Middle Grade Books: Why I Love Them & Need to Read More
My latest Book Outlet binge (you’ll see the books tomorrow if you are interested) included a few MG books and made me wonder why I enjoy them so much, yet read them so sparingly. The Middle Grade books I have read recently such as Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver, Doll Bones by Holly Black, and, of course, the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, were absolutely amazing. That is not to say that I would or will enjoy all MG books, because that’s not the case for any age range, but so far my track record has been extremely positive. Why is that?
The running theme through all of the books I mentioned, and even ones I didn’t, have been that they are in the fantasy genre, as well as being in the MG age range. The childlike wonder that I see these characters expressing, something their more jaded or skeptical older counterparts in YA do not show, is beautiful. I don’t think that the fantasy genre has a monopoly on that, but perhaps it has the ability to show it off the best.
That belief that anything is possible, dreams can come true, magic is everywhere, and friendships can be just as strong (if not stronger) than romantic relationships, while all cliches, is refreshing and invigorating to witness. Maybe this just means I miss that time in my life or that getting older has jaded me and I wish for the innocence I no longer have, or perhaps MG authors just bring about a different set of emotions than YA, I don’t know.
Something that is a misconception, at least that I’ve seen among bloggers that tend to read YA and avoid MG for the most part, is that MG books are too simple, that the writing is too basic. Sure, MG books are targeted toward a younger audience so the word choice and length are often at a lower level, though not usually by all that much. However, I’ve found that MG books are just as deep, filled with as much content as YA, and often painting a picture that is easier to envision (at least for my brain, not sure what that says).
That brings me to my second question, and also my request. Why don’t I read MG more often if I enjoy it so much? Percy Jackson, Liesl and Po, Doll Bones, they have another thing in common: I found out about them through other bookish people, in this case specifically Kat at Katytastic (who is awesome). Maybe I don’t follow the right book bloggers (not that I don’t love the ones I do!) or I don’t pay attention, or whatever other reason there may be, but I never hear about MG books. It’s rare.
So perhaps I should follow more MG readers, if there are ones I can find, or just do some hunting myself. Once in a great while I will see a blog or vlog post that has maybe one or two MG books in it and I run off and insta-buy them. Though…that may speak more to my book buying addiction than anything else. o_o
So my questions to you! First, do you read MG, if so do you enjoy it as much as YA, adult, etc. and where do you discover new ones if you do? Second, are there booktubers/book bloggers I should be watching/reading more of and it boggles your mind that I haven’t already been doing so? Finally, what MG books would you recommend (with the knowledge that I read any genre and basically have no recent MG under my belt)? Thank you so much for reading and have a great weekend! ^.^
Summary From Goodreads:
Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice. But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity . . .
It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews on Mini Review Monday! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!
Doll Bones is a book I read during the Fraterfest readathon in October, and it is the book that surprised me the most this year. I don’t read a lot of middle grade books, so I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy this one, but I figured I would give it a shot. I’m so glad I did because this book was wonderful! It was sweet, a bit creepy, lovable, charming, and all around a great story.
I fell in love with the trio of friends, adored how the romantic feelings (that they didn’t even realize were such a thing) were handled, and by the end I was just as exhausted and drained (in a good way) as they were from their journey. This was my first experience with Holly Black, but after reading Doll Bones I know I’ll be back for more. The imagery was fantastic, the struggles the characters went through with this doll felt so real, and just…everything. Great MG read, highly recommend it, and it was such a nice change of pace from my usual YA/Adult mix. Thanks as always for reading and come back tomorrow for my Top Ten Tuesday about my favorite new-to-me authors of 2013! ^.^
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #165/200
Fraterfest Wrap Up
Fraterfest Read-A-Thon is a fun way for bloggers to attack their TBR piles, specifically the books that contain “things that go bump in the night” (think vampires, zombies, werewolves, shapeshifters, ghosts, etc.) and is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
Hey everybody! I hope you enjoyed Fraterfest as much as I did and that all of your reading goals were met, surpassed, or destroyed by all of the reading you got done! ^.^ I had a lot of fun reading some twisted books, one with some naughty vampires, and even a MG! I managed to finish a total of six books despite having two days of not reading and they are:
Cursed by Jeremy C. Shipp
Outpost by Ann Aguirre
Asylum by Madeleine Roux
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Doll Bones by Holly Black
Club Midnight by Leigh Wilder
One of the best things about the readathon was that I enjoyed all of the books I read, which might be more luck than anything. My favorite read was Doll Bones by Holly Black, a middle grade read, and something that is normally not in my range of go-to books. Reviews for all of these will be posted in the coming weeks. I didn’t participate in any of the challenges and I missed the Twitter chat due to homework, but overall I had a lot of fun and a book/day is pretty good.
How did your Fraterfest go? Did you meet the goals you set? If you didn’t are you satisfied with how much you did manage to read? Let me know, and thanks as always for reading! ^.^