10 Middle-Grade Books That Might Actually Entice Your Kid to Read

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Middle grade books have some seriously steep criteria to meet — because as any parent of a kid ages 8-12 will tell you, tweens can sometimes be very hard to impress when it comes to reading. The best middle grade books need to be fast-paced and captivating to hold their attention, written in a voice that tweens can clearly understand and identify with, and it helps if they’re sprinkled with fun illustrations throughout. (Though nothing too closely resembling the picture books of early childhood, because heaven forbid we suggest they read anything “babyish”.)

Some of SheKnows’ editors have kids that fall into this age group — and have struggled to get some of them to read for fun — so we’ve recommended titles that our own kids have loved. We also researched the top recommendations from children’s librarians, upper-elementary and middle school teachers, and publishers. These titles can hold their own against the siren call of screen time, and make reading a book something that kids actually think is exciting.

Below, find 10 of our picks for the best middle grade books. Pair them with a cozy blanket and a quiet spot, and remind your tweens that reading is magic!

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