The Best Middle Grade Fantasy Fiction Books
Do you love reading intriguing stories that transport you into a world of magic? That is what fantasy fiction novels do and it's no wonder middle graders simply cannot get enough of these reads.
Let's take a look at my top six picks in no particular order of importance.
1. Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone By J.K Rowling
This is the first book in a series of seven, and these seven books are perhaps the best fantasy fiction books ever written.
Rowling's tales about the world of muggles, witches, and wizards is certainly intriguing. If you haven't read her books yet - what are you waiting for?
The Harry Potter series will excite any middle grader who has a wild imagination. And although the movies were fun to watch, you just can't get that full measure of wit that comes with reading the books.
2. The High King By Lloyd Alexander
The High King is the first of three books in the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander.
It's difficult to forget Taran, along with his cast of jolly friends, as he takes on epic quests in the land of Prydain, which is a place filled with magic, good, and evil.
This classic fantasy novel is a great read for middle graders since it completely captures the imagination of young readers and keeps their eyes glued on the pages.
3. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory By Roald Dahl
When I was a child, I enjoyed reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tremendously. Who wouldn't want to be in Charlie Bucket's shoes and get the opportunity of a lifetime to tour a chocolate factory with magic workers from a land no one has ever heard of before? It's amazing how Roald Dahl managed to weave such fine storytelling and magic into the plot.
The tale of how generosity triumphs over greed and the importance of avoiding fair-weathered friends makes this arguably one of the best children's books ever. It certainly deserves a place in every child's library.
As an aside, I absolutely love this poem in the book. It still cracks me up each time I read it!
4. The Hobbit By J.R.R. Tolkein
There are only a handful of books I've read more than once, and The Hobbit is one of them.
J.R.R. Tolkien wrote this book for this children in 1937 and the plot throws you into a world of fantasy and wild imagination.
Here's one of my favorite poems from the book:
"Chip the glasses and crack the plates!
Blunt the knives and bend the forks!
That's what Bilbo Baggins hates—
Smash the bottles and burn the corks!
"Cut the cloth and tread on the fat!
Pour the milk on the pantry floor!
Leave the bones on the bedroom mat!
Splash the wine on every door!
"Dump the crocks in a boiling bowl;
Pound them up with a thumping pole;
And when you’ve finished if any are whole,
Send them down the hall to roll!
"That's what Bilbo Baggins hates!
So, carefully! carefully with the plates!"
- J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit)
5. The Dark Lord Of Derkholm By Diana Wynne Jones
This book was crowned the winner of the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature in 1999, and one could not possibly expect anything lesser from author Diana Wynne Jones - who is probably the queen of children's fantasy. (Or maybe the Queen Mother now, now that J.K. Rowling has burst into the scene.)
Older middle graders who like fantasy fiction with a spooky side will enjoy this book. It tells an epic tale of dragons, elves, and dwarves, and the plot will keep you reading to the last page.
6. The Wee Free Men By Terry Pratchett
This book evokes memories of my early tween years when reading books transformed from a hobby to an addiction.
The Wee Free Men serves as a fantastic read for young readers looking for a bit of fantasy and comic relief.
I remember cuddling up at night with a cozy pillow and getting lost in the world of Tiffany, a 9-year old witch who must save the world with the help of six-inches tall, drunk fairies. The book will send any child into laughing fits.
If there's anything one should remember Terry Pratchett (who has recently passed on) by, it's this book.
Compiling this list was by no means an easy feat given the endless array of fantasy fiction titles that have been published to date. These books, however, are my personal recommendations and they each have characters that will captivate any reader.
As for the authors on the list, they have their unique styles of storytelling and know how to stretch the boundaries of your imagination.
If you're looking for something great that middle grade readers will enjoy, then the books mentioned above come highly recommended.