Book Recommendations for Your Enneagram Number: Middle Grade March Edition
I still remember when it became a big trend for adults to start reading young adult books. Towards the end of college and into graduate school, I read The Hunger Games and then devoured every dystopian young adult series that followed. I stumbled on articles about why young adult books were appealing to adults and started thinking about the middle grade books I still reread from when I was a kid and wondering why I never looked into what new books were out there for that age range…but, wait a minute, also for me.
Now I know lots of adults who absolutely love middle grade, but I think that might be the phenomenon of finding your like-minded people on the Internet. I’m guessing that lots of adults might still feel embarrassed about reading a “kid’s book”. Please don’t. Read what fills you up. Try everything. You never know what strike a chord, and you can always put it right back down. Middle grade books are brimming with heart and humor and imagination and soul. They’re vulnerable and endearing and illuminating. They’re, in my opinion, magical, and I hope you can get that feeling for yourself.
Today I’m matching some of my favorite middle grade titles with enneagram types. I am a complete expert on enneagram types, of course (kidding, kidding), but also know that they’re all excellent reads no matter your enneagram number, so hopefully you get a feel for what they’re about and can pick up the ones you think that you, too, might love.
Then, tell me…do you read middle grade? What books are your favorites? Any suggestions for your enneagram number?
The links are affiliate and I’m grateful to you for using them, shopping through them on your way to get something else, or shopping small. It means a lot.
Enneagram 1- Varian Johnson’s The Parker Inheritance
None of us like an injustice, but I’m guessing you find it particularly satisfying to find an injustice righted. This story beautifully weaves together two storylines, candidly depicting the treatment of Black people in the 1950s and today, and brimming with page-turning mysteries that just might let you relax into the story and forget about your responsibilities for a little bit. This is definitely a future classic.
Enneagram 2- Lily LaMotte’s and Ann Xu’s Measuring Up
You might be hesitant about graphic novels, but, even if you are, I think this one is a great entry point. This heartwarming, huggable story follows Cici as she moves from Taiwan to America. She desperately wants to be able to bring her grandmother, A-má, to Seattle so that they can celebrate her 70th birthday together (you sweetiepie twos, you). It’s a lovely tale about finding your place in the world and the people you love and is full of mouth-watering sounding food, since Cici decides she’s going to win a cooking competition to get the money to bring over A-má.
Enneagram 3- Tara Dairman’s All Four Stars
I’m thinking little you probably did something as precocious as being a secret New York City restaurant critic. You know how to follow a passion and Gladys’ love for food is so endearing and inspiring. My guess is that you might be filling your not literal plate a little full these days, so my hope is that this book brings you some light entertainment and bring you back to your place of acceptance and fulfillment.
Enneagram 4- Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street
The language in this one is going to make you want to drop to your knees in praise of Cisneros. Lines like these…”Keep, keep, keep, the trees say when I sleep. They teach. When I am too sad and too skinny to keep keeping, when I am a tiny thing against so many bricks, then it is I look at trees. When there is nothing left to look at on this street. Four who grew despite concrete. Four who reach and do not forget to reach. Four whose only reason is to be and be.” You will be delighted by the beautiful hope and strength of this book and by the luminous storytelling as Esperanza learns by watching the women in her neighborhood what kind of woman she wants to be.
Enneagram 5- Kate Milford’s The Raconteur’s Commonplace Book: A Greenglass House Story
Thank you to Clarion Books for my review copy! I once had the pleasure of listening to Kate Milford talk at the Boston Book Festival and the enthusiasm she brimmed with while talking about her research for her book Left-Handed Fate was so contagious. Her books make your brain work in the best way. I love that she keeps her vocabulary rich, which so many middle grade writers shy away from, and that her books are full of world building and puzzles and adventures that could only be conceived by a brilliant mind.
This latest in the loose Greenglass House series is about a group of strangers trapped together in an inn by floods who each share a story (and, therefore, their secrets). I was on the edge of my seat as I began to piece together the puzzle pieces of the storytellers’ lives, plus I loved noticing the connections to Milford’s previous books in many of the stories. It’s delightfully immersive and if you love folktales or the worlds Milford creates in her books, you’re going to thoroughly enjoy this one. Original and fresh, while also feeling timeless, it’s a special one.
Enneagram 6: Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s The Way Past Winter
Thank you to Chronicle Kids for our review copy! This is a story that wonderfully celebrates the beauty of family love and loyalty. Atmospheric and brimming with magical European folklore, you’ll follow Mila and her sisters as they do whatever it takes to rescue their brother Oskar. You’re not going to want to put it down, particularly in the last third of the book.
Enneagram 7- Jewell Parker Rhodes’ Ghost Boys
You know how sometimes you need to challenge yourself to feel something real because you’ve been on the go avoiding anything but fun? Enter Ghost Boys. Jerome, a twelve year old boy, is shot by a police officer who thinks his toy gun is real. Jerome’s conversations with another ghost, Emmett Till, and Sarah, the daughter of the police officer who shot him, poignantly explore issues of racism, implicit bias, and privilege. This is one that will hopefully challenge you to use all that wonderful energy and passion to fighting for justice.
Enneagram Type 8- Maria Parr’s Astrid the Unstoppable
Astrid, nicknamed The Little Thunderbolt, is the only kid living in her Norwegian mountain village and is known for her feisty personality and daredevil ways. She is fiercely loyal to her best friend, a grumpy old man, but, with the arrival of some newcomers to town, discovers that she most certainly does not know everything about him. You’re bound to be charmed by these characters.
Enneagram Type 9- Amy Rebecca Tan’s Summer at Meadow Wood
First of all, isn’t it going to feel nice to ensconce yourself in the sweet, nostalgic world of a summer camp? I think you’ll also love all the found family in this one and the comforting wisdom that’s sprinkled throughout and doesn’t feel remotely cheesy. Once you’re done with this one, I have a post here all about preserving the feeling of this warm hug of a book.