The Best of 2015: Middle Grade Fiction


(links may contain spoilers)

  1. Wishing for Tomorrow by Hilary McKay
  2. Wanting Mor by Rukhsana Khan
  3. The Secret Agenda of Sigrid Sugden and The Nine Lives of Travis Keating by Jill MacLean
  4. The Water of Possibility by Hiromi Goto
  5. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
  6. Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson
  7. Witness by Karen Hesse
  8. The Hollow Kingdom by Clare Dunkle
  9. The Water and the Wild by K. E. Ormsbee
  10. Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis
  11. Good Night, Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian

And on the younger end of the spectrum, between early readers and middle grade:

  1. Love That Dog and Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech
  2. Arthur, for the Very First Time and White Fur Flying by Patricia MacLaughlan
  3. Clover’s Luck by Kallie George (Magical Animal Adoption Agency #1)


I’m realizing, as I create the list, that these are mostly reads inspired by previous books by these authors.

If you are looking for some good reads, search the authors listed here (by any of us!) as well.

  1. Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar
  2. Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
  3. Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
  4. The Marvels by Brian Selznick
  5. Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan
  6. The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
  7. Listen Slowly by Thana Lai
  8. Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands
  9. Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
  10. Little Robot (Graphic Novel) by Ben Hatke
  11. Sunny-side Up (Graphic Novel) by Jennifer L. Holm


This is my second time doing this since WordPress decided to eat the last update. Here are the 12 middlegrade titles I enjoyed a lot this year:

  1. The Water and the Wild – K. E. Ormsbee
    Janet has linked to my review which contains all the reasons I love this one.
  2. The Vine Basket by Joseanne La Valley
    This book introduced me to Ugyhur people and their plight and I’ll always be beholden to it for that reason.
  3. Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan
    A celebration of the resilience of human spirit and the power of magic.
  4. Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire
    This could be easily classified as YA or crossover or just a plain wonderfully told tale. Baba Yaga wins everything.
  5. The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
    Sophisticated tale told in a remarkably beautiful way.
  6. Murder Most Unladylike and Arsenic for Tea by Robin Stevens
    More on this series in January.
  7. Dream on Amber by Emma Shevah
    A surprise but such a wonderful one. Lots of heart in this tale of growing up and growing older.
  8. Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
    Ouch. My heart still hurts.
  9. Nooks and Crannies by Jessica Lawson
    More on this in January.
  10. The Golden Specific by S. E. Grove
    Fantastic worldbuilding.
  11. Confessions of an Imaginary Friend: A Memoir by Jacques Papier –  Michelle Cuevas
    Just read this.


I have read the least amount of 2015 MG releases, so I can easily narrow down my pick to just one book:

Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai

Listen, Slowly is yet another beauty, crafted carefully with love and poetry (though it isn’t a verse novel) by Thanhha Lai. It is the story of a Vietnamese American girl whose summer plans go awry as she is made to travel back to Vietnam– a place she knows little about– and reacquaint herself with her grandmother’s past and a part of her own identity.

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