12 Middle Grade Books and Their Older Siblings
Last year, to get in on the fun a little bit more, I did a Middle Grade March Madness competition. I loved how you all agonized over the choices between your beloved books, which makes me sound sadistic, which, I mean, yes, but also THE PASSION. The winner was pretty expected, although I did amuse myself writing about the game between the final two, which were Little Women and Anne of Green Gables.
This year, I’ve thinking about what it is I love about middle grade and why I find it hard to find the same qualities in books written for adults.
That got me thinking about pairings for middle grade books I’ve read and enjoyed, which got me onto this idea of these middle grade book having “older siblings”, if you will. They’re not the same, and they’re not quite parents, either, but there are definitely those shared genes that will make you see the familial links.
I’d love for you to join in, picking a favorite middle grade or the one you’re currently reading and finding their “older sibling”- some threads that tie the books together. If you do, I have a story template coming, or tag your pictures:
I also want to highlight two new releases that were sent to me by the publishers that are in this stack. Cathleen Barnhart’s That’s What Friends Do (thank you so much, Candlewick!) is told in alternating perspectives. The writing is fantastic in that well-crafted but seemingly effortless way, plus there are a lot of food mentions already, which is always a plus to me. Much more seriously, though, I can feel the weight and pressure of toxic masculinity and the difficulties of boundaries building and I know this is going to be one I want to talk about with someone. It seems like a book that would be very meaningful to middle schoolers and that could really make some important, much needed change through wise conversation.
Deanna Raybourn’s A Murderous Relation (thank you Berkley!) is the 5th in the Veronica Speedwell series. This one features Jack the Ripper and royalty, so I know many of you are already sold. If you’re looking for an atmospheric read with a ruthless, strong, intelligent female lead, consider starting at the beginning of this series with A Curious Beginning. If you’re already a reader of the series, so far, this one already has me fully caught up in her world and wanting to know what will happen next. Is a TV show in the works? It should be.
- Tara Dairman’s All Four Stars and Ruth Reichl’s Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
- Why?: Kid reviewer; real reviewer. Foodie delights.
Sharon Creech’s Bloomability and Anthony Doerr’s Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World
Why?: Each author is so rich in their ability to make you fall in love with the setting and each author packs in insightful lines that will make you stop in awe.
- Cathleen Barnhart’s That’s What Friends Do and Chanel Miller’s Know My Name: A Memoir
- Why?: From kids navigating boundaries, toxic masculinity, and consent to the horror of actual sexual assault in Chanel Miller’s life. Read and talk about it in safe environments when kids are younger, so that we can be better.
- Jaclyn Moriarty’s The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone and Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go Bernadette
- Why?: Engrossing adventures with quirky leads who are trying to solve a mystery about their family.
See any on here that you’d like to add in some more siblings for? I’m so excited to see all the ones you all come up with, too!
If you would like to join in on the fun, please go to the submissions page!