Best Middle Grades Books Adults Will Love Too

Friday, January 26, 2018

If you’ve been reading my blog long, you’re likely aware that I’m a third-grade reading teacher. You might also know that I’m a total book nerd. For today’s Friday Favorites, I want to share my favorite middle grades books that adults will love too!

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The One and Only Ivan is a class favorite year after year. I read this aloud to my students every single year. Every single year we cry together. This story is the tale of an unlikely friendship between a gorilla, an elephant (rather, two elephants), and a dog named Bob who have been dealt the hand of living in a shopping mall. Ivan, the gorilla, makes a promise to his elephant friend Stella. Read this heartwarming story to see if he keeps his end of the deal! I promise you’ll love it!

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

Katherine Applegate is one of my favorites. Ever. I didn’t think I’d ever love a book as much as Ivan; then along came Wishtree. I received an ARC of Wishtree at nErDcampMI last summer. My boys demanded that we read it together and I was happy to oblige. This story, like Ivan, documents an unlikely friendship between a tree, a crew of animals, and school-age kids. If cultural diversity, kindness, and acceptance are key concepts you want to be instilled in your small people, read Wishtree. With tissues.

One for the Murphy’s by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

One for the Murphy’s is a story that I’ve had many classes request to hear twice! This book is about 12-year-old Carley Conners. Carley is a pretty tough cookie who has been through more than her fair share of unfortunate life events. She winds up in foster care with The Murphy’s–a family full of boys. Carley experiences many ups and downs with her foster family, as well as with her own mother. This emotional story will stick with readers long after the covers are closed.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

Edward is a china rabbit owned by sweet Abilene. Abilene loved Edward deeply, though her unwavering affection was not necessarily reciprocated. She took him everywhere–until one day Edward wound up lost. “Lost” is where Edward spent most of his life. He spent his entire life on a journey, and not always a pleasant one. Filled with magic, heartbreak, and love, this is a book your little people will forever remember.

I’d love to know if you take the time to read any of these and what you think!



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  1. Mary from Mission to Save says:

    We have the One and Only Ivan (my oldest son has read it a couple times.) Never dawned on me to read it myself. Thanks for the idea! I just recently got the Wrinkle in TIme Quintet… for myself to re-read (and my 5th grader is enjoying them too 😉 )

  2. Keri says:

    I have been wanting to read The One and Only Ivan. I have heard great things about it!

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