Hello everybody, and welcome to day 22 of blogmas! Can you believe how close the big day is now?!
Today I’m going to be speaking about my favourite middle grade books of 2017, and since they all are MG, my top 3 books overall of the year.
Onto the books! (And I’ve included a few more than 10, whoopsies! 🙈😂)
Who Let the Gods Out/Simply the Quest by Maz Evans- I’m in love with this modern take on Greek mythology, which tells the story of young carer Elliot Hooper as the Greek gods crash into his life and he becomes embroiled in trying to remedy the escape of daemon Thanatos. As well as the original take on this, I also adore the way this series mixes humour an heartbreaking moments in the best way imaginable, I can’t wait for parts 3 and 4 of Elliot’s journey over the next year or so.
Beetle Queen by M.G Leonard– In my opinion, these books are future classics. The idea, of ultra-intelligent beetles and an evil fashion designer scientist villain who wants to use them to take over the world is something I never thought I’d enjoy, but they have made me love beetles (except for endlessly creepy earwigs). It’s about Darkus Cuttle as he finds his own beetle and many others, and determines to save them from aforementioned awful villain Lucretia Cutter.
Fly Me Home by Polly Ho-Yen– this is Polly Ho-Yen (writer of my favourite standalone MG of all time the Boy in the Tower, for any new readers) and I thought this, the tale of immigrant Leelu and her family, and their problems blended with a gorgeous magical realism element was stunning. I read it in about one sitting when I was feeling ill one day and I can’t recommend it highly enough. After a few rereads I think this one may be very close to my heart too.
Spellchasers trilogy by Lari Don – this is the best (completed) trilogy I’ve ever read, and it’s about a group of young people coming together to try and lift their respective curses. I thought the plot was original, the magic system and worldbuilding were exceptionally good and I thought the main characters were excellent, and I liked that they developed over the course of the books. The construction of the trilogy as a whole was my favourite thing though, since each book had a separate plot but that some arcs weren’t resolved till book 3, which worked well.
The Guggenheim Mystery by Robin Stevens– this book was written to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Siobbhan Dowd’s London Eye Mystery, and I thought it was a pretty perfect follow up. I thought Robin was both faithful to the original and put her own spin on it, and it was truly a delight to see Ted Spark and the world through his eyes again. This books sees Ted solving a New York mystery at the Guggenheim museum with big sister Kat and cousin Salim.
Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend – I anticipated this book for so long that I started to worry it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. If anything, it exceeded them. This was clever, original and witty, with characters I could get behind and admire and love (and in the case of villains/baddies hate) and I thought the plot was perfectly paced in telling of cursed child Morrigan navigating the Trials of the Wondrous Society which will save her from certain death if she gains. This really did remind me of Harry Potter in terms of the imaginative, well described worldbuilding and I’d also recommend it for fans of the Uncommoners books for this reason.
The Polar Bear Explorers Club by Alex Bell– this was magical from beginning to end in each and every way. It’s about a group of young explorers on an Artic adventure full of magical creatures, family and friendship, and I absolutely loved the characters (especially Beanie). I also loved the way this book shows and celebrates the importance of kindness above all else. Roll on the next book in what I’ve heard is a series!
And now for my top 3 of the year overall…
Prisoner of Ice and Snow by Ruth Lauren– this is a wintry adventure book that tells the story of glorious, brave heroine Valor as she attempts to save her wrongfully convicted sister Sasha from prison. The worldbuilding of Demidova is incredible, I loved the writing style and the ensemble cast is excellent. It was like nothing I’d ever read before.
Being Miss Nobody by Tamsin Winter– I raced through this in a morning, desperately invested in the story of selective mute Rosalind finding a voice to stand up to bullies through her blog. I cared about each and every character a huge amount, it felt so realistic that I felt as though I could really know these people and I experienced a rollercoaster of emotions from elation to crying. I thought the emdomg was perfect; hopeful but not tied in a neat bow as suited the story, and I can’t wait for Tamsin’s next book.
Running on the Roof of the World by Jess Butterworth– This is the story of Tash and Sam, who live in China-occupied Tibet, as they journey to India to find the Dalai Lama in an attempt to save Tasha parents from the soldiers. It’s gorgeously written in a way that invokes every sense, the friendship between Sam and Tash is lovely and I fell utterly in love with the animal companions. Gripping, emotional and beautiful, and has never quite left my mind since I read it.
*Note- after writing this post I read a magical, wonderful book called Brightstorm by Vashti Hardy, which I’m adding in as an extra in the general favourites (my top 3 are too fab to be changed!). It’s a glorious adventure books about twins called Arthur and Maudie as they set off to find their missing father and clear his name from the crime he’s been accused of. It feels like a future classic, and I can’t wait for everyone to read it when it comes out in March. I’m making it joint 3rd with Prisoner of Ice and Snow 😊 (cheating a bit, I know. But its way too good not to!)
Thank you so much for reading! What have your favourite middle grades of 2017 been? Are any books on our lists the same? I’d love to get some recommendations down in the comments!