Middle Grade Booklist 2-Fantasy
Disclaimer for those new to the blog:
This is one of a series of posts that sparked this blog, but it will be soon be updated and replaced by more specific categories that correspond to time period and/or theme. I have read many more books since this original post and I look forward to sharing them with you. I hope you’ll come back and visit!
Although I prefer realistic fiction, my son has introduced me to the wonders of fantasy and I’m glad that his reading tastes have forced me out of my comfort zone and into some great books.
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Tolkien describes it best, "If you care for journeys there and back, out of the comfortable Western world, over the edge of the Wild, and home again, and can take an interest in a humble hero (blessed with a little wisdom and a little courage and considerable good luck), here is a record of such a journey and such a traveler.” What a wonderful, beautiful, magical journey it is.
I read this series for the first time in college. I loved it, but I focused more on the theological insights I could find. Reading the series aloud to my kids has made me appreciate not only it’s symbolic worth, but enjoy the magic in each story. (On a side note, I prefer the old numbering that places The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe first and The Magician’s Nephew sixth.)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
My children and I are thankful that Rowling created Harry, Hermione, the entire Weasley family, and all of Hogwarts for muggles like us to enjoy. It’s worth noting, however, that the first three books in the series are geared toward middle grade readers while the fourth (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) makes a shift towards young adult literature (as the books grow along with Harry).
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’engle
Meg and Charles Wallace, along with their friend, Calvin, journey through space and confront evil in order to save their father. This is a great book for an older middle grade reader who enjoys science fiction and more complex storylines.
Tuesdays at the Castle is a fun, well-written series full of fairy tale magic revolving around Princess Celie and her castle (which has a personality of it’s own). My daughter recommends The Dragon Slippers series, also by George.
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
Fourteen-year-old Miri’s simple life is interrupted when she is forced to attend an academy created to prepare all of the eligible girls in the land to be a princess. While there, she must face a harsh mistress, competition from the other girls, and the threat of bandits. Princess Academy is more intense than the Castle Glower series and geared toward an older middle school reader.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Ronald Dahl
This is my husband’s favorite childhood book so I couldn’t leave it off the list. All of Dahl’s books have his signature dark humor and off the wall creativity, but I agree that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is among the best.