Best Books Ever: Middle Grade

I've always had a bit of a weird relationship with Middle Grade books -- I have a hard time finding ones that I really like, and now I've just read two books in a row that are MG that I adored! So this time around, I asked our contributors to tell me about their favorite middle grade books.  Check out our selections and let us know what you think in the comments.

I've realized that when people ask me for middle grade recommendations, I always mention The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex. Part of the reason for this may be that I am not as widely read in MG as I am in YA, but it's also because Smekday is an awesome book. It's the story of a girl named Gratuity Tucci on a cross-country road trip with an alien Boov named J. Lo, in search of her mother in the wake of an intergalactic invasion. This book has everything: it's quirky, funny, insightful, multicultural, and it even includes terrific cartoons illustrated by its ridiculously talented author. It's rare to find such an engaging, fun, and thought-provoking story in any genre. The book is being adapted into an animated film called Happy Smekday! but don't wait for it--read it now!

E.C. Myers - Quantum Coin (October 23, 2012; Pyr)

I haven't read a lot of middle grade books, but I'm working on improving that. Especially after reading - and falling IN LOVE - with Shannon Messenger's debut KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES. Sophie always knew she was different, she just didn't realize why until a mysterious (and cute) boy named Fitz shows up and can suddenly read her mind. In the blink of an eye, everything changes, and Sophie has to learn a whole new reality. Why do I love this book? They're elves. Elves! But really, the whole story is fast paced and engrossing, and the characters have life and breath (and awesome elvish-ness). Great debut, and I am counting down the days until book 2 EXILE comes out this fall!

Rebecca @ A Word's Worth

An MG book that has stuck with me for years is Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien. In a world wiped out by radiation a young girl is saved by the physical nature of the valley she lives in, but she is entirely alone. Until the day a creepy scientist with a Geiger counter and a radiation suit shows up. Ugh, I still get shivers. The things that *aren't* said in this book are just as powerful as the ones that are, and the survival aspects definitely influenced me while writing NOT A DROP TO DRINK.

Mindy McGinnis - Not a Drop to Drink (September 9, 2013; Katherine Tegen Books)

The Two Princesses of Bamarre is an excellent middle grade read for fans of fantasy and fairy tales. There is a kick-butt heroine and lots of action. Pretty much anything this author writes is gold. Short, sweet, and to the point- now go read it!

Go ahead and share your favorites in the comments!

If you're interested in participating in Best Book Ever, let us know!  Just leave us a comment or send an email to oneminutebooks at gmail and we'll get you set up!

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