Why I’ve Come to Love Reading Middle Grade Books – Let’s Talk Bookish

Morning friends, I hope you’re doing well. Another Friday has come, meaning it’s time for another Let’s Talk Bookish discussion. Let’s Talk Bookish* is a weekly meme hosted by me and Dani @ Literary Lion, where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

Today’s topic is: What Make You Continue Picking Up YA/Middle Grade Books? (suggested by Sam @ River Moose Books)

I started reading middle grade seriously at the end of last year and it’s been an interesting experience. So, I’m going to tweak this topic a little bit and talk about why I’ve come to love MG, and why I’ll continue to read it in the future.

*just wanted to note that I’ve finally updated the official LTB page all the way to June’s topics

YA = Young Adult | MG = Middle Grade

As I said, I first really got into middle grade at the end of last year after having Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls recommended to me by some friends. From there, I read a few more spy related middle grade novels before starting my first middle grade fantasy series: Keeper of the Lost Cities (KOTLC).

I think what helped me stay drawn to the category was the fact that I started it in a genre that I like. Espionage is one of the best genres there is, in my humble opinion, so reading a couple of those helped me warm up to the idea of reading MG. I also liked that it was so much easier to digest with a lot less nerves and anxiety accompanying the story.

Instead of being semi-terrified that the main character will be caught and an entire government’s plans will be destroyed, I got to laugh and smile at the jokes and misadventures that the main characters had to deal with. Knowing that the worst that could possibly happen was them being kidnapped and having to stage an epic escape made it so much easier to live in the moment with the characters and appreciate their childhood innocence.

KOTLC was a great continuation of my foray into the middle grade world. The main character Sophie, is only 12 years old at the start of the series, and we get to follow her as she discovers the truth of what she really is while being The Chosen One, in a sense, who will bring change to the Elvin world. my love for the series waned though; i’m currently on the 8th book and i’m ready to quit. they have made absolutely no progress (save for everything related to my poor Tam and Keefe) for like five books now and i’m exhausted of being in Sophie’s head.

At the start of 2021, I moved to middle grade contemporaries, and read the likes of American as Paneer Pie, Other Words for Home, and A Thousand Questions. Again, that same uncomplicated innocence followed in these books even if they did deal with heavier, more serious topics at times.

I think that’s what made me continue reading MG books: they’re so much less complicated and more heartwarming than young adult novels.

The plots are not always as complex, the relationships between characters is simpler (mis/noncommunication doesn’t happen much which makes life so. much. easier.), and the theme of friendship and emphasis on good morals makes my heart feel so full.

This is not to say that YA is always a complicated mess of angst, miscommunication, and near death. There are some nice light YA novels out there, but I don’t see them as often, especially in the fantasy genre. And considering that I read a lot of YA and a few Adult fantasies, MG is a welcome change that doesn’t take so much from me emotionally.

I think that that’s because of the age group that it’s geared towards. MG is more for 8-12/13 year olds so the drama that comes with being a teenager hasn’t set it in just yet, and it’s a lot cleaner content-wise compared to YA. Sure, there might be some crushes going on between characters, but it’s adorable and I don’t mind it because it’s just so cute.

YA on the other hand is for an older audience, spanning 13-18 year olds which is when a person really becomes who they are. So, there’s a lot of self-discovery, anxiety, drama, and romance going on, which is nice to read at times, but is more emotionally demanding. Make it a YA fantasy, and then there’s the added layer of the main character having to be the savior of the world/their country. Which again is all nice and great, and I love reading that most of the time, but I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t breathe a sigh of relief when I finally get an MG novel to read.

In the future, I do want to read more middle grade novels, especially since I didn’t really read MG when I was in that age category. I kind of jumped from Geronimo Stilton and American Girl to adult espionage and legal thrillers. I know, it really was quite the jump. So, I still have a lot of awesome books to discover.

Right now, I only have The Trials of Morrigan Crow and Legacy on my immediate to-be-read list. Morrigan Crow was recommended to me a really long time ago and it’s shameful how I’m only now just getting to it (sorry Meegs!). I’m excited to finally see what will happen in it.

Legacy: at this point, I’m just forcing myself to finish the KOTLC books because I refuse to have it spoiled for me despite how much I’m dreading trudging through this. But it’s all for Tam, so hopefully it will be worth it.

And yeah. That’s all I have to say on my love for MG.

To summarize: I love middle grade because it’s a nice relaxing change from my typical YA books. The stories are more innocent and simple while still being wholesome with amazing themes, especially of friendship, mixed in. And that is a beautiful combination that I’ve come to love.

Instead of doing the ‘this week’s participants’ as I usually do, we’re going to be using InLinkz (it’s a linkup service), so you can put in your post yourself! Just head over to Dani’s blog and you’ll find the InLinkz at the bottom of her post where you can add your link and see other participants as well.

If you’re having any trouble, just let us know and we’ll try to get it resolved right away.

I’ve kind of run out of MG books to read, and I know I haven’t put in a lot of effort to find more, but I would appreciate any recommendations you all might have.

My questions for you:

  • Do you read middle grade books? Why or why not?
  • Do you think YA should take a leaf out of MG’s guidebook and try to be less complicated and exhausting at times?
  • Have you read any of the books I included?
  • Do you like using InLinkz?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!


33 thoughts on “Why I’ve Come to Love Reading Middle Grade Books – Let’s Talk Bookish

  1. Wonderful post, Rukky! I have read more MG books than normal in the last few months and have really enjoyed them. I was unsure about it at first as I’m not the target audience, but they have been very fun to read ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Middle Grade books got me back into reading again as an adult. Being able to get lost in a whimsical world or story without the 600+ page commitment, it’s the perfect blend of reading and lack of time. Also middle grade books are actually mainly well written and imaginative πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t actually read a lot of MG but I do have an entire shelf dedicated to them in my sons room. I went on a buying spree thinking “I need books on his shelves, I’ll read them to him someday”….he’s 17 months lol I wont be reading them to him for a long time lol. I do WANT to read them though. I even signed up for Owlcrate Jr’s May box because I thought the book sounded interesting. I agree that they’re just more light hearted than YA and Adult. So sometimes they’re a nice break from all the doom and gloom I usually read lol

    Liked by 1 person

  4. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I hope you enjoy Nevermoor when you finally get to it!! And that I haven’t totally hyped the crap out of it… πŸ˜…
    The KOTLC series has always looked good, but I just don’t know if I have the capacity to start another new series!! Would you recommend it for me??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol I’m sure you haven’t, it’ll be okay!
      Yes, I think you would like it even if I’m personally tired of it now. It was really great for the first 4 to 5 books, and then I got bored with the books after that, but at the very least you’ll probably like the first half of it. And it might be because I just don’t do well with long series; I always get bored and annoyed with them eventually.
      I hope you love the whole series though ❀✨

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I still loving reading MG for the same reasons you do! I read mostly YA these days but a MG read once in a while is really nice. YA novels just have so much stuff packed into a few hundred pages of writing. MG novels have less complicated topics since the reading level is for younger kids. There are MG novels that do deal with heavy topics though.
    Some MG novels I loved are The Night Diary, Front Desk, and Harbor Me.
    The Nevermoor series is amazing! I hope you enjoy it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, YA tries to do it all and it’s very draining after a while. Defintiely yes, but I don’t ever really look for heavy MG books just because I like to use it to unwind from YA.
      Thank you for the recs, Lotus!! I hope I enjoy them too ❀✨

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love MG for almost all the reasons you do! Although now I read mostly YA I’ll always have a special love for MG books because more than anything they provide escapism so much. Things don’t usually make sense but I’m more than willing to follow through with it because it is so, so fun. I haven’t read KOTLC yet (haha I was more of a Michael Morpurgo and Eva Ibbotson person) but I’ll try it out one day!! Great postπŸ’œ

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I enjoy middle grade books as well. Several years ago I went through a phase where I read as many Newbery medal winners or honor books as I could and ended up reading about 125 of them in one year along with my other readings. Morrigan Crow is on my short list, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that’s a lot of books! That’s honestly a great way to find books to read because there are a ton of books that have been given awards over the years. I hope we both like Morrigan Crow!! ✨


  8. I also still love reading Middle Grade. The stories are usually more humorous, and I like the romance-free atmosphere. I think I’ll always prefer reading Middle Grade stories over others. Books for other age groups just don’t have the sheer happiness MG does.
    I also loved American as Paneer Pie and Other Words for Home. I might have cried reading the latter (no shame there). I liked how American as Paneer Pie managed to be so serious yet also so fun.
    One Middle Grade series I loved was How to Train Your Dragon, even though it was very problematic at times, it was honestly hilarious. Other Middle Grade novels I love are the Royal Diaries, The Nerverending Story, The Dollshop Downstairs, The Land of Stories, Anya and the Dragon, Dragon Pearl, and various books by Grace Lin and Astrid Lindgren.
    I do think it would be nice for there to be more “less complicated” YA novels. I love some of the edgiest fantasy novels YA has to offer, but sometimes, a lighter read would be fun. Usually “light” YA or Adult novels are only fluffy romance novels, and I don’t like romance All That Much. I still read these stories, but I always wish there were other options.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup, that’s exactly what makes it a feel-good genre. The lack of romance is just awesome at times and makes me so happy. And if characters have crushes, it’s usually the cutest thing ever so I always love it πŸ₯Ί

      Ikr, it tackled racism pretty well while still being an MG story with friendship themes mixed in. And lol, yes, no shame in tears! It really was a moving story, and there were parts that just made me stop in shock about how true it was.

      Lol, I heard the books of How to Train Your Dragon were horrible and I’ve stayed away, but I do absolutely love the movies (especially the second one!). I’ve only heard of Royal Diaries and The Land of Stories (it was also recommended to me actually and I forgot about it lol) from those but thank you for the recs!! I’ll definitely check them out

      Yes, exactly, fluffy lighthearted YA is more often than not a contemporary romance and I’m not much of a romance reader either. Sometimes I do pick one up but yeah, it’s frustrating that there aren’t that many options.

      Thank you for reading!! ❀✨

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think you should really check out the Land of Stories! They’re funny and have a great cast of characters. They’re more on the fluffier end of MG. HTTYD was awful, I guess, but they still made me laugh a lot – I never actually got into the movies though.
        I really wish there was more non-romantic YA fluff. I can only think of 4 YA novels without romance plotlines that don’t have an aroace MC, and none of them are fluff. It would be nice to have more books that are simply “fun” without any romance drama.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I defintiely will
          I guess it’s because romance and the mishaps with it (especially when family is pressuring the MC to get married/find a boy/girlfriend) is what makes it “fluff” but at the same time, a nice friendship story with a misadventure or something would be perfectly fine for fluff too tbh

          Liked by 1 person

  9. I turned 14 just this year, so I was (and still am!) a huge middle grade reader. But since, last year I think, I have been getting more into YA. But I wouldn’t be able to compare both of them. I can’t say which one’s better, though I can say this – I read MG for the plots, and YA for the characters. Does that make sense?
    Oh and both KOTLC and Nevermoor are my favourite MG fantasy series of both time!! I am sorry you’re not quite enjoying KOTLC, but I hope you like Nevermoor as much as I did!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That makes sense! MG really is more about the story or the misadventure that happens while YA is all about who the main character is/grows to be throughout the story. I guess that also adds to why YA can be so draining because you have to go through all the emotions and dramas of the character’s feelings whereas MG is all about what happens.
      Hopefully I will, thank you!! ✨

      Liked by 1 person

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