If you’re out of the loop this week, let me fill you in. It’s TEEN READ WEEK!
And I’m excited. The theme of Teen Read Week is Seek the Unknown this year, encouraging teens to explore and learn about the unknown through mystery, adventure, sci-fi, and fantasy books.
Which essentially means, (even though I talk a lot about those four categories) we’re talking teens this week, and a middle grade read might not be up their alley.
That is why I have declared today’s MMGM the crossover edition!
What’s that you ask? Why, it’s where I talk about two fabulous middle grade series that I think cross over nicely into the realm of teens, both of which just happen to be fantasy:
I’ve read these series millions of time from my own, personal library. I was not compensated in any way for my review (cross my heart) nor did I promise a good rating. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine.
Do you really need a summary of these books? Probably not. But just in case,
Harry Potter is about a boy who finds out he’s a wizard. His story spans 7 novels, taking us deep into the heart of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry among other wizarding life. It’s a fantastical story full of good vs. evil, magical creatures, a far away world, and magic.
Percy Jackson is about a boy who finds out he’s a demi-god–half mortal and half god–as in Ancient Greek Gods. Yup, they still exist and in present day New York in fact. His story spans 5 novels, involves all sorts of crazy monsters, a little bit of power (not necessarily magic,) and the fight between good vs. evil.
5 Reasons Why These Books Are Marvelous!
Essentially, today isn’t going to feature a 5 reasons list–because there are way more than 5 reasons to love these stories. But having grown up with these stories (Literally in the Harry Potter sense) trust when I say, these are two series that teens MUST get their hands on.
But–aren’t these middle grade stories you’re asking? Perhaps they are. But really, I think both series are books a reader should start in middle school. See, when we meet Harry, he’s turning 11 and Percy is 12 in his first story. But Harry’s story literally spans seven years–1 per book–so by the time we reach the end, he’s 18 and old in the MG sense.
Readers might not be able to hold off reading one Harry Potter a year so they can grow with him, but seeing as how the story came out when I was 11, and then having to WAIT for each new publication, I literally grew up with Harry and it was so fun.
As a character, Harry truly grows and morphs from middle grader to teen. But if his series is placed in the hands of a 7th grader, I’m sure they’ll begin to understand his growth as they too grow. Even if someone doesn’t pick these book up until they’re older, I still firmly believe there are so many snippets of goodness (not to mention fabulous storytelling and writing) that teen (or older) readers will resonate with the series.
Then there’s Percy. I actually didn’t discover him until I was in college, but let me tell you–WOWSER! See, I think Percy’s story is one that will definitely resonate with middle graders because we don’t get the depth of growth with him that we do with Harry; however, he does struggle a lot in a middle grader sense and he transitions into teen (16) by the last book. (Then there’s a whole other series involving him and some other teens.) So again–someone as young as a 6th grader could enjoy Percy’s story, especially all the Greek mythology, but then an older reader might connect better with some of the deep themes.
Ultimately, by labeling these series crossovers, I believe that both middle graders AND teens will love them. But they’d also be fabulous series to start in the midst of middle grade, and continue to devour as the reader literally transitions into teen hood. If I want to take the crossover thought even further–then, dare I say it, these are books that adults might even enjoy reading!
For more reading, YALSA’s The HUB posted an article today about “The Power of Fantasy Fiction” You might just find a snippet of HP in there—-told you it was a crossover.
Book Talk: More than likely you’ve heard to these two series–but have you read them? What do you think about the crossover factor? Good for middle graders and teens?