Tag Archives: Middle Grade books

Episode 70: Hidden Folk in Middle Grade

The Mamas go in search of fairies, gnomes, and magical folk in Middle Grade novels (for 7-12 year olds) to kick off summer! Well, let’s be honest, Heather went in search of them and Margie stomped along  begrudgingly but that didn’t keep them from bringing you two winners along with a fun round of 2 Book and a Fake. Can you spot the fake?

Book Chat:

Dust and Grim by Chuck Wendig
Gnome is Where Your Heart Is by Casey Lyall

Show Links:
Thirteenth Circle by MarcyKate Conolley and Catherine Holmes
Last Summer in Outer Space by Joshua Levy
I Have a Bad Feeling by Jeff Strand
The Video Game Stole My Sister by Justin Stone

Episode 68: Judy Blume FanMamas

The Mamas revisit their own middle school trials, traumas, and triumphs through a book chat around Judy Blume’s famous 1970 children’s book, Are You There, God, It’s Me Margaret and the new movie of the same title. If that isn’t enough, they also dig into the Amazon documentary Forever Judy Blume for a full-scale Judy Blume love fest. Grab your BFF and join the Mamas’ secret club. They won’t make you increase your bust, but you will need a code name. (Lit Mama One and Lit Mama Two are taken)

Book Chat: 

Are You There, God, It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume

Pick 6: 

Authors who also wrote for kids and adults

Carl Hiaasen

Terry Pratchett

Rick Riordan

Neil Gaiman

Ursula Le Guin

Jane O’Connor

Show Links:

NYT article about Margaret movie

Episode 66: Revisiting the Pandemic

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming – it’s the perfect time to revisit the global pandemic (record scratch) – wait, what? Margie would like it known that it was Heather’s idea to read Middle Grade books about the pandemic during spring break. Don’t worry, dear listeners, it’s not as bad as it sounds, even Margie begrudgingly agreed in the end that the reads were worth it. Join the Mamas  for a gentle discussion on the power of disruption. 

Book Chat:

Rez Dogs by Joseph Bruchac

Don’t Stand So Close to Me by Eric Walters

Happy Spring Break!

Episode 64: For the Birds

The Mamas are flying high with two lower middle grade books that helped them escape into fun fantasy worlds filled with talking parrots and pigeons who cooed and plucked their way into the Mama’s hearts. If you have a bird loving 8–12-year-old or just want to flip birds in your mind, join our flock and get carried away with the Mamas. 

Book Chat:

 The Simple Art of Flying by Cory Leonardo

 Coo by Kaela Noel

Pick 6: 
Six spring activities to get you and your kiddos outside

Episode 63: Happily Ever After

The Mamas went in search of lighthearted, feel-good reads to balance out the important yet difficult Middle Grade stories they’ve been consuming lately. Luckily they found them in a fantasy story and an historical fiction book. So, if you (or your kiddo aged 8-12) need some balance in your reading diet, join the Mamas for a laugh, a little harmless murder, and some happily ever afters.

Middle Grade Book Chat:

The Swifts, a Dictionary of Scoundrels by Beth Lincoln

A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus

Bonus Book Chat: Big Girl Books

Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister

The Messy Lives of Book People by Phaedra Patrick

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

Circe by Madeline Miller 

Episode 60: New Year, New Book Series

The Mamas started the New Year on the right foot with middle grade book series about gothic water parks, bubble aliens, and fart jokes! 2023 may or may not be a good year – the Mamas are sneaking in quietly so as not to provoke it – but, whatever the year brings, you can count on the Mamas to bring you book recommendations that the 7-12 year olds in your life will love! 

Book Chat:

The Area 51 Files Series by Julie Buxbaum and Lavanya Naidu

The Sinister Summer Series by Kiersten White

Two Lit Mamas 2023 Reading Challenge: 
Be a Rebel! Find a banned or challenged middle grade book and give it a read. We know you won’t be disappointed. Then listen to the next episode as the Mamas discuss censorship in middle grade. 

Episode 58: Holiday Gift Guide, Part 2

The Mamas are shopping again, and the books are piling up. This episode, our two favorite surly elves offer up gift buying guides for the Middle Grade (ages 8-12) and Young Adult (ages 13-18) readers in your life. So, eat until your fat pants are tight and then take advantage of Black Friday and Small Biz Saturday deals to snatch up some great books that will leave your big kids asking for more please, Oliver Twist style.    

Holiday Gift Guide:

Middle Grade (ages 8-12) books

Quest Kids and The Dragon Pants Gold by Mark Leiknes  

The Kwlade series by Emily Chenowith

The Confessions of a Dork Lord series by Mike Johnston

The Switch by Roland Smith

The Door of No Return by Kwame Alexander

The Secret Letters by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Odder by Katherine Applegate

The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill

Spaceboy by David Walliams

Big Rig by Louise Hawes

Young Adult (ages 13-18) books

Bravely by Maggie Stiefvater

Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy Lin

Once Upon a Broken Heart and The Balland of Never After by Stephanie 

Gabe in the After by Shannon Doleski

I Must Betray You – Ruta Sepetys

Before Takeoff by Adi Alsaid

Episode 56: MG Books to Read in the Dark

The Mamas celebrate spooky season with three books perfect for middle graders (ages 8-12) to read in the dark even if the two middle-aged Mamas read them in bright daylight (insert chicken noises here). The Mamas chat about witches, night beasts and ghosts. Oh my! And, debate if its okay to kill books by DNF-ing them. Listen in to find out who is a serial killer and who is a brain sucking zombie. 

Book Chat:

The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie

Witchlings by Claribel Ortega

The Clackity by Lora Senf  

Episode 54: Who Knew the End Times Could be Fun

The end is near unless a few resourceful and persistent middle grade heroes can stop the apocalypse in three fun books for 8–12-year-olds. For this episode, The Mamas have jumped into a big pile of raked up spooky season, careful not to spill their pumpkin spice lattes, to bring you their opinions on all things dystopian ­– just in time for Halloween. 

Book Chat:

Fenris & Mott by Greg Van Eekhout

It’s the End of the World and I’m in my Bathing Suit by Justin Reynolds

Apocolypse Taco by Nathan Hale

Pick 6: Our Fave Halloweeny Shows

  1. My Best Friend’s Exorcism
  2. Hocus Pocus 1 & 2
  3. Escape to Witch Mountain
  4. Halloween ‘78
  5. Sleepy Hollow 
  6. Tales from the Crypt 

Episode 54: Delightfully Dark Sci-Fi for Middle Grade

The Mamas are ready for the spooky season after reading two Sci-Fi novels for Middle Graders (ages 8-12). The MC of one has an experimental brain implant and the other is a human/cockroach hybrid. What more could you want? Oh, and both heroes are battling evil corporations. So deliciously dark – just how the Mamas like it. 

Book Chat:
Maximillion Fly by Angie Sage
Trex by Christyne Morrell

Pick 6: Writing craft resources

Wired for Story by Lisa Cron

Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody

Crafting the Personal Essay by Dinty Moore 

Telling Your Story with Joyce Maynard (podcast)