Here be Dragons: Middle Grade Edition

You’ve seen the list of YA titles featuring dragons, but there are so many more stories to explore! So, check out these middle grade novels (and one graphic novel) featuring dragons.

*All book descriptions are from the publisher.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

In the kingdom of Goredd, dragons and humans live and work side by side – while below the surface, tensions and hostility simmer.

The newest member of the royal court, a uniquely gifted musician named Seraphina, holds a deep secret of her own. One that she guards with all of her being.

When a member of the royal family is brutally murdered, Seraphina is drawn into the investigation alongside the dangerously perceptive—and dashing—Prince Lucien. But as the two uncover a sinister plot to destroy the wavering peace of the kingdom, Seraphina’s struggle to protect her secret becomes increasingly difficult… while its discovery could mean her very life.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook/audiobook and physical book.

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee (previously mentioned in the YA Books in Space book list)

Rick Riordan presents Yoon Ha Lee’s space opera about thirteen-year-old Min, who comes from a long line of fox spirits. But you’d never know it by looking at her. To keep the family safe, Min’s mother insists that none of them use any fox-magic, such as Charm or shape-shifting. They must appear human at all times. Min feels hemmed in by the household rules and resents the endless chores, the cousins who crowd her, and the aunties who judge her. She would like nothing more than to escape Jinju, her neglected, dust-ridden, and impoverished planet. She’s counting the days until she can follow her older brother, Jun, into the Space Forces and see more of the Thousand Worlds. When word arrives that Jun is suspected of leaving his post to go in search of the Dragon Pearl, Min knows that something is wrong. Jun would never desert his battle cruiser, even for a mystical object rumored to have tremendous power. She decides to run away to find him and clear his name. Min’s quest will have her meeting gamblers, pirates, and vengeful ghosts. It will involve deception, lies, and sabotage. She will be forced to use more fox-magic than ever before, and to rely on all of her cleverness and bravery. The outcome may not be what she had hoped, but it has the potential to exceed her wildest dreams.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook/audiobook, hoopla ebook, and physical book.

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon caretaking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives – and eventually her own.

Accessible as a hoopla ebook and physical book.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin (See also other Middle Grade Adventure Stories and other books by Grace Lin!)

In the valley of Fruitless mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life’s questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family’s fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook/audiobook and physical book.

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, the quiet and thoughtful son of the Chief of the Hairy Hooligans, tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan by catching and training a dragon. Can Hiccup do it without being torn limb from limb?

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook/audiobook and physical book.

Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman

Everyone in Vallen knows that ice wolves and scorch dragons are sworn enemies who live deeply separate lives.

So when twelve-year-old orphan Anders takes one elemental form and his twin sister, Rayna, takes another, he wonders whether they are even related. Family or not, Rayna is Anders’s only true friend. She’s nothing like the brutal, cruel dragons who claimed her as one of their own and stole her away.

To rescue her, Anders must enlist at the foreboding Ulfar Academy, a school for young wolves that values loyalty to the pack above all else. But for Anders, loyalty is more complicated than obedience, and friendship is the most powerful shapeshifting force of all.

Accessible as a hoopla ebook/audiobook.

Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott

When Jaxon is sent to spend the day with a mean old lady his mother calls Ma, he finds out she’s not his grandmother—but she is a witch! She needs his help delivering baby dragons to a magical world where they’ll be safe. There are two rules when it comes to the dragons: don’t let them out of the bag, and don’t feed them anything sweet. Before he knows it, Jax and his friends Vikram and Kavita have broken both rules! Will Jax get the baby dragons delivered safe and sound? Or will they be lost in Brooklyn forever?

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook/audiobook.

Middle Grade Adventure Stories

Let’s go on an adventure! From magical medieval Europe to a monstrous post-apocalypse town, these stories will take you on a journey and escape from the restrictions of quarantine for a bit. Even if it’s only in your imagination.

*All book descriptions are from the publishers.

The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz

1242. On a dark night, travelers from across France cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children. Their adventures take them on a chase through France: they are taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king, and save the land from a farting dragon. On the run to escape prejudice and persecution and save precious and holy texts from being burned, their quest drives them forward to a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel, where all will come to question if these children can perform the miracles of saints.

Join William, an oblate on a mission from his monastery; Jacob, a Jewish boy who has fled his burning village; and Jeanne, a peasant girl who hides her prophetic visions. They are accompanied by Jeanne’s loyal greyhound, Gwenforte… recently brought back from the dead. 

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook/audiobook

The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier and illustrated by Douglas Holgate

Ever since the monster apocalypse hit town, average thirteen-year-old Jack Sullivan has been living in his tree house, which he’s armed to the teeth with catapults and a moat, not to mention video games and an endless supply of Oreos and Mountain Dew scavenged from abandoned stores. But Jack alone is no match for the hordes of Zombies and Winged Wretches and Vine Thingies, and especially not for the eerily intelligent monster known only as Blarg. So Jack builds a team: his dorky best friend, Quint; the reformed middle school bully, Dirk; Jack’s loyal pet monster, Rover; and Jack’s crush, June. With their help, Jack is going to slay Blarg, achieve the ultimate Feat of Apocalyptic Success, and be average no longer! Can he do it?

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook

Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

Twelve-year-old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the starkly beautiful Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift in a small boat when she was just hours old, Crow’s only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their fierce and affectionate neighbor across the sandbar.

Crow has always been curious about the world around her, but it isn’t until the night a mysterious fire appears across the water that the unspoken question of her own history forms in her heart. Soon, an unstoppable chain of events is triggered, leading Crow down a path of discovery and danger.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook/audiobook

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

In the valley of Fruitless mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life’s questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family’s fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer.

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook/audiobook.

The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart

When Reuben discovers an extraordinary antique watch with a secret power, his life takes an intriguing turn. As one secret leads to another, Reuben finds himself torn between his honest nature and the lure to be a hero.

Now he is on a dangerous adventure—full of curious characters, treacherous traps, and hairsbreadth escapes—as he races to solve the mystery before it is too late. With fearless Penny, mighty Jack, and the wise Mrs. Genevieve on his side, can Reuben outwit a sly villain called The Smoke and save the city from a terrible fate?

Accessible as an Overdrive ebook/audiobook.

Explore Newbery Award-Winning Author Grace Lin’s Books!

While sheltering in place with kids, try exploring different authors each week. This week, borrow ebook, e-audio, and video copies of Newbery award-winning author Grace Lin’s books on hoopla and Overdrive/Libby. Extend the experience with a YouTube video of her showing how to draw a Chinese dragon. Then listen to another video of her reading aloud from her book Mulan: Before the Sword, her story prequel to the live-action Disney movie, Mulan. Below are three books at different reading levels: middle grade, picture book, and early reader.

Mulan: Before the Sword, written and illustrated by Grace Lin. This is a middle grade fantasy for ages 8-12. 

A mixture of traditional tales and previous adventures of the legendary Mulan character. Young Mulan, accompanied by an immortal healer in the shape of a rabbit, journeys to the garden of the Queen Mother of Immortals to obtain a plant that will heal her sister of poisoning. In the process, Mulan grows in courage and faith in her own abilities.

A Big Mooncake for Little Star, geared towards ages 3-8.

Watch the short video of this picture book. It has a read aloud function to follow along and practice early reading. The illustrations are lovely of the story of Little Star and her Mama making a Mooncake in the night sky. Hint: the mooncake is more than a cake in this story.

This title is also accessible as an ebook in Overdrive/Libby and as a movie on hoopla.

Ling & Ting: Twice as Silly (#3 the Ling & Ting series), an early reader book for ages 5-8.

Listen to this charming collection of stories about Chinese-American twin sisters and their silly  and sweet adventures. Lighthearted stories reveal their sibling jokes and humor in their play. The girls plant cupcakes, paint their toys red, swing “to outer space,” and, in the last story, create a story to recount their escapades.

This title is also accessible as an ebook in Overdrive.