I was delighted to be asked to write a post for this blog about Middle Grade (MG) fiction as I am 12 years old, so I have been reading a lot of books in this category. When you are still at Primary School your homework mostly consists of reading every night, so it’s a great time to get into long series of books. I thought I would summarise some of my favourite series.
Firstly, the Harry Potter series. They are the perfect combination of features that make a great children’s story: magic, boarding school setting, friendship, adventure, humour, loyalty and good vs evil. JK Rowling (@jk_rowling) has woven these features into such stunning page turners that I have re-read each of them several times! It is worth pointing out that the content of the later books becomes darker, so slightly nervous children might not want to read these until they are at least 12. You can read my (no spoilers) review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child here
Most MG kids will study the Ancient Romans in Year 4 or 5 at Primary School and this is the perfect time to read The Roman Mysteries by Caroline Lawrence (@CarolineLawrenc). I learnt so much from these books, they are packed full of historical detail bound up in a fantastic series of adventures, featuring four strong child characters that you really can relate to, despite the fact that they inhabit such a different historical time zone!
Talking of strong child characters, Ruby Redfort and her best friend Clancy Crew are two of my favourite child crime-busters. Ruby is a super-smart code breaker, with exceptional levels of bravery, who is recruited by a spy agency called Spectrum. In each book she has to crack codes related to one of the five senses, which is a very original idea. I love the wise-cracking dialogue in these books, especially in exchanges between Ruby and her school enemy Vapona! You can read my review of Feel the Fear here.
The Murder Most Unladylike series are set in the 1930s and feature an upper class English girl called Daisy Wells and her best friend Hazel Wong who has been sent to an English boarding school from HongKong. These books combine the best features of Enid Blyton’s boarding school books with Agatha Christie’s murder mysteries to create a vastly entertaining series where the children solve the crimes before the adults. The author Robin Stevens (@RedBreastedBird) writes brilliantly and authentically. Here is a link to my review of Arsenic for Tea.
My older brothers encouraged me to read the Young Bond series by Charlie Higson and the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, and I am glad that I did as they are fast-paced, action/adventure books that leave you on the edge of your seat in anticipation of the next death-defying situation that the young heroes will find themselves in. Some of the content is quite violent, so again nervous readers should probably not read these books until they are 10+! Here is a link to my review of the Young Bond book, Double or Die.