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Middle Grade Adventure

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During this time of crisis, with school shutdowns and a lack of regularly sterilized playgrounds, I know that kids can get to be a handful. In search of solutions, I picked out my absolute favorite Middle Grade stories for children old enough to read chapter books. These books run the gamut from young to tween, so keep your kids in mind as you read. I also find that kids love adventure stories, and have fewer problems with fantastical stories than adults do. To showcase that same spirit, I give you my favorite Middle Grade Adventures.

Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, Book 1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781368036986
Availability: NOT IN STOCK - Usually arrives in 7 - 14 business days
Published: Disney-Hyperion - October 2nd, 2018

Artemis Fowl is a criminal genius, and criminally neglected. When his father disappears, after losing considerable amounts of the family fortune, his mother takes to her bed. Without parental supervision, what is a 12 year old mastermind to do? Steal all the gold from Ireland’s fairies, of course! Guarded by his ever loyal and taciturn bodyguard Butler, Artemis strives to defeat his wily foes, who certainly aren’t leprechauns! For those concerned about the morality of theft in a children’s story, never fear! Fairy law enforcement officer Holly Short is out to save the day and save the underground world from the machinations of the above world. A long series with a firecracker first novel, I love recommending Artemis Fowl.

The Squire's Tale (The Squire's Tales #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780618737437
Availability: NOT IN STOCK - Usually arrives in 7 - 14 business days
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - April 28th, 2008

The tale of King Arthur is one of my favorites, but far too often the telling of it can get caught up in the same old story. That’s just one of the reasons that I love The Squire’s Tale by Gerald Morris. Our protagonist Terrance grows up with a hermit until he stumbles upon a young man in the woods. Gawain is on his way to Camelot to petition King Arthur for a knighthood, and is in need of a squire to assist him in his adventures. Together they battle dragons, recalcitrant knights and rescue fair maidens. For my money, this is the best introduction to the further tales of King Arthur’s knights of the Round Table. Each one of the 7 books in The Squire’s Tale series focuses on a lesser known knight of the Table and their journey’s through an unconquered England. 

First Test: Book 1 of the Protector of the Small Quartet Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375829055
Availability: NOT IN STOCK - Usually arrives in 7 - 14 business days
Published: Ember - August 24th, 2004

As an author, Tamora Pierce tells tales of daring led by strong female protagonists. Her books range from Middle Grade to YA, with plenty of room to grow alongside readers. To start, First Test is the story of Kelandry, a young woman who desires a knighthood. As the first openly female knight in the kingdom of Tortall, she has to battle the machinations of the old boy’s club in addition to bandits and mythical monsters. The Protector Of The Small quartet is perfect for young people who love animals, as Kel amasses a small following of loyal pets, from her battle-scarred dog Jump to a flock of sparrows that join battle on her behalf. One of the reasons I so adore this book is that it shows its readers how courage can help us prevail in the darkest of times, and looking to a female leader can be a smart move. First Test is the 1st book in the Protector Of The Small series, of which there are four.

Homer Price (Puffin Modern Classics) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780142404157
Availability: NOT IN STOCK - Usually arrives in 7 - 14 business days
Published: Puffin Books - December 29th, 2005

A bit of a throwback to my childhood, The Adventures of Homer Price is written and illustrated by Robert McCluskey, author of Blueberries For Sal, One Day In Maine, and Make Way For Ducklings, among others. Homer Price solves problems in his little town by thinking his way to a solution before anyone else. From a lady who loses her ring in a bowl of donut batter to a greenhouse gone wild, Homer Price is on hand for the adventure! In this tale, Homer foils the rapacious appetites of four bandits with nothing but his smarts. With old school illustrations that fans of McCluskey will adore, this is a book that I pored through when I was younger. Short and sweet, this may also be best from those young people who find longer chapter books intimidating.

The Wee Free Men (Tiffany Aching #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062435262
Availability: NOT IN STOCK - Usually arrives in 7 - 14 business days
Published: HarperCollins - September 1st, 2015

Wee Free Men is the first middle grade book in the Nac Mac Feegle/Tiffany Aching series by the late great Terry Pratchett. A giant of modern British literature, Terry Pratchet speaks to the little things in us all, like honor, hope and perseverance when you are a 4 inch tall Scottish pixie, sorry, pictsie. When Tiffany Aching’s little brother is stolen by the Queen of Fairies, she sets out with a frying pan to bring back her brother. Assisted by the Nac Mac Feegle, little blue warriors that obey Tiffany (for values of obey), she sets out to free her brother and make the world a little bit better. As an introduction to the larger Discworld that Sir Terry Pratchett created, there isn’t a better book than this for children. The Tiffany Aching series has 5 books in total, of which Wee Free Men is the first.

With this, I hope you are able to find a few books that you, your children, or your friends might enjoy reading during these days of unrest. If you need any further recommendations, please do not hesitate to reach out! My email is Tom@interabangbooks.com and I am always happy to help with kids books, or anything else I might be able to assist you with. Thanks for reading!