Rescue Princesses

The Rescue Princesses combines the love of animals with the fantasy of being a princess. The series also emphasizes friendship, courage, and diversity–perfect for little girls (and hey, even boys) navigating the social structure of elementary school.

Circus Mirandus

This middle grade work-of-art will spur the imagination of your young reader–but it may spur yours as well. As the novel follows a story set in both the past and present, you may be feeling like you want to go out and find a magical circus of your own!


The story proves magical, charming, and certainly amusing at points. Keep reading for the description of Bob, a monster in the closet like you’ve never imagined!

The Night Gardener

It’s that time of year when we’re all ready for something a little spooky, right? Well, I’ve got a few scary ideas for you, but I definitely want to mention The Night Gardener.

All the Impossible Things

All the Impossible Things is a book to savor. Honestly, when Katherine Applegate (One and Only Ivan, Crenshaw, etc.) endorses anything, I’m probably going to read it.

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster is a tale that made me hold my breath, laugh, and cry.  Set in 1875 London, the novel will never let you think of chimney sweeps the same way. In fact, before your child digs into this story, you might have a quick conversation about what a chimney sweep did back when.


I’ve already featured one of my favorite Katherine Applegate books on this blog. It’s hard to beat a book like The One and Only Ivan. But while reading Crenshaw aloud to a first and third grader, I learned these things:

The Indian in the Cupboard

I still remember my fifth grade teacher reading this novel to the class. Now, as I read it to a seven- and nine-year-old, I can witness how writing has changed in the past few decades. Yet, this novel is relevant and entertaining, with rich narratives and an idea that intrigues children to this day.


I will admit, I’m not a cat person. I had a few growing up (we had a barn), but I just like the energy of a dog, I guess. But I wasn’t sure how to tell my daughter “no” when she asked if I would read at least one of the Warrior novels.

Skeleton Tree

Skeleton Tree takes middle grade readers on a funny, heartwarming, and even heartbreaking ride. Talking about death is never easy, but this book takes a character through grief while enchanting us with a skeleton first growing in the back yard, then leading us on a merry chase.

The One and Only Ivan

This story will make you smile as quickly as it will bring you to tears. This novel with short chapters and illustrations throughout is already a timeless classic. I read it myself in an evening and completely fell in love with this very likable gorilla.