I can’t believe it’s almost March already! This March round 3 of Middle Grade March is happening!
Middle Grade March is a readathon similar to Nonfiction November. The goal for this readathon is to celebrate Middle Grade books and to read more than you regularly would. There are 5 challenges but ultimately if you can read just one Middle Grade book in March you have succeeded!
I love Middle Grade fiction and I think this is the perfect way to get to some of the books sitting on my shelves
The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
This book is the buddy read for this round of Middle Grade March. I had never heard of this book before. I love a historical medieval setting which is a favourite of mine. There is a mystery and an adventures that spans across Europe and I cannot wait!
The story follows Boy who’s been pushed to the outskirts of his small village. He’s mocked and abused by the other kids in town due to the large hump on his back, a mysterious past and tendency to talk to animals. That is until the arrival of a shadowy pilgrim named Secondus. Impressed with Boy’s climbing and jumping abilities, Secondus engages Boy as his servant, pulling him into an expedition across Europe to gather the seven precious relics of Saint Peter.
Boy quickly realises this journey is not an innocent one. They are stealing the relics, and gaining dangerous enemies in the process. But Boy is determined to see this pilgrimage through until the end.
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
I did have this book picked for Middle Grade March last year by unfortunately I didn’t get around to it. I am still interested in this book which is why I picked it for this prompt.
What intrigues me most about this book is that it is told in verse. I only full length poem I have read is The Odyssey so I’m interested so see how this format will work for young readers.
The story follows ten-year-old Hà and is set during the Vietnam War. The war has reached their home so Hà her and her family flee their Saigon and board a ship to America. They leave behind the thrills of Saigon’s markets, the joy of their traditions and the warmth of her friends close by. Once in America, Hà discovers the foreign world of Alabama. There she is faced with the coldness of its strangers, the dullness of it’s food and the strength of her family.
I don’t know much about the Vietnam war but I hope to learn a bit about it through Hà’s story. I couldn’t imagine having to flee my own home. These refugee stories are important and I’m glad they are been expressed for young readers.
The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil #1) by Soman Chainani
I’ve had this book on my TBR for so long! If I read anything this Middle Grade March this book needs to be the one. I get Rick Riordan vibes from this one but instead of myth we have fairy tales.
Each year two children are taken some years it’s a pair of boys and others a pair of girls and spirited away into the Endless Woods. But each year it is an opposing pair. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth.
Best friends, Sophie and Agatha are about to discover that all the lost children go to 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, Sophie has dreamed of being taken into the 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. Neither could expect their roles reversed.
I love the sound of the classes that Sophie and Agatha are enrolled in — Uglification, Death Curses, Henchmen Training, Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication. I cannot wait to see how this story plays out. And if I love it, luckily I have the rest of the series!
On the Edge of Dark Sea of Darkness (The Wingfeather Saga #1) by Andrew Peterson
I was lucky enough to get a review copy of this book and this is perfect for this prompt. This book was first released in 2008 and has been reprinted this year with new illustrations.
Once, in a cottage above the cliffs on the Dark Sea of Darkness, there lived three children and their trusty dog Nugget. Janner Igiby, his brother Tink, their crippled sister Leeli are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. They will need all their girls and all that they love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang, who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice. The Igibys hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.
This sounds like an epic saga in the vein of C.S. Lewis and Frank L. Baum. The tale spans the Igibys’ extraordinary journey from Glipwood’s Dragon Day Festival and a secret hidden in the Books and Crannies Bookstore, past the terrifying Black Carriage, clutches of the horned hounds and loathsome toothy cows surrounding AnkleJelly Manor, through the Glipwood Forest and mysterious treehouse of Peet the Sock Man (known for a little softshoe and wearing tattered socks on his hands and arms), to the very edge of the Ice Prairies.
Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl’s Moving Castle #1) by Diana Wynne Jones
Howl’s Moving Castle is my absolute favourite Studio Ghibli film. It’s whimsical and completely enchanting. I love world this world and these characters — Sophie, Howl, Calcifer and even Turnip head.
Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.
I’ve been wanting to read this book since I found out the movie was based on a novel. However, I’m also terrified that I won’t like the book because the movie is only loosely based on the book. But on the plus side if I like the book there are another 2 books in the series.
Also I though I share with you some other middle grade books that I would love to get to this month! Some of them fit into prompts and others don’t but they all sound fantastic.
That’s all for me. Comment down below and let me know if you’re taking part in the Middle Grade March and what your favourite Middle Grade book is.
Until next time, happy reading!