Middle Grade - Recommendations from Alex Z!
U of I fiction professor’s series of Harry Potter-like fantasy but set in the 2010s in Chicago.
Amazing balance of femme and male energy unlike Harry Potter.
Amazing STEM focused graphic novel series about two best friends in Space.
They genetically engineer a two headed cat that has the power to destroy the universe.
An amazing fantasy series for middle grade readers that challenges fairytale tropes by having the rebellious princess Cimorene befriend the supposedly evil Dragon Kazul.
This chapter book series co-written by and depicting the life of body positivity advocate Sarai Gonzales embraces the wild weird girl.
Sarai goes through life with confidence and an open heart and mind.
Just really good Latinx representation.
A grown up Bridge to Terabithia, this novel explores depression and anxiety in a fantastical setting within the protagonist’s mind.
The young character explores the power of imagination and learns how to lean on others for support.
Amazing mystery series for middle grade readers that brings puzzle solving and adventuring together in a series that would make Roald Dahl and David Walliams proud.
Great for young readers that may be reading above their reading level but aren’t quite ready for the YA section.
Stranger Things meets Super 8 in this middle grade graphic novel.
A young group of neighborhood boys have always wondered where the lights that ominously float on the edge of town lead to.
One summer night they decide to take the risk and follow them.
Friendships are tested, obstacles are braved, everyone grows up a little bit.
Action packed yet emotional, great for reluctant readers.
A controversial--though it shouldn’t be--graphic novel that talks about having your period in a system that refuses to be accomodating.
A group of period-having students rebel against their advisors and deans who refuse to listen to their plea to place more tampons in the bathrooms, both boy’s and girl’s.
Fun fairytale detective series for fans of Land of Stories and Percy Jackson.
Two sisters are thrust into the middle of some of the darker Grimm Fairytales and must converse with monsters and villains to set the fairytale world to rights.
It’s Nancy Drew in the land of Enchantment.
A graphic novel about mistaken identity and vampires!
Eleven year old A.J wants to impress a girl who is seriously into vampires, so he pretends to be one.
Little does he know that Nia is only into vampires becauses she’s a HUNTRESS!
Hilarity and danger ensue.
A wonderful graphic novel that explores how your family’s culture is a superpower in itself.
When our heroine puts on a beautiful scarf that was gifted to her by her grandmother she enters into a technicolor world full of Hindi lore and symbolism where she is a superhero.
A cool Hindi god inspired fairytale about the god death and his quest for the goddess of memory. Lots of badass fight scenes with men and women treating each other with equality and respect. A good slow burn.