Penderwicks at Point Mouette

Top 10: Best Middle Grade Chapter Books by my 8yold Daughter (grades 3-7)

Best Books for 4th Grade

My middle daughter is so picky that she started her own blog on the things that she likes. Getting her a book she likes for me is an education in getting reluctant readers to engage. Tonight at dinner she asked me to blog on her blog to drive traffic to it. Smart kid. I told her that she needs to put up 4 posts first so that readers will know what her blog is about. This is her second post but I changed the book descriptions. If you want her opinion on why she likes these books, please read her post at Picky Kid Pix. (She’d be delighted with some traffic and she doesn’t mince words!).

I might add that every chapter book to this picky kid of mine is a tough sell and she complains heartily at the beginning of most of these books making me sweat bullets for the first few chapters until she gets drawn in. While we share the reading burden (she still needs help decoding the long words and won’t know the meaning of complex words), I’ll read most of the first few chapters in my most engaging voice even changing voices for different characters if need be to get her to the “exciting” part.

I’ll also pause at the subtle funny parts to see if she chuckles. That’s always a great sign for both comprehension and, of course, enjoyment and she generally gets all the bits of humor. We just finished the 2nd Penderwicks and read way past her bedtime to finish the chapter book. You can’t leave her hanging on the last 3 chapters! Tomorrow morning will be brutal but it will be worth it. We start the 3rd Penderwicks (The Penderwicks at Point Moulette) tomorrow and it’s coming out soon in May and I’m not allowed to blog on it until then but (psst! It’s sooo good! You can pre-order if you want it as fast as possible).

10. Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

My fifth grader is insisting that I read this series. I have started the first one but I wish I never saw the movies because I feel like I’ve read the books even though I haven’t! But… the books are better than the movies!

9. Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

I have a blog post on this book here.

8. George’s Marvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl

I have a post on Roald Dahl day here.

7. Gooseberry Park by Cynthia Rylant

I can’t believe I’ve never read this book but my middle daughter has read it three times and she never does that!

6. The B.F.G. by Roald Dahl

It seems that every third grader I know is reading and loving Roald Dahl. This book is unisex in appeal and would be the perfect non-movie book to introduce your child to Roald Dahl.

5. Clementine series by Sara Pennypacker

I have a bunch of posts on this series, but here is the first one.

4. All-of-a-Kind-Family series by Sydney Taylor

I am on a personal mission to get this series back in print. I post on it probably too much though it doesn’t seem to be working.

3. Matilda by Roald Dahl

This book comes heartily recommended to me from my kids’ third and fourth grade friends but note that they are all girls. In one word: funny!

2. Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

If were to only recommend one book in the world, it would be this one. Such a gem.

1. The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall

I love this series and I’m not supposed to blog on the one so I can only say that it’s terrific and we all love it!

To view any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. 1-1tutor

    Top 10 middle grade books…I like this article..
    these all books seems interesting.

    Thanks for this nice article..


  2. Hi,

    I’ve been reading your list and would love to hear what your daughter thinks of my book, Alice-Miranda at School which is being released in the US on 5 April by Random House Delacorte. I love many of the books she loves and so I’m hoping I’ve written one she might like. There’s a link to the details below. I’m published in Australia by Random House too and we’re up to the third book in the series here. I’m so excited about the US release.

    Best wishes and keep up the great blogging.

    Jacqueline Harvey

  3. Nat

    I remember reading both books aloud with my kids on two different road trips a few summers ago, and they loved the stories. They were happy to hear the next one is coming out in May…May seems to be the magic month, Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles Book 2 is also coming out in May!

  4. Great post, I’m a new follower (as well as a father of a six year old girl who doesn’t know yet that she likes to read).

  5. Alison's Book Marks

    Great list! I am in the 8 Year Old BOY Zone, so it was nice to see a Top 10 list from an 8 Year Old GIRL’s perspective.

    I also love that she’s a tough sell – makes her list that much more interesting!

  6. Hi,

    I’m going to email my publicist and ask that she sends you a copy of Alice-Miranda at School. Can you tell me where I need to have her send it?

    Maybe if you email me on my email address that would be better.

    Best wishes,

  7. Theresa

    Great list! My daughter has read many of these and I am sure she would agree! I just met Jeanne Birdsall last week at Book Expo! She was very sweet!!

    • To Theresa,
      I am envious that you met Jeanne Birdsall. We are loving all her books! I can’t wait for the next two Penderwicks! And I’m glad she is nice. It would be so disappointing if she wasn’t!

  8. Rebekah Wagoner

    You might want to check out my soon to be released middle grade work of fiction, Second World.

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge