratz (240 pages),

Haywire: The Dunera Boys by Claire Saxby (240 pages)

Queenie In Seven Moves by Zanni Louise (240 pages)

Pippa’s Island (series) by Belinda Murrell (240 pages)

Liars (series) by Jack Heath (240 pages)

The Bravest Word by Kate Foster (240 pages)

Hamlet Is Not OK by R. A. Spratt (240 pages)

The Letterbox Tree by Rebecca Lim and Kate Gordon (240 pages)

Hurricane Child by Kacen Callender (240 pages)

Crookhaven (series) by J. J. Arcanjo (240 pages)

 


 

a l tait profileAre 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

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

Your Kid’s Next Read podcast celebrates 150 episodes

Your Kid’s Next Read podcast celebrates 150 episodes

As usual, I’m late to my own party because the Your Kid’s Next Read podcast celebrated 150 episodes on March 27th and here I am sharing the news right before episode 152 drops tomorrow.

You can listen to episode 150 here.

I’m sure you’ll be unsurprised by this situation – after all, I’m a known under-celebrator from way back – but I’m feeling bad about this one.

The truth is, I’m really proud of this podcast.

 

Your Kid's Next Read podcast

 

My co-host Megan Daley and I began the podcast as a natural extension of the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook community, which we founded in 2017, along with author Allison Rushby.

We thought the podcast would give a voice to the conversations and engagement from our thriving group – and it turns out we were right.

At the time the podcast began, I was still co-hosting the So You Want To Be A Writer podcast with Valerie Khoo, and I loved doing both, but I’d been with SYWTBAW for seven years and I was, frankly, tired.

My first love is children’s literature and I was watching the spaces given over to the discussion and promotion of Australia’s children’s literature shrinking.

I was also watching our literacy rates and results dropping, and an increasing number of desperate parents/carers/educators/other interested parties flocking to the Your Kid’s Next Read community to try to find ways (and books) to keep their kids interested in reading.

So I decided to focus on the Your Kid’s Next Read podcast and I truly believe that Megan and I have created something special.

Yes, we discuss children’s books (from board books to YA), reading, and writing, but our conversations (the Quality Waffle) take us upwards, downwards and sideways into parenting, teacher-librarian life and advocacy, education, honey, cooking, gardening, the joys (and challenges) of teens, our wonderful author interviews and so much more.

If you haven’t yet had a listen, it’s a great time to jump on board.

And if you are a part of our community of listeners, thank you SO much for being part of our conversations.

We love that we go walking with you, and fold the washing with you, and ferry the kids around with you.

We love it when you talk back to us via reviews and via the Facebook community.

We love making Australian children’s literature a part of your week.

Even if we do forget to celebrate that sometimes…


 

a l tait profileAre 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

The YKNR Community’s Favourite Bookshops

The YKNR Community’s Favourite Bookshops

Following recent comments, widely covered in the media, from an Australian independent bookseller, we asked the Your Kid’s Next Read community to recommend their favourite Australian bookshops for children’s literature.

The places they go for a wide range of diverse and interesting stories of all kinds, advice and a warm welcome.

Well, we were INUNDATED with glowing responses and reviews, and have put them into a list for easy reference (and so you can plan your Bookshops Of Australia roadtrip).

And yes, we’ve included some New Zealand and online favourites as well.

Click the bookshop name for their website, Instagram or Facebook page, and address details. Enjoy!

 

 

Best children's bookshops VictoriaYKNR FAVE BOOKSHOPS: VICTORIA

The Little Bookroom, Fitzroy. “The oldest children’s bookshop in the southern hemisphere, I believe. Family run and brimming with all kinds of books. During the long covid lockdowns in Melbourne we could buy a book online in the morning and they would deliver it to you by bicycle that afternoon.” – Georgina

Squishy Minnie, Kyneton. … is amazing!! Really progressive and eclectic range of books for kids and teens.– Renee

The Younger Sun Bookshop, Yarraville.

The Kid’s Bookshop, Mitcham. “They’re wonderful!” – Kirsten

Bookish, Bendigo.Wonderful, friendly, knowledgeable staff.” – Carol

Farrells Bookshop, Mornington. “Staff that I absolutely adore and such a huge range of Kidlit!” – Danielle

Collins Booksellers, Croydon. “An extensive and diverse children’s section which is very popular. I love seeing kids searching for books there!” – Heather

Avenue Bookstore, Elsternwick. “Next level awesome!” – Claire

Jeffreys Books, Malvern. “So supportive of local authors, always friendly and helpful staff, and have an amazing collection of kids books.” – Romi

Great Escape Books, Airey’s Inlet. “One of our faves! Nicole and the team are brilliant.” – Kylie

The Leaf Bookshop, Ashburton. “Delightful and always well stocked.” – Madeline

Turn the Page, Cowes. “A number of times I’ve phoned them to help me organise birthday presents for my nephews for them to pick up from the store after school. They’re amazing.” – Melissa

Beaumaris Books, Beaumaris.…is great! That’s where I get a lot of stuff.” – George

Reader’s Emporium, Traralgon. “Very supportive of authors and readers.” – Susan

SchoolWorks, Bairnsdale. “Also an educational bookshop [and] has a great range of childrens books and local author books.”Charlotte

Pictures and Pages, Coburg.You rock!” – Lauren

North Melbourne Books, North Melbourne. “A small local bookstore with good selection.” – Zannatul

Enchanted Years, Williamstown.[It’s] a gorgeous shop! Laura is fabulous…” – Michelle

Bookgrove, Ocean Grove.

The Bookshop at Queenscliff, Queenscliff.

Escape Hatch Books, Kew. “We discovered Fran and this gem of a store while visiting the school uniform shop across the road years and years ago and she has always been wonderful and welcoming and has worked to make the bookshop about community, as much as books and reading, which is what so many of the wonderful bookshops on this list do everyday.” – Kylie

Torquay Books, Wadawurrung. “Lynne and her team are knowledgeable, friendly and helpful!” – Fran

Collins Books, Shepparton. “Not my local bookshop, but it is my Dad’s and they are also very helpful when I visit with him and my kids.– Sally

Edgars Books & News, Wangaratta.Is wonderful! What a great travel itinerary visiting each of these stores would make.– Lisbeth

Readings, Melbourne. “My forever bookshop. A wonderful selection of kids books at all their stores in Melbourne and a dedicated kids bookshop in Carlton!” – Vanessa

Cook & Young Booksellers, Southland.It’s my local and they have so many graphic novels, it’s pretty great!– Anna

 

YKNR FAVOURITE CHILDREN'S BOOKSHOPS QLDYKNR FAVE BOOKSHOPS: QUEENSLAND

The Mad Hatters Bookshop, Manly. “A tiny but very well stocked store with super knowledgeable and friendly staff.” – Erin

Where The Wild Things Are Bookshop, West End. “A kids’ book shop with an amazing and diverse range of books and lovely, widely read booksellers.” – Sarah

Riverbend Books, Bulimba.Riverbend and its staff have given me so many years of wonderful children’s literature events and recommendations as well as a space in Bulimba to escape the hustle and bustle, browse the shelves and chat with other lovers of childrens and YA literature. A true treasure in the heart of Brisbane!” – Megan

Little Gnome, Wynnum.

Bright And Early Books, Ascot. “Owner Cholm is an experienced educator and his bookstore has a great mix of adult, children’s and YA titles along with watercolour classes and literacy classes for a young audience.” – Murray

Book Face, Pacific Fair, Gold Coast.

Under the Greenwood Tree, Tamborine North. “Tiny, delightful, and full of every thing.” – Sarah

Annie’s Books, Peregian.

The Junction Bookstore, Noosa Heads.

Berkelouw Books, Eumundi. “Love their variety of children’s books (and grown up books).” – Michelle

The Little Book Nook, Palmwoods.

Rosetta Books, Maleny.

Quick Brown Fox Bookshop, Grange. “Absolutely delightful!” – Sharolyn

Dymock’s, Indooroopilly. “I know it’s a chain, but the staff are incredibly kind and helpful whenever my daughter and I go in.– Rachel

Scrumptious Reads, Paddington.

Books@Stones, Stones Corner. “Karen and Michael are so welcoming.” – Louise

 The Book Tree, Toowoomba. “It’s lovely.” – Sarah

Shelf Lovers, Wooloowin. “A fully inclusive and representative bookshop for everybody. They run some awesome events, too – drag storytime for one!” – Lucy

Pulp Fiction Books, Queen St Mall, Brisbane.

Under Blue Skies Bookshop, Mareeba. “A fab little bookstore in our town.” – Theresa

 

YKNR FAVOURITE CHILDREN'S BOOKSHOPS NSWYKNR FAVE BOOKSHOPS: NSW

Better Read Than Dead, Newtown.

Hill Of Content, Balmain.

Gleebooks, Glebe. “A fabulous selection and a brilliant Children’s Book specialist who can recommend books for your child, tween or teen.” – Kate

Abbey’s Bookshop, Sydney. “Always terrific.” – Belinda

The Constant Reader, Crows Nest. “A fabulous bookshop and now has a separate kids bookshop next door!– Alison

Big Sky Stories and One More Page Book Emporium, Broken Hill.Living remotely we would be lost without the lovely Jane who recommends and orders in all sorts of lovely books for us and then even posts them out when we won’t be in town again soon.” – Michelle

Books on East, Narrandera. “It’s fantastic.” – Caroline

 Humphreys, Manly.A terrific kids’ section and their bookseller Wendy is brilliant.” – Pip

Dymock’s, Nowra.

The Turning Page, Springwood NSW.

Novella Fine Books, Cards and Gifts, Wahroonga.

Book Face, Erina. “Always beautiful, excited and helpful.” – Fiona

The Book Warehouse, Lismore.

 The Bookshop Bowral, Bowral.  “[One] of my favourites.” – Stephanie

Boobook On Owen, Huskisson.

Wax Lyrical Bookstore, Berry.

Harbour Bookshop, Ulladulla.

Collins Booksellers, Thirroul.

 

YKNR FAVOURITE CHILDREN'S BOOKSHOPS NTYKNR FAVE BOOKSHOPS: NT

Red Kangaroo Books, Alice Springs. “The place to go in Mparntwe/Alice Springs. They are always happy to order books in and are great supporters of Territory and Australian writers.” – Deborah

The Bookshop Darwin, Darwin. “Large selection of children’s novels and picture books including new releases and classics. Features local authors.” – Veronica

 

YKNR FAVOURITE CHILDREN'S BOOKSHOPS ACTYKNR FAVE BOOKSHOPS: ACT

The Book Cow, Kingston. “Fabulous collection of kids books and super supportive of local authors.” – Stephanie

 

 

YKNR FAVOURITE CHILDREN'S BOOKSHOPS TASYKNR FAVE BOOKSHOPS: TAS

The Hobart Bookshop.

Petrarch’s Bookshop, Launceston. “Amazing.” – Kate

Fullers Bookshop, Hobart. “Love them!!!” – Jessie

Dymocks, Hobart. “They are incredible and always go above and beyond.” – Kate

Cracked and Spineless New and Used Books, Hobart.  “Wonderful, weird and passionate.” – Kate

Not Just Books, Burnie.

 

YKNR FAVOURITE CHILDREN'S BOOKSHOPS SAYKNR FAVE BOOKSHOPS: SA

Page & Turner, Myer Centre, Adelaide. “We happily spent an hour or so, found a full set of a new series – Warriors – here, and if we hadn’t had people waiting for us we would have spent longer there!” – Katy

Shakespeare’s Bookshop, Blackwood. “Well-stocked with amazing kids (and non-kids) books from diverse authors, including local talent.” – Hannah

Matilda Bookshop, Stirling.

Imprints Booksellers, Adelaide. Great for older readers.” – Jane

Dillions Norwood Bookshop, Norwood.

Pegi Williams Book Shop, Adelaide.

Greenlight Comics, Adelaide. “Amazing for graphic novels.” – Ruth

Dymocks, Glenelg.

Mostly Books, Mitcham Square. “They’re always nice to me and have a good range of books (also will order if they don’t have the thing). They are openly queer/trans affirming at times and have some cool older books like Angela Davis books.” – Agata

 

YKNR FAVOURITE CHILDREN'S BOOKSHOPS WAYKNR FAVE BOOKSHOPS: WA

Rabble Books & Games, Maylands. “They also have an online shop. They have the most diverse range and are always happy to talk books and games that might be suitable for your needs.” – Aileen

Paper Bird Children’s Books and Arts, Fremantle. “Fabulous place and so much more than a bookshop. It even has its own Narnia!” – Jan

Beaufort Street Books, Mount Lawley. “Runs amazing kids and youth book clubs, story time and has wonderful employees.” – Melissa

Dymock’s, Subiaco. “[There’s} a Pride wall, a local authors display, a First Nations wall, and more. There’s lots of love in the store.” – Shannon

 

YKNR FAVOURITE CHILDREN'S BOOKSHOPS NZYKNR FAVE BOOKSHOPS: NEW ZEALAND

Scorpio Books, Christchurch. “A great one (especially because they have a dedicated children’s shop across the alley from the grownup bookshop)! I found some podcast recs in there, as well as receiving some employee recs and a teacher discount (what a lovely bonus?!)” – Shelley

Unity Books, Wellington. “They have a buyer just for their kids’ book selection.– Averil

Little Unity Books, Auckland. “Amazing staff, cute store in a cool street downtown.” – Tania

Dorothy Butler Children’s Bookstore, Ponsonby, Auckland

The Children’s Bookshop, Wellington. “Amazing.” – Louise

 

YKNR FAVE BOOKSHOPS: ONLINE

Bin Chicken Books. “An incredible source for preloved books and the owner constantly champions own voice’s literature. She’s bloody excellent at recommendations too.” – Haylee

Amplify Bookstore. “All about diversity and POC representation and authors.” – Lisa

Plus, a shout-out for public libraries – if you haven’t been to yours for a while, the community recommends a visit.


 

a l tait profileAre 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

Your Kid’s Favourite Read 2023: Young Adult

Your Kid’s Favourite Read 2023: Young Adult

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 very last post is all about young adult books, for readers aged 14+. There are some titles here that cross over with our middle-grade 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*.


YOUR KID’S FAVOURITE READ 2023: YOUNG ADULT

AS NOMINATED BY THE MEMBERS OF THE YOUR KID’S NEXT READ COMMUNITY. FOR READERS AGED 14+

 

Most Nominated

Best YA books 2023Completely Normal and Other Lies by Biffy James

 

 

 

 

Best YA books 2023Borderland by Graham Akhurst

 

 

 

 

Best YA books 2023Stuck Up & Stupid by Angourie Rice and Kate Rice

 

 

 


 

Best YA Books 2023Royals by Tegan Bennett Daylight

Dancing Barefoot by Alice Boyle

The Cruel Prince (Folk Of The Air series) by Holly Black

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

 

Best YA books 2023One Song by A. J. Betts

Set over one weekend and the intensity of what that entails.” – Louise

Solitaire by Alice Oseman

Only A Monster (series) by Vanessa Len

 

Best YA Books 2023When You Get The Chance by Emma Lord

My 14-year-old niece who had ‘gone off’ reading these past few years is back in the game after reading [this].” – Danielle

The Greatest Thing by Sarah Winifred Searle

 

 

Best YA Books 2023Grace Notes by Karen Comer

The End Of The World Is Bigger Than Love by Davina Bell

Always my biggest recommendation for this age group.” – Kylie

The Ranger’s Apprentice (series) by John Flanagan

 

Best YA Books 2023Arc of Scythe (series) by Neal Shusterman

Heartstopper (graphic novel series) by Alice Oseman

Tomorrow When The War Began by John Marsden

My son enjoyed it for Year 9 English and I was stoked to pass on my entire series!” – Renee

 

Best YA books 2023Inkflower by Suzy Zail

Percy Jackson (series) by Rick Riordan

The Hunger Games (series) by Suzanne Collins

Re-reading to prep for the release of the film.” – Briar

 

Best YA books 2023Neverlanders (graphic novel) by Tom Taylor and Jon Sommariva

Defy The Night (series) by Brigid Kemmerer

All of Brigid Kemmerer’s books.” – Hayley

 

 

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

Your Kid’s Favourite Read 2023: Middle Grade

 

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


 

A. L. Tait The First Summer of Callie McGeeAre 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

Your Kid’s Favourite Read 2023: Middle Grade

Your Kid’s Favourite Read 2023: Middle Grade

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*.


 

YOUR KID’S FAVOURITE READ 2023: MIDDLE GRADE

AS NOMINATED BY THE MEMBERS OF THE YOUR KID’S NEXT READ COMMUNITY. FOR READERS AGED 10-13.

 

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

 

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Your Kid’s Favourite Read 2023: Picture Books

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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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