If you haven’t picked up a middle grade novel lately, I urge you to give one a try (even if you're an adult!), because it's the breath of fresh air you didn’t know you needed.
Like my own Crossing the Pressure Line, middle grade novels get to the heart of a tender, pivotal time, when young people are figuring out who, what, and how they want to be. They long for independence, but they still want the comfort and reassurance of family. They want to stand out from the crowd, but they still want to fit in. Not surprisingly, these competing values can collide like furious little atoms.
Middle grade novels are typically geared toward kids ages 8-12, but their themes are universal and eternal—like what it means to belong, why it’s crucial to speak up against injustice, and how to become our own best cheerleaders. They encourage tolerance, acceptance, and compassion. Above all, they remind us that everybody struggles in different ways, so it’s good to be kind—always.
As a guest blogger for Ashley Hasty at Hasty Book List, I've compiled a list of ten middle grade novels that promote empathy in children as well as grownups. I hope you'll crack one open and find the solace you've been yearning for.