• Susan Stoderl

Why Middle-Grade Books are Important to Adults and Kids


Many people find middle school difficult since it encompasses the pre-pubescent years through puberty. Most of us don’t even want to remember that. Remembering that you survived it, and can laugh about it now, makes being an adult that much easier. You can escape into a world where the cringe-worthy news cycles are simpler and solvable.


Children who are the oldest may not get to be children. Single-parent homes need extra help to make ends meet or provide childcare for younger kids. Economic circumstances force kids to become adults before they’re ready. If you were in that position, middle-grade books give you a redo. For readers eight to twelve years old, temporary hope can see you through tough times. If their life is boring, they can have adventures. That also holds for adults.


If you were shy or bullied, you can now rewrite your story. You can step up and, even though afraid, seek justice. You can create your own family, as Sophia does. As an orphan, she and her best friend Pedro form a nuclear unit with her guardian, Mr. O’D. Pedro must stay alone during the week because circumstances force his parents to work outside the city. Sophia and Pedro surround themselves with responsible adults who guide them but do not “own” them. If outsiders were to intervene, their beautiful and affirming way of living would end. That there are positive ways of handling a difficult situation can liberate an adult stuck in one—such as an awful boss you can’t escape just yet. When Sophia and Pedro get bullied, they retaliate. Not in a horrible vindictive way, but one which is just. Justice is something most adults do not see a lot of. Just as with kids, reading about it may encourage them to get to that better place.

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