As the school year comes to a close and children’s summer reading challenges begin (keep an eye out for TPB’s list), we have a new kind of challenge for you: seek out magic in your everyday life.
Most people I know fell in love with the magic of reading as a child - engrossed in worlds with endless possibilities. We imagined ourselves flying off to Neverland, sitting for the sorting hat at Hogwarts, training with extraordinary teens at Camp Half-Blood, going on an unexpected journey with a band of dwarves - reading meant endless possibility and discovery.
It’s a lot harder to find that same feeling in the pages we read as adults. When we open a book today, we bring all our grown-up anxieties, fears, and unrealized dreams with us, and we’re not always ready to confront them in the fiction we read. When I read, I want to rediscover love and hope and magic - the magic that came so easy as a child.
This last year, while we’ve been shut away in our homes, many have rededicated themselves to finding magic in the ordinary. I’ve been rereading my favorite childhood books and discovering new voices in children’s literature that are inspiring lifelong readers today and I’m slowly beginning to find magic again, and hopefully getting a little bit closer to saying and meaning- “I do believe in fairies. I do. I do.”
The books below are for anyone who needs a little magic in their lives right now, regardless of age. Middle grade books are these rare pockets of youth and imagination that allow you to see the world in a way you thought forgotten. If you too have slipped into the monotonous humdrum of “adulting” and need something to tug you out of those deep waters to see life through a different lens, these tales are for you.
Magic is still out there my friends, as long as you are willing to look.
Written by Sarah Breaux
Edited by Nicole Rader