Building on the Classics: Middle-Grade Reads to Add to Your Shelves
by Jen Moyers (@jen.loves.books)
We recently had the chance to chat with Jill Hames, director of the James L. Hamner Public Library and host of the Connections podcast. Our agenda? To think about classics--like Gary Paulsen's Hatchet, Wilson Rawls's Where the Red Fern Grows, Mildred D. Taylor's Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, and Fred Gipson's Old Yeller--and develop a list of books that we could recommend to fans of these tried-and-true options. (For the record, we endorse these books! We just don't want them to be the ONLY books that kids read.) Here are some recommendations that will appeal to middle-grade readers:
Katherine Applegate’s Crenshaw
Kelly Barnhill’s The Girl Who Drank the Moon - Take a look at Ashley's post.
Holly Black and Cassandra Clare’s The Magisterium series (book 1, The Iron Trial) - Here's Jen's review of the series.
Kathryn Erskine’s Seeing Red
Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed's When Stars Are Scattered - Check out Jen's review.
Sara Pennybacker’s Pax (Jon Klassen, illustrator)
Jason Reynolds’s As Brave as You
Jason Reynolds’s Ghost (and the Track series) - We discuss this book on our Jason Reynolds episode.
Jewell Parker Rhodes’s Ghost Boys - Here's Jen's post about the book.
Aisha Saeed’s Amal Unbound - We discuss this book on our 2018 Global Read Aloud episode.
Nic Stone’s Dear Martin - Check out our teaching materials here.
Clare Vanderpool’s Navigating Early
Beth Vrabel’s Caleb and Kit - Check out our episode "Worth All the Tears," where Sara talks about this book.
If you'd like to listen to a trailer of the episode, click here.
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