Tag: comfy corner

Middle Grade Books – What’s With the Hype? + My Reading List

What is the deal with middle grade books? Why are there posts all over the internet about these books and WHY are adults other than teachers reading them?? These are the questions I have been asking myself for the last little while. I haven’t thought about these types of books in a very long time and for the most part just labeled them as children’s books and just went right by without a second glance (oops). If you are like me you are probably also thinking – yes, why do adults care about these books? After all, they are for children. So, I did some reading (a lot of reading). I hunted for articles and blogs written about these books and searched for why they are some popular with seemingly all ages. This is what I found out:

The most popular middle grade books are ones we have ALL heard of and probably read! These include Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Narnia… some big name books! However, I have to admit… I didn’t think these were “middle grade” or maybe my problem is I was not understanding WHAT middle grade books really were!

This grouping of books is difficult to understand I think. First off, I found myself just assuming that “middle grade” meant “children’s” like for small children… I don’t know why?? Now I am seeing that really, while they are meant for kids (not little ones by actually 8-12 year olds) they are actually very much like YA books just written in a more simple way!

SO this is where my ultimate confusion comes in… I didn’t realize Harry Potter books were targeting 8-12 year olds? As I remember the books are massive and forgive me if I’m wrong because I did not read them…. BUT the books (based on watching the movies) seem like kind of violent, focus on some really difficult and serious topics, and seem overall kind of inappropriate for an 8 year old? Maybe I’m being crazy. Or maybe the books are not quite like the movies? But I’m sure you can see where I am coming from when I say – when I found out Harry Potter was “middle grade” it changed my whole perspective!

I have been reading so many posts about middle grade books and before I just didn’t bother with them because I thought ‘why would I, and adult, want to read a kids book?’ And now, I am so sad because I’m seeing that there are SO MANY interesting, amazing, and well written middle grade books. I feel like I have to make up for lost time to be honest. I did not really read many (if any?) middle grade books when I was younger. I think I just skipped right over that entire thing which is unfortunate!!

I am realizing something very important about middle grade books which is – they are really meant for everyone. They have some many important themes and topics. They focus on friendship, adventure, and growing up. They are very similar to YA books!!! They just take out the more inappropriate things and keep the fun, action packed, fast paced, exciting parts! They really sound like a lot of fun and based on what I’ve read and reviews I seen, they seem TOTALLY WORTH reading as an adult.

So, hear I am – listing some middle grade books that I have added to my list to read. I am hoping I can get to them sooner than later. I feel like I have just opened up a can on worms here with my forever growing TBR hahah I just entered a whole new world of possibility. Very exciting!!

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

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ARE YOU A GIFTED CHILD Looking for special opportunities?
When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear listener, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful
children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules.
As our heroes face physical and mental trials beyond their wildest imaginations, they have no choice but to turn to each other for support. But with their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all?
Welcome to the mysterious benedict society.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a perfectly normal boy. Well, he would be perfectly normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the world of the dead.

There are dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard: the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer; a gravestone entrance to a desert that leads to the city of ghouls; friendship with a witch, and so much more.

But it is in the land of the living that real danger lurks, for it is there that the man Jack lives and he has already killed Bod’s family.

Miss Ellicott’s School for the Magically Minded by Sage Blackwood

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Chantel would much rather focus on her magic than on curtsying, which is why she often finds herself in trouble at Miss Ellicott’s School for Magical Maidens. But when Miss Ellicott mysteriously disappears along with all the other sorceresses in the city, Chantel’s behavior becomes the least of her problems.

Without any magic protecting the city, it is up to Chantel and her friends to save the Kingdom. On a dangerous mission, Chantel will discover a crossbow-wielding boy, a dragon, and a new, fiery magic that burns inside her—but can she find the sorceresses and transform Lightning Pass into the city it was meant to be?

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

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After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think–she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price. 

Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn’t have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN. 

Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.” 

Ghost and Bone by Andrew Prentice

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Oscar Grimstone is a normal kid–aside from his secret Curse. Whenever he touches something living, like a flower or his classroom goldfish, they always seem to die. But then Oscar discovers an even bigger secret: even though he is very much alive, he has the ability to transform into a ghost.

Just when he thinks things can’t get any stranger two ghosts show up at his home in a skeleton carriage and he winds up joining them on a journey beyond the real world to a place he never knew existed–the city of ghosts. There Oscar will discover a place where people go once they die, before they aboard a ship to the The Other Side. But will he find out who he really is?


As you can see I have a “type” for my middle grade book interests! I am leaning towards fantasy, mystery, horror type books… I think this is because they take you on a ride away from reality! These books seems really entertaining, I’m excited to read them!!

Have you read any of these? What are your thoughts on middle grade books?

Comfy Corner: What’s the deal with giveaways + follow count

Hi there everyone! Welcome to my comfy corner of the internet where I can share my deepest darkest secrets (just kidding)! But really, this is the place where I can share my thoughts with people who might actually care which is PRETTY COOL!

So, as many of you know, I am also on IG (check me out I am fun and love to chat with people)!!

On IG I see people hosting giveaways all the time!! For a while I was like “what is this” and “why are people spending their own money to give things away.” Like most of you, I love to enter in the giveaways and obviously hope I win!! When I first started my IG I entered any one I could and ended up following a ton of people who never followed me back or interacted with my posts. So, slowly but surely I started to unfollow these accounts and stopped entering in so many giveaways – I will get more into this after.

There are like probably a million blog posts about how to do giveaways and why they are soooo amazing. I have read many of these posts in order to do my own giveaway and learned that people do these giveaways mainly for more followers and really no other reason. I wondered does this really work and if so, how well?

Something I learned: I did not realize that some of the accounts on IG “partnered” with other accounts and publishers in order to do the giveaways. This did not even cross my mind when I started!! Silly me!

I found I was looking into how these accounts were partnering with publishers and trying to figure out how they were hosting so many giveaways. To be honest, I never really found the answer I was looking for other than they have a lot of followers and publishers may contact them to feature the books/ other accounts contact them to partner on the giveaway to boost their followers. (This seems so obvious but little new bookstagram me had no idea).

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My own giveaway: So then when I reached around 1500 followers I decided I would join in and try this giveaway idea. I wanted to see if you gain a lot of followers and honestly I started to connect with a lot of cool people and it felt nice to give back to them especially since I won a few giveaways from them!

So, I searched high and low for the best way to host a giveaway. Do I pick a specific book, do I let the winner choose, do I go with a gift card or care package, do I surprise them with a book…… The options are endless. I decided to go with good old Book Depository and let the winner choose the book they wanted! This ended up being the best option in my opinion because that seems to get people more excited!

Did I get more followers? So, this question is difficult. Yes, I temporarily got more followers. NOT A LOT, but some. I’d say about half of those new followers were gone once the giveaway winner was picked. So, I don’t think it is really any better of option than simply following people and interacting with them on their pages. Maybe I simply don’t have enough followers for a giveaway to be super successful. I wouldn’t say it was a flop though. I would do one again but it wouldn’t be for the purpose of gaining followers 🤷‍♀️

What I like about giveaways: I think if done correctly, the giveaways are such a fun way to further connect with your followers and to give back to your friends. They can be relatively inexpensive or even free if you giveaway a copy of a book you already have. I enjoy when publishers do giveaways for ARC’s and newer books. I like to follow publishers anyways because of their announcements and different things they post!! So it works out!

What I don’t like about giveaways: I don’t like when a giveaway is hosted by several accounts and then I have to follow like 5 different accounts to enter for 1 book. 99% of the time those 5 accounts won’follow you back so now you end up just following a bunch of people for no real reason. The same goes for the accounts with 20k followers hosting giveaways. I follow a few big accounts because I truly enjoy what they post and enjoy their updates. However, I don’t want to follow someone who will have no interest in following me back just to enter a giveaway (like those 20k accounts who actually only follow 100 people…. no thanks).

Or, some giveaways require you to “repost” their post which I just simply won’t do because I like to keep my feed somewhat uniform with my own unique stuff! I don’t want to repost a giveaway post 🤷‍♀️

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Overall – my thoughts on giveaways are somewhat positive. I like the idea of them because who doesn’t like to win things?? Especially if it is something you want or enjoy. But, all the following and unfollowing that comes with it doesn’t seem totally worth it to me.. maybe if you are able to partner with a publisher and get the book for free then why not, but spending your own money for a few extra followers just isn’t my cup of tea!

I will continue to interact with my people and gain followers the old fashion way – by being consistent and working hard! May take longer but that’s okay, I’m not here for the followers, I’m here for the community (but followers are nice too haha).


What do you think about giveaways? Have you hosted them? Do you think they helped your follower count? Chat with me in the comments 🙂