D’s Middle Grade Boy Book Recs

My son, who reads at a 6th/7th grade level, still has the tastes of a curious 9-year old. These are some of his favorite reads for the past year. You’ll notice that all of them are series — he prefers books which introduce him to a new world and/or new characters and then build on that. As always, the covers link to the Tattered Cover page for that book.

39cluesThe 39 Clues Series, by Rick Riordan (and many others)
D’s Take: Adventure and Mystery — The 39 Clues books are filled with mysteries to solve and dangerous opponents. He’s told me that he especially likes how the books build on each other and reveal more about the past the further you read. Publisher: Scholastic Press (Note: There are a handful of kids in his class who ‘compete’ in their reading of these books; they try to be the first to finish the latest and solve the mysteries.)

alcatrazAlcatraz Series, by Brandon Sanderson
D’s Take: Adventure and Fantasy — The Alcatraz books are funny and interesting. He likes to quote sections out loud, and some of the aspects which have especially grabbed his attention are things like Alcatraz addressing the reader or Alcatraz numbering the chapters in an illogical way (ie, out of order and with unusual numbers, like infinity). There are four of these currently out, and he’s waiting impatiently for the next one. Publisher: Scholastic (Note: I tried to get him to read these last summer, but he didn’t quite get the humor — so perhaps a boy of at least 9-ish for this series.)

bignateThe Big Nate series, by Lincoln Peirce
D’s Take: One word — funny! — This is humorous throughout the book. In fact, he made up a word, just for this book: humoristic. I picked up a Big Nate book for him at the Scholastic Book Fair a little over a year ago. He’d been reading the Wimpy Kid books, and although he liked those, they were a little more middle-school than I preferred. This seemed like a nice compromise, and it worked out! He reads each new one as it comes out, and he laughs and laughs and laughs. Publisher: Harper Collins (Note: Be prepared to hear many of the ‘jokes’ from the book. They’re not as crude as the Wimpy Kid jokes, but some are kind of gross — you know, elementary school boy humor.)

emeraldatlasThe Emerald Atlas, by John Stephens
D’s Take: Adventure and Excitement — I liked how the characters traveled into a new world. He found the world-building fascinating (though he didn’t put it quite like that), and he kept trying to share all these details (which I didn’t get, since I haven’t read this). The book is about siblings traveling to another world, from what he’s said. Publisher: Knopf BFYR (Note: When this book first started getting reviews/buzz, many compared it to Harry Potter, saying it would be just as exciting. So when D finished reading it, I asked him if that was true — and he said, ‘Yes!’ I believe it will be a series, as well.)

greygriffinsGrey Griffins: The Revenge of the Shadow King, by Derek Benz
D’s Take: Adventure and Fantasy — I like how the Grey Griffins books have so many impressive creatures. I’ve heard about some of the creatures, and the imaginative creativity in this books is definitely intriguing. D loves reading about new and inventive things, and the creatures and how Grey handles his adventures with them kept D hooked throughout. Publisher: Orchard Books and Little Brown (Note: The first three Grey Griffins adventures were completed a few years ago — but Benz has started a new series about Grey called The Clockwork Chronicles. I have the second book waiting for D, but we’ll be checking out the first from the library soon — he’s very excited!)

magnificent12The Magnificent 12, by Michael Grant
D’s Take: Adventure and Real-world Fantasy — It’s exciting throughout the book. I read this first, and I thought it was a cute book — definitely aimed at middle grade boys. The humor fell right into that category, and D found the ‘gross’ fact appropriate for his age (meaning, he didn’t freak out, but he offered all sorts of ews as he read). This is another series, and the second book should be coming out this fall — I think there are plans for twelve of them (which thrilled D to no end). Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books (Note: Grant is also the author of a series DH and I both enjoy: Gone — I’ve recommended those in my dystopic section.)

Museum of Thieves, by Lian Tanner
D’s Take: Slowly-developing Fantasy — this book lets you travel into an alive and mysterious museum. D wasn’t too thrilled with how long it took before things really go going, BUT he found the museum fascinating. I think that’s what kept him reading, actually. Publisher: Yearling (Note: I don’t know if this will be a series or not — D seemed to think so after reading it, but I haven’t heard anything specific about it.)

ordinaryboyThe Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy series, by William Boniface
D’s Take: Mystery and Heroism — I like how everybody except Ordinary Boy has powers. D inhaled these books — I picked up the first for him at the library last summer, and he read through all three of them within a couple of weeks. I think they’re quite approachable for boy readers of various levels, and the content is appropriate for younger and older elementary aged boys. They seem to rely on exaggerated superheroes, and I thought the premise was also quite clever (as Ordinary Boy is the hero, even though he has no powers). Publisher: Harper Collins (Note: At this point, it looks like the trilogy might be complete…but D is hoping another book will be forthcoming.)

prometheusprojectThe Prometheus Project trilogy, by Douglas E. Richards
D’s Take: Adventure and Science Fiction — I like how there are so many facts mixed into the story. D really liked this trilogy! We heard about it for weeks, and he told anyone who would listen all the cool things he’d learned (mostly about physics) by reading it. The story sounds intriguing, as well, and it kept him completely immersed until he’d finished the last book. Publisher: Paragon Press (Note: You might have to special order this trilogy — but if you have a science-minded kid, I think it will be worth it.)

secretofroverThe Secret of Rover, by Rachel Wildavsky
D’s Take: Intense Suspense — Every single page, you’re scared something bad is going to happen. D really got into this, although it did make him a little jumpy. According to the description, it’s all about spies and siblings (twins) who need to find the secret of Rover before something horrible happens to their missing parents and younger sibling. D especially enjoys books where there’s a lot at stake, and I think this one filled that bill nicely. Publisher: Amulet Books (Note: The minimum age for this book is suggested to be 10 — obviously D missed that by a bit, but he wasn’t terrified, and I pretty sure he’s looking forward to the sequel.)

troubletwistersTroubletwisters,by Garth Nix
D’s Take: Intense and Creepy — Mysterious things happen around every corner. This one was pushing the limits a little bit — D was pretty creeped out in some parts, and he wouldn’t read it at night. However, he really liked it (I guess many boys liked being creeped out), and when he finished it, he couldn’t stop talking about it. He shared it with a number of boys in his class, and I only heard good things back from those who read it. Publisher: Scholastic (Note: This will definitely be a series, and even though this book, the first, just came out, it’s being billed as a ‘fantasy’ series.)

3 Responses to D’s Middle Grade Boy Book Recs

  1. Rose Green says:

    Well, you already know we love Alcatraz at our house. 🙂 Looks like our library now has The Emerald Atlas. I’ve heard good things about that one, and just put it on hold. Great recs!

  2. carey limo says:

    Hi there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok.
    I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look
    forward to new updates.

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