The best middle-grade novels to read in 2019

middle grade books 2019

Middle-grade books hit the sweet spot between teen fiction and the children’s books we hold near and dear to our hearts. If you’re looking for a fun new middle-grade novel for you or the tween in your life, these seven books have all the exciting thrills and heartfelt moments you’re looking for.

The Last Kids on Earth and the Midnight Blade by Max Brallier and illustrated by Douglas Holgate

The fifth book in the New York Times bestselling series, The Last Kids on Earth and the Midnight Blade is an adventure like no other. Jack and his friends have just survived a tough season after the Monster Apocalypse and are now coming face-to-face with some of the worst monsters alive. Armed with a blade that has destructive new powers, it’ll be up to Jack to keep his life together, fight off a new enemy and make sure his friend Dirk isn’t turning into another worldly creature. This thrilling saga’s big-screen adaptation is now available to stream on Netflix.


The Rubicus Prophecy by Alane Adams

It’s Abigail’s second year at the Tarkana Witch Academy and as she tries to adjust to her new workload, she also has to resist using the dark magic that lives inside Endera’s spellbook. Meanwhile, everyone at the school is buzzing about the Rubicus Prophecy and the chosen witch who will finally break the curse over all of them. On top of all that, Abigail gets wrapped up in a new mystery with her friend Hugo, and the two set off on an unforgettable adventure. The latest novel in the Witches of Orkney series reminds us of how much we’d love to see these books on Netflix.


Just Add Magic by Cindy Callaghan

Recently adapted for Amazon, Just Add Magic is the story of three young girls and the trouble they get into when they find a magical cookbook. For Kelly Quinn and her two best friends, this turns out to be a lifechanging event. When they test out the recipes, they find that some of the foods like the “Keep ‘Em Quiet Cobbler” actually keeps Kelly’s brother quiet. Using this new magic to their advantage, it’s only a matter of time before this miraculous cookbook gets the girls in trouble.


White Bird: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio

From the creator of Wonder comes a new graphic novel about the importance of kindness. Expanding on characters from her previous books, Palacio tells the story of Grandmère. Once a young Jewish girl hidden by a family in Nazi-occupied France, she knows what it’s like to be an outcast. It’s through this lesson that she makes friends with a boy she and her classmates previously bullied, and she’ll learn the true meaning of friendship and forgiveness.


Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee

Mila is in the seventh grade when she feels like she’s being taken advantage of by the boys on the playground. A few unwanted hugs turn into constant attention and her friends tell her they’re just flirting… but Mila feels differently. She signs up for karate in order to learn to protect herself and respect herself.


Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams

Genesis has 96 things she hates about herself – the color of her skin and her dysfunctional family are two items on that list. When her gambling father gets them evicted again, they move in with her grandma and Genesis has to go to a new school. She makes some new friends and joins the choir. Her teacher says she is talented, which is the exact opposite of what her dad has been telling her. Can she find the strength to begin to believe in herself?


The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA by Brenda Woods

Gabriel receives a new bike for his twelfth birthday and is so excited he rides it right into the street in front of a car. A black man named Meriwether saves Gabriel from a bad accident and fixes his bike. In order to thank him, Gabriel gets him a job at his father’s auto shop, but his dad is worried because another mechanic is racist and he doesn’t want trouble. When Meriwether’s family is threatened, Gabriel is fearful for what might happen.

(Feature image courtesy of @ssedlib)

*Disclosure: The links above are affiliate links. These picks are editorially selected, but if you purchase, She Reads may get something in return. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. 

Ashley Johnson

Content Editor + Producer

Ashley has always been a writer at heart, receiving a diary from her mother at a very young age. Supportive book-buying parents influenced her love of literature and storytelling as she grew up. Her love for songwriting led the way to creating short stories and the start of her own blog where she documented her life as a college student. A fan of dark plot lines, Ashley picked up Stephen King’s It and never looked back. When she is not working on her first novel or new story ideas, Ashley can be found curled up with her rescue chihuahuas or exploring breathtaking locations throughout the US.

1 Comment
  1. These are great recs, been looking for some good stocking stuffers for Christmas already as I have to start early! I found a great book for my son called The Boy with the Sword by Patrick Matthews, came to find out it’s a sequel to Dragon Run and so I got them both. Looking for some now for my daughter now!

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