The top 10 middle grade books of this year cover a broad spectrum of genres, from the poetry of Shel Silverstein’s posthumous work, Every Thing On It, to the adventure and mythology of The Son of Neptune; the second book in the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan, who has been wildly successful in creating books that even reluctant readers are clamoring for.
At the pinnacle of our best middle grade books list is Newbery Honor winner Gary Schmidt’s Okay for Now, the unforgettable coming-of-age story of Doug Swieteck who some readers may remember from The Wednesday Wars. Doug’s struggle to overcome an ugly family legacy and find his own path is so beautifully written with humor and emotional power that Okay for Now took hold of us back in April and hasn’t let go. Another 2011 novel we’ll be talking about for a long time is Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck. Alternating stories, one told through text and the other through stunning black & white illustrations, take the characters inside the American Museum of Natural History searching for connection to a loved one and ultimately finding a kinship neither of them had imagined.