Posted in Fiction, Middle Grade, Puberty, Realistic Fiction

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Realistic Fiction Books for Middle Graders

al-capone-does-my-shirtsI’ve encountered some great Top Ten Tuesday lists on my fellow book bloggers websites; it’s a meme, courtesy of The Broke and The Bookish, so I thought I’d join the fun.




For this week’s Top 10, I’m featuring realistic fiction for middle graders. Having just served as a first round judge for the 2014 Cybils Middle Grade Realistic Fiction panel, I thought this would be a great place to spotlight some books I’ve read!

Wonderstruckmixed up filesFrom the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E.L. Konigsburg One of my all-time favorites. Kids run away, live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, unravel a mystery.


Wonderstruck, by Brian Selznick Have a box of tissues ready. Beautiful story, with parallel narratives that come together over a span of decades.




god_margaretall four stars coverAre You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume Another classic, this one tackles deep questions like religion, puberty, and family through a growing young woman’s eyes.


All Four Stars, by Tara Dairman I love this book! A young foodie being raised by convenience food junkies decides to take matters into her own hands, with hilarious results.




amelia rulespopularity1Amelia Rules series, by Jimmy Gormley This graphic novel series is great – Amelia lives with her mom and aunt, wishes her dad took a bigger role in her life, and hangs out with friends. There are hilarious and tear-jerking stories to be told here.

The Popularity Papers, by Amy Ignatow This hysterical series is written in journal format from the points of view of two best friends who conduct “research” into how to be popular (i.e., hanging around the popular kids to find out how to get in with the in crowd). I give this series to girls who love Dork Diaries and want more.


bindi-babes-narinder-dhami-paperback-cover-art18378827Bindi Babes, by Narinder Dhami This middle grade series about a group of sisters who have their father wrapped around their finger, when their Auntie shows up to rein things in, is light and fun, perfect summer reading.


Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood, by Varsha Bajaj What would happen if you discovered, one day, that your dad is a Bollywood heartthrob! This emotional, feel-good story looks at families, fame, and life in the spotlight – even when you’re not the famous one.




unspeakable evilal-capone-does-my-shirtsAl Capone Does My Shirts, by Gennifer Choldenko Moving story about a family living on Alcatraz Island in the 1920s. Moose’s dad is a guard at Alcatraz, and all he wants to do is make new friends and play baseball – but he’s responsible for his sister, Natalie. He has to balance his love and desire to protect her with his frustration and desire for independence.

I Am A Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want To Be Your Class President, by Josh Lieb Uproariously funny story about a real-life evil genius dealing with minions, middle school, and the insanity surrounding class elections.



I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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