Middle Grade Books with Amazing Worlds

When your kid is entranced in a book, it’s like they’ve been sucked into another world. They can’t answer what they want for dinner, let alone hear your gentle reminders that bedtime is fast-approaching. When they’re that long gone, it must be the work of speculative fiction.

If you think about it, sci-fi and fantasy authors double as architects. They build the imaginative foundations for your child’s favorite worlds, and they lay the framework for curiosity that kids carry with them into adulthood. When done right, sci-fi and fantasy novelists can offer readers a portal for escape and a set of eyes adept at uncovering the marvelous in the mundane.

That’s why our middle grade book experts have chosen a few amazing worlds to get lost in from our fabulous Club Phoenix book club. Read on for a few sci-fi and fantasy books that have built whole worlds out of words!

The Land of Roar

Image Source: https://www.amazon.com/Land-Roar-Jenny-McLachlan/dp/1405293675

Arthur and Rose didn’t actually think the imaginary world they created as kids, Roar, would withstand the test of time. Rose, in particular, is eager to dismiss this dragon-filled land as delusional child’s play. But when their Grandad goes missing, the siblings will have to confront the reality of Roar. 

Wizard ninjas, mermaid witches, and an old rocking horse named Orion are just a few Roar-dwelling creatures we never knew were missing from our lives. And Rose must either offer her brother up as a monster meal or work together with him to bring back their kidnapped grandfather. 

(If your middle grade reader has a sibling, they’ll know how tough a choice this can be!)

The Land of Roar reminds us that imagination is always free to grow, even as we do.

The Last Human

Image Source: https://www.amazon.com/Last-Human-Lee-Bacon/dp/1419736914

01101110 01101111 00100000 01101101 01101111 01110010 01100101 00100000 01101000 01110101 01101101 01100001 01101110 01110011

That’s more than a random series of ones and zeros. It’s binary code. And, also, the cry of celebration coming from the now robot-ruled world:


(Now, go back and read that again using your best, synthesized robot voice.)

In The Last Human, all the humans are gone. All but one, that is. Emma has, somehow, escaped human extinction and is stirring up trouble amongst rule-abiding robots. XR_935, an adolescent android, wrestles with the concepts of compassion, curiosity, and secret-keeping. So, we’re not sure if a friendship between the two of them has been written in the stars, but your reader will keep rooting for them, nevertheless.

A world dominated by robots may not seem entirely impossible in our technology-infused present. Challenge your forward-thinking reader to consider what shape their future world might take as the paths between humans and artificial intelligence continue to intersect.

The Lost Rainforest #1: Mez’s Magic

Image Source: https://www.harpercollins.com/products/the-lost-rainforest-1-mezs-magic-eliot-schrefer?variant=32206563213346

Any animal-obsessed reader will love being transported to the exotic world of Caldera in one of Literati’s best fantasy books for kids. 

In book one of this series, Eliot Schrefer introduces us to Mez, a night-walking panther. She has always known her world to be the same color as her ebony fur. Until one day, she awakens to a sliver of blue light and finds herself roaming through unfamiliar and dangerous new territory: the world of daylight. We can’t help but feel inspired by the bond Mez forms with the other creatures inhabiting this rainforest biome. 

Okay, okay, maybe there’s a slight twinge of jealousy here, too. We’ve been trying to befriend a local squirrel for weeks to no avail!

Perhaps Mez’s secret to building a diverse community of friends is her commitment to finding common ground. Can the clashing worlds of daywalkers and nightwalkers set aside fear and come together? Your middle grade reader will love finding out!

The Worlds of Literati’s Club Phoenix Await

Literati has hand-picked some of the most inventive worlds known to middle-grade literature and has put them into a kids book box just for you. 

A bubblegum-blowing dragon? A water-galloping sea creature? A spaceship that runs on chocolate milk? This and so much more lies tucked in the pages of our favorite sci-fi and fantasy books. Whatever your child’s preferred form of transportation is, meet us at Literati


Good Reads. The Last Human. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43908954-the-last-human

Good Reads. The Lost Rainforest: Mez’s Magic. 

Kirkus. The Land of Roar. https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/jenny-mclachlan/the-land-of-roar/

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