20 (Old & New) Must-Read Classics for Middle Readers

Hello Chevalier’s readers, writers, book buyers and everybody else!

This month I’ve been re-reading Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Quintet (the series that A Wrinkle in Time is a part of) and am reminded of the sense of wonder I still feel while reading the pages of a Middle Reader book—books designed for kids ages 8 to 12 year olds. While I can barely remember many of the books I’ve read over the past few years, it seems to me these books call out to me when I walk by and I suddenly get this aching sensation that these were the stories that moved and shaped me as a child.

The great thing about working at a bookstore, though, is learning new things about books from customers and co-workers. Kids are often the most devoted readers that I talk to. I’ve learned a lot from these young critics, and I have to say, nostalgia and pangs of mortality aside, there are lots of great NEW books for Middle Readers.

SO without further ado, I’ve created a list of amazing Middle Reader books. Each pair has one CLASSIC Middle Reader books matched up with a NEW Middle Reader book (oldies and newbies). These pairs may be relevant to each other in theme, concept, world-building, character, or tone. Whatever their content, I consider them cousins of a kind.

This list could get older readers into newer classics, or younger readers into classic classics or basically ALL readers into the magic and creativity of a Middle Reader book.

Thanks for reading!

Best, Lizzy Crawford


1. Walk Two Moons & Brown Girl Dreaming