The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

by Kate DiCamillo

Conditional Recommendation: An emotional tale of a self-centered china rabbit who learns to love despite experiencing a harsh world.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 200
Published: 2006
Genre: Fantasy

Awards: Zilveren Griffel (2007), Grand Canyon Reader Award for Intermediate Book (2008), Sunshine State Young Readers Award for Grades 3-5 (2007), Pacific Northwest Library Association Young Reader’s Choice Award for Junior (2009), Charlie May Simon Children’s Book Award (2009), Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction and Poetry (2006), The Magnolia Award (2010), Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award Nominee (2008), Hea Lasteraamat (2019)

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The Tiger Rising

by Kate DiCamillo

Conditional Recommendation: With the help of a feisty friend and a caged tiger, a 12-year-old boy learns how to process his bottled-up grief.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 128
Published: 2001
Genre: Contemporary

Awards: Charlie May Simon Children’s Book Award Nominee (2004), National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature (2001)

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The Fellowship of the Ring (Lord of the Rings #1)

by J.R.R. Tolkien

Conditional Recommendation: Four hobbits, a dwarf, two men, an elf, and a wizard embark on a quest across Middle-earth with a group of friends to keep the ring of power out of evil hands and reach Mount Doom to destroy it.

Age: Young Adult
Series: The Lord of the Rings, Book One
Pages: 458
Published: 1954

Genre: Fantasy

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Dragon Rider

by Cornelia Funke

Conditional Recommendation: A dragon, a brownie, and a boy set off on a quest to find the Rim of Heaven, a safe place for dragons to live, before humans invade their home or an ancient villain catches them.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: It was a standalone until 2018 when Funke published the companion novel, Dragon Rider: The Griffin’s Feather
Pages: 523
Published: 2005 (English), 1997 (German)

Genre: Fantasy/Adventure

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The Tower of Geburah (The Archives of Anthropos #1)

by John White

Conditional Recommendation: Three Canadian children fall through television sets to land in a world where they have to escape captivity, help free a king, and defeat the powers of evil.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: The Archives of Anthropos, Book One
Pages: 402
Published: 1978

Genre: Christian Fantasy/Allegory

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Ella Enchanted

by Gail Carson Levine

Unconditional Recommendation: In this fairytale retelling, Ella, cursed by a fairy to obey every command, sets out to break her curse and protect those she loves.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 232
Published: 1997
Genre: Fairytale, Fantasy

Awards: Newbery Honor (1998), Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature (1999), Grand Canyon Reader Award for Teen Book (1999), Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award for Grade 6-9 (2000), Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award (1999)

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The Kings of Clonmel (Ranger’s Apprentice #8)

by John Flanagan

Conditional Recommendation: Will, Horace and Halt travel to neighboring Clonmel to disrupt a religious cult threatening the kingdom.

Age: Young Adult
Series: Ranger’s Apprentice, Book Eight
Pages: 320-400 pages, depending on edition
Published: 2010

Genre: Adventure/Fantasy

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Pollyanna

by Eleanor H. Porter

Unconditional Recommendation: Eleven-year-old orphan Pollyanna, full of happiness and love, goes to live with her cold, strict Aunt Polly and turns the household and the town upside down in the best way.

Age: Middle Grade
Series: Stand-Alone
Pages:  224-333, depending on edition
Published: 1913

Genre: Classic Continue reading