Whimsical and full of magic, these Middle-Grade fantasy books are sure to please fantasy readers of all ages!
Middle Grade isn’t just for kids. While these books are aimed at a younger demographic, they are also quite enjoyable even for readers of adult fantasy. Sometimes I find myself just wanting something light and hopeful, and that’s when I pick up a Middle-Grade fantasy book. These books tend to be more wholesome, sweet, fast-paced, and hopeful than older YA and adult fantasy.
Must-Read Middle-Grade Fantasy Books
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Though I have been loving these books for myself, I have also been reading them with my 9-year-old daughter who has recently gotten really into reading. As a parent, I approve of all of these books to read with kids. So no matter if you are looking for a fantastical book for your kids or a light read for yourself, these Middle-Grade fantasy reads are sure to please.
Even and Odd
One of my favorite newer Middle-Grade books, Even & Odd is an adorable and whimsical story. Written by one of my all-time favorite authors, Sarah Beth Durst, this middle-grade adventure fantasy gives me Onward vibes for sure!
We follow two sisters who share their magic, one has magic on even days and the other on odd. When magic starts going haywire, these two sisters and their new friend, a magical talking unicorn, end up going on an adventure to figure out how to fix the magic and save their world.
This is such a cute book, and I really love the sister relationship and how it is portrayed.
City of Ghosts
Another book by one of my favorite authors, City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab is a great paranormal Middle-Grade. Though Schwab has recently changed her naming preferences with her books, in the past she was Victoria for middle grade and YA and V.E. for adult. Now, all of her books are going to be penned as V.E. Schwab though.
City of Ghosts follows Cassidy, a young girl who can see ghosts after her own near-death experience. She has a best friend who is a ghost boy, and her parents just happen to be paranormal investigators with their own show! They don’t know their daughter can actually see ghosts, but they all take off on this worldwide trip to find the most haunted places for their show. This leads to quite the adventure for their daughter and her ghost friend.
This series has a great parental relationship. I love seeing the parents be involved and caring, even if they are busy with work! I think we always need to see more parents in fantasy books.
Serafina and the Black Cloak
This book is adorable, and I think I like it even more since I used to live in the city where it is set. Seraphina is a middle-grade fantasy set at the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC. This book is a historical middle-grade with a touch of fantasy!
I love that it is set at the height of the Biltmore House. When it is was a home that was lived in and not a tourist attraction as it is now. Serafina lives in the basement with her father. He is an electrician working at the house and they live there secretly. Serafina is a different child, but when kids start going missing from the grounds, she is determined to figure out why.
The mountain myths and history in this book make it so interesting, and I love the themes of family and friendship!
Amari and the Night Brothers
Looking for something that is a middle-grade version of Menin Black? Then Amari and the Night Brothers are right up your alley! This is a fun and fast-paced middle-grade adventure fantasy that readers of all ages will love.
We follow Amari, a young girl who lives with her single mom. After her older brother goes missing, Amari feels lost. No one believes anything happened to her brother, even the police say he must have been involved in something criminal. What she discovers though opens up a whole new world. Her brother left her instructions to attend a prestigious and secret paranormal summer camp! Here she will make friends, learn who she is, and maybe learn the truth about what happened to her brother.
This one was a great time and I think it is one of those middle-grade books that really is perfect for old and young readers.
This has been a super popular book online. Every book blog and booktube channel I know of has discussed Nevermoor at one point or another, and for good reason. It is an adorable middle-grade portal fantasy that is comparable to a “new generation’s Harry Potter”.
In Nevermoor, we follow a girl named Morrigan who is destined to die on her 12th birthday. She is a “cursed child” and because of this, she is an outcast even from her own family. On the night she is to die, she is saved by the mysterious Jupiter North and wished away to a magical land she never knew existed.
It is pretty much impossible to talk about magical middle-grade books without mentioning Harry Potter. This is the first book series that I remember really getting into. I would line up at the bookstore for midnight book releases. Watched all the movies when they came out, and I was a Harry Potter fan for sure!
I won’t give you a synopsis of this book, because really, it is not needed.
I did just start reading this with my daughter and watching the movies, and now she is completely enthralled in the magic as well.
The Girl Who Could Not Dream
This is the second book on this list by Sarah Beth Durst. The Girl Who Could Not Dream is another one of her adorable middle-grade books that pretty much all young fantasy readers are going to enjoy.
In this book, our main character’s parents run a dream shop. They buy and sell dreams to people who want them, but their own daughter can not dream. The one time she drank a dream, she brought back a monster from the dream world into the real world!! At least it was a friendly monster!!
This is a book that I think is best to go into without knowing much, so I am going to leave it there. Just know that this is an adorable story with “animal companions”. friends, family, and an epic adventure!
Aru Shah and the End of Time
I am a sucker for the Rick Riordan Presents books. His imprint really does an amazing job at bringing so many diverse fantasy stories to life.
Aru Shah is a middle-grade Indian-inspired book. We get a lot of Hindi mythology mixed into the story and it is very well written. We follow Aru as she learns about herself, and her family, and ends up having to save the world! She learns that the myths she grew up hearing may not be myths after all. The Gods are real, the stories are real, and curses are also very much real.
This is a great middle-grade series for anyone who wants to go on a grand adventure with a snarky main character and a fun mentor/companion!
The Girl Who Drank the Moon
If you like more whimsical storytelling. Something in the vein of a fairytale. Then Girl Who Drank the Moon may be perfect for you. It reminded me a lot of the Starless Sea in the way it was written as a story within a story. Though it isn’t anywhere as confusing as the Starless Sea.
This is a fairytale about a town that leaves one child a year in the woods as a sacrifice to the witch of the woods. They say this will protect them from her, but the witch has no idea why she keeps finding babies. She takes these children and feeds them starlight. Then takes them to another town and leaves them in the care of kind villagers. One year though, she accidentally gives the baby moonlight, giving the child magical powers. She then has to raise this child as her own.
This is such a cute story. Touching found family and fun magic makes this a great read for adults who like middle-grade fantasy as well as children who love fairytales.
There are so many amazing Middle-Grade fantasy books out there, and these are just a small sampling of what you can expect. These may be some of my favorites, but now I want to hear what yours are. Let me know what ones you love, and what I should pick up next. I am always looking for new Middle-Grade book recommendations for both myself and my kids.