Armchair BEA: Middle Grade

I almost didn’t have time to write this post, since I had an essay due to today, but I’m squeezing it in! I’d like to share some of my favourite books I discovered when I was in grade five, books that I still love rereading today. I wonder today if children still read these? They are classics to me. All of these books I first saw in the Scholastic Book Order – undoubtedly the best part of school! I keep all of these books together on a shelf (along with…), which I call the first best reads shelf.

 Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke

As a dedicated reader, I was enthralled with Inkheart. I especially loved Eleanor’s library and was heartbroken at what happens to it. I always loved that the books felt grown-up and not at all dumme down. I liked that they dealt with cruel villains who were still humain, and ordinary family conflicts that no one likes to acknowledge. I liked that parts of the stories were told from the adult’s point of view. I loved everything there is to love about a book – the settings, the characters, the prose, the story, the book design. My hardcover trilogy is very precious to me!

Book 1
Book 2
Book 3

Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer

I’m not sure why I decided to read Artemis Fowl because I don’t think I would pick it up today if someone described it to me. But I am so glad I did, because I adore these books. They are so much fun. I thought they were clever and both serious and funny, in just the right amount of each. I loved the twist on fairies, though I would scoff at it now if you described it to me (I generally like my fairies done more traditionally). I love picking up the first book for a quick read whenever I start to feel a bit bored.

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
Oh, what is there to say about ASOUE? I loved the prose and the narration style. Lemony Snicket is a fantastic character himself, as are all the others. Count Olaf truly creeps me out in the first book, though I found him more comic as the series went on (I was in tears at the last book, though!). I loved the relationship between the Baudelaires and how smart they were, and how they grew throughout the books. I liked how there was little romance. Of course, I loved the “a word which here means…” convention. My favourite book is The Hostile Hospital. I reread all of the books last year and I thought they were even better than before. I think there’s a lot more to pick up on when you’re older. I have the 13 books stacked vertically on my shelf and I think they look very fine. They were examples of book design done well!

The last book out of these three series was released The Last Guardian (Artemis Fowl #8) in July 2012. I remember taking a solemn moment to consider that, wondering if I should be sad.  I decided not to be, because you can always reread a great book! I’m still on the hunt for books that excite me as much as these ones do. I loved each of the Inkheart and ASOUE books but I found AF decline after the fifth book. I wonder if that’s because I outgrew them? (Though I doubt it – I think the stories got sillier and the romance was out of place. Also I miss the original cover designs D:) But I still love rereading the first three! (The fourth is too sad to be reread often).

What were your favourite books from when you were young? Or, what are your favourite middle grade reads now?

  • Nice picks there! I absolutely adored the Baudelaire children, and Lemony Snicket is such a fascinating writer in general.. I remember liking Inkheart a lot but sadly never got to the rest of the books. Artemis Fowl was my younger brother's obsession as a child. I never read them though!

  • Thank-you! I did also love the supplemental works he did for ASOUE, like The Beatrice Letters and The Unauthorized Autobiography. I reread ASOUE last year in preparation for All the Wrong Questions but so far I've been disappointed by those books. Have you read them? (what do you think?)

  • Pingback: Armchair BEA: Wrap-up (incl. Giveaway Winner) – Falling Letters()

  • Pingback: End of Year Book Survey – Falling Letters()