11 Books to Bridge the Gap Between Middle Grade and YA

by Dena McMurdie

Photo credit: Maria Taglienti-Molinari, Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Recently, some moms have asked me for recommendations for kids that have outgrown middle grade books, but aren’t quite ready for YA books like The Hunger Games. It can be frustrating for both kids and parents to find books that feel authentic and relevant yet are still age appropriate. This is a list of books to help smooth that transition.


  • Betty

    You have African American girls in the picture, but not one of these books looks to be inclusive of people of color. In a modern way.

    • Dena

      Hi Betty! Thanks for your comment. Have you tried any of these books?

      The Sittin’ Up by Sheila P. Moses (she’s written a lot of great books for kids this age)
      Kitchen Chaos: Book 1 of The Saturday Cooking Club by Deborah A. Levine
      Hold Fast by Blue Balliett
      One Crazy Summer and PS Be Eleven by Rita Williams Garcia
      The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky by Holly Schindler

      The last two are aimed at kids a little bit younger (ages 8-12) but they are great books. I hope this helps!

  • Holly

    These books look great–have been looking for books for kids who need something that falls somewhere between the younger kid books and the teenager books. Thanks much!