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The Kali Krew Presents: 15 Favorite MG and YA Books

We love horror and sci-fi. We do. You guys know we do. We like the deep, dark psychological torments, the arm-ripping, blood-gushing splatters and the oh-so-squishable humans in a chomp ‘n’ stomp. We like the sleek lines of newfangled technology and the excitement of exploring the unexplored. And you can find all of this in young adult and middle grade reads, as well. Albeit toned down a little for age appropriateness.

Below you’ll find a list of our favorite Young Adult and Middle Grade reads that we’d love to share with you.

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Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Pet book cover

This was an amazing book that makes you face real monsters, sits on your chest and still manages to leave you with hope. With a transgender main character and a diverse cast it is truly an amazing read.” – Lilyn


Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark – Alvin Schwartz

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark book cover

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark was my first brush with urban legends and I would wait eagerly for those damn Scholastic pamphlets to see if a new Scary Stories was in there.” – GracieKat

Check out GracieKat’s review of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark movie!

And if you want a little more, check out our guest post by Joe Oliveto!


Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline book cover

Even though I love the book, this is one where I think the movie is actually better.” – Tracy


Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Bridge to Terabithia book cover
Chosen by Olly

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky book cover

Percy Jackson but with African-American characters, mythos and West African gods. Also, it’s much better.” – Lilyn


Curses, Inc. and Other Stories by Vivian Vande Velde

Curses Inc book cover

I generally like almost all of Vivian Vande Velde’s collections. The stories range from hilarious to heart-breaking. Most times within the same story.” – GracieKat


Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

Parable of the Sower book cover
Chosen by Olly

Watch Hollow by Gregory Funaro

Book cover for Watch Hollow

Awesome ideas, loveable characters and that damn clock. That. Damn. Clock.” – Lilyn

Check out Lilyn’s review of Watch Hollow!


Whispers from the Grave by Leslie Rule

Whispers from the Grave book cover

The book cover (new or old) does not accurately reflect the story. It’s more of a time-travel murder mystery with a bit of sci-fi flair to it. It’s also not surprising that the murder mystery aspect was done so well, with Ann Rule as a mother it’s pretty apparent that talent runs in the family!” – GracieKat


Carry On (Simon Snow #1) by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On book cover
Chosen by Olly

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

Book cover for City of Ghosts

The author does a great job of putting you inside the main character’s head and making you experience everything as her. There’s no writing down or writing up. You live it as you are intended to and Cassidy Blake’s world is a very atmospheric one to be in. You couldn’t pay me to be her.” – Lilyn


The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

The Westing Game book cover

The Westing Game is like a book version of Clue. A ramped up, bizarre adventure that has some very memorable characters. And the puzzle is solvable by a kid but never overtly spells it out. It doesn’t write down to the reader.” – GracieKat


Apocalypse Taco by Nathan Hale

Book cover for Apocalypse Taco

It felt like a Twilight Zone/Outer Limits episode for the younger generation. And it’s a graphic novel!” – Lilyn


Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings

Pawn of Prophecy book cover
Chosen by Olly

Ollie Oxley and the Ghost: The Search for Lost Gold by Lisa Schmid

Ollie Oxley and the Ghost book cover

Mystery, adventure, and mischievousness all combine to make a thoroughly pleasing reading experience.” – Lilyn

Check out Lilyn’s review of Ollie Oxley and the Ghost: The Search for the Lost Gold by Lisa Schmid!

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Let us know what your middle grade and young adult books, past and present, are! Let us know down below!

Published inTop Ten Tuesday
┬ęSci-Fi & Scary 2019
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