Mid-Reader Book Archive

Mid-Reader Books and Activities
for Grades 4-6

Welcome to the Castle Library's page for the mid-leveled reader in grades 4-6. Here you will find book introductions and activity ideas for the young trolls whose love of reading has outgrown most picture books and have moved onto the chapter book stage.

In a world of television, video games and hand-held games, one would wonder if young trolls will ever be tempted to pick up a book ever again? Well, that entirely depends on how you model a love for books and reading. If it's important to you, and you make time for reading everyday, they will follow along. Trolls just do that.

The Queen understands how young, trollish minds seek adventure and entertainment. They also love to be in the story themselves. So providing engaging discussions, seeking out the treasure within books and even helping them to create a few tales of their own are all ways to lure trolls into the world of literature.

The Queen hopes you'll return regularly for links to some of her own reading adventures.


Horton Halfpott by Tom Angleburger

Tom Angleberger's latest, loopiest middle-grade novel begins when M'Lady Luggertuck loosens her corset (it's never been loosened before!), thereby setting off a chain of events in which all the strict rules of Smugwick Manor are abandoned.

A City Across Time

Peter Kent's brilliant cross-sections show how an early settlement changes into a bustling, modern-day city. The lively, warm and friendly illustrations are packed with absorbing and eye-opening details, and clearly show how new buildings are constructed on the rubble of the old.


by Kevin Henkes
Alice Rice is returning to the beach to celebrate her 10th birthday. All her friends are expected to return as well. But when old friends cancel and new friends arrive, Alice’s big 10th birthday celebration fall into ruin.

by Susan Patron

The residents of Hard Pan, California, come together to help Brigitte and Lucky when the Country Health Department threatens to close down the CafĂ©, and in the meantime, Mile’s life is complicated by his mother’s return. 

by Kelly Barnhill

Jack is practically invisible at home, but when his parents send him to Hazelwood, Iowa, to spend a summer with his odd aunt and uncle, he suddenly makes friends, is beaten up by the town bully, and is plotted against by the richest man in town.

by William Joyce
The Guardians are all new versions of the familiar childhood icons, like Nicholas St. North, "a daredevil swordsman, ruffian, and notorious outlaw," or an Easter Bunny with a worldwide network of tunnels and a sword, or a Tooth Fairy who keeps the teeth she takes until she can return them to the children who lost them for a very specific and sort of wonderful reason.  Their task is to protect the very nature of childhood, to keep hopes and dreams alive and darkness away, and the payment they take is very simple: as long as children believe in them, they have power.  If that ever stops, they would all go away.

by Gary D. Schmidt
As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him. As Doug struggles to be more than the “skinny thug” that his teachers and the police think him to be, he finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer—a fiery young lady who “smelled like daisies would smell if they were growing in a big field under a clearing sky after a rain.” In Lil, Doug finds the strength to endure an abusive father, the suspicions of a whole town, and the return of his oldest brother, forever scarred, from Vietnam. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubon’s birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage. In this stunning novel, Schmidt expertly weaves multiple themes of loss and recovery in a story teeming with distinctive, unusual characters and invaluable lessons about love, creativity, and survival.

by Katherine Hannigan
True: Delly Pattison likes surpresents (presents that are a surprise). The day the Boyds come to town, Delly's sure a special surpresent is on its way. But lately, everything that she thinks will be good and fun turns into trouble. She's never needed a surpresent more than now.
True: Brud Kinney wants to play basketball like nothing anybody's ever seen. When the Boyds arrive, though, Brud meets someone who plays like nothing he's ever seen.
True: Ferris Boyd isn't like anyone Delly or Brud have ever met. Ferris is a real mysturiosity (an extremely curious mystery).
True: Katherine Hannigan's first novel since her acclaimed Ida B is a compelling look at the ways friendships and truths are discovered.
It's all true ( . . . sort of).

by Colin Melot

Prue McKeel’s life is ordinary. At least until her brother is abducted by a murder of crows and taken to the Impassable Wilderness, a dense, tangled forest on the edge of Portland. No one’s ever gone in – or at least returned to tell of it.

Bobby The Brave by Lisa Yee
Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg
The Danger Box by Blue Balliett


by Brian Selznick

Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.

The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: 
A Scientific Mystery
by Sandra Markle
Panamanian golden frogs aren't just cute, little, and yellow. They're also the national symbol of Panama. But they started to disappear about fifteen years ago. What's killing them? Could it be a change in their habitat? What about pollution? Might it be a result of climate change? Follow a team of scientists working to save these frogs and protect frog populations worldwide in this real-life science mystery.