As a kid, nothing sucked me into a book more than a main character with an excessive dose of moxie; the characters with guts, and grit, and determination. (Most times, the characters were pretty funny, too!) Those books always had me turning the page quicker than I could read. So, here’s a list of middle-grade books starring characters with moxie sure to get your young reader burning through books faster than a forest fire.
Charming and funny, Parker Kelbrook can wriggle out of anything he doesn’t want to do. So when he’s forced to take a job at the local pool—a threat to his beach-filled summer plans—he comes up with the perfect prank to get himself fired.
Once Parker’s father catches wind of his latest scheme, he decides enough is enough, and Parker is sent halfway across the country to work on a farm alongside five other kids who aren’t his biggest fans. As Parker learns to roll up his sleeves and keep his head down, strange things start happening. And after he awakens one morning to find a seventeen-hundred-pound dairy cow on the roof of a barn, he suspects that something magical and mysterious is growing in the farm’s fields.
Things heat up at Hills Village Middle School when Rafe gets an invitation from Dr. Daria Deerwin to join a research study on polar bears. How many times in life do you get a chance to come face‑to‑face with a real polar bear in the wild? Rafe is ready to find out!Alaska is pinkie‑freezing, hair‑freezing, snot‑freezing cold, but Rafe might be headed for a meltdown. He’s spending every waking moment with Penelope, who he definitely has a crush on, and a polar bear Dr. Deerwin is tracking goes missing…with poachers on the tundra. It’s up to Rafe, Penelope, and their new friends to save the day in Rafe’s coolest adventure yet.
Alex and Conner Bailey’s world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.
The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with fairy tale characters they grew up reading about
But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.
This special ten-year anniversary edition of the book that launched the beloved worldwide phenomenon includes a personal note from the author and over 20 new full-color, full-page illustrations from series illustrator Brandon Dorman, making this the perfect gift for both new and returning fans!
Thirteen-year-old Blue Broen is on the hunt for a legendary ship of gold, lost centuries ago when her ancestors sailed to New York. Blue knows her overprotective parents won’t approve of her mission to find their family’s long-lost fortune, so she keeps it a secret from everyone except her constant companion, Otis, an 80-pound diabetic alert dog. But it’s hard to keep things quiet with rival treasure hunters on the loose, and with Blue’s reputation as the local poster child for a type 1 diabetes fundraiser.
Blue’s quest gets even harder when she’s forced to befriend Jules, the brainy but bratty daughter of a vacationing movie star who arrives on the scene and won’t leave Blue alone. While Blue initially resents getting stuck with this spoiled seventh-grade stranger, Jules soon proves Blue’s not the only one who knows about secrets — and adventure.
Will Blue unravel a three-hundred-year-old family mystery, learn to stand up for herself, and find the missing treasure? Or is she destined to be nothing more than “diabetes girl” forever?
Aspiring engineer Suzy Hess is invited to the famous Underlook Hotel, domain of the reclusive horror writer Jack Axworth, in the mountains above her hometown of Estes Park, Colorado. Suzy thinks she’s there to tutor Jack’s son, Danny, but instead she finds herself investigating a local curse that threatens the landmark hotel.
With the help of Elijah Jones, an amateur filmmaker who thought he’d been asked to make a film about the so-called King of Horror; Rena Hallorann, the hotel’s caretaker; and Danny, who knows more than he’s letting on, Suzy sets out to solve the mystery at the heart of the Underlook, one that holds the town of Estes Park in its grasp. With only a week to save the hotel—and the town—the friends find themselves racing against time to uncover the shadows of the past.
Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks—and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.
But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.
It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each with an extraordinary talent that sets them apart—an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests—or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.