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2021 Middle Grade Summer Reading List

The last year and a bit has been different–to say the least. But at least one can always count on a good read to make everything better. So, here is a personally curated, eclectic list of ten of our favorite recent reads. As usual, we tried to get a mix: fantasy, non-fiction, historical fiction, a ghost story, award-winners, etc. Enjoy!

These books have a content level of 5 or less in all three categories.

Click on book cover or book title to go to the full review.

Thornwood, Book Cover

Thornwood Sisters
Leah Cypess

For fairy tales lovers! This is one with a twist.

All Thirteen, Book Cover

All Thirteen by Christina Soontornvat

This is award winning non-fiction that all ages will find gripping from first page to last.

When You Trap a Tiger, Book Cover

When You Trap a Tiger
by Tae Keller

This is another award-winning book that deserves all the accolades it received.

Ground Zero, Book Cover

Ground Zero
Alan Gratz

Just do yourself a favor and read everything by this thoughtful author of historical fiction. With the 20th anniversary of 9-11 upon us, this is the perfect summer to read this book.

Stella, Book Cover

McCall Hoyle

Our reviewer said this book was both heart-warming and addictive.

The Legend of the Dragonslayer, Book Cover

Legend of the Dragonslayer
Brandon Mull

Yes to dragons and adventure! No further explanation needed.

The Best Worst Summer, Book Cover

The Best Worst Summer
Elizabeth Eulberg

It seems like every summer reading list should have at least one book about summer and this is our pick.

The Wild Huntsboys, Book Cover

The Wild Huntsboys
Martin Stewart

From our reviewer’s lips: “Any story with little weapon wielding fairies who fly on the backs of crows and are loyal to death has a very strong chance of NOT being boring.” This one is for any reader who loves a good adventure.

I am Defiance, Book Cover

I am Defiance
Jenni L. Walsh

This is a great addition to middle grade historical fiction set during World War II. I am Defiance is suspenseful, emotional, and transformative.

Wait Till Helen Comes, Book Cover

Wait Till Helen Comes
Mary Downing Hahn

This novel is a classic ghost story: creepy, suspenseful, and spine-tingling.

An accountant and CPA by profession, I found myself a book reviewer for Squeaky Clean Reads by happenstance. When the opportunity came to transform that website into Compass Book Ratings, I was excited to seize it and meld my business background with my love of books. As the mother of three teenage sons, I have read a large number of children and young adult books and I believe that there is great value in a content review service. As much as we would love to read everything our children read, there just isn’t enough time. I also appreciate being able to select books for myself that are really worth my precious and limited reading time. I believe there is a book out there for everyone–they just have to find it!

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