Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Middle Grade Books I Picked Up on a Whim

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and Bookish, is Top Ten Books I Picked Up on a Whim.   I don’t know why I have a problem defining “whim,” but I do.  With a Goodreads TBR of over 600 titles (YEAH I KNOW,) I am almost always choosing my next read from that massive list.  (I do go with what I feel like reading at that moment, so I guess that could be called a “whim?”  But it doesn’t feel “whim-ish” enough to me.)  And being a book blogger has only exacerbated my knowledge of books before I pick them up in my hands.  I am not very good at going to the shelf and choosing a book at random, based solely on the cover or the blurb on the jacket.  I have the weight of that TBR behind me.

However, I seem to be able to choose more freely when it comes to juvenile/middle-grade novels.  I like to read those every now and then, for novelty and to be able to make recommendations to library patrons.  And because they’re fun!  I will semi-regularly go to the shelves at the library where I work and select a random book.  Maybe I consider these relatively low-stakes, because they don’t take much time to read, and because I don’t have to CRAZY LOVE them to be able to recommend them to kids.  A three-star middle-grade read is one I would still put in a kid’s hands.  (I think three-star reviews are still positive, but that’s a topic for another post, isn’t it?)

So without further ado, here is a list of ten juvenile/middle-grade books I picked up on a whim that really enjoyed!

  • Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink.  I only knew that it was kinda like the Little House on the Prairie books and that my co-worker read and loved it as a kid.  It’s set in 1860s Wisconsin and it’s so charming.  Caddie is feisty and kind of a tomboy.51bGb0YHUoL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
  • Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis.  I LOVE THIS BOOK.  I listened to the audio, which is stellar (and read by James Avery, who you may know as the dad on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.)  I chose it because it’s a Newberry winner and by an author of color.  I highly recommend it.  It’s really funny and touching.
  • The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm. The Goodreads blurb: Eleven-year-old Ellie has never liked change. She misses fifth grade. She misses her old best friend. She even misses her dearly departed goldfish. Then one day a strange boy shows up. He’s bossy. He’s cranky. And weirdly enough . . . he looks a lot like Ellie’s grandfather, a scientist who’s always been slightly obsessed with immortality. Could this pimply boy really be Grandpa Melvin? Has he finally found the secret to eternal youth?  I really enjoyed this warm-hearted, smart read, and think it would appeal to both boys and girls.BudNotBuddy2

Other great juvenile/middle-grade books I picked up on a whim and enjoyed:

A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck

Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat by Lynne Jonell

The Egypt Game by  Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Clementine by Sara Pennypacker

6609748The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood

Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief by Wendelin Van Draanen

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

So tell me – are you good at choosing books on a whim?  Or are you beholden to your TBR like I am?  Am I overthinking the word “whim?” Let me know how you define it, or give me a title that you chose randomly and really enjoyed.

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6 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Middle Grade Books I Picked Up on a Whim

  1. It’s always nice to have a good list of middle-grade books to refer to when trying to find new books for my 11-year-old to enjoy. She’s picky. She likes magical books that are also funny. Have you ever read the Willow Falls series by Wendy Mass? She loves those!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great list! I can so relate to the whim thing! I used to do it all the time pre-blogging, but now not so much. Except.maybe at library sales cause they’re so cheap and it doesn’t mean I have to go without buying that awesome book from my tbr.
    Have to go look for the Avery book! Also I love Clementine and The Penderwicks. The Gaither sisters books have a similar feel btw 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yay and cheers to books picked up on a whim that we end up loving 🙂 I’ve found recently that I really enjoy middle-grade fiction-I was skeptical at first because YA is not usually my thing, but I was surprised to learn that MGF can be so profound and beautifully written (Hardinge’s “Cuckoo Song” for example).

    Liked by 1 person

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