The following list of books includes 20 of our most recent middle grade reads. I’ve included affiliate links to each title. Some of these selections were sent to us to review and share, others were purchased on our own. As always all opinions remain my own (and Lilly’s own as she’s my quick little middle grade reader!).
I loved rounding up my own summer reading list for you guys- so many messages and conversations happened on Instagram because of that list and a ton of you are working your way through the same books I am. It’s been fun to be able to chat about them and compare what we like and didn’t like!
My middle grade book stack is also a mile long. Lilly is a MUCH faster reader than I am so she’ll be through this list before July is done.
Just the same as before I’ll include a link and super short summary after each title. I’d love to know what you or your kids have thought about any of these!
20 Middle Grade Reads for Summer and Beyond
P.S. If you need a cute book log printable check out this post.
And use this post to create a fun summer bestie book club!
Described as a “joyful miracle of a book” this title promises to take you on an adventure of friendship, family, loss, and finding your way back home + what would it be like to be a kid and live five years on an old school bus?!
Do you have older kids who like spooky books? This one doesn’t disappoint as it shares a creepy tale based on British legend. Other-worldly children with green skin, a dangerous place…. add this to your book list for fall! It’s released publicly this September.
Autobiographies of strong, interesting women from history are a book category I love offering Lilly. Katherine Johnson tells her own moving story about persevering through brutal racism and sexism to become a NASA mathematician.
Maybe a Mermaid is the beach book for kiddos who can all relate to wanting to find True Friends amidst summer doldrums and family vacations. Anthoni has bounced from town to town with her mother, unable to make real connections with people or find lasting friendship but she’s determined to make this summer different. What will happen at Showboat Resort? Find out if the legends of the Boulay Mermaid are true!
Lilly is working her way through the Newbery Medal book list and this is an off the beaten path creepy book with a great story. Nobody Owens lives in a graveyard and is raised and educated by ghosts!
Front Desk is the story of Mia Tang, a Chinese immigrant girl with in interesting and quirky life. She lives in the motel her parents manage and has come to man the front desk. Lilly and I are listening to this one on audible and it’s great!
12 year old Flor has an interesting summer ahead with pageants and best friends going off to camp and helping a beekeeper. Add some family drama, a possible move and some heartache and it sounds like you get a wonderful coming of age novel that will be relatable for all.
Reminiscent of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, this quirky book is the story of Walter, a wannabe inventor whose contraptions cause nothing but trouble. Eventually he is invited to be an apprentice and embarks on a journey with an interesting one eyed girl named Cordelia. In the process his family secrets are revealed.
Twins Cam and Cass find themselves in a mysterious hotel. Their mother has died and their father has abandoned them, or has he? This book promises elaborate magic and mysteries. There is a sequel coming out in September, too, for those of you with kiddos who crave series!
12 year old Joey’s life is turned on it’s head when he’s declared a genius and invited to a special year round school. This is anything BUT what Joey wants until he discovers a world of real magic! Can he believe in himself enough to help protect this new world he loves?
This beautiful story follows Asha and Yesofu, two best friends who have never cared about the differences between them. But when Idi Amin declares Indians have 90 days to leave the country, the two best friends must confront everything they know about friendship and what it will mean to let each other go.
In a story inspired by true events, Nadia is haunted by her memories (and lack of memories) of World War II. Was she raised by Nazis? What was her part in the war that devastated so many? What she discovers is shocking but important in discovering her true self and what she must do in the future. Historical fiction is my own favorite genre so I love finding gems like this for my kids.
After 4 year old Sam falls down a well (and is then teased by an armadillo) his parents plan out every move he makes. They want him to skip two grades and go to MIT and more but Sam still struggles to be himself- which means becoming a chef! What does it mean to chose your own path? Can Sam discover the size of the truth- what’s eluded his memory for seven years?
This is a cute one. It’s currently for preorder only but add it to your list! Phoenix the squirrel gets dropped by a hawk into downtown Manhattan! After taking the kids to NYC they love any books that mention the places we’ve been. Phoenix finds himself with two rat siblings on a quest to stop the humans from destroying their home. This is a quick read and would be a great read aloud for multi age families!
The Good Thieves comes out August 27th and would be a great end of summer- get back into nightly reading book! This one is an adventure story about a girl trying to get back the rightful home of her grandfather. Can Vita Marlowe and her two unusual acquaintances set their world right again?
The timely story of Jude who must leave a life and family she loves in Syria as things become scary and volatile. Jude heads to Cincinnati Ohio where she must learn a new way of American life with new people and new friends while missing her family left behind. What does it mean to be American? What does this new label of ‘muslim’ mean for Jude? Written in beautiful verse, this is a book that needs to be read by all.
If you’ve got a middle grade reader that loves series, this is a GREAT one to start. The fourth installment just came out and Lilly LOVED it. It’s a little bit dark and a little bit scary (so far the fourth has been the scariest). The series chronicles Serafina, a girl living in secret below the real Biltmore estate. When children start to disappear Serafina knows she must embark on a quest to save them. It’s now on our family bucket list to go there!
I picked up this book a little while ago after hearing about the deaf main character! Iris is the only deaf person in her school and people don’t think she’s very smart. When she learns about Blue 55, a whale who can’t communicate with his own species, she decides she must do everything she can to try to communicate with him. This book is written by sign language interpreter Lynne Kelly, and one I’m stashing for Gracie someday.
Romy is alone on The Infinity, a space ship hurtling away from earth. After her two astronaut parents die, Romy tries to make the best out of being so utterly and completely alone. Is it good news when The Eternity makes contact and tries to connect with her or are there worse things in outer space than being so alone?
Stuart Gibbs authors this exciting collection of Fun Jungle mysteries. Did Henry the hippocampus die of natural causes or is someone else to blame for his untimely death? Teddy and Summer vow to find out.