15 Children’s Books Perfect for Middle Grade March

Welcome, book friends!

If you’d prefer to listen to this list and why I chose these books, you can check out the full episode on The Bookmarks ‘n Blankets Podcast on your favorite podcast platform or listen below. 

You can also follow me and/or comment on Instagram and X (aka Twitter).


Middle Grade March Theme

If you’ve been part of the online book community for any amount of time, then you’re probably aware of Middle Grade March. This is a reading theme that many people like to participate in every year. Some people do Middle Grad May, but I think Middle Grade March is more popular. 

This March, I’ll be celebrating my one-year anniversary of being part of the online book community. When I joined last year, I was so enthralled with this bright, new shiny world that I discovered that when I jumped in and started reading lots of books, I gravitated toward one of my favorite genres – fantasy books. So I missed out on Middle Grade March and learned about it after the fact. So this year, I wanted to participate.

I follow some BookTubers who host a Middle Grade March Readathon. They offer prompts; I think there is a group book that everyone reads; I think they host some online reading sprints. They do this every year and anyone who loves these types of children’s books can join in the fun. Here is the link to their video announcement if you’re interested in learning more and joining this group.

I adore children’s books. If you’ve been around and have listened to my previous podcast episodes, I read everything from graphic novels to picture books to middle grade books. Many times, they are perfect palette cleansers, especially if I’m coming off some heavy books. I also love these stories, which can be lighter reads with more fun and whimsy to them. I am still a child at heart. I still love watching cartoons and animated movies. One of my favorite hobbies is adult coloring. So the kid in me, little Kelly, just loves to play, sing, laugh, and read middle grade books. 

Therefore, I’m really excited to pick up a bunch of these juvenile books in March. I’m also splitting my reading theme between middle grade books and Irish books since we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in March. Books set in Ireland or have some Irish theme to them, I’m also going to be reading a few of those. I have some cozy mysteries picked out and some historical fiction. So I’m really excited about both of my themes for March. 

15 Middle Grade Books

If you’re looking for a few middle grade books to add to your reading mix, then I have 15 titles that may be of interest to you. These are definitely high on my radar after hearing about them. I have a variety of genres, but the majority are fantasy or paranormal because those are my favorite types of middle grade books to read.

Also to note, this is not a recommendation episode/list because I have not read any of these, so I don’t know which ones are good to recommend. These are all books that interest me and that I want to read at some point.

Fantasy & Paranormal

Dark Waters by Katherine Arden

Average GR Rating: 3.79
Genre: Horror | Fantasy | Mystery
Book #3 in the Small Spaces series
Learn more here.

GR Description: Having met and outsmarted the smiling man in Dead Voices but fearful of when he’ll come again, Ollie, Brian, and Coco are anxiously searching for a way to defeat him once and for all. By staying together and avoiding remote places, they’ve steered clear of him so far but their constant worry and stress is taking a toll on their lives and friendship. So when Ollie’s dad and Coco’s mom plan a “fun” boat trip on Lake Champlain, the three are apprehensive to say the least. They haven’t had the best of luck on their recent trips and even worse their frenemy Phil is on the boat as well. But when a lake monster destroys their boat, they end up shipwrecked on a deserted island. This isn’t just any island though. It’s hidden from the outside world in a fog and unless everyone works together to find a way to escape, they won’t survive long.

Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab

Average GR Rating: 4.05
Genre: Fantasy | Paranormal
Book #2 in the City of Ghosts series
Learn more here.

GR Description: Trouble is haunting Cassidy Blake . . . even more than usual.

She (plus her ghost best friend, Jacob, of course) are in Paris, where Cass’s parents are filming their TV show about the world’s most haunted cities. Sure, it’s fun eating croissants and seeing the Eiffel Tower, but there’s true ghostly danger lurking beneath Paris, in the creepy underground Catacombs.

When Cass accidentally awakens a frighteningly strong spirit, she must rely on her still-growing skills as a ghosthunter — and turn to friends both old and new to help her unravel a mystery. But time is running out, and the spirit is only growing stronger.

And if Cass fails, the force she’s unleashed could haunt the city forever.

Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones

Average GR Rating: 3.88
Genre: Fantasy | Magic
Book #2 in the Howl’s Moving Castle series
Learn more here.

GR Description: Far to the south of the land of Ingary, in the Sultanates of Rashpuht, there lived in the city of Zanzib a young and not very prosperous carpet dealer named Abdullah who loved to spend his time daydreaming. He was content with his life and his daydreams until, one day, a stranger sold him a magic carpet.

That very night, the carpet flew him to an enchanted garden. There, he met and fell in love with the beauteous princess Flower-in-the-Night, only to have her snatched away, right under his very nose, by a wicked djinn. With only his magic carpet and his wits to help him, Abdullah sets off to rescue his princess…

Secrets of the Looking Glass by J. Scott Savage

Average GR Rating: 4.22
Genre: Fantasy | Fairytale Retelling
Book #2 in the The Lost Wonderland Diaries series
Learn more here.

GR Description: After returning from Wonderland, Celia and Tyrus journey to the Looking-Glass World to reclaim their mirror images and stop a war between two powerful queens.

When the Bandersnatch steals one of Lewis Carroll’s lost diaries, Celia and Tyrus try to get it back, only to tumble through a magic mirror into the Looking-Glass World, a place where everything—themselves included—is divided in two. Celia’s logic and Tyrus’s imagination now belong to their mirror images, Lia and Ty.

Left without their greatest problem-solving skills, Celia and Tyrus must rely on each other as they play a massive game of chess to try to catch their mirror images. Along the way, they engage in a rhyming battle with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, seek advice from Humpty and Dumpty, and learn how to believe in the impossible from the White Queen, who remembers the future as if it were the past.

As the final battle draws near, Celia and Tyrus form an uneasy alliance with Lia and Ty to find the legendary vorpal sword—the only weapon powerful enough to stop the war. If they fail, not only will two kingdoms be destroyed, but Celia and Tyrus might never regain their stolen talents and could be trapped in the Looking-Glass World forever.

The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie

Average GR Rating: 3.91
Genre: Horror | Paranormal | Mystery
Learn more here.

GR Description: A girl unravels a centuries-old mystery after moving into a haunted house in this deliciously suspenseful mystery.

Tessa Woodward isn’t exactly thrilled to move to rainy, cold Chicago from her home in sunny Florida. But homesickness turns to icy fear when unexplainable things start happening in her new house. Things like flickering lights, mysterious drawings appearing out of nowhere, and a crackling noise she can feel in her bones.

When her little brother’s doll starts crying real tears, Tessa realizes that someone—or something—is trying to communicate with her. A secret that’s been shrouded in mystery for more than one hundred years.

With the help of three new friends, Tessa begins unraveling the mystery of what happened in the house on Shady Street—and more importantly, what it has to do with her!

Greenwild: The World Behind the Door by Pari Thomson

Average GR Rating: 4.23
Genre: Fantasy
Learn more here.

GR Description: Eleven-year-old Daisy Thistledown is on the run. Her mother has been keeping big, glittering secrets, and now she has vanished. Daisy knows it’s up to her to find Ma―but someone is hunting her across London. Someone determined to stop her from discovering the truth.

So when Daisy flees to safety through a mysterious hidden doorway, she can barely believe her eyes―she has stepped out of the city and into another world.

This is the Greenwild. Bursting with magic and full of amazing natural wonders, it seems too astonishing to be true. But not only is this land of green magic real, it holds the key to finding Daisy’s mother.

And someone wants to destroy it.

Daisy must band together with a botanical genius, a boy who can talk with animals, and a cat with an attitude to uncover the truth about who she really is. Only then can she channel the power that will change her whole world…and save the Greenwild itself.

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier

Average GR Rating: 4.46
Genre: Fantasy | Historical Fiction
Learn more here.

GR Description: For nearly a century, Victorian London relied on “climbing boys”–orphans owned by chimney sweeps–to clean flues and protect homes from fire. The work was hard, thankless and brutally dangerous. Eleven-year-old Nan Sparrow is quite possibly the best climber who ever lived–and a girl. With her wits and will, she’s managed to beat the deadly odds time and time again.

But when Nan gets stuck in a deadly chimney fire, she fears her time has come. Instead, she wakes to find herself in an abandoned attic. And she is not alone. Huddled in the corner is a mysterious creature–a golem–made from ash and coal. This is the creature that saved her from the fire.

Sweep is the story of a girl and her monster. Together, these two outcasts carve out a life together–saving one another in the process.

The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

Average GR Rating: 4.10
Genre: Fantasy
Learn more here.

GR Description: All 12-year-old Marinka wants is a friend. A real friend. Not like her house with chicken legs. Sure, the house can play games like tag and hide-and-seek, but Marinka longs for a human companion. Someone she can talk to and share secrets with.

But that’s tough when your grandmother is a Yaga, a guardian who guides the dead into the afterlife. It’s even harder when you live in a house that wanders all over the world . . . carrying you with it. Even worse, Marinka is being trained to be a Yaga. That means no school, no parties–and no playmates that stick around for more than a day.

So when Marinka stumbles across the chance to make a real friend, she breaks all the rules . . . with devastating consequences. Her beloved grandmother mysteriously disappears, and it’s up to Marinka to find her–even if it means making a dangerous journey to the afterlife.

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Average GR Rating: 4.33
Genre: Fantasy
Book #1 in the Nevermoor series
Learn more here.

GR Description: A cursed girl escapes death and finds herself in a magical world – but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination

Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks–and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.

But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.

It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart – an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests – or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.

The Fairy-Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley

Average GR Rating: 4.04
Genre: Fantasy | Mystery
Book #1 in the Sisters Grimm series
Learn more here.

GR Description: For Sabrina and Daphne Grimm, life has not been a fairy tale. After the mysterious disappearance of their parents, the sisters are sent to live with their grandmother–a woman they believed was dead! Granny Relda reveals that the girls have two famous ancestors, the Brothers Grimm, whose classic book of fairy tales is actually a collection of case files of magical mischief. Now the girls must take on the family responsibility of being fairy tale detectives.

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

Average GR Rating: 4.10
Nominee for Best Middle Grade & Children’s (2016)
Genre: Science Fiction | Fantasy
Book #1 in The Wild Robot series
Learn more here.

GR Description: Can a robot survive in the wilderness?

When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is all alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is—but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a violent storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island’s unwelcoming animal inhabitants.

As Roz slowly befriends the animals, the island starts to feel like home—until, one day, the robot’s mysterious past comes back to haunt her.

Odder by Katherine Applegate

Average GR Rating: 4.26
Genre: Animal Fiction based on a true story
Learn more here.

GR Description: Meet Odder, the Queen of Play:

Nobody has her moves.
She doesn’t just swim to the bottom,
she dive-bombs.
She doesn’t just somersault,
she triple-doughnuts.
She doesn’t just ride the waves,
she makes them.

Odder spends her days off the coast of central California, practicing her underwater acrobatics and spinning the quirky stories for which she’s known. She’s a fearless daredevil, curious to a fault. But when Odder comes face-to-face with a hungry great white shark, her life takes a dramatic turn, one that will challenge everything she believes about herself—and about the humans who hope to save her.

Inspired by the true story of a Monterey Bay Aquarium program that pairs orphaned otter pups with surrogate mothers.

Dystopian Adventure

Alone by Megan E. Freeman

Average GR Rating: 4.15
Nominee for Best Middle Grade & Children’s (2021)
Genre: Survival | Dystopia | Adventure
Learn more here.

GR Description: When twelve-year-old Maddie hatches a scheme for a secret sleepover with her two best friends, she ends up waking up to a nightmare. She’s alone—left behind in a town that has been mysteriously evacuated and abandoned.

With no one to rely on, no power, and no working phone lines or internet access, Maddie slowly learns to survive on her own. Her only companions are a Rottweiler named George and all the books she can read. After a rough start, Maddie learns to trust her own ingenuity and invents clever ways to survive in a place that has been deserted and forgotten.

As months pass, she escapes natural disasters, looters, and wild animals. But Maddie’s most formidable enemy is the crushing loneliness she faces every day. Can Maddie’s stubborn will to survive carry her through the most frightening experience of her life?

Contemporary Fiction

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart

Average GR Rating: 4.46
Nominee for Best Middle Grade & Children’s (2019)
Learn more here.

GR Description: Five years. That’s how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, crisscrossing the nation. It’s also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters in a car crash.

Coyote hasn’t been home in all that time, but when she learns the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished – the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box – she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days…without him realizing it.

Along the way, they’ll pick up a strange crew of misfit travelers. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. And then there’s Gladys…

Over the course of thousands of miles, Coyote will learn that going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all…but that with friends by her side, she just might be able to turn her “once upon a time” into a “happily ever after.”


Well, there you have it, my fellow bookworms – all the middle grade books that sound really interesting to me, and I’m hoping to get to some of them this month.

I also have some older middle grade books on my radar that I may also sneak in from my library app. I grew up reading so many books and would love to revisit them. A few on my list are books by Judy Blume and Roald Dahl.

I’ve also heard that the audiobooks for all the books in The Chronicles of Narnia are fantastic, so I’d love to listen to a few of those. I think they are on the shorter side at around five hours or so. I also know that some celebrities narrated some of those books and some Roald Dahl books, like Matilda.

There are a few others that I’ll keep secret for now and surprise you later on. So I invite you to come back to listen to my March reading wrap-up episodes to find out which books I chose to read and what I thought about them.

Until next time, my sweet friends, happy reading!

Get Cozy with the Podcast

To listen to this podcast episode, head over to The Bookmarks ‘n Blankets Podcast on your favorite podcast platform. You’ll also find full book reviews, reading topics, self-care tips, and a whole lot more.

You can also find pictures of book covers, book tag graphics, and other visuals on Instagram

If you’re interested in exclusive member goodies or want to support the show even more, you can join my Patreon community.


Come soak up all the warm, fuzzy feelings! My name is Kelly, and I’m excited to share my thoughts and opinions with you about books, movies, and TV series. I’m also obsessed with all things comfy cozy, self-care, and personal development.

Join me as I snuggle up with my favorite blankets and yummy beverages, and talk about my favorite forms of art.


Like, follow and subscribe.

© 2023. All rights reserved.