Because there is nothing better to do when the afternoons are long, school is closed and it is too hot to go out, than to lie perfectly still in an air-conditioned room with a book. We will be doing lists for younger readers and young adults soon, but here is Ayushi’s list of her favourite books for middle readers.
As with all our lists, this is very subjective and we invite you to add your favourite books for this reading level.
1. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones – One of the most charming fantasy books for middle readers out there. The characters are delightful, the situations are hilarious and the writing sparkles. It will make you want to hug the book tight.
2. Goggle Eyes by Anne Fine – Anne Fine is such a deft writer. She takes a difficult situation – kids dealing with the prospect of their parents’ separation and remarriage – and writes about it with her trademark wit and sense of humour.
3. Saffy’s Angel by Hilary McKay – A lovely, lovely story about a very quirky family. This is essential reading!
4. Holes by Louis Sachar – A troubled boy digs holes, makes friends and fights against an old family curse. This is exactly the kind of book which will suck you in and make you forget all about the unbearable summer heat, and maybe even homework.
5. Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie – Read, re-read, recommend. Go.
6. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren – You will have a tough time finding a protagonist as strong, independent, stubborn and charming as Pippi.
7. Swami and Friends by R K Narayan – Swami’s adventures with his friends never get old, and make for perfect summer reading. The book remains engaging even now, 74 years after it was first published!
8. The Mystery of the Secret Hair Oil Formula by Asha Nehemiah – Asha Nehemiah is a genius when it comes to writing zany, whacky stories for children!
9. The Witches by Roald Dahl – Everything you need to know about witches and how to outwit them.
10. Two Weeks with the Queen by Morris Glietzman – A middle-grade book that manages to talk about cancer, death, mortality and homosexuality with humour. Read and make everyone you know read it!
Because this is a list of favourite books and we do not want to be parochial, we have not included our own books in it. But the Duckbill books for middle readers (in case you want to read them too) are:
Oops the Might Gurgle by RamG Vallath
The Deadly Royal Recipe by Ranjit Lal
Have a wonderful summer holiday!