books, Misc., Welcome

Books I Own That I Need To Read: Middle Grade Edition!

Hello everybody!

I was looking at my shelves and my tablet the other day and I noticed that I have a couple of middle grade books I have yet to read. As some of you may know, young adult is my go to book preference. However, I do read a lot of middle grade books and that’s because its a genre that I find to be comforting and filled with magic.

Middle grade fantasy is magical and doesn’t have all the drama young adult and even adult books have. I love fantasy in general but middle grade fantasy has this element of pure adventure, fun, and friendship. Its refreshing to read and I honestly wish I read more middle grade.

I wanted to make this post as a kind of push to get me to read them and also to share some middle grade books with you guys.

*all synopsis from goodreads*
Seraphina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty

Image result for serafina and the black cloak

Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture
beyond the grounds of the Biltmore estate. There’s plenty
to explore in her grand home, although she must take care
to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that
Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate’s maintenance
man, have secretly lived in the basement for as long 
as Serafina can remember.

But when children at the estate start disappearing, only
Serafina knows who the culprit is: a terrifying man in a
black cloak who stalks Biltmore’s corridors at night.
Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks
everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the
young nephew of the Biltmore’s owners. Braeden and Serafina
must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak’s true identity . . . 
before all of the children vanish one by one.

Serafina’s hunt leads her into the very forest that she has
been taught to fear. There she discovers a forgotten legacy
of magic, one that is bound to her own identity. In order
to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must
seek the answers that will unlock the puzzle of her past.

I just recently bought this book last month but I have been wanting to read it since last year. I’m really excited to read it! Ever since I heard about it, it’s been on my mind since then. So I’m happy I finally got my hands on it.

The School for Good and Evil: The Last Ever After by Soman Chainani

Image result for school for good and evil

Since this is the third book in the series, I’ll put the synopsis to the first book below.

The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before.
Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls,
sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed
random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always
beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as
their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast
from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and
spirited away.

This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover
where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil,
where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes
and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has
dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life.
With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds,
she knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and
graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile Agatha, with her
shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of
nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.

But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods,
they find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School
for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen
Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School For Good,
thrust amongst handsome princes and fair maidens for classes
in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.. But what
if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering
who Sophie and Agatha really are…?

I really liked the first two books! I love how it shows that all because you’re “unattractive” doesn’t mean that you’re evil and vice versa. Your looks have nothing to do with who you are and I think this book really showed it. It’s such a nice book for kids to read.

Return to the Isle of the Lost by Melissa De La Cruz

Image result for return to the isle of the lost

This is the second book to the series so again I’ll just post the synopsis to the first book.

Twenty years ago, all the evil villains were banished
from the kingdom of Auradon and made to live in virtual
imprisonment on the Isle of the Lost. The island is
surrounded by a magical force field that keeps the
villains and their descendants safely locked up and
away from the mainland. Life on the island is dark
and dreary. It is a dirty, decrepit place that's been
left to rot and forgotten by the world.

But hidden in the mysterious Forbidden Fortress is a
dragon's eye: the key to true darkness and the villains'
only hope of escape. Only the cleverest, evilest,
nastiest little villain can find it...who will it be?

Mal, daughter of Maleficent, soon learns from her
mother that the dragon's eye is cursed and whoever
retrieves it will be knocked into a deep sleep for a
thousand years. But Mal has a plan to capture it. She'll
just need a little help from her "friends." In their
quest for the dragon's eye, these kids begin to realize
that just because you come from an evil family tree,
being good ain't so bad.

This series is based off of the Disney Channel Original Movie, Descendants. I read the first book, which is the prequel to the first Descendants movie, and I liked it I thought it was cute. Return to the Isle of the Lost follows after the events of the first movie.

I loved how the book showed how dysfunctional the villain families were and the struggles the “descendants” had to go through to please their parents. I thought it was pretty accurate if the villains were to have kids, they wouldn’t actually show them any love or kindness.

The first movie was cute too, it’s better than many of the newer Disney Channel movies coming out. I also thought the music was catchy and reminded me of Broadway music (if that makes sense), which I love.

Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly

Image result for lost in a book

Smart, bookish Belle, a captive in the Beast’s castle,
has become accustomed to her new home and has
befriended its inhabitants. When she comes upon
Nevermore, an enchanted book unlike anything else she
has seen in the castle, Belle finds herself pulled into
its pages and transported to a world of glamour and
intrigue. The adventures Belle has always imagined, the
dreams she was forced to give up when she became a
prisoner, seem within reach again.

The charming and mysterious characters Belle meets
within the pages of Nevermore offer her glamorous
conversation, a life of dazzling Parisian luxury, and
even a reunion she never thought possible. Here Belle
can have everything she has ever wished for. But what
about her friends in the Beast’s castle? Can Belle
trust her new companions inside the pages of Nevermore?
Is Nevermore’s world even real? Belle must uncover the
truth about the book, before she loses herself in it forever.

Hell yes another Beauty and the Beast re-imagining! But this one sounds so unique. I always wondered how Belle felt about not being able to go on an adventure “in the great wide somewhere”. She literally had to drop all of her dreams to be the Beast’s prisoner and probably even after that.

Plus wouldn’t it be cool to be able to jump in a book?! Sign me up!

Heroes of Olympus: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

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I know! What is wrong with me? I call myself a Rick Riordan fan and I have yet to finish the Heroes of Olympus series. Shame, shame, shame!

Jason has a problem.
He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus
full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a
girlfriend named Piper, and a best friend named Leo.
They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.”
What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?

Piper has a secret.
Her father has been missing for three days, ever since
she had that terrifying nightmare about his being in trouble.
Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her
boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak
storm hits during the school trip, unleashing strange
creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace
called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out.

Leo has a way with tools.
When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled
with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at
home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone
keeps talking about, and some camper who's gone missing.
Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of
them—including Leo—is related to a god. Does this have
anything to do with Jason's amnesia, or the fact that Leo
keeps seeing ghosts?

I have made finishing this series one of my bookish resolutions for this year and I’m not planning on ruining it! Come hell or high water, I will finish this series. Even if it means only reading Rick Riordan books for the rest of the year! (which isn’t so bad)

The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer & Brandon Dorman (illustrator)

Image result for the land of stories

Alex and Conner Bailey's world is about to change,
in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our
modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic
fairy tales. The Land of Stories tells the tale of
twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers
of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world
behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of
wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the
fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.

But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves,
goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going
to be harder than they thought.

I feel like everyone and their mothers have read this series or at least this book. I have no idea what I was reading during my middle grade years because it seems like I have missed a lot of popular middle grade fantasy. I feel like, other than Rick Riordan of course, Christ Colfer and Brandon Mull are middle grade authors that you have to read. Like you can’t call yourself a middle grade fantasy lover if you haven’t read any and all books written by these authors. At least that’s what I feel, I literally see at least one book from these authors every time someone talks about middle grade books.

That’s a wrap folks! Comment down below whether you have read or are thinking about reading any books from this list? OR comment some of your middle grade fantasy recommendations! I love learning about new middle grade books to read, so BRING IT ON! Until next time!

– Janeli (The Underground Bookdom)


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