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Features | Thoughts on Reading Middle-Grade Books as an Adult


During the past month I've been reading some middle grade books, and it's been really interesting seeing which middle-grade books I love and can't put down and which ones I didn't love as much as I did when I was actually around the age they were aimed at.

Last year I was sent the latest middle-grade book by Eoin Colfer, The Fowl Twins. The book follows Myles and Beckett Fowl, who are the twin brothers of the famous Artemis Fowl, who has an entire series of books (8!) dedicated to his adventures with fairies. When I received the book I was excited to get back in to this world that I loved as a kid growing up. But I realised that I hadn't actually read the last two books in the Artemis Fowl series, and I wanted to do that before I read The Fowl Twins.

Back when I was in middle-grade (which is 8 - 12 years old) and I was reading these books, and even into my early teens, I remember really loving them. They were a lot of fun and they were an absolute joy to read. Now that I'm in my late 20s (gasp!) and reading them again, it's a lot different. They're still the highly enjoyable, fun, quirky books they've always been and I still love the characters and crazy plot lines that Colfer (in this example) comes up with. But somehow it's not quite the same.

I found myself reading the last two Artemis Fowl books and The Fowl Twins so slowly it was like I wasn't really reading. There would be several days between me picking up the book, and it wasn't for lack of liking the story. I think it was just that it wasn't as gripping or relatable as it once was. Finding a teenage boy genius who converses with fairies is hard to relate to at any time, but I hope you see what I mean.

Interestingly enough, in the past year or so I've read Victoria Schwab's City of Ghosts and Tunnel of Bones, both of which follows Cassidy Blake and her paranormal-TV-host parents on their adventures. These are also middle-grade books, but for some reason I loved them and couldn't put them down.

So is it just Artemis Fowl that I've finally grown out of? Or is middle-grade books in general? Am I finally too old to be reading the books that I loved as a kid? Or do I just need a break for a while?

I don't know if these questions have any answers, but it sure is interesting asking them.

Taking your thoughts on middle-grade books! Drop us a comment if you've read any middle-grade books recently that you've really loved, or a book that you're re-read recently and it's not quite what you remember reading as a kid. Would love to hear your thoughts.

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