Top 10 Middle-Grade Books of 2020

As I started my career as an elementary school librarian, I had access to almost any middle grade book I could wish to read, as well as a good reason to prioritize middle grade literature. And y’all, I’m so glad I did. I’ve fallen in love with MG books all over again, and I like them SO MUCH MORE than I ever liked YA. Which is saying something, because I read and enjoy plenty of YA.

I can’t begin to express to you how poorly this list represents some of the AMAZING MG books I’ve read this year. Narrowing it down to ten was easy in June, when I started this list, but as I went through the year and watched book after book get knocked off, I fully appreciated just how wonderful the MG literature being written right now really is.

So for those of you with kids or who want to dive back in to MG literature, here are my Top 10 of 2020.

Please note that this is books I personally read in 2020, NOT books published in 2020.

1. Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan

The writing is so lovely, the characters fully realized, and the story so full of hope. Maybe my favorite MG book ever.

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Middle Grade Review: Me, Frida, and the Secret of the Peacock Ring

Me, Frida, and the Secret of the Peacock Ring by Angela Cervantes

Genres: Middle Grade, Mytery
Maturity Level: 2
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆

Paloma Marquez is traveling to Mexico City, birthplace of her deceased father, for the very first time. She’s hoping that spending time in Mexico will help her unlock memories of the too-brief time they spent together.

While in Mexico, Paloma meets Lizzie and Gael, who present her with an irresistible challenge: The siblings want her to help them find a valuable ring that once belonged to beloved Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Finding the ring means a big reward — and the thanks of all Mexico. What better way to honor her father than returning a priceless piece of jewelry that once belonged to his favorite artist!

But the brother and sister have a secret. Do they really want to return the ring, or are they after something else entirely?


Oh. My. Gosh. This book is so fun, and brilliant, and such a wonderful addition to the middle grade mystery genre!

Continue reading “Middle Grade Review: Me, Frida, and the Secret of the Peacock Ring”