March 2014 became the month where I started to read middle grade books again. You see, I have a middle grader and began working in a library in May, so the necessity to be able to recommend excellent and diverse literature for this audience became a new job for me. When I talk about diversity I mean many things. Diversity is typically associated with an author’s ethnicity. Hearing from different cultures and traditions and experiences is vital to growing minds. And with that being very important to literature I also want to look at diverse subject matter and a variety of genres for the middle grade. Stories and topics that these kids might not seek out on their own. Aside from popular fiction that makes its way onto the big screen right away, I like to suggest books to children that stretch the imagination and open their world, hearts and minds. Here are eight that I absolutely loved this year. Hopefully next year I’ll have many more to recommend and feature on Top Ten Tuesday.
Out Of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper (2010)
Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo (2013)
Wonder by R.J. Palacio (2012) A re-read and even better the second time!
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (2014)
Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky (2014)
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm (2014)
Smile by Raina Telgemeier (2009) Another re-read to prep for Sisters.
Sisters (Smile #2) by Raina Telgemeier (2014)