PICTURE BOOKS

MIDDLE GRADE

YOUNG ADULT

Dec 30, 2021

What We Read in 2021: Middle Grade

This blog grew out of a middle grade book group for writers, held in Menlo Park, California, and we’re still going strong. Each month, we discuss a middle grade book with an eye to craft. (Last year, I wrote about strategies for starting your own craft book group.) Here’s our list of books from 2021, with a sneak peek at our first few books of 2022. We hope they inspire your reading!

Note: Click on the book cover to go to find the book at Bookshop.org. We are a Bookshop.org affiliate, so every book you buy from one of our links helps to support KidLit Craft as well as independent booksellers, with no additional cost to you.

2021 Books

January: The Book of Boy by Catherine Murdock

February: From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Jenae Marks

(See our interview with Jenae, and our blog posts on Zoe, which focus on techniques for a slow build to an overarching story question and crafting engaging stories about tough subjects)

March: The Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi

April: Show Me a Sign by Ann Clare LeZotte

May: One Jar of Magic by Corey Ann Haydu

June: Twins by Varian Johnson

July: Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston

(See our post on backstory in a fast-paced novel.)

August: King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender

September: Stand Up, Yumi Chung by Jessica Kim

October: Almost There, and Almost Not by Linda Urban

November: Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls by Kaela Rivera

December: Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca

(Check out our interview with Rajani, and our craft post on how to use refrains, using Red, White, and Whole as a model.)

Sneak Peek into 2022

January: The Insiders by Mark Oshiro

February: Finally, Something Mysterious by Doug Cornett

March: The Wolf’s Curse by Jessica Vitalis


Check out some of our other book recommendations! (You might find some gems to spend your holiday gift money on.)

2020 Reading List

Favorite Craft Books

Inspirational Books on Writing and Craft

Unexpected Books About Love


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