My bookish rambles, November 1st, 2020: my thoughts on middle grade fantasies, and some recommendations

Today is November 1st, the first day of NaNoWriMo, and I am so excited to be starting to take part in that! Anyways, since it is Sunday, today I have another post for My Bookish Rambles! Today’s post is going shorter than usual since I’m spending more time writing, but I still have a few things that I want to talk about!

My Bookish Rambles is a weekly feature on my blog where I talk about all sorts of bookish things! I write about topics that I’m interested in, and also answer questions that you all send to me, and write about things you want to know my opinion on.

You can always read my introduction post, for more information about this!

Middle-grade fantasies, and some of my thoughts on them

I feel like middle-grade fantasies are always ‘the chosen one, just a young child, shall restore balance to the universe and save everyone’

Think Percy Jackson, or Aru Shah, just two of the many examples. A young kid, probably 12 years old, finds out that they have some sort of special power, like one of their parents is a Greek god, or that they are a reincarnation of one of ancient Pandava brothers.

In middle-grade, good also always prevails. The thing about YA, is that our beloved protagonists aren’t always the kindest people, and they don’t always win every battle. Middle grade is a lot more “we know that the well thought out plan is going to fail, but we’ll win somehow!” It’s how they are going to win that is the question, and if anyone is going to be harmed along the way.

One big division: death, or no death

I also have found that all middle-grade fantasies fall into one of these two categories: where people die, and where they don’t. This seems kind of obvious, but I do think that it goes a little deeper than it seems.

Middle-grade doesn’t really have a clear line where it turns into young adult, and there are definitely different levels of the intensity of the book. For example, in a book or series where there is not death, the villain might be locked away in a secret prison miles beneath the earth. In a book or series with death, the villian might be destroyed in a fiery explosion, vanquished for all time.

Some middle-grade fantasy recommendations

Here are four middle-grade fantasies that I recommend to everyone, no matter what age.

Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine is a novel centered around Ella of Frell, a young girl who has been enchanted to obey every command given to her. The book has an fantastic worlds, with exciting adventures, and it very fun to read.

Aru Shah and the End of Time, by Roshani Chokshi is a book about 12-year-old Aru Shah, who after lighting a cursed lamp finds out that she is a reincarnation of one of the Pandava brothers from Hindu mythology, and that she has accidentally freed an ancient demon, The Sleeper, who she has to stop from freezing time before it’s too late.

A Snicker of Magic, by Natalie Lloyd is about 12-year-old Felicity Pickle who loves words. She moves to Midnight Gulch, a town that used to be a magical place, before a curse drove the magic away. With some new friends, and a whole lot of ice cream, Felicity is going to do her best to bring the magic back to Midnight Gulch.

The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan is about 12-year-old Percy Jackson who finds out that he is the son of a Greek god. With his two new friends, a satyr and a daughter of Athena, he has to go on a dangerous quest to prevent a war between the gods.

Wrapping this up…

This week’s topic was kind of random, and kind of went all over the place, so I hope it wasn’t too hard to follow!! I had a lot of fun doing this, and writing out the recommendations. As always, I would love to hear from you, so be sure to fill out the form below with any topic ideas or questions you have for me!

If that form isn’t working, you can always use the link here:

You can also always talk to me in the comments! If I haven’t responded to your suggestions yet, it means that I didn’t receive them, so if you want to try again, you can. WordPress + Google Forms is not the most reliable combination, but I’ll hopefully get your responses!

Do you like reading middle-grade fantasies? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? What did you think of this post? Chat with me in the comments below!

9 thoughts on “My bookish rambles, November 1st, 2020: my thoughts on middle grade fantasies, and some recommendations

  1. I liked your take on MG! The death/no death thing never occurred to me, but I can clearly see it looking back. And I agree with you that there’s no clear division between MG and YA a lot of times.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I think of stories where no one dies, I always think of Avatar: The Last Airbender. It’s not a book, obviously, but I think it’s so hilarious that basically NO ONE dies EVER. If someone falls off a mountain, the show makes a point of showing the viewers that they landed somewhere and are just fine. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s honestly what I was thinking of while writing it. It is kind of ridiculous, especially the ending with Kuzon. There is a literal war happening, people are going to die. Also, considering the amount of death that takes place before the show that is a sort of motivation for the main characters.


  3. Hey, Aria!
    That’s a lovely idea for a post! I love Middlegrade and it’s the whimsy that draws me to them, even though I’m not in the age group anymore. I will definitely check out your recommendations. A Snicker of Magic looks so cute!
    Can I make a suggestion, though? I see your points with the deaths and tropes but I’m kinda missing your opinion on it? Do you think it’s good that there is a chosen one? Which one of the tropes do you like more – death or no death? Maybe you could elaborate more on why you like this or that in the future?
    It’s just a suggestion. I’m looking forward to your next post. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked it! A Snicker of Magic is really amazing and adorable!!
      Thank you so much for your suggestion, I really appreciate it! I’ll definitely elaborate more next week!!
      Thanks so much for your comment! Happy reading!


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