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: Roller Girl

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

Genres: Graphic Novel, Middle Grade
Maturity Level: 2+
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆

Twelve-year-old Astrid has always done everything with her best friend Nicole. So when Astrid signs up for roller derby camp, she assumes Nicole will too. But Nicole signs up for dance camp with a new friend instead, and so begins the toughest summer of Astrid’s life. There are bumps and bruises as Astrid learns who she is without Nicole…and what it takes to be a strong, tough roller girl. 


I started reading middle grade as an adult a little more than a year ago, and this is the first book I’ve read that I’m really disappointed didn’t exist when I was a young person. I think 10-year-old me would have loved it so much, and adult-me sure as heck did. Definitely one of my new favorite graphic novels!

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