As the 2013 year is winding down, we have compiled a list of the ten best children’s and middle grade books that have dominated the bestseller’s lists and captivated readers all over the world. Give some of them a try!
Summary: At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy”s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea”s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape? They have no choice. If the demigods don”t succeed, Gaea”s armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus.
2. Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman
Summary: “I bought the milk,” said my father. “I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: T h u m m t h u m m. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road.”
“Hullo,” I said to myself. “That’s not something you see every day. And then something odd happened.”
Find out just how odd things get in this hilarious story of time travel and breakfast cereal, expertly told by Newbery Medalist and bestselling author Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Skottie Young.
Summary: Love—and crushes—are in the air for Nikki Maxwell in this sixth book of the New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries series.
It’s the biggest dance of the year and Nikki Maxwell is hoping her crush, Brandon, wants to be her date. But time is running out. What if he doesn’t want to go with her? Or worse—what if he ends up going with Mackenzie?!!
In the sixth book in the blockbuster Dork Diaries series—now with more than 8 million copies in print—join Nikki, Chloe and Zoey as they tackle the topic of love, Dork Diaries style!
4. The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns by Chris Colfer
5. Doll Bones by Holly Black
Summary: Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been friends forever. And for almost as long, they’ve been playing one continuous, ever-changing game of pirates and thieves, mermaids and warriors. Ruling over all is the Great Queen, a bone-china doll cursing those who displease her.
But they are in middle school now. Zach’s father pushes him to give up make-believe, and Zach quits the game. Their friendship might be over, until Poppy declares she’s been having dreams about the Queen—and the ghost of a girl who will not rest until the bone-china doll is buried in her empty grave.
Zach and Alice and Poppy set off on one last adventure to lay the Queen’s ghost to rest. But nothing goes according to plan, and as their adventure turns into an epic journey, creepy things begin to happen. Is the doll just a doll or something more sinister? And if there really is a ghost, will it let them go now that it has them in its clutches?
Summary: Favorite characters return in this stunning seventh and final book in Angie Sage’s New York Times bestselling magykal series: ExtraOrdinary Wizard Marcia Overstrand, Alchemist Marcellus Pye, and of course Septimus Heap, Jenna, Beetle, Simon, Lucy, and the rest of the Heap gang.
Jenna will soon be Queen and Beetle is now Chief Hermetic Scribe. Septimus, however, must rid the Castle of the Darke Domaine by destroying the Two-Faced Ring. His skills in both Magyk and Physik will be tested, as will his loyalties.
Filled with Angie Sage’s characteristic humor and heart, Fyre is a grand finale that is fantasy adventure at its best.
Summary: In a magical kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone’s joke. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. Rump discovers he has a gift for spinning straw into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him that magic is dangerous, and she’s right. With each thread he spins, he weaves himself deeper into a curse.
To break the spell, Rump must go on a perilous quest, fighting off pixies, trolls, poison apples, and a wickedly foolish queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship—and a cheeky sense of humor—he just might triumph in the end.
8. Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
Summary: Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library.
Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high.
In this cross between Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and A Night in the Museum, Agatha Award winner Chris Grabenstein uses rib-tickling humor to create the perfect tale for his quirky characters. Old fans and new readers will become enthralled with the crafty twists and turns of this ultimate library experience.
Summary: New York Times Best Seller Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool, Newbery Medalist for Moon Over Manifest, is an odyssey-like adventure of two boys’ incredible quest on the Appalachian Trail where they deal with pirates, buried secrets, and extraordinary encounters.
At the end of World War II, Jack Baker, a landlocked Kansas boy, is suddenly uprooted after his mother’s death and placed in a boy’s boarding school in Maine. There, Jack encounters Early Auden, the strangest of boys, who reads the number pi as a story and collects clippings about the sightings of a great black bear in the nearby mountains. Newcomer Jack feels lost yet can’t help being drawn to Early, who won’t believe what everyone accepts to be the truth about the Great Appalachian Bear, Timber Rattlesnakes, and the legendary school hero known as The Fish, who never returned from the war. When the boys find themselves unexpectedly alone at school, they embark on a quest on the Appalachian Trail in search of the great black bear. But what they are searching for is sometimes different from what they find. They will meet truly strange characters, each of whom figures into the pi story Early weaves as they travel, while discovering things they never realized about themselves and others in their lives.
Summary: Told in multiple viewpoints, A Tangle of Knots is a magnificent puzzle. In a slightly magical world where everyone has a Talent, eleven-year-old Cady is an orphan with a phenomenal Talent for cake baking. But little does she know that fate has set her on a journey from the moment she was born. And her destiny leads her to a mysterious address that houses a lost luggage emporium, an old recipe, a family of children searching for their own Talents, and a Talent Thief who will alter her life forever. However, these encounters hold the key to Cady’s past and how she became an orphan. If she’s lucky, fate may reunite her with her long-lost parent.
Lisa Graff adds a pinch of magic to a sharply crafted plot to create a novel that will have readers wondering about fate and the way we’re all connected.
We hope that some of these books appeal to you and that you continue to discover, enjoy, and share stories with one another.
Thanks for reading!