Middle-grade books – Christmas Gift Guide

  1. The Boy At The Back of The Class by Onjali Q. Rauf

Ahmet is a refugee and new to class, at first the kids find him a bit weird, but then a friendship is formed. A lovely story and also very funny, despite the subject matter. I have always been fond of stories where differences are overcome and a friendship is formed. I love that in books and movies.

  1. The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

I love Kiran’s books, she certainly knows how to rope you in and create something special. And this novel is no exception, magical story, great setting. Perfect book to curl up with over Christmas.

  1. Anisha, Accidental Detective by Serena Patel

This one is dear to my heart because for one, I do love a mystery and and also she is a local-to-me author (she is from Walsall). A great mystery for younger readers or readers who still develop confidence in their reading. So funny as well.

  1. High-rise Mystery (High-Rise Mystery #1) by Sharna Jackson

Did I say I like mysteries? Are you a bit tired of mysteries set in country houses and fancy parties? I always wondered why there are not more who-dunnits in other settings than just posh surroundings. Such a great mystery which reminds me I must read the second one soon.

  1. Artichoke Hearts by Sita Brahmachari

This is on the cusp between middle grade and YA. This book deals with everything from death to first crushes. I know a lot of parents are reluctant to let their children read books that deal with issues, but I would urge you to not direct the reading of your children too much and also let them read about things like death and family problems. A book gives us an opportunity to experience something beyond our own world and also can be comfort if we see something in writing we may have experienced ourselves.

  1. Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen

This is a sci-fi/dystopian book about an impending disaster threatening this version of London. Bit like a thriller with a super fast moving plot and brilliant characters. What is really so brilliant is that we are in Ade’s (the main characters) head and we experience everything through him and we don’t know anymore than he does. It’s also just extremely well plotted and such great characters.

  1. Asha and the Spirit Bird by Jasbinder Bilan

This was an early lockdown book for me and it was perfect for that. Fantasy/magical realism book set in the Himalaya’s, I love this almost fairytale like book about strength and courage, full of adventure. Loved it.