Middle Grade Magical Realism

Hi everyone! Marielle here and back again with some more amazing middle grade recommendations. I know, shocking right? 

This time though I’ve narrowed it down to middle grade books of a fascinating subgenre I particularly love, magical realism. 

Magical realism has had a recent trend in the 9 to 12 year old book arena, and is now a full and flourishing subgenre with numerous books being released just this year.  

Now you may be asking what exactly is magical realism? Well the basic explanation is it is a story where you find magic in the mundane, and the adult sphere of literature has seen this particular subgenre for a long time (think Alice Hoffman or Gabriel García Márquez). But in middle grade magical realism is viewed a little differently.

Staff Pick Badge
The Secret Life of Sam Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062941183
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - September 29th, 2020

This book pulls at your heartstrings and makes you feel warm and safe at the same time. A beautiful story, full of family love and grief, and a dash of magical realism where the hollow of a tree can transport you to a place where you can see your dead loved ones again even if it is only to say goodbye. Sam's story is wonderful and heartbreaking, and will have you laughing and cheering through your tears. Such a warm, good read.


Staff Pick Badge
One Time Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062570741
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - September 8th, 2020

This is a truly beautiful story. The writing is like colors painting pictures of Gina's life in my mind and I love it. ONE TIME is a story about imagination, childhood, friendship, growing up, and still being a child inside. The characters are wonderful and the story is heartwarming and relatable to anyone who has ever felt like the odd one out. Everyone should read this book.


Staff Pick Badge
The Elephant's Girl Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780593121221
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown Books for Young Readers - May 19th, 2020

An enchanting middle grade novel of contemporary fiction with a touch of magical realism combine in this story of a young girl’s telepathic bond with the elephant that saved her life and her search for her lost family. Wonderfully written and full of magic, mystery, and animals, THE ELEPHANT’S GIRL is a lovely tale of belonging and is perfect for anyone who has always wanted to know what their favorite animal is thinking.


Staff Pick Badge
Asha and the Spirit Bird Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781338571059
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chicken House - June 2nd, 2020

A story of family with an air of magic, Asha's adventure to find her papa will have you on the edge of your seat and routing for her all the way. With a strong female protagonist and wonderfully well-written story, Asha and the Spirit Bird will pull at your heartstrings and warm your soul.


Staff Pick Badge
Hello from Renn Lake Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781984896322
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wendy Lamb Books - May 26th, 2020

This story is absolutely beautiful and such an original concept. Telling a story about pollution in a lake and a young girl trying to save it is one thing, but telling this story from both the girl's and the lake's point of view is something I've never seen before. Hurwitz does a fantastic job of giving Renn Lake their own personality and flushing them out as a character. The connection between Annalise and Renn is a wonderful depiction of not just the strong bonds of friendship but of the bonds between humans and nature that so often is ignored. This is a book everyone should read.


Staff Pick Badge
The Time of Green Magic Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534462762
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - July 28th, 2020

This book shows you just how enchanting and powerful books, houses, and nature can be in one of the most enthralling stories I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Combining fantasy and magical realism into one epic tale, magic oozes from every page as you dive even deeper into the lives of Abbi and her new family and unravel the eerie mystery surrounding their new home. You will absolutely adore getting swept up away in this tale!


Staff Pick Badge
Hello, Future Me Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338576177
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Inc. - August 4th, 2020

This awesome middle-grade novel dives into big questions of whether knowing your future is good or not while delivering a funny adventure story with a touch of magic. June is a fun and spunky kid, and highly relatable and believable as an 11-year-old even with the ability to chat online to her future teenage self. All in all, a totally fantastic, poignant, and addictive story.