Rants of a Bookish Kid Kick-Off: Rating Middle Grade Fiction Genres


Louisa Snell, Opinion Editor


A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads only lives one.

– George R.R. Martin


Rants of a Bookish Kid Kick-Off: Rating Middle Grade Fiction Genres


FANTASY: 10/10

I had to start with what I love best, of course. Fantasy is the supreme genre when it comes to middle grade fiction. The best fandoms and fan bases are all fantasy: Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, etc. Just the popularity of fantasy proves its worth.

It sounds so geeky, it’s not like anyone reading fantasy is obsessed with dwarves and princesses and wizards and whatnot. But the reality of fantasy is not about the mythical legends. Fantasy is all about escaping the real world. 

I think the reason fantasy is still so idolized is because it has a certain charm that realistic fiction and sci-fi don’t. It’s about creating or recreating worlds, whether that means modernizing the Greek gods, or bringing witches and wizards to life. Fantasy is where the idea of “escaping into a book” comes from. You can’t escape into a realistic fiction book- you can enjoy it, but a book about a middle school girl is not even fiction. It’s real life, written down. Some people love to relate to characters, but just because a protagonist has special powers or has godly parentage doesn’t mean their personalities are much different. And sci-fi- I guess you can escape in sci-fi, but those books are all about the looming destruction of the planet and the dystopias that will arise with society’s downfall. In other words, “Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science fiction is the improbable made possible.” – Rod Serling. This quote is the definition of fantasy’s charm- that fantasy is the impossible, wonderful fairy-tales that we have all craved to come true at some point. 

So, fantasy: the god-level middle grade genre. The definition of a good, heart-stopping book. And not all people who read fantasy are dorks, by the way. We’re just ordinary people, craving extraordinary lives. 



  • Percy Jackson & The Olympians Series
  • Heroes of Olympus Series
  • Trials of Apollo series
  • Harry Potter Series
  • Keeper of the Lost Cities (not a favorite, but my friends love it!)


SCI-FI: 7/10

At least in the world of middle grade fiction, I’d say sci-fi books are mostly a guaranteed enjoyment. They are often written as a trilogy or a series- and I absolutely love trilogies and series. They let you stay connected to the characters and get more involved in their lives and issues, instead of leaving loose ends.  

I’m not saying that sci-fi is always the way to go, however. There’s only so many plots you can think of that will truly differentiate from the rest. Sci-fi tends to get very repetitive. Usually there’s a head antagonist that is leading a controversial movement that they assume is the only way to go about doing things. The protagonist realizes how inhumane their ways are, gets joined by a couple friends and a love interest, and they’ll go through their obstacles until the end, where they finally defeat the antagonist and the hero is idolized. 

So all in all, sci-fi is my safety genre- I know if I pick up a middle grade sci-fi novel, I’ll enjoy it on some level. But I guess sci-fi just isn’t fantasy, and fantasy beats all.



  • The Maze Runner Series
  • The Hunger Games Trilogy
  • The Giver Series 
  • Divergent (I haven’t read it, but it gets a lot of hype?)


Stay tuned for more ratings, recommendations, and reviews!

Until next time,


Your Local Bookish Kid