Whether your middle grader loves to read, or is a little reluctant, this list will give you ideas for different books that they will love. This middle grade book list is geared towards 3rd to 5th graders. Of course that depends on the individual child and their reading level.
My girls are constantly looking for new books to read. Sometimes they want to read a series of books and sometimes they are interested in a stand alone story. This list has a bit of both.
The books I've found today for middle grade readers are a mix of adventure, fantasy, magic, silliness, graphic novels, and realistic stories. I tried to find books that would appeal to both boys and girls. I hope that there are some books on here that are new and interesting to your 3rd - 5th grader.
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The Prisoner of Cell 25 (Michael Vey Series) by Richard Paul Evans (sci-fi, adventure)
If you had special powers, wouldn't you love to know why? Michael Vey and friends set out to find out what makes them different. Along the way they have to evade a group who want to control them.
The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson Series) by Rick Riordan (fantasy, adventure)
Percy has had a hard life and felt different, but didn't expect to find out he's a half-blood (part mortal part Greek God descendant). I would say that the first 2 or 3 books are good for this age, then they start getting a little darker.
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (adventure, fantasy, magic)
Wouldn't it be interesting to read characters from books to life? Meggie's father does just that, but maybe he should have been careful what book he read from.
The Door To Time (Ulysses Moore Series) by Pierdomenico Baccalario
A time travel series for middle grade readers. A mysterious house, a boat that transports you through time. Maybe moving to a new home on the English Coast isn't so bad.
Escape From Mr Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein (realistic)
A famous game maker has created a literary challenge. The first team to escape from his library wins a prize.
Spy School by Stuart Gibb (realistic)
Is it possible for an average kid to become the next secret agent? Ben will find out as he attends the junior CIA training school.
The Name of This Book is Secret (Secret Series) by Pseudonymous Bosch (magic, silly)
Cass and Max-Ernest are thrown together on a magical mystery. This book is quite silly too and the reader will probably like the fact that the author speaks to them often.
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (mystery)
This is a classic for kids a bit older. A group of strangers move into a new complex and are invited to the mysterious house up on the hill. Are they willing to play a trivia game to see who wins the prize?
Tuesdays at the Castle (Castle Glower series) by Jessica Day George (fantasy, adventure)
Glower Castle creates new rooms as needed and has a fondness for Princess Celie. When the family and the castle are under attack, who can save them? 11 year old Celie has the answers and the bravery. This series is a favorite of my 11 year old as well as mine.
Eragon by Christopher Paolini (fantasy, adventure)
A poor farm boy find a blue stone in the forest, but it isn't a plain blue stone. It ends up containing a dragon hatchling. Eragon is thrust into a world of destiny, magic, and power.
The Field Guide (Spiderwick Chronicles) by Holly Black (fantasy, magic)
The three Grace children discover a world of magic and fantastical creatures when they move to their Aunt's home.
The Inventor's Secret by Chad Morris (adventure)
Kids at a school in the future don't just read about history, they watch it unfold around them. Twins Abby and Derick go to their grandfathers school. One day their parents and grandfather are missing and they must find them by solving clues their grandfather left for them.
The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynn Reid Banks (adventure, history)
Omri is not too impressed by the little toy figure of an Iroquois Indian brave. Then he places it in his cupboard and is surprised when his toy comes to life. This series of books is about Omri and his friendship with Little Bear.
Treasure Hunters by James Patterson (silly, adventure, graphic novel)
The Kidd siblings have helped their parents search shipwrecks to discover treasure. When their parents disappear, the kids are thrust into the biggest treasure hunt in their life. They follow the clues, and have ridiculous adventures, to find if their parents are alive. This is highly illustrated (graphic novel) and has a bit crude humor. It's perfect for the older range of middle grade readers that might not like to read as much.
Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman (mystery)
Emily moves to San Francisco where she and her new friend find an odd book. Is this the book that is the start of the new Book Scavenger game, where books are hidden around the US and to find them you have to solve clues and ciphers? Emily and James have to avoid the other people that are trying to find this book and possibly cause them harm.
Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar (silly)
Wayside School was built with one classroom atop another. It's a silly looking school that has equally silly happenings.
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (realistic)
Opal goes into the supermarket and comes out with a dog. Winn-Dixie is great at making friends and Opal meets people she may not have without her dog. It's a summer filled with new people and their stories, as well as Opal learning more about her absent mother.
The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop (fantasy)
William receives a model of a castle and thinks that there is something fantastical about it. Join William as he journeys back to the time of knights and ladies as he is brave and tries to help end an evil curse.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (graphic novel, realistic)
This illustrated book is a quick read. Greg tells about his not-so-great happenings in middle school in this series. Perfect for kids that are looking for a break from regular chapter books.
Geronimo Stilton by Geronimo Stilton (graphic novel)
Geronimo Stilton is a newspaper mouse. He's a reporter that solves mysteries wherever he goes (even the moon!). This series is full of colorful pictures and fun graphics to keep kids interested. While these books are easy enough for the younger age range, they are entertaining enough to be a quick read for the older kids too.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Charlie got a golden ticket, and now he is one of the select few who get to tour the Wonka Candy Factory. Why did Mr. Wonka invite them to the factory, and what happens to the kids on the tour who disappear? This book is a little dark while being silly enough to not scare children.
Harry Potter (Series) by JK Rowling (magical, adventure)
This list couldn't be complete without including Harry Potter. The orphan boy who finds he has magical powers and attends Hogwarts School to learn about magic. He also makes lifelong friends, find himself in danger quite often, and learns about his family and what true friendship and sacrifice are.
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull (fantasy, adventure)
Kendra and Seth learn that those fantastic creatures that people don't think exist....actually do. Their grandfather helps keep one of the last magical refuge protected. But rules are broken, evil is released, and the kids have to save their family, Fablehaven, and possibly the world.
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (silly, adventure)
Milo finds a tollbooth sitting in his room and decides to take a journey through to see what happens. That's when the silly adventure starts. The book has a dry humor and younger kids may not "get" all the jokes. But when they do, it's fun to see their mind start working in a different way than usual. A great read aloud book for families.
Dork Diaries (Series) by Rachel Renee Russell (graphic novels, realistic)
Illustrated book featuring diary entries of Nikki. She's come to a new school and wants to make a new start and leave her dorky ways behind her, but it isn't as easy as she thought.
The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling
Can you ever have too much chocoalte? John Midas acquires a magical gift that turns anything he eats to chocolate.
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has a wonderful way with children. She helps the neighborhood children to be a bit better and uses kindness instead of scolding.
Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe (mystery)
Harold the dog and Chester the cat need to find out the truth about the new pet bunny in the family. It seems to hunt vegetables and have fangs. Will the family be safe?
There you have it. A list of middle grade books that you 3rd-5th grader will love to explore. This list is a great start for new reading adventures.
25+ Books Your Middle Grade Reader Will Love (3rd - 5th Grade)
25+ Books Your Middle Grade Reader Will Love (3rd - 5th Grade)
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