Hi everyone! If you’ve been following my blog you might know that I’m a complete sucker for middle grade books. I might write a post on why I love middle grade so much another day, but today I want to share some of the middle grade books that I’ve read recently and absolutely loved with you. So this is going to be a bit of a recommendations/mini reviews post, and I’m incredibly excited about it because I can’t wait to share these books with you.
The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller
The Science of Breakable Things was a very hard book to read. It’s about a girl, Natalie, who’s mom has depression. She tries very hard to understand her mom and to help her, but she doesn’t always get it right. As someone who deals with mental health issues herself, the things that Natalie sometimes thinks about her mom are definitely painful to read about, but also very understandable things for a girl her age to think.
This book is absolutely incredible. It made me cry multiple times, it made me laugh, and it has such an incredible message. I never expected a middle grade book to deal with depression and mental health in such a touching and sensitive way, which might have been a little naive of me. I just want to push this book into the hands of everyone I know, because it deserves all the love and attention.
Lights, Camera, Cook! by Charise Mericle Harper
This book is definitely the easiest to read and most fun out of all four of these books, because it doesn’t deal with any hard-hitting or difficult issues. It’s just a book about a cooking competition between four kids, and it’s an absolute joy to read.
I read this book during a week in which I had a few very difficult exams and I was incredibly stressed, but no matter how awful I felt, this book managed to make me smile every single time. From the adorable contestants to the super yummy food descriptions, fun writing and the great illustrations, everything about this book made me happy. And it was so much fun to be able to read about what’s going on behind the scenes of cooking shows like this, because I’ve always wondered.
The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani
Just as The Science of Breakable Things, The Night Diary was also a very hard book to read. The story centers around a girl called Nisha and her family during the time in which India was separated into India and Pakistan. Because of this, Nisha and her family have to flee, and they see and experience horrible things.
The entire book is written in letter-form, which Nisha writes to her late mother. I thought this was a wonderful way to experience the story, because we can see a lot of the main character’s thoughts, and it all feels very natural.
While the story is absolutely heartbreaking and made me sob, I feel incredibly grateful to have been able to read it. Veera Hiranandani is an incredible author, and I will definitely pick up more of her books in the future.
Podkin One-Ear by Kieran Larwood
Podkin One-Ear was an incredibly fun adventure story about a rabbit in a world where humans don’t exist. When I first read the first paragraph of this book (“Middle-earth for middle graders: From the Publisher of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings comes a new young reader fantasy series that proves you don’t have to be brave or powerful to do great things.”) I was a bit hesitant because, as someone who grew up on Lord of the Rings, those are some big claims, and it better be true because I would be so disappointed if it wasn’t.
But I do have to agree with the synopsis here: the book gave me major LotR vibes. I didn’t love it as much as I love LotR but that wasn’t something I expected at all. The book was good in it’s own right: I had a lot of fun reading it, I really liked the writing style and the world, and I would totally recommend it to other middle grade fantasy lovers.