Magical Middle Grade
Do you have a child in your life who loves fantastical stories? Check out these five magical middle grade novels, with diverse settings ranging from a Texas panaderia (bakery) to two different Caribbean islands, from the mountains of Appalachia to a mysterious town where everything is just a little too perfect.
Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano
Eleven-year-old Leonora Logronos is the youngest of five sisters. Angry that she's been left out again, told she's too young to help her mother, tia and sisters prepare for the Dia de de los Muertos festival, she sneaks into the bakery -- only to find out that her family has been keeping a big secret. They're all brujas, and they bake magic into their cookies, cakes and other treats. There's no way Leo is going to wait until she's fifteen to start practicing. But when she tries to use magic to help her best friend, things quickly go awry! This sweet story about family and magic is first in a series.
Eventown by Corey Ann Haydu
Eleven-year-old Elodee, her twin sister Naomi, and their parents move to Eventown for a fresh start after a family tragedy. Their new home, new school, and new friends all seem perfect at first. Elodee is the only one who seems to mind that the town library doesn't have any books, the ice cream shop only has three flavors, the school band only learns one song, and it never rains. Everyone else seems okay with what they're giving up -- including their memories of before Eventown. When Elodee realizes that they've all forgotten something -- or someONE -- important from the past, she's determined to recapture her memories. This lushly-written novel is a thoughtful look at the various ways one family handles loss.
The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste
When eleven-year-old Corinne La Mer chases an agouti into the part of the forest no one ventures into, she awakens an evil spirit. Corinne isn't afraid of anything, and she doesn't believe in jumbies. But the next day a beautiful stranger appears in the market. Soon, the woman enchants Corinne's father. She claims to be Corinne's aunt, and she wants to use Corinne's magic so that the jumbies can take their home back from the humans. Corinne and her friends must work together to fight various kinds of jumbies and save their island. This spooky novel is the first in a series based on Caribbean folklore.
A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
When twelve-year-old Felicity Pickle moves to Midnight Gulch, Tennessee, she is hoping for a forever home. Their town used to be full of wonderful, impossible magic, but due to an unfortunate curse, all that's left now is a little snicker -- like Felicity's own talent for capturing the words she sees floating in the air above people's heads. With the help of her first-ever best friend, Jonah the Beedle, Felicity investigates the curse -- and realizes it might be what's keeping her mama's wandering spirit from ever settling down. Can she and Jonah break the curse? This novel is just delightful...or as Felicity the wordsmith might say, spindiddly!
Hurricane Child by Kacen Callendar
Twelve-year-old Caroline was born during a hurricane on St. Thomas, which is said to be bad luck. Her mother left her, she is hated and bullied at school, and a strange spirit keeps appearing to her -- so lately, Caroline believes it. But when a new girl from Barbados starts at school and befriends her, Caroline thinks her luck might be changing. She soon confesses her crush on Kalinda and asks Kalinda to help find her missing mother. Together, they set out to look for her during a hurricane. Can Caroline face the truth of her mother's disappearance and potentially losing Kalinda? This novel won the Stonewall and Lambda Literary Awards.