The Golden Compass changed my life when I was a kid and after more than a decade since the release of The Amber Spyglass, we are FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY getting a spin-off series that will hopefully cure me of the book-hangover I still have from reading The Amber Spyglass. I feel like middle grade is so constantly overlooked though so I decided I needed to do a post shouting out to my favorites!
1. Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell
This book has been out for a while but I didn’t read it until earlier this year after which, I promptly put it on my 2017 favorites shelf because it was SO AMAZING. It gave me The Thief Lord vibes but in Paris with violins and rooftops.
2. Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins
I read this book as a child and I am still not over it. It’s such a wonderful coming of age story and so melancholic that it makes my heart hurt like 10-ish years later.
3. Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Everyone needs to read Ezperanza Rising at least once in their lives. It was the first book I ever bought (I was in 3rd grade) and it is one of the most important books I’ve ever read. I made my mom read it to so I gotta push it on the internet.
4. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
I actually read this for the first time in one of my classes and never looked back. I’d avoided reading it for years because I wasn’t ready to deal with the heartbreak I knew I would feel and yet as we can all agree, Ness is a masterful storyteller and will always blow me away.
5. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
THIS BOOK WAS A MOVIE AND ITS A GRAPHIC NOVEL-ISH, PLEASE READ IT. I can guarantee that it will change your life. Also, The Invention of Hugo Cabret and The Rooftoppers are complementary books so you could always binge read 😀
Fun Bonus Rec:
Forest World by Margarita Engle
Forest World comes out at the end of this month and 110% deserves to be on this list. Its a gorgeously written book that will transport readers to the forests of Cuba. It touches on themes of identity and given that people think global warming is #fake, it does a good job exploring environmental issues as well.
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