This post has been writing itself in my brain for quite a while now. I often have people ask me to recommend books, especially for their kids. (I read a lot. And I read "kid" books.) Quite a few of my favorite books are Middle Grade (MG) and Young Adult (YA) books. I've never reviewed a book on my blog because that's kinda strange for me as an author to review someone else's book. I'm sure other authors do it but...I just can't right now. I do have a Goodreads, though, and I do "star" the books I've read. I have to use Goodreads to keep track of all the books I read and I haven't found a way to add a book to GR and not "star" it. I wish the star ratings were a bit different...but that's a rant for another post. I'm a big fan of series and I think a lot of kids are, too.
These are books that are appropriate for younger readers for MG and older readers for YA. (Well, depending on your kid and their reading level and interest.) Please use "parental discretion" when helping your kids pick books. It really bothers me when parents have NO idea what their kids are reading. Especially when the book has..."bedroom scenes" and bad language and...weird situations in it. Ask your kids what they're reading. You're the parent, you can grill 'em. ;)
(Age 8+ for most books. Older readers will also like these books.)
-The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer - I own this series because I love it. A young mastermind, the fairy underworld, magic, mystery...it's all here. Such intricate plot twists and details. Love it! Set in present day.
-The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks - I own a few of the books in this series. They are all interesting. Set in present day. A boy receives a special cupboard that makes his plastic action figures come to life. History is referenced in this book. Very cool for young readers.
-The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis - Does anyone not know about Aslan and the world of Narnia?? Seven books. Amazing. Read them. I own this set, too. :)
-The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder - One of my very first favorite book series. I love these books and I finally bought the series at a library used book sale. Score! Life in the pioneer days.
-Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordian - I own this set. Set in present day. Acquaints readers with the myths of the Greek gods and goddesses. (Possibly on the border of MG/YA.) Exciting stories, some violence, no language and no...I'll call them "bedroom scenes" for this post.
(12+ for most books on this list.)
-The Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn - a contemporary Christian fiction series focused on a girl named Christy. I really, really love these books, even as an adult. I own the first 6 books.
-The Sierra Jensen series by Robin Jones Gunn - a friend of Christy Miller who has her own series! I own all 12 of these books.
-The Katie Weldon series by Robin Jones Gunn - a friend of Christy Miller, college years. I own books 2 & 3.
-The Eragon series by Christopher Paolini - a series about dragons and dragon riders. Mixed reviews on these books. I like the action and the story line but these books are a bit...wordy. And, unfortunately, there is a reference to a "bedroom scene" which makes it awkward to recommend to younger readers. Though they probably wouldn't understand it...Parental discretion here. I own books 1-3.
-The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling - I own all seven books. These are great books. Again, parental discretion here. Younger readers might like the books but there are some very scary elements as the books progress/Harry gets older.
-Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery - I own this series and LOVE these books. I didn't read them until I was an older teen but I think some younger readers would like them as well. Sweet stories about an orphan girl set in Canada in the late 1800s.
-The Frog Princess series by E.D. Baker - This series is SO much fun! A spunky princess, magic, great story lines. Also good for younger readers.
-The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler - I bought this book this year because I love the story so much. A great contemporary girl book. No language, no bedroom scenes. Really, really great.
-The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins - For older YA readers! Violence is a major theme running through this dystopian novel. No language, no bedroom scenes. A head spinning, super fast read. One of my new favorites.
-The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter - This is one of favorite series of books for girls. The main character is spunky and smart. She attends a spy school with other girls and they have lots of adventures. A little bit of romance but it's age appropriate for a 15 year old. (A kiss.) There is a mystery woven through the plots of the books. I own three of these books.
-Heist Society series by Ally Carter - Another great series by Ally Carter. Age appropriate romance (one kiss, I think). Lots of adventure and mystery. Super fun. I own these two books.
-The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan - Follows the Percy Jackson series. Great book.
-The Red Pyramid series by Rick Riordan - Brother and sister series about Egyptian magicians in New York City...and other parts of the world. Fun adventure series.
-The Keys of the Kingdom by Garth Nix - Very different sort of adventure series. Arthur is a great protagonist because he is the unlikely hero.
-Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan - Great adventure books for boys (and girls who like good adventure stories). There are ten books in this series. I'm currently on book 7.
I might add to this page as I remember more books that I'd recommend to young readers. I hope this helps parents pick some books for their kids. :) And if you have any recommendations for me, let me know!