Picture books often get all the glory in the kid lit world, but it feels like middle grade novels are having a moment. So what is "...

#KidLit Picks October Round Up - Marvellous Middle Grade

Friday, November 09, 2018 BookBairn 2 Comments

Picture books often get all the glory in the kid lit world, but it feels like middle grade novels are having a moment. So what is "middle grade"? Middle grade is generally written for ages 8-12, with less gritty content than their YA counterparts (i.e., no profanity, violence, or sex). They are a marvelous segue from picture books and early readers into longer, more complex stories, and they encourage independence, imagination, and confidence. It's a blast to watch kids of that age read on their own. So here's to a month-long celebration of middle grade novels!

Last month’s @kidlitpicks was MIDDLE GRADE! Special thanks to Miranda from My Book Bloom for choosing to celebrate the glory of books for middle schoolers!

“Here’s what the kids had to say… Haz - “Hilda and the Hidden People has a great mix of adventure, suspense, fantasy and fun. I like all the characters, especially the Wood Man.” And Iz - “I think Hilda is a hero. She’s brave and also a good friend. I want my mum to collect all of her stories, so I can read them over and over again.” — Summer from @readingisourthing

“We connect these readers with excellent books that straddle the special gulf between picture books and novels.” — Shannon from @ohcreativeday

Possibly better than the first in the series!" — Mel from @spiky_penelope

“If you like your books set in the past (Victorian-ish England) with the perfect combination of abandoned children left in the care of evil adults in a big old house surrounded by a hostile environment and some gripping plot twists then this is one to look out for.” — Claire from @alittlebookhabit

“This is the best book I’ve read this year.” —  Kim from @bookbairn

“This award-winning historical novel is one we can't recommend enough.” — Miranda from @bookbloom

Wonder, by R.J. Palacio.
“I believe EVERYBODY needs to read them.”  De from @books_and_babycinos

Ten fairytales from across the globe have been re-told in this easy-to-read and fun-to-explore graphic novel”  Rossa from @curiouslittlepeople

Rabbit & Bear Series, by Julian Gough & Jim Field
"With longer sentences, more complex storyline and all the beauty of the Jim Field’s comic illustrations, this is the perfect next level from picture books and early readers.”  Rossa from @curiouslittlepeople

Harbor Me, by Jacqueline Woodson
"Mark my words— this is a Newbery contender for sure."  Lauren from @happily.ever.elephants

The House with Chicken Legs, by Sophie Anderson
“This modern take on the Baba Yaga story...feels beautifully heartfelt.” — Heather from @kidlitbookbits

Blueback, by Tim Winton
“This heartwarming story has it all and will certainly open up so much rich dialogue about the importance of caring for our natural resources and the impact we humans have with our habits and choices we make.” — Teri from @petitbookcorner

The Tales of Mr. Walker, by Jess Black and Sara Acton
“With a dose of cheerful suspense, the chapter book makes for a gentle introduction to longer-form narrative” — Liam from @words.and.illustrations


Sometimes a picture book story is elevated to the next level by it’s outstanding illustrations. Electrifying art that ‘illuminates’ the written narrative with gusto. Those picture books that you are happy to take your time with, to soak up the visual spectacle and enjoy. As an introduction to art and the power of imagination, these picture books do more than just please the eye. They charge the mind with new creative ideas and show young readers just how wondrous the world can be.

Join in by sharing a favourite picture book that visually stimulates, inspires awe and makes the imagination soar. Tag it with #kidlitpicks_wonders

Happy Reading,
The KidLit Picks Team and Kim x

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  1. It’s great to know that BookBairn and the Wee Page Turner have all these books to look forward to.

    1. It will certainly be fun reading them when they get bigger!