I started reading middle grade aloud to my daughter over two years ago when she was seven. In that time we have read some fabulous books … adventures, magic, heists and mysteries … but today I’m sharing some of our favourite quieter, sweet reads.
These stories are simply lovely, calming, heartwarming and fun.
1. Bob by Wendy Mass & Rebecca Stead: A magical story centring around Livy, visiting her Australian grandmother one summer, as she helps an old friend (Bob – a creature dressed in a chicken suit) – find his way home. Mystery, magic, friendship and family. It’s heartwarming and lovely.
2. Granted by John David Anderson: Ophelia Delphinium Fidgets is a wish granting fairy. Being a wish granter is serious business but there is only so much magic to grant the wishes of humans … therefore all wishes are entered into a lottery for granting. When Ophelia is deployed to grant the wish of a new bike, she gets way more than she bargained for as we explore the nature of wishes, what makes a good wish, greed, love, hope, and true friendship. There is a talking golden retriever named Sam … he will make you cry.
3. Astrid the Unstoppable by Maria Parr: Astrid lives in a remote Norwegian village where she reigns supreme as the only kid in the village. Her best friend, a 74 year old cantankerous man named Gunvold, has been keeping a big secret from her … one that will test their friendship greatly. When a new family with children arrive in town, along with a mysterious woman, Astrid’s world gets turned upside down … this time not of her doing! Astrid is a combination of Heidi, Anne Shirley and Pippi Longstocking with just as much spunk, bravery and humour as all three. Truly a special story. Read it when it’s cold outside with hot chocolate.
4. The Unicorn in the Barn by Jacqueline K. Ogburn: Eric Harper spots a beautiful white deer in the woods one night … or he thinks it is a deer … until he follows it to the neighbours barn and discovers it is in fact a unicorn. His neighbour is a veterinarian for all animals including the magical and mystical. Eric begins to help the vet and her daughter, Allegra, take care of these special animals … profoundly changing his own life in the process. It is a very tender story about loss, grief, and pain, but mostly hope, family, support, friendship and love.
5. Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales: It really doesn’t get much snugglier than some classic fairy tales … and chocolate chip cookies.