Best Books List, Fantasy, historical, middle grade
The Best MG (Middle Grade) Fiction

Young adult and teen fiction fill the shelves of many bookstores today, and are very popular reading choices for its target audience and adults alike. Of course, teens and adults aren’t the only ones who are big readers – younger readers (around the ages 8 to 12, or maybe even 13 and 14) read books, too! And for these younger readers, we have Middle Grade or MG fiction, which involve plots that are less complex and less lengthy than the ones in YA books, but which are no less exciting. MG fiction, like YA, straddles a range of genres, as well – from realistic school fiction to fantasy. And, like YA, there’s a lot of great MG fiction out there – it’s just a case of looking out for lists that let you know what great books are there.

So here’s a list of some of the best MG fiction available now. They’re all from different genres, so the MG fiction reader is bound to find something to suit his or her tastes. Here’s the list:

Sarina’s Nightmare by Robert Scanlon 

sarinas-nightmare-scanlon

Sarina is a twelve-year-old girl whose eyes are set on one goal: to win a prestigious art competition, which could get her invited to an exclusive art school. But she has to pass a math assessment test first, upon the demand of her school Principal, before her entry could even be considered. Sarina knows she’s bad at math – it’s hard to miss especially when the class math whiz, Nathan, ridicules her. Add to that the fact that she’s hallucinating about a deaf-mute boy from another world, and all in all, the stress gets to her. But a series of events jeopardize her competition entry and bring her into the other world, where she finds out that she possesses superpowers. Little does she know, Nathan is receiving messages from this world as well – and soon, he and Sarina are thrown into an adventure to save that world.

What do the readers say?

  • “Wow! I flew through this book! A very good read. Excellent characters and storyline. The use of a larger vocabulary was refreshing, as was the lack of typos and good grammar.(Not always the case with a free download) I believe I’ve found a new author to follow, and I’m positive there will be many fans waiting for his latest works.”L. Baker, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Forestium by Christopher Morgan 

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Joshua always dreams about his dead father, and this makes him wonder about the stories he’s heard over the years. Determined to uncover the truth, he journeys to find the Oracle, with his best friend and an imp coming along with him. In his journey, he finds the Portallas, a gateway that links worlds together. And this gateway is something that the malevolent Goat is determined to open. Joshua needs to find the other artifacts before the Goat does, and learn the truth about his father, if he wants to survive an encounter with the Goat itself.

What do the readers say?

  • “It is enthralling enough to read in one afternoon, the characters were fun, the setting was vivid, and the adventure the characters embark on is full of surprises and action. I loved that there is an element of mystery to the story, in that the main characters find magical items along the way which may help them in their quest. Like all great fantasy novels there is an exploration of good and evil, and it will be nice to witness the growth of the main character as the series continues. An enjoyable read which young adult readers will love, and young-at-heart adults will also enjoy. I look forward to Book 2 in the series!”Alexandra Johns, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

The Irish Wizard by Avril Sabine 

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Hailey, a thirteen-year-old girl, has always followed her older brother Lachlan into trouble. When her reality starts changing, she first believes that it’s because of something Lachlan has done – but she knows that he can’t do magic even though he’s always dreamed of being a wizard.

What do the readers say?

  • “This is an incredibly sweet and funny magical tale. I love it so much because family is at it’s heart: Hailey and Lachlan aren’t alone as their parents are in the same boat too (although they try and keep some normality). I was intrigued as to how Hailey got dragged into her brother’s schemes, which somehow worked out after a whole load of issues including him being turned into a frog (I can’t forget the scene where turns human again).”Nayu, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Unsaid Things by Gary Smith 

unsaid-things-gary-smith

Stephen Smart is fifteen years old who, by all accounts, is living an ordinary life – except people can hear his thoughts. Girls know what he thinks of them, his teachers know what he wants to tell them, and the relationships he has with family and friends are all complicated by this one fact. And he doesn’t know what has caused it. Unable to control his abilities, with his innermost thoughts like an open book to the world – readable by his friends and enemies alike – Stephen knows that his life has been drastically changed forever.

What do the readers say?

  • ” Imagine the ability to have other people read your thoughts! It’s such an interesting and mortifying concept and I couldn’t believe how realistic his situation felt. I absolutely loved Stephen. He was so incredibly relatable and I really felt for him throughout the book. There were so many times that I felt embarrassed along with him and when things turned ugly nearing the end I raced through the pages, unable to put the book down because I wanted to know what happened next.”JexStar336, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Cat Crimes and Wannabes by Steven Whibley 

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Jared and Marcus are eleven-year-old Revengers, who are capable of fixing problems and being all-around awesome. Except they don’t really get the chance to show off their skills. But they do have a target in mind – Jared’s sister’s boyfriend, who wants to be a rockstar and is a huge bully. They have a target – but the situation is complicated, as Jared and Marcus have another target to handle: an aggressive stray cat terrorizing the neighborhood. With two targets to be handled at once, Jared and Marcus have their hands full – and have a lot to prove.

What do the readers say?

  • “Well, this has been quite a read. The excitement of reading this makes the book worthy to be read, and I am thinking of giving this as a gift to my 10-year old boy. I’m sure that he will also read this from page one to the last. Jared and Marcus surely have a not-so-boring life, and I believe that this will encourage my son to be a little bit creative too. And the fact that a cat is involved in the story gave me one more reason to really appreciate this book.”Orianna Myfanwy, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

A Fated Fantasy Quest Adventureby Rachel D’aigle

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Meghan and Colin Jacoby are mind-reading twins who have to save the life of a young man – but they only have until the rising of the blue moon to get to it. Along the way, they break a spell and revive an ancient, dark magic – and discover that they’re being hunted, too.

What do the readers say?

  • “This book is really good. The characters are developed very fast, with the personalities coming through very fast. The book moves at a fast pace and keeps the reader interested. I would recommend this to anyone who loves paranormal stories, witch stories, gypsy stories, and stories about people with some kind of special powers.” – Mathyaet, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising by Jason Henderson 

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Alex has no idea that he’s a descendant of the world’s most famous vampire hunter, but the fourteen-year-old boy’s life changes when he arrives at Glenarvon Academy – only to deal with two vampires during his first days there. And that there’s an ancient vampire university called the Scholomance that’s hidden deep underground near his school. When a vampire clan lord known as the Icemaker kidnaps Alex’s friends, Alex has no choice but to break into the Scholomance and get them back. With the help of the vampire-hunting organization called the Polidorium, Alex undertakes a treacherous journey to thwart the Icemaker’s plans – and uncover his own family’s destiny in the process.

What do the readers say?

  • “It’s fresh and fun; and I was completely hooked from the start. A non-stop action and adventure fantasy for young adults, this new series doesn’t disappoint. And the secret vampire hunting organization that gives the feeling of a young James Bond novel… with killer vampires. It’s a fantastic vampire-slayer series debut for readers of all ages.”SciFiChick, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

The Destiny Trilogy Series by Cris Pasqueralle 

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Jack and Maddie Austin are twins who receive a special gift from their wizard Uncle Benny on their thirteenth birthday: a pair of necklaces and a mysterious note. When the twins’ parents are kidnapped by the evil Tardon and his henchmen, Uncle Benny and the twins – who turn out to be powerful wizards – must venture into a magical realm and rescue their parents, and save all other realms from destruction.

 

 

 

 

Legacy of Dragonwand Book 1 by Daniel Peyton 

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A thousand years have passed since the destruction of almost all ancient wizards in the Wizard Wars. The one who began the war, however, is still alive, and has to find the last Dragonwand so that he can restore his powers as the dark dragon. Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old Markus is in search of a wizard who can give him a letter of recommendation, so that he can enter the College of Wizardry. His search makes him crosss paths with Tolen the Wise, who gives Markus a quest to find the Dragonwand before it falls into the wrong hands. The fate of the world rests on Markus’s journey.

What do the readers say?

  • “I found this to be a clean, easy read. The story has all the elements a young (or old) reader could want for a fantasy novel. There’s the requisite girl his age for Markus to become interested in, the obligatory over-protective father, understanding mother, a quest, forbidden magic, an evil wizard and greedy king.”Joyce Wetherbee, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows by Michelle Madow 

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Nicole Cassidy doesn’t know that she’s a witch descended from the Greek gods, but when she moves into a new town, she’s hurled into a world of magic and monsters, and this is where she realizes who she truly is. When the Olympian Comet appears after three thousand years, Nicole, the mysterious boy Blake, and four others, are given elemental powers. But the comet doesn’t just grant power – it also opens a portal through which an ancient monster escapes. It’s up to Nicole and her companions to save the world.

What do the readers say?

  • “This book is great. And more than that, it’s an interesting take on two subjects that are very familiar to most readers, not just of YA but of all fiction, and I find that really refreshing. Michelle Madow has always taken existing ideas and made them into something different and unique, and Elementals has that same quality. I think we have a lot of notions as readers about these pre-conceived categories, and I love that Michelle writes outside of the box.”Amazon Customer [Review from Amazon]

Heartbeat at My Feet by Phyllis H. Moore 

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Lilly is fifteen years old, and has to face her most challenging school year yet. Without her mother or her brother Max, she has to rely on her friend Macy and her dog Wanda to help her through the challenges she has to tackle everyday, as she waits for Christmas season to come near and for her mother to return from rehab.

What do the readers say?

  • “Another great book by this author. I couldn’t put it down until I had finished it. I have known each and everyone of these characters and have lived in the small town and neighborhood described. Phyllis has done a super job bringing the reader into the story. Keep up the good work. I am looking forward to her next book.” – Amazon Customer [Review from Amazon]

Swords and Stilettos by Kristin D. Van Risseghem 

swords-and-stilettos-van-risseghem

Armageddon is about to happen, unless eighteen-year-old Zoe Jabril manages to devise a plan to save the world. Her best friend is a Guardian Angel, and she has a crush on a Nephilim, and both are there to protect her from the Demons that want to kill her – Demons that are fated to stop the girl in the Prophecy. The girl who shall unite Angels, Nephilim, Fairies, and Werewolves, in order to stop evil. If Zoe wants to save the world and prevent the devil from escaping Hell, she must learn how to control her new powers.

What do the readers say?

  • “The Guardian, a Sword, & Stilettos is an enthralling young adult read. The characters are rich and appealing and the plot is unique and well told. The budding romance along with the catty high school girls who torment Zoe help add believeability to the story. I, as I’m sure many parents will too, liked how the author kept Zoe and Shay’s relationship innocent with much of the book’s focus being on Zoe’s inner struggles of doing what’s right. All in all I found this to be well rounded story that kept me glued to the pages.”Stacie Theis, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

P.A.W.S. by Debbie Manber Kupfer 

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When Miri receives a silver cat charm from her omama on the night of her omama’s death, she’s not entirely aware of what to do with it – except that it has powerful magic. Now Miri is set on a mysterious quest, accompanied by her new friends – members of the Partnership for Animagi, Werewolves, and Shapeshifters, or P.A.W.S.

What do the readers say?

  • “The thing I love most about this book is the heritage. I love the historic references and the way it made me go back in time to my own years of school. Beautiful detail, you really want the heroine to get her own back! Wonderfully crafted, I am very excited to see if this becomes a series of books!”Miss E. Earle, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

Risuko by David Kudler 

risuko-kudler

Risuko is a fatherless girl who grew up far from the battlefields and court intrigues that dot all of Japan. But the girl, who just wants to climb trees, suddenly gets pulled into a plot that may reunite or destroy Japan. Forced to leave her home and her family, Risuko undergoes a daunting journey – but not alone, as she is helped by new friends from a school that isn’t quite what it seems.

What do the readers say?

  • “Risuko is on something of a hero’s journey; I’d expect nothing less from an author who has so closely studied Joseph Campbell. She faces self-discovery, growth, and moral dilemmas in this book, and no doubt the ones to come. I look forward to following her journey in the series!”Anne Janzer, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee 

ophelia-karen-foxlee

Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard believes only in what science can prove. When she and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother, their father takes on a job in a strange museum in a different city, where it always snows. There, Ophelia finds a boy who is locked away in a forgotten room – and the boy calaims to be the prisoner of the Snow Queen. What’s more, he claims that he’s been waiting for Ophelia’s help. Now Ophelia undergoes a journey to rescue the boy, and this journey will challenge everything Ophelia’s ever known.

What do the readers say?

  • “The story and the writing are like quicksilver. As it develops and picks up speed and clarity the tale can be terrifying, tender, comic, darkly humorous, touching, insightful, inspirational. It is fantastical and magical in all of the ways those words are used. Friendship, familial love, bravery, hope – it’s all there. This book is remarkably well written, and is both accessible to young readers and extremely rewarding for older readers who can catch the many sly or subtle insights and references.”Pop Bop, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Maisy and the Missing Mice by Elizabeth Woodrum 

maisy-and-the-missing-mice-woodrum

The Black Boot is a thief that’s stealing the school’s mice mascots, and it’s up to the best detective in fourth grade, Maisy Sawyer, to solve the mystery. But the stakes are high, as the Black Boot also stole Maisy’s lollipop collection, which she’ll never see again unless she stops searching for the mice. It’s up to Maisy to uncover who the Black Boot truly is – while rescuing the mice and her collection.

What do the readers say?

  • “This book was charming from the very beginning straight through to the end. I’ve always been an avid reader and I know that this is one of those books I would have picked up in third grade and devoured with the hope that there were plenty more in the series.”J.C. Wing, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Paraplegic by Troy Dearbourne 

paraplegic-dearbourne

McKenzie is an ordinary teenage girl who’s into partying, make-up, and boys. But a car accident changes her life, leaving her best friend dead and McKenzie herself paralyzed. Without her best friend, and without her legs, McKenzie starts feeling lost, alone, and depressed – but then she meets a blind boy at the rehab facility, and soon McKenzie discovers that life as someone who’s a little different isn’t so bad after all.

What do the readers say?

  • “Absolutely loved this book! It was truly inspiring and uplifting. It was one of those books that was hard to put down and I couldn’t wait to pick it back up again to see how the story would unfold.”Parenttrap, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

Pugs of the Frozen North by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre 

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Shen and Sika want to win the Race to the Top of the World, because of the grand prize – their hearts’ desire. The competition is fierce, whoever, and they have to face snow trolls, sea monsters, and incredibly hungry yetis to get to the finish line. But they hae a secret weapon: a pack of sixty-six pugs to bring their sled to the finish line.

What do the readers say?

  • “This is a really exciting adventure story and the illustrations match the storyline perfectly. Many are dark, which captures the bleak, icy landscape. However, the illustrations are cute and appealing, rather than scary. This book will have appeal to both boys and girls and both my children look forward to reading more books by Philip Reeve.”S. Riaz, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Under the Moon by MG Camacho 

under-the-moon-mg-camacho

Helena is an average twelve-year-old girl. But when she turns thirteen, she finds out that she has the power to save the world from destruction, keep her best friend Grace safe from blood-sucking vampires, save a fairy clan, and help a mermaid. Helena finds that she has a completely different life ahead of her as a thirteen year old – and a life that’s definitely more complicated than she’s ever had before.

 

 

 

 

A Piece of Sky by Ann Hunter

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Nurgal, the Lord of Decay, has stolen a powerful force from the tree of Life, and by possessing this, he believes he can end man’s time on earth. But a little red hen called Ros, who happens to be hit by a magic acorn and starts seeing the entire world differently, is out there to stop this great evil.

What do the readers say?

  • “I was very surprised by this book. Very easy to read, understand. Possibly something to read to the children, but will not be lost on anyone who is much older. If you have a good sense of humor and a big heart, this is the perfect book to add to your library. This is a big leap from the story we have all heard a thousand times over, and it is very well-written. Ms. Hunter, you have me hooked on your style. I cannot wait to dive into your other bodies of work.”Veronica Williams, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Immagica by K.A. Last 

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Rosaline Clayton uncovers a family secret before her fifteenth birthday. When her deranged father gives her an amulet and tells her that she must search for a book that can save him, Rosaline dismisses this as nonsense and gives it no thought. But then her brother Elliot takes her to their nana’s attic, where they find an old book hidden in a chest. And the book happens to be a sort of portal that takes them into the magical world of Immagica, a land deeply ruined by war. The people of Immagica look to Rosaline and her amulet to restore Immagica to its glory – and it is on this journey that Rosaline discovers the truth about her family, and that she must save them all.

What do the readers say?

  • “It was very easy to read. Story flowed like a stream of words. I was enjoying it. I enjoyed reading about the adventure of Rosaline, about her meeting new characters, dealing with challenges, getting to know more about the secrets of her family and the world of Immagica. I liked to see how she grows through her journey. As story went on tension builded up, and I was hurrying through the pages anxious to see what’s next, what obstacles and dangers characters would have to face, how it would go. And when story got very tense, I was fidgeting in my seat.”Amazon Customer [Review from Amazon]

The Feyland Series by Anthea Sharp

the-dark-real-anthea-sharp

A high-tech computer game serves as the gateway to the dangerous Realm of Faerie.

What do the readers say?

  • “I have read many young adult fey works, but this trilogy work takes a very unique approach that I haven’t see before. It is an interesting mix of fantasy and science fiction, I enjoyed the plot line throughout the work, but it was hard to fall in love with the characters. Overall, it was an entertaining read that was able to draw me in throughout.”Dacee, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

 

Lucy’s Chance by Brittney Joy 

lucys-chance-joy

It’s Lucy Rose’s first summer away from home, and all that she can think of are an abandoned horse and a blue-eyed cowboy – neither of which is hers. Her attention is always on her co-worker, Casey Parker, a cowboy who’s gentle with the hroses at Red Rock Ranch. But she knows that rodeo queen Taylor Johnson’s eyes are on him – and no one crosses Taylor. But then a mysterious horse appears that brings Lucy and Casey together, and the two are both determined to save the black gelding, who’s not really into humans.

What do the readers say?

  • “I love the small horsey details which ring true; and the aspect of Lucy being made to feel inadequate by a young lady who has her eye on Casey. The text is in conversational language, just as Lucy thinks or speaks, so we get fully inside her head. The excitement of the race across the rugged countryside and staged obstacles makes for a spectacular finish. I can’t wait to get started on the second book.”Clara O’Beara, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Odessa Lace – Marea Mystic: The Mystery of the Gypsy King by Deb Clark

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On her sixteenth birthday, Odessa Lace, who’s lived the life of a normal teenager, finds out that she’s actually a seer who has remarkable abilities. The ability to see the future, relive the past, and change the present. And this power will change Odessa’s life forever.

What do the readers say?

  • “I just loved the book and couldn’t put it down. It is a great beginning to a new series. I loved how it has magical elements from other cultures put together in such a believable manner. I can’t wait to read more books by this author.”Vagoyal, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

 

 

The New Girl: The Extraordinary Life of Cassandra Jones by Tamara Hart Heiner 

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Cassandra Jones is, by all accounts, an ordinary fifth-grader, who happens to be the new girl at Springdale, Arkansas. After leaving her home state of Texas, she wonders if she can like her new town, and if she’ll make any new friends. But she does make friends – two close ones, in fact. The trouble is, these friends don’t like each other. Now Cassandra has to make a spot for herself in the school, all the while trying to keep her friendships intact.

What do the readers say?

  • “This is an absolutely delightful book for mid to late elementary school age readers, and a great start to this series. Cassie’s start to her new school seems very realistic, and so does her dealings with her fellow students and teachers. Dive into this and encourage your kids if they want clean and realistic school fiction to satisfy their reading needs.”Kwork, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

The Panchatantra Retold: Part 1 by Sonal Panse 

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The Pachatantra Retold collects stories and folk-tales from Ancient India, tales narrated by Pandit Vishnu Sharma to the Princes of Mahilaropya as a way of given them worldly wisdom. Part 1 is about the jackal Damnak, who does his best to ruin the friendship between the bull Sanjivak and the lion Pingalik.

What do the readers say?

  • “Sonal’s Panchatantra Re-told is a wonderful recitation of the popular work of Vishnu Sharma. As a kid, I thoroughly enjoyed reading stories from Panchatantra, and the feeling was just the same when I completed Sonal’s very well written work. Contemporary language, fluid style, and use of day to day phrases makes the book very palatable and interesting. With the exception of a few stories, which only children might enjoy, the book has lot of lessons to the older folk as well. Especially those who can enjoy the little happenings of daily life.”KALYAN CHAKRAVARTHY K, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

A Monstrous Place by Matthew Stott 

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Molly’s house is large and creaking, and she really wishes that it were haunted, but there are no ghosts around. Monsters, however, are another thing. When Molly finds that her own Mother is missing one morning, she discovers that she may have one deadly task to undertake. With the help of her dead Gran and a retired adventurer, Molly must journey into a dangerous land found somewhere between being awake and being asleep, before her Mother becomes a permanent fixture in a monstrous garden.

What do the readers say?

  • “What follows is a beautifully creepy tale brimming with vivid and macabre imagery. Stott’s alternate supernatural world is stylishly constructed and populated with all manner of ghoulish characters, each more terrifying than the last, and as Molly makes her way through this hellish world, we see her character develop and adapt quickly to her new surroundings, determined to undermine the threat to her and her family at any cost.”Eamon, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

Allie Strom: The Bringer of Light Trilogy by Justin Sloan

allie-strom-sloanAllie Strom is about to start seventh grade in a new school, and all she really wants is to fit in. But the seventh grader’s life is not all normal, as she finds out that it’s up to her to save her mother, face evil, and find the lost ancient relics that will help her defeat Samyaza and his fallen angels.

What do the readers say?

  • “I highly recommend reading this trilogy!! Fantastic writing and the details and descriptions make you feel you are part of their world. You relate personally to each of the characters. These books show that kids can fight just as well as adults for the glory of God. The trials and adventures they experience are incredible and it shows a strength these kids have that alot of adults don’t. They never give up. Mr. Sloan is a very creative and exciting writer. He gives depth and integrity to the characters and makes you live their life through their eyes. Fantastic reading!! For adults and kids! Highly, highly recommend.”Robin Heath, Amazon user. [Review from Amazon]

And there you go! Of course, there’s way more than what this list covers – so if you have your favorite MG fiction books, let us know!

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