The transition for young readers from learning to read to reading to learn can be intimidating. For most kids it can look like a big leap to go from a favorite like Pete the Cat, Cat in the Hat, or Elephant and Piggie to the regular chapter book section.
Enter – mid grade fiction! Each branch at Heights Libraries has a section dedicated to this style of book called mid grade fiction. Mid grade books are usually around 100 pages, have bigger fonts, short chapters, pictures sprinkled throughout, and developed plots. These transitional or beginning chapter books can be a helpful tool in helping kids gain confidence in reading independently. Series and short chapter books that help build fluency (reading quickly, accurately, and with expression), and comprehension skills are an essential part of preparing children to tackle tougher, longer texts and become strong readers.
Excitingly, I’ve noticed more and more mid grade chapter books being published that feature strong, smart, kind, and awesome girls! Bonus — all of the books listed below are the beginning of a series. More strong female titles for the win!
Check out the list below and order any of the books for check out at your nearest Heights Libraries branch!
Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet: Skunked! by Jacqueline Kelly
From publisher Macmillan:
When soft-hearted Travis discovers an abandoned baby skunk, he can’t help but bring him home and take care of him. Stinky, as Travis names him, settles in pretty well. But when Travis discovers Stinky’s litter-mate, Winky, who is in need of some help, things get complicated around the Tate house. One skunk is a piece of cake; two is just asking for trouble. Will Travis and Callie be able to keep the critters away from Mother’s careful eyes—and nose?
Jada Jones: Rockstar by Kelly Starling Lyons
From publisher Penguin Random House:
When Jada Jones’s best friend moves away, school feels like the last place she wants to be. She’d much rather wander outside looking for cool rocks to add to her collection, since finding rocks is much easier than finding friends. So when Jada’s teacher announces a class project on rocks and minerals, Jada finally feels like she’s in her element. The only problem: one of her teammates doesn’t seem to like any of Jada’s ideas. She doesn’t seem to like Jada all that much, either. Can Jada figure out a way to make a winning science project and a new friend?
Jasmine Toguchi: Mochi Queen by Debbi Michiko Florence
From the publisher Macmillan:
Eight-year-old Jasmine Toguchi is a flamingo fan, tree climber, and top-notch mess-maker! She’s also tired of her big sister, Sophie, always getting to do things first. For once, Jasmine wishes SHE could do something before Sophie—something special, something different. The New Year approaches, and as the Toguchi family gathers in Los Angeles to celebrate, Jasmine is jealous that her sister gets to help roll mochi balls by hand with the women. Her mom says that Jasmine is still too young to join in, so she hatches a plan to help the men pound the mochi rice instead. Surely her sister has never done THAT before. Can Jasmine build her case and her mochi-making muscles in time for New Year’s Day?
Mia Mayhem is a Superhero by Kara West
From publisher Simon and Schuster:
Mia Macarooney is a regular eight-year-old girl who finds out that she’s A SUPERHERO! Her life literally goes from totally ordinary to totally super when she’s invited to attend the afterschool Program for In-Training Superheroes a.k.a. THE PITS! And the crazy thing is, in a weird meant-to-be sort of way, all of this news somehow feels super right. Because all her life, Mia thought she was just super klutz…but it turns out, she’s just SUPER! So now, it’s up to Mia to balance her regular everyday life and maintain her secret identity as she learns how to be the world’s newest superhero!
Dragons and Marshmallows by Asia Citro
From publisher Scholastic:
In the first book of this series, Zoey discovers a glowing photo and learns an amazing secret. Injured magical animals come to their backyard barn for help! When a sick baby dragon appears, it’s up to Zoey and Sassafras to figure out what’s wrong. Will they be able to help little Marshmallow before it’s too late?
Sarai and the Meaning of Awesome by Sarai Gonzalez and Monica Brown
From the publisher, Scholastic:
Sarai Gonzalez is awesome. Fourth-grader Sarai Gonzalez can do anything. She can bake, dance, and run her own cupcake business. But when Sarai’s grandparents are forced to move, even Sarai’s not sure what to do. So she hatches a super-awesome plan with her younger sisters and cousin to buy back the house. But houses are more expensive than she ever thought, her sisters won’t listen, and she’s running out of time. Will Sarai find a way to save the day? Inspired by true events from viral video star and social activist Sarai Gonzalez.