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Benefits of Middle Grade Books

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:  

You can sign up for a free library card here. If you are new to our eResources, check out these tutorial videos on how to get started.

Looking for a good book, album, movie or TV show? We’re happy to recommend them to you! Use this Personalized Recommendations form to send us some information about what you like and we’ll curate a list just for you.

If you have any additional questions, you can contact a librarian through FacebookInstagram or Twitter. You can also call us at 412.622.3114 or email us at

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