30 Modern, Middle Grade Classics

26 May

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Summer is right around the corner and I don’t know if you hear this at your library, but we often have parents come in asking for classics to give to their children to read over summer break. This request usually makes me cringe on the inside, while I try to find something that will make the parent happy and that the child will enjoy. I’ve also seen/heard a lot about the lack of diversity in children’s classic literature, or when the diversity is present, it is portrayed in an inaccurate and antiquated way. So I curated a list of middle grade titles that I think would be great to highlight as modern-day classics – books with more diversity, great storylines and characters you won’t soon forget. I tried to keep the list filled with fairly recent books (think the past 5 years) and I know I’ve missed a BUNCH of titles that you would most likely add, so please do – in the comment section below.  Enjoy!

  1. Crossover by Kwame Alexander
  2. The Lightning Queen by Laura Resau
  3. The Wednesday Wars  by Gary D. Schmidt
  4. The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  5. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
  6. The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz
  7. Pax by Sara Pennypacker
  8. Inside Out & Back Again by Thannha Lai
  9. Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz
  10. Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley
  11. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznik
  12. A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
  13. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  14. Serafina’s Promise by Ann E. Burg
  15. The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
  16. Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
  17. Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky
  18. As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds
  19. The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye
  20. Moon Over Manifest by Claire Vanderpool
  21. Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus
  22. I Lived on Butterfly Hill by Marjorie Agosín
  23. The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
  24. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
  25. The Warden’s Daughter by Jerry Spinelli
  26. Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
  27. Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee
  28. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
  29. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
  30. Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan
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2 Responses to “30 Modern, Middle Grade Classics”

  1. craftiestories May 26, 2017 at 11:44 am #

    All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, The Kidnap Plot,

    • literacious May 26, 2017 at 11:54 am #

      I have Perry T. Cook on SOOOO many lists – but I agree! (And I have read The Kidnap Plot, so that’s going on my TBR list)

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