Escapist Middle-Grade Reads

by Amy Fitzgerald, Editorial Director, Carolrhoda Books

I always tell people that my mission is to publish stories that reflect the real world honestly for young readers, and that’s true. But sometimes, leaving the world as we know it has its upsides. Here are a few books that offer readers alternate universes to explore.

The Flight of Swans

When Princess Andaryn’s stepmother turns her brothers into swans, Ryn can only free them from their curse if she stays silent for six years. But that doesn’t mean she can’t have adventures in the meantime.

Jane Doe and the Cradle of All Worlds

Jane’s father has disappeared into the Manor, a hallowed portal to countless other worlds. To rescue him, Jane must confront an immortal villain intent on controlling all the worlds. You know, as one does.

The Lost Prince

Dean has been thrown off his ship by the Pirate King. His only chance to avoid Davy Jones’s locker is to retrieve a mysterious treasure…if he can survive the dangers along the way.

Seventh Grade vs. the Galaxy

Jack’s middle-school experience is disrupted not by a pandemic but by a sinister alien plot. After he accidentally sends his public school spaceship halfway across the galaxy, it’s up to Jack and his friends to get their rickety little schoolship home.

A Time Traveler’s Theory of Relativity

Fin comes from a family of time travelers, and his mom is lost somewhere in time. Fin sets out to find her—though he’s not the only one searching for her.

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