Autism, Books, Reviews

Top Five Favourite Middle Grade Books

*all images were taken from Goodreads or Amazon*

Hey!

Although my ‘favourites’ concerning anything changes on a day to day basis, I thought I would write a blog post of my five favourite middle grade books that have lasted the test of time and I have read more than twice and still heavily enjoyed! Middle grade is my favourite genre and therefore the majority of books I have read have been middle grade (and YA).

*this post excludes Harry Potter because I think I’ll write a seperate post on Harry Potter and what it means to me, also eve *

Matilda
Roald Dahl

matilda

 Summary 

Matilda Wormwood’s father thinks she’s a little scab. Matilda’s mother spends all afternoon playing bingo. And Matilda’s headmistress Miss Trunchbull? Well, she’s the worst of all. She is a big bully, who thinks all her pupils are rotten and locks them in the dreaded Chokey. As for Matilda, she’s an extraordinary little girl with a magical mind – and now she’s had enough. So all these grown-ups had better watch out, because Matilda is going to teach them a lesson they’ll never forget.

I don’t even remember when I first read this book, it was a long long time ago. Back in school, our teachers would introduce us to new authors. This is where I found my love for Michael Murpurgo books (although you won’t see one of his works here, I was too busy reading his other stories to re-read any of the others!). I think, at some point, they introduced me to Roald Dahl although my father also had some of his books back at home.

Matilda, especially, spoke to me. I’m not sure why. Quiet (a song in Matilda the Musical) is a pretty good tune for the autistic experience and perhaps there’s some sort of relation but I really connected to her. I could also read at a really young age, but not adult novels! It’s something I re-read from time to time and that, over the years, has really stuck with me.

Charlotte’s Web
E.B.White

charlottes-web-cover

Summary

Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.

My goodness did I love this book as a child/teenager. I don’t currently have a copy but, even now, I love love love this book. It’s where I developed my love for words. The way they sound, how they flow together, what they can mean and the impact that they have…everything. It’s probably also where I developed this need to save the spiders and stop them from being the victim of being squished by a shoe.

My uncle, aunt and grandparents (and I guess now my cousin!) own and live on a chicken farm (that also used to house sheep and seeing the baby lambs every spring was wonderful). I could personally connect to it this way also, and I love animals so much. I think I need to buy a real life copy of this…

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll

alice's adventures in wonderland

On an ordinary summer’s afternoon, Alice tumbles down a hole and an extraordinary adventure begins. In a strange world with even stranger characters, she meets a grinning cat and a rabbit with a pocket watch, joins a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, and plays croquet with the Queen! Lost in this fantasy land, Alice finds herself growing more and more curious by the minute . . .

I related this book to my autism a lot. I made some connections with puberty, as well, but ultimately this helped me feel comforted with myself before I even knew I was autistic. To me, being in this world is what it feels like to be Alice in Wonderland. Nothing makes sense and everyone around me seems to know exactly what’s happening and I remain clueless. Whenever I ask, they’re like well shouldn’t you already know? 

That,and Alice in Wonderland is brilliant nonsense

The Story of Tracy Beaker
Jacqueline Wilson

Tracybeaker

Summary

Tracy is ten years old. She lives in a Children’s Home but would like a real home one day, with a real family. Meet Tracy, follow her story and share her hopes for the future in this beautifully observed, touching and often very funny tale, all told in Tracy’s own words.

I, along with many other youngun’s, instantly fell in love with Tracy and her antics. I think this was also the first book of Jacqueline Wilson’s that I had ever read. Jacqueline Wilson quickly became one of my absolute favourites (this book was a tie in with another book also by JW called My Sister Jodie).

I’m not sure….what about this book was my favourite and why I re-read it so many times and absolutely would do again. I think it was because I was also a badly behaved child and classmates in my school would often compare me to Tracy Beaker (I even had wild, frizzy hair but not quite as wild as Tracy’s!).  It was a funny little read, so lightweight despite some of the darker undertoned themes. I don’t own this book, either, and I’m so sad because I used to own the exact edition pictured above but I must have got rid of it thinking it was taking up too much space! They don’t seem to sell this edition anymore. The feels.

The Magic Faraway Tree
Enid Blyton

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Is this cheating because The Magic Faraway Tree is not technically one book? Well, the edition I have at home is the kind where all the books are in one so I’m going to count it!

When Joe, Beth and Frannie move to a new home, an Enchanted Wood is on their doorstep. And when they discover the Faraway Tree, it proves to be the beginning of many magical adventures! Join them and their friends Moonface, Saucepan Man and Silky the fairy as they discover which new land is at the top of the Faraway Tree. Will it be the Land of Spells, the Land of Treats, or the Land of Do-As-You-Please? Come on an amazing adventure – there’ll be adventures waiting whatever happens.

I didn’t read this as a child but as a teenager. My sister really liked trees at the time so, for Christmas one year, she was given a couple books with trees as a focus point. She saw the size of this one and quickly passed it on to me but really enjoyed the other (much smaller) tree books. Of course, I instantly fell in love with this one. It’s just so…unusual. It was different to anything I had ever read before. I’m not a massive fan of Enid’s writing style, I’ll admit, but I love her characters and the worlds she builds! It was so exciting reading through this and wondering what world would come next. Even when I read it again, I was happy to be back in the worlds I had loved so much.

It was really fun to write this and take a trip down memory lane! My primary school years, which is when I read almost all of these books, were quite important years. My autism diagnosis. Being bullied. Being transferred from primary school to secondary school. Puberty. Books were especially important then, and I was discovering what I liked, they were escapism and books will always have a book shaped placed in my heart.

That’s a bit creepy, actually.

What were your favourites?

Lorna

 

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