Right in between first chapter books and young adult are middle grade books. Intended for youth ages eight to twelve, this collection benefits its specific audience in several ways.
More complex than first chapter books, middle grade books offer richer vocabulary. This improves scholastic achievements and prepares students for more sophisticated books in high school.
Middle grade books showcase different cultures in accessible ways. Diverse stories come to life through compelling characters and plots. This can build compassion and understanding toward other groups.
These titles also portray complicated real-life issues. School anxiety. Changing friendships. Family strife. Social injustice. Worldwide issues. You can find one or more in all middle grade titles, even if the story contains fantastic elements. Such books can help readers feel less isolated.
Unlike young adult books, middle grade books omit overt mature content like sex, drugs and violence. They are great for advanced readers but remain age-appropriate (a relief to caregivers and kids alike).
Furthermore, middle grade reads tend to be more emotionally optimistic than their YA counterparts. The pre-teen protagonists overcome problems with courage and self-reliance. Stories like these can inspire similar resilience in readers.
CLP has compiled several middle grade booklists on a variety of topics:
- Awesome Books for Middle Schoolers
- Fourth & Fifth Grade Books
- Racial Representation
- Read Proud Middle Grade Books
- Social Justice
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