Final Top 100 MG Books

Oh My Gosh. This was an incredibly hard thing to do: chop everyone’s lovely recommendations to a list of 100 that is not only reflective of all the wonderful middle grade writing, but also reflects the diversity out there. There’s books about people of color, of course (though not as many as I think there *could* be), but fantasy, adventure, family-oriented, classics, new books, boy books, girl books… I ended up only having one book per author, because of space. And I eliminated graphic novels (except for Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which isn’t really one). And I tried to choose the best one when I had three or four on the same theme (which wasn’t easy).

It’s not perfect — how could a list compiled by one person running a blog ever be? — but I think it’s a dang good one. Enjoy!

  1. Wolves of Willoughby Chase, by Joan Aiken
  2. How Tia Lola Came to Visit, by Julia Alvarez
  3. The Book of Three, by Lloyd Alexander
  4. The Underneath, by Kathi Appelt
  5. Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babitt
  6. The Indian in the Cupboard, by Lynn Banks
  7. Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum
  8. Peter Pan, by J. M. Barrie
  9. Tales of Fourth Grade Nothing, by Judy Blume
  10. The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  11. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
  12. Al Capone Does My Shirts, by Gennifer Choldenko
  13. Ramona Quimby, Age 8, by Beverly Cleary
  14. Gregor the Overlander, by Suzanne Collins
  15. The Dark is Rising, by Susan Cooper
  16. Elijah of Buxton, by Christopher Paul Curtis
  17. Matilda, by Roald Dahl
  18. Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo
  19. The London Eye Mystery, by Siobhan Dowd
  20. The City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau
  21. Half Magic, by Edward Eager
  22. Then there were Five, by Elizabeth Enright
  23. The Moffats by Eleanor Estes
  24. The Great Brain, by John F. Fitzgerald
  25. Harriet The Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh
  26. The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
  27. Coraline, by Neil Gaiman
  28. Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little, by Peggy Gifford
  29. The Liberation of Gabriel King, by K. L. Going
  30. The Thing about Georgie, by Lisa Graff
  31. The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame
  32. Among the Hidden, by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  33. The Princess Academy, by Shannon Hale
  34. Penny From Heaven, by Jennifer L. Holm
  35. Everything on a Waffle, by Polly Horvath
  36. Journey to the River Sea, by Eva Ibbotson
  37. Toys Go Out, by Emily Jenkins
  38. The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norman Juster
  39. The Ordinary Princess, by M. M. Kaye
  40. Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney
  41. The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling
  42. The Book of Story Beginnings, by Kristin Kladstrup
  43. Schooled, by Gordon Korman
  44. The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E. L. Konigsburg
  45. Savvy, by Ingrid Law
  46. Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson
  47. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle
  48. Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine
  49. The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis
  50. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, by Grace Lin
  51. Pippi Longstocking, by Astrid Lindgren
  52. Rules, by Cynthia Lord
  53. Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things, by Lenore Look
  54. Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace
  55. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
  56. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, by Betty MacDonald
  57. Every Soul a Star, by Wendy Mass
  58. Homer Price by Robert McCloskey
  59. Saffy’s Angel, by Hilary McKay
  60. The Blue Sword, by Robin McKinley
  61. The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill
  62. Winnie the Pooh, A. A. Milne
  63. Rascal, by Sterling North
  64. The Borrowers, by Mary Norton
  65. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, by Robert C. O’Brien
  66. Greetings from Nowhere, by Barbara O’Conner
  67. Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O’Dell
  68. A Single Shard, by Linda Sue Park
  69. The Bridge to Terebithia, by Katherine Patterson
  70. Soup by Robert Newton Peck
  71. Clementine, by Sarah Pennypacker
  72. Rickshaw Girl, by Mitali Perkins
  73. Six Innings, by James Preller
  74. Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls
  75. The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin
  76. The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan
  77. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling
  78. Yellow Star, by Jennifer Roy
  79. Becoming Naomi Leon, by Pam Munoz Ryan
  80. The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznik
  81. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
  82. Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein
  83. The Bad Beginning, by Lemony Snicket
  84. The Egypt Game, by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
  85. The Mysterious Benedict Society, Trenton Lee Stewart
  86. The Witch of Blackbird Pond, by Elizabeth George Speare
  87. When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead
  88. Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
  89. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield
  90. Keena Ford and the Second Grade Mix-Up, by Melissa Thompson
  91. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  92. Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
  93. Dicey’s Song by Cynthia Voigt
  94. So B. It, by Sarah Weeks
  95. Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White
  96. Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  97. Leepike Ridge, by Nathan D. Wilson
  98. Dealing with Dragons, by Patricia Wrede
  99. Dollhouse Murders, by Betty Wren Wright
  100. Passager, by Jane Yolen

15 thoughts on “Final Top 100 MG Books

  1. Great job! I love making lists like this and appreciate how hard it is to balance types of books and authors and everything else. Kudos.

    (I once worked on a summer reading list for our county's preschool community and even checked over to make sure that dog books and cat books were equally represented.)


  2. What a great list, Melissa. Congratulations on getting it down to 100. I'm impressed. You did a nice job with balance, especially balancing new books and classics. This is great stuff!


  3. Wow – I'm amazed at how many of these I haven't read. I'm going to print it out, too, as I'm always looking for new book for my 10 and 7 year old, especially the latter who checked out 20 books from the library last Wednesday and has finished all but 3 (less than a week later!).


  4. I wish you'd call the first Harry Potter book by its proper title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. I know it goes by Sorcerer's Stone in the States (so weird to me… how can it be the same book and not have Nicholas Flame's PHILOSOPHER'S stone in it?)

    Anyway, great list, though! Thanks.


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