Your favorite Middle Grade books?

Please, help me!

I’m writing a Middle Grade book, publishing industry-speak for a chapter book for 8 – 12 year olds (though I’m thinking age 6 – infinity). I’m a voracious reader, but mostly I spend my precious few moments of reading time with contemporary adult novels or books about politics and culture. Obviously, I read chapter books with the kids, but they read ahead on their own and when it’s my turn again, I can’t follow a thing. So I’m not counting those books as real reading time.

I’m reading The Lighting Thief on my own now and love it. I’ve always been a fan of Greek mythology, and it’s cool to read about it in a contemporary setting. It’s male dominated of course (Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades “the big three” divide up the world as in the original; Percy, our hero, has adventures; females come in and out to aid his quest) but I’m not focusing on female characters right now (or trying not to, ha!) I’m mainly looking for great writing. My favorite kids’ author ever may be Roald Dahl.

I’m writing a fantasy book so that’s probably the genre I should stick to. I’m looking for good contemporary series and classics.

Thanks for your suggestions!