Hello bookworms!! Welcome to Top 5 Tuesday… on a Tuesday this week!! This week’s Top 5 Tuesday is a FREEBIE, so l’m doing top 5 unread middle grade books. And… it’s more of a top 13. Surprise! #sorrynotsorry
Yes, last week’s post reminded me of all the unread middle grade books that I’m hoarding (book dragon tendencies). And we all know how much I love calling myself out… So I’m doing a post on some of the books that I haven’t read yet.
Top 5 UNREAD middle grade books
So many people listed books on their top 5 lists last week of books that are still on my TBR. And there’s no better way to celebrate all the books I haven’t read yet, than to call myself out on it. You’re welcome, self.
Pages & Co series – Anna James
I have all three books of this that are currently published. Although, I would like to point out that I only got a matching copy of the first book in January of this year. So, it has but it hasn’t been on my TBR for a while.
Eleven year-old Tilly has lived above her grandparents’ bookshop ever since her mother disappeared shortly after she was born. Like the rest of her family, Tilly loves nothing more than to escape into the pages of her favourite stories.
One day Tilly realises that classic children’s characters are appearing in the shop through the magic of ‘book wandering’ – crossing over from the page into real life.
With the help of Anne of Green Gables and Alice in Wonderland. Tilly is determined to solve the mystery of what happened to her mother all those years ago, so she bravely steps into the unknown, unsure of what adventure lies ahead and what dangers she may face.
The Land of Stories – Chris Colfer
I picked up the box set of these six books just before Christmas 2020 when they were on special. It does mean that I have A LOT of his books sitting unread on my shelves… 😬
Alex and Conner Bailey’s world is about to change. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.
But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.
Malamdander – Thomas Taylor
This is actually one that I had one friend scream at me to read, and another friend unhaul a copy (she had multiples). I almost feel like they conspired against me. But, I’m clearly very suggestible because I picked it up!!
Nobody visits Eerie-on-Sea in the winter. Especially not when darkness falls and the wind howls around Maw Rocks and the wreck of the battleship Leviathan, where even now some swear they have seen the unctuous malamander creep…
Herbert Lemon, Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, knows that returning lost things to their rightful owners is not easy – especially when the lost thing is not a thing at all, but a girl. No one knows what happened to Violet Parma’s parents twelve years ago, and when she engages Herbie to help her find them, the pair discover that their disappearance might have something to do with the legendary sea-monster, the Malamander. Eerie-on-Sea has always been a mysteriously chilling place, where strange stories seem to wash up. And it just got stranger…
Starfell series – Dominique Valente
I picked this one up on a recommendation from another friend (shout out to Stephanie). And although I have all three books in the series, I still haven’t read the first one yet… I do have the absolutely gorgeous Goldsboro editions though… 👀
Misfit witch Willow Moss holds the fate of the magical world of Starfell in her rather unremarkable hands . . . A spellbinding new fantasy series for readers aged 8–12, perfect for fans of Cressida Cowell.
Willow Moss, the youngest and least powerful sister in a family of witches, has a magical ability for finding lost things – like keys, or socks, or wooden teeth. Her magic might be useful, but it’s not exactly exciting . . . Until, that is, the most powerful witch in the whole of Starfell turns up at her door needing Willow’s help.
A whole day – last Tuesday to be precise – has gone missing. And the repercussions could be devastating. Can Willow find the day to save the day?
The School for Good and Evil – Soman Chainani
I can’t remember how or why I picked this one up. Maybe I’d been seeing it around lots?? It’s entirely possible someone recommended it to me. But, I only have the first book, despite there being six out in the world.
The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.
This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, she knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.
But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School For Good, thrust amongst handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.. But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are…?
Amari and the Night Brothers – B. B. Alston
The synopsis of this one is what sold me on it, when I bought it earlier this month. It reminded me a little of The Rook by Daniel O’Malley because there’s a secret government department for supernatural affairs.
Amari Peters knows three things.
Her big brother Quinton has gone missing.
No one will talk about it.
His mysterious job holds the secret…
So when Amari gets an invitation to the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain this is her chance to find Quinton. But first she has to get her head around the new world of the Bureau, where mermaids, aliens and magicians are real, and her roommate is a weredragon.
Amari must compete against kids who’ve known about the supernatural world their whole lives, and when each trainee is awarded a special supernatural talent, Amari is given an illegal talent – one that the Bureau views as dangerous.
With an evil magician threatening the whole supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she is the enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t pass the three tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton…
The Castle of Tangled Magic – Sophie Anderson
Sophie Anderson became an autobuy author as soon as I read The House with Chicken Legs. I will literally buy any and all books that she writes forever.
Twelve-year-old Olia knows a thing or two about secrets. Her parents are the caretakers of Castle Mila, a soaring palace with golden domes, lush gardens, and countless room. Literally countless rooms. There are rooms that appear and disappear, and rooms that have been hiding themselves for centuries. The only person who can access them is Olia. She has a special bond with the castle, and it seems to trust her with its secrets.
But then a violent storm rolls in . . . a storm that skips over the village and surrounds the castle, threatening to tear it apart. While taking cover in a rarely-used room, Olia stumbles down a secret passage that leads to a part of Castle Mila she’s never seen before. A strange network of rooms that hide the secret to the castle’s past . . . and the truth about who’s trying to destroy it.
The Thornthwaite Inheritance – Gareth P. Jones
Hello, my stabby little darling!! This book was sold to me as a macabre crime story for middle grade readers. And I almost fell over in my rush to run out and buy it. I also have the sequel, The Thornthwaite Betrayal, on my shelves.
Ovid and Lorelli Thornthwaite have been trying to kill each other for so long that neither twin can remember which act of attempted murder came first. But whoever struck first, trying to take each other’s lives is simply what they do.
Soon a new battle evolves – one in which the twins have to work together to solve the mystery of their parents’ deaths.
Can Lorelli and Ovid overcome their old animosities, and will they ever get to finish that game of chess?
Jane Doe Chronicles – Jeremy Lachlan
This series was sold to me as Lara Croft / Indiana Jones x Mad Max for kids. And it has an Aussie author. There are two books out to date: Jane Doe and the Cradle of all Worlds, and Jane Doe and the Key to all Souls. Tell me you don’t want to read these books – they sound amazing!!
When a fierce quake strikes the remote island of Bluehaven, and her father disappears, Jane Doe is thrown headfirst into an epic quest to bring him home.
But this ain’t no ordinary rescue mission. Her father is lost in a place between worlds; a dangerous labyrinth of shifting rooms, infernal booby traps and secret gateways. And Jane has to find him fast, because someone else is searching for him, too. A man who knows her father’s secrets. A man who has an army.
With a pyromaniac named Violet and a trickster named Hickory by her side, Jane is about to discover that this adventure is even bigger on the inside than it looks…
The World Between Blinks – Amie Kaufman and Ryan Graudin
Speaking of Aussie authors killing it in Middle Grade, I’m including this one even though I am halfway through it. Mostly because I couldn’t add it last week as I haven’t finished it. But it’s amazing so far!!
Have you ever blinked, and thought you saw something that was gone a moment later? Have you ever turned to pick up an item, only to find it wasn’t where you left it?
Jake and Marisol are cousins. Jake’s great at leaving things behind – his mum’s a diplomat, and he never settles anywhere for long. His latest friends and new favourite places are lost with depressing regularity. Marisol’s great at finding things – she’s American and she’s Bolivian, and this cross-cultural childhood has taught her to pay attention to details. She’s got such an eagle eye, and she’s so gifted at finding things, that sometimes she even wonders if things find her.
Together, Jake and Marisol are about to discover The World Between Blinks. The place where everything we lose – from the front door keys to ancient cities buried under hot desert sands – eventually appears.
The trick’s going to be finding a way home. Before they’re lost forever.
Cinders and Sparrows – Stefan Bachman
This book came in an Owlcrate Junior box last year. And while I had initially gotten it for other items, the book sounded so good that I couldn’t pass it up!!
When a scarecrow climbs over the garden wall, delivering twelve-year-old orphan Zita Brydgeborn a letter saying she has inherited a distant castle, she jumps at the chance of adventure. But little does she know that she is about to be thrust into a centuries-old battle between good and evil. Blackbird Castle was once home to a powerful dynasty of witches, all of them now dead under mysterious circumstances. Zita is the last of her line. And Zita, unfortunately, doesn’t know the first thing about being a witch.
As she begins her lessons in charms and spells with her guardian, Mrs. Cantanker, Zita makes new allies—a crow, a talking marble head, two castle servants just her age named Bram and Minnifer, and the silent ghost of a green-eyed girl. But who is friend and who is foe? Zita must race to untangle her past and find the magic to save the home she’s always hoped for. Because whatever claimed the souls of her family is now after her.
Howl’s Moving Castle – Diana Wynne Jones
I am so sad at myself that I haven’t read this book yet. Firstly because I think I would adore it. Secondly because it’s almost as old as I am, so I really have zero excuses.
Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle.
To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.
Ice Wolves – Amie Kaufman
I am actually trash for not having read this book yet… I have owned it for actual years, and I’ve picked it up a couple of times. But then I get distracted by new, shiny things. Shame on me, because Amie is an amazing Aussie author, and I love her other books.
Everyone in Vallen knows that ice wolves and scorch dragons are sworn enemies who live deeply separate lives.
So when twelve-year-old orphan Anders takes one elemental form and his twin sister, Rayna, takes another, he wonders whether they are even related. Still, whether or not they’re family, Rayna is Anders’s only true friend. She’s nothing like the brutal, cruel dragons who claimed her as one of their own and stole her away.
In order to rescue her, Anders must enlist at the foreboding Ulfar Academy, a school for young wolves that values loyalty to the pack above all else. But for Anders, loyalty is more complicated than obedience, and friendship is the most powerful shapeshifting force of all.
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What are your top 5 unread middle grade books?