Want to simplify holiday gift-giving? One idea is to give each child four gifts: something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. We have five suggestions for something to read that will delight your middle grader.


The Tower at the End of Time by Amy Sparkes (ages 9-11)

Book two in the series is full of humor, magic, and mischief. Nine and her friends are on their way to The Wizarding Hopscotch Championships. But their house (yes, the house goes with them!) is nervous about traveling and gets the hiccups. Square number seven proves tricky and leads to an encounter with the Tower at the End of Time.


Brand New Boy by David Almond (ages 9-12)

When George joins the class, everyone thinks the new boy is a bit strange, but four of his classmates accept them as one of their own. The open ending allows room for discussions about acceptance, bullying, and identity.



The Ice Cream Machine by Adam Rubin (grades 3-7)

From the author of Dragons Love Tacos, picture books come six completely different stories all about ice cream! A great way to introduce young readers to different genres. (Hint: don’t skip the author’s notes.)



The Very Merry Murder Club edited by Serena Patel and Robin Stevens (ages 8-12)

This hardcover collection of thirteen mysteries is a true gift book that will provide hours of sleuthing. So join the festive foul play and see if you can solve the crimes. The book includes stories by bestselling, award-winning, and debut authors: Abiola Bello, Annabelle Sami, Benjamin Dean, E.L. Norry, Elle McNicoll, Dominique Valente, Joanna Williams, Maisie Chan, Nizrana Farook, Patrice Lawrence, Roopa Farooki, Serena Patel and Sharna Jackson.


Ready or Not! Abby in Between, Book 1 by Megan E. Bryant (ages 7-10)

The first book in a new middle-grade series introduces nine-year-old Abby McAdams. She’s not a grown-up yet, but she doesn’t feel like a little kid anymore. She’s Abby, in between. She’s not sure she can handle all of the changes in her family, in the world, and her own body.