The R. in R.O.C.K - READING

Reading is fuel for the imagination. It helps you learn about the world, but it can also take you to new and exciting places. With a book you can travel the world, or go back in time. A book is a glimpse into other peoples' imaginations, which is how you can spark your own. 

Take a look at my library. If you have a book you love and want to share, let me know in the comments at the bottom of this page. 

Welcome to my library...

Back to IDEAS: 

But first - how do you find great middle grade books? 

Librarians mostly! But here are some other sources I have used to find great reads:

School Library Journal Top 100 Children's Novels
Book Riot 100 Must-Read Fantasy books from 2007-2017
Jen Robinson's Cool Girls of Children's Literature 
New York Public Library Staff Picks
Cybil Awards - kids books that combine literary merit with popular appeal

Some imaginative worlds that have inspired me:

A kid who creates his own civilization

A magical world that exists right next to our own. 

A world where everyone has a daemon, a physical representation of their "inner being" that takes the form of an animal

A prison that's alive and changing

A tree that bears truth-revealing fruit when it's fed a lie

Weslandia, by Paul Fleischman
Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling
The Golden Compass
by Philip Pullman
Incarceron, by Catherine Fisher
The Lie Tree, by Frances Hardinge

Some thrilling adventures:


The Sisters Grimm

Lockwood & Co.

Artemis Fowl

The Chronicles of Prydain

The Inkheart Trilogy

Books of Ember

The Last Dragon Charmer

The Spiderwick Chronicles

The Silverwing Trilogy

The Underland Chronicles

Percy Jackson

A Series of Unfortunate Events

The Queen's Thief series

The Books of Bayern

Harry Potter

His Dark Materials

Bartimaeus Trilogy

Skulduggery Pleasant

Stand alone:


Island of the Blue Dolphins

Treasure Island

Snow Treasure

Alabama Moon

The Honest Truth

Explore New Worlds

One of the joys of reading is the ability to see the world from new perspectives. I try to read books written by authors from different countries, and am always looking for recommendations. If you have any, send me an email at and I will send you a sticker (while supplies last). 

Amal Unbound, by Aisha Saeed (Pakistan)

The Wild Book, by Juan Villoro (Mexico)

Every Falling Star, by Sungju Lee (North Korea)

The Land of Forgotten Giris, by Erin Estrada Kelly (Philippines)

Laminar by Skila Brown (Guatemala)

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai (Vietnam)

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin (China)

My Name Is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson (Inupiaq)

A Long Walk To Water by Linda Sue Park (Africa) 

Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson (Amazon)

The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan & Peter Sis (Chile) 

How I Became a Ghost by Tim Tingle (Choctaw)

Struggle Against Impossible Odds

I read to feel what it's like to go up against impossible odds, when everything is going wrong and it looks like the bad guy will win. 

Refugee by Alan Gratz

Unbroken (YA adaption) by Laura Hillenbrand

The Boys in the Boat (Young Readers) by Daniel James Brown

I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

The Martian by Andy Weir

Have a suggestion for a book that has taken you on an adventure? Let you explore a new world? Or fed your imagination? Please let me know in the comments.