The Reading Nook

Updated: Feb 17

Three Middle-Grade Book Recommendations!


Lately, I’ve been getting my hands on all sorts of middle-grade books and having a blast! Here’s a list of my recent favorites that I recommend to everyone, no matter your agebecause who doesn’t want to spend the whole night reading books like they did when they were a kid?





Small Spaces




Spooky, Delightful, and Creative!


I can't recommend this book enough. As soon as I finished reading it, I was figuring out where I could buy the second book, and now I'm eagerly waiting to read the third in the series.


Katherine Arden’s narrative voice is engaging and unique to other middle-grade authors.

Her writing, and in particular her description, is so quirky yet visual that it's astounding. Not to mention that her description and pacing amps the tension to the extreme in this page-turner.


Small Spaces takes the normal setting of a school field trip and introduces a gothic portal world, survival, and the theme of friendship in a way that not binge-reading this book is impossible.



Scary Stories for Young Foxes




Layered, Unique, and Inspiring.


Christian McKay Heidicker created an animal story that isn't just an animal story. It takes the reader on a chilling journey through various settings and challenges our fox protagonists must face.


The book's format alone is spectacular and unique as it follows a similar layout to The Arabian Nights, where the story begins with a litter of fox kits listening to a storyteller's chilling tale. When you're done reading this book, you'll feel as if you were listening alongside them.


Scary Stories for Young Foxes is also an underdog story. Our fox protagonists must overcome obstacles that range from rabid teachers, crocodiles, or even abusive family members, making this book not only a fast-paced read but a heartfelt one as the reader roots for the heroes.


On another note, this book has detailed and evocative pencil illustrations that are beautiful!



When You Trap a Tiger




Powerful, Evocative, and Heartfelt

This book is a rich story infused with Korean fairy tales, magic, and more serious themes compared to the first two on this list.


Tae Keller writes the story of two children, one is the middle-grade main protagonist, and the other is her teenage sister. Both of them must move to a new place so their mother can look after their sick grandmother. However, unlike many books I’ve read and tv shows I’ve seen, this book is written with sensitivity and emotion. Neither child is depicted as annoying or the one-dimensional “moody kid” while going through life-altering circumstances. Tae Keller crafted them in a realistic light and made them both loveable, understandable, and relatable.


When You Trap a Tiger shows the power of stories, embracing who we are and the beauty of family. It'll make you smile, laugh and cry.






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