While demarcating the boundaries between Middle Grade and YA fiction is imperative to booksellers and librarians shelving books, we as readers don’t need to confine ourselves to one particular age category. The reading expedition gets even better when our beloved authors juxtapose genres, thus gifting us the best of both worlds. If you are a fan of YA and middle grade fiction, this list is for you. Read on to know more about the series where elements of YA and middle grade fiction have been blended creating something delightful for readers of all age groups.
Aru Shah And The End Of Time (Pandava Quartet #1) By Roshani Chokshi
In the first book of this series, Aru Shah And The End Of Time, we see 12-year-old Aru Shah’s life is not as exciting as that of her classmates, or so she thinks. While her friends will be taking far-flung vacations, she will be stuck at home. Mostly, she will be hanging out in the Museum Of Ancient Indian Art And Culture, waiting for her mother to return from her archaeological trip. No wonder she lies about belonging to a royal family to fit in with her peers. However, this doesn’t end well and one day three of her peers show up at her doorstep. They don’t believe her when she says that the Lamp of Bharata, kept in the museum, is cursed. Lighting the lamp has ramifications of its own, and she wakes up a demon responsible for awakening the god of destruction. The only way to reverse the damage and prevent her mother and classmates from getting frozen in time is to find the Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Indian epic the Mahabharata. As the series progresses, Aru will be seen teaming up with Mini, Brynne, and Aiden to battle demons, launch a search-and-rescue mission to free a clairvoyant and her captive sister, and get involved in countless adventures to restore order once again. The fourth part of this enthralling series, Aru Shah And The City Of Gold, is due in spring 2021.
The Serpent’s Secret (Kiranmala And The Kingdom Beyond #1) By Sayantani Dasgupta
Kiranmala thinks of herself as a regular 6th grader living in New Jersey. She is yet to know all the secrets about herself, especially about being an interdimensional demon slayer. Her parents mysteriously disappear on the morning of her 12th birthday, and to top it off there is a demon in her kitchen trying to eat her alive. Now she wonders whether her parents’ claim about her being an Indian princess is true. Two cute princes are outside her house insisting on being her saviors. She gets pulled into a magical dimension brimming with moving maps, horses with wings, and birds that talk. She must solve riddles and defeat demons while staying away from the way of the Serpent King and the Rakkhoshi Queen to save the world. Eventually, we will see Kiran trying to figure out who her real friends are, how to save Prince Lal, and evade entrapment between the good and the evil. She needs to be victorious in the face of all kinds of sinister forces to save everyone in her world and the Kingdom Beyond.
Front Desk (Front Desk #1) By Kelly Yang
Mia Tang has a lot of secrets to hide. Her parents help people who are immigrants by letting them stay in the empty rooms of the motel for free, where they work as cleaners. The motel’s owner should never find out about this as a lot is at stake. Mia also wants to be a writer, but since English is not her first language her mother wants her to stick to mathematics. She also has to manage the front desk of the motel where her parents work and attend to guests as the need arises. Problems come one after another, and even when her parents become the owners of the motel financial crisis and immigration laws try to upend everything they have worked for. But Mia is not one to give up. She is determined to keep going and triumph over all odds even when the going gets out of hand.
Ghost (Track #1) By Jason Reynolds
Ghost, Lu, Patina, and Sunny come from very different backgrounds. But one thing they all have in common: all of them have been picked for an elite middle school track team called Defenders. Their team has the potential to make it to the Junior Olympics, so they have a lot to prove. Ghost started running as a child to escape from his father’s murderous rage. Since then he has been trying his best to run away from his problems, until he meets his Coach. Patina runs not just to get away from her schoolmates who taunt her at every chance they get, but also for her mother who has a disability. Sunny might seem like a cheerful kid, on the surface but deep down he believes he is responsible for his mother’s death. To make matters worse, he had an emotionally distant father. This series chronicles the lives of Lu, Ghost, Sunny, and Patina and how they battle both their external and internal demons. Lu is perfectly cut out to be the co-captain of the Defenders, but for that he also needs to channel his teammates Sunny, Patina, and Ghost in the right direction. Now the question is how will these kids rise above their inhibitions to take the world by storm? This series is wonderful and inspiring for every young reader out there.
Tristan Strong Punches A Hole In The Sky (Tristan Strong #1) By Kwame Mbalia
Losing one’s best friend is never easy, as is the case for Tristan. Eddie, his friend’s journal where he wrote stories, is all Tristan has left of him. He is being sent away to his grandparents’ farm in Alabama to heal. But on his first night there, a bizarre creature makes an appearance and steals Eddie. Now Tristan finds himself amidst burning sea, haunted ships, iron monsters, and exhausted Black American gods. To go back home he needs to appease the god Anansi, but the latter is a trickster, so Tristan needs to handle things with a lot more tact. Winning just one war is never enough as in the second book he needs to rescue his grandmother. A riveting series on love, loss, mental illness, and courage, it will keep you hooked from page one. The third book is coming out next year.
The Land (Logans Series #1) By Mildred D. Taylor
The Logans series is rife with autobiographical elements. Here, Taylor has organized the events of her life in a chronological sequence. The first book introduces us to Paul-Edward Logan. He was raised in post-Civil War Georgia. Black people are skeptical of him because he looks white and white people treat him differently when they come to know about his Black parentage. His own blood betrays him and at the young age of 14 he sets out to materialize his dream of finding land as good as that of his father and become its owner. The readers get to become privy to the hard yet fascinating lives of the Logans as they move from one book to the next.
Inkheart (Inkworld series #1) By Cornelia Funke
Originally translated by Anthea Bell, this fantasy series is mostly set in Northern Italy and the parallel universe described in the fictional Inkheart book. The books follow Meggie Folchart, who has the uncanny ability to bring characters from the pages of books into her world every time she reads aloud. Her father who is a bookbinder has the same skill. In Inkheart, Meggie enters a world of magic that she has only read about in books after a wicked ruler escapes the land of fiction and shows up in her living room. Full of colorful imagination and compelling from the start, this is a gem of a series. The fourth book is expected in 2021.