Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Reading Middle Grade Books

Since the novel I'm writing is MG (target audience: 8 to 12 years old), one of my goals for 2011 is to read at least 20 MG books.

In 2010, I read (among others):
- The entire Harry Potter series (J. K. Rowlings)
- Gregor the Overlander (Suzanne Collins)
- Several books from the Sammy Keyes series (Wendelin Van Draanen)

I made a list of recommendations from other writers' blogs, websites, and my kids.  Here's my list so far*:

1.  A Series of Unfortunate Events series (Lemony Snicket)
2.  Princess Academy (Shannon Hale)
3.  Diary of a Wimpy Kid series (Jeff Kinney)
4.  Artemis Fowl series (Eoin Colfer)
5.  The Sisters Grimm series (Michael Buckley)
6.  The Softwire series (P. J. Haarsma)
7.  The Mysterious Benedict Society series (Trenton Lee Stewart)
8.  The Healing Wars trilogy (The Shifter, Blue Fire, Book 3 - Fall 2011) (Janice Hardy)
9.  Ramona series (Beverly Cleary)
10. Mockingbird (Kathryn Erskine)
11. The Cay (Theodore Taylor)
12. The Kneebone Boy (Ellen Potter)
13. Inkheart trilogy (Cornelia Funke)
14. Toad Rage series (Morris Glertzman)
15. Zorgamazoo (Robert Paul Weston)
16. Moon Over Manifest (Clare Vanderpool)
17. Silver Wing (Kenneth Oppel)
18. Skellig (David Almond)
19. Bridge of Terabithia (Katherine Paterson)
20. James and the Giant Peach (Roald Dahl)
21. How to Train your Dragon series (Cressida Cowell)
22. Percy Jackson series (Rick Riordan)
23. A Season of Gifts (Richard Peck)
24. When You Reach Me (Rebecca Stead)
25. Hatchet (Gary Paulsen)
26. The Magic Thief (Sarah Prineas)
27. A Mango Shaped Space (Wendy Maas)
28. The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. (Kate Messner)
29. Skinnybones (Barbara Park)
30. 39 Clues series (Rick Riordan)
31. His Dark Materials trilogy (starts with The Golden Compass) (Phillip Pullman)
32. Goosebump series (R. L. Stine)
33. Walk Two Moons (Sharon Creech)
34. Stargirl (Jerry Spinelli)
35. Fudge series (starts with Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing) (Judy Blume)
36. Sugar and Ice (Kate Messner)

That's a whole lot of books!  I'll have to choose only some of them to read, or I won't have any writing time.

What's your favorite MG book or series?  Which one should I start reading first?

*The ones in purple are the ones I've read so far, as of 4/11/12


Anonymous said...

This is just what I've been looking for, thank you!

Jess said...

I recently finished Kathryn Erskine's Mockingbird, and it's a wonderful example of unique character in a more issue-driven book (the girl has Asperger's Syndrome). I loved it.

I've also been drooling over the cover of The Kneebone Boy since I saw it...haven't read it yet, and would love to hear your review if it makes the reading cut :)

Emailman said...

Phillip Pullman's is well worth a read, despite the gay the way, Northern Lights is the first one, don't read The Golden Compass first, it's the last book.

James and the Giant Peach is an awesome story. One of my fav's as a child :)

Great post, Annie!

Emailman said...

Okay, clever clogs, I retract what I'm English! :D

Annie McMahon said...

What? Did you say something, Kurt? Sorry I wasn't listening.

Annie McMahon said...

(In case you're confused about Kurt's posts, Northern Lights is called The Golden Compass in the U.S. I had the honor to tell him that he's WRONG and I'm RIGHT. Haha!!)

Annie McMahon said...

Thanks, Catherine and Jess! I will write more posts about MG books in 2011. I'm planning to post my feedback as I read each book. Not sure if I'll go through the whole list, though. Counting all the books in each series, it totals 124 books. LOL

Unknown said...

I used to love Goosebumps. At the moment I'm reading Mockingbird and it's fantastic.

Louisa said...

see my comments on the forum annie.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I DO love the Fudge series! I love the Meg Cabot Allie Finkle series too. Makes me chuckle.

June G said...

Oh. Do start with The Bridge to Terabithia. Totally awesome and a tearjerker. So much is said in such a slim book, in so few words. The work of a real master. It's based on real events that happened to the author's son's friend as a child.

Read The Kneebone boy next. The cover alone is captivating and the book lives up to it. These are two great MG samples from the past as well as the present. Enjoy!

Ruth Donnelly said...

That's a very nice list! If I were to recommend one of these to start with, I'd go with Mysterious Benedict Society (such fun!) or When You Reach Me. In other suggestions (not that you need more, but maybe next year?) I'm a big fan of Gennifer Choldenko (Al Capone Does My Shirts, Notes from a Liar and her Dog, If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period)... and I loved The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

What?? dost mine eyes deceive me??? no Fablehaven???

These are my favorite MG books. You've got to read them.

Annie McMahon said...

Thanks, everyone, for your recommendations! My list is getting long! I'll probably end up reading more than 20 MG books in 2011. I've already read three of them and started a fourth since I posted this. LOL

Anonymous said...

Ooh look forward to that, thanks!

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