The Best Diverse Middle Grade Fantasy Reading List

Check out this list for the most recommended diverse middle grade fantasy books | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books

Middle grade fantasy is what got me into reading and I find that no matter how old I become, I still have a soft spot for this genre. When I was a little girl, the narratives had very little diversity but the landscape has changed since then. However, I’ve been reading significantly lesser middle grade books these days and leaning more towards young adult and adult stories. I want to consciously add more diverse MG books to my TBR, so I did some research and came up with a list of 10 books that were highly praised and recommended. I’m sharing that with you in today’s post in the hopes that you can find an interesting book or two to pick up for yourself, your children if you are a parent or your class in case you’re an educator.

The Best Diverse Middle Grade Fantasy Reading List | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)

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Book Review: The Belles

A world where beauty is magic and the villains hide under behind masks - The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton | Review by Nandini @ Unputdownable Books

Author: Dhonielle Clayton

Genre: Fantasy

Age Range: 13+

Published: By Disney-Hyperion on February 6th, 2018

Content Warning: Fat shaming, bury your gays trope, girl-on-girl hate

Format I Read: Audiobook

Grade: Exceeds expectations

Book Review: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)

Book Synopsis (section header)

In the opulent world of Orléans, the people are born grey and damned, and only a Belle’s powers can make them beautiful.

Camellia Beauregard wants to be the favourite Belle – the one chosen by the queen to tend to the royal family.

But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favourite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that her powers may be far greater – and far darker – than she ever imagined.

When the queen asks Camellia to break the rules she lives by to save the ailing princess, she faces an impossible decision: protect herself and the way of the Belles, or risk her own life and change the world forever.

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5 Fantasy Books with Immersive Worlds

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for February 26th, 2019 is: Places Mentioned In Books That I’d Like to Visit.

5 fantasy books with immersive and lush world-building | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)
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5 Diverse Books That Deserve More Praise

Discover 5 hidden gems of diverse literature that deserve more hype | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for February 19th, 2019 is: Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads.

5 hidden gems of diverse literature that deserve more praise | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)
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Book Review: The Poppy War

Diverse military fantasy at its finest - The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang | Review by Nandini @ Unputdownable Books

Author: R. F. Kuang

Genre: Fantasy

Age Range: 18+

Published: By Gollancz on November 8th, 2018

Content Warning: Check out this comprehensive list by the author

Format I Read: E-book

Grade: Outstanding

When Rin aced the Keju, the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies, it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard, the most elite military school in Nikan, was even more surprising. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.

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Book Review: Empire of Sand

A Mughal-inspired lush fantasy with characters that make you fall in love - Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri | Review by Nandini @ Unputdownable Books

Author: Tasha Suri

Genre: Fantasy

Age Range: 18+

Published: By Orbit on November 13th, 2018

Content Warning: Death, genocide and abuse

Format I Read: Kindle e-book

Grade: Outstanding

Note: I received a free digital ARC of the book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review

The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited. When Mehr’s power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s most feared mystics, she must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist their cruel agenda. Should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance…

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15 Most Anticipated Fantasy Books of 2019 (Jan-Jun)

15 Most Anticipated Fantasy Books for the First Half of 2019 | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for January 8th, 2019 is: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019


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