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5 Middle Reader Books for Kids who Love Villains

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Who doesn’t love a book with a good-ol-fashion-good-guy-vs-bad-guy theme?

Villains are important in books because battling them drives the story, adds an air of suspense and gives the heroes a sense of purpose. Some more memorable villains in books include Cruella deVille, Voldermort, and even The Grinch. We love to hate our villans and cheer like crazy when characters triumph over them!

Here’s another bonus; because the villain makes stories so intriguing, kids are more likely to read and stay engaged until the very end.  Here is a handful of Books for Kids who Love Villains that have crossed my desk lately. Enjoy!

ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND-The 150th Anniversary Edition from Penguin/RandomHouse

Alice in Wonderland 150th anniversary

It’s been 150 years since Lewis Carroll introduced Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the story which has become a favorite of children and adults the world over. Now, in a deluxe hardcover edition from Puffin, Alice’s story comes to life for a whole new generation of readers through the colorful, whimsical artwork of Anna Bond, best known as the creative director and artistic inspiration behind the worldwide stationery and gift brand Rifle Paper Co. Lose yourself in Alice’s story as she tumbles down the rabbit hole, swims through her own pool of tears, and finds herself in a rather curious place called Wonderland. There, she’ll encounter the frantic White Rabbit, have a frustrating conversation with an eccentric caterpillar, and play croquet with the hot-headed Queen of Hearts. Follow Alice on her wild adventure through the eyes of the artist in this definitive gift edition. The 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland comes with a deluxe oversized hardcover edition, illustrated in full color by Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co.

Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty

Willa of the Wood

A huge thanks to  Disney-Hyperion for providing me with a copy of this book!

Willa, a young night-spirit forest girl, is her clan’s best thief. Move without a sound. Steal without a trace. Its the mantra her people live by.

Her people are the Faeran, ancient forest dwellers who once lived in harmony with the woods and the Great Smoky Mountains but now struggle to survive in an uncertain world.  Once a wise and powerful people, the Faeran have been pushed to the edge of extinction, forced deep into the mountains and stealing from the day-folk to survive.

The only way Willa can help her people from becoming extinct is to creep into the homes of day-folk in the cover of darkness and takes what they won’t miss. It’s dangerous work—the day-folk kill whatever they do not understand. Life for the Faeran is all about survival and unity, but human “day folk” are encroaching on their lives in the forest And now an even stranger new threat is looming; the railroad.

When Willa’s curiosity leaves her hurt and stranded in the day world, she calls upon an ancient, unbreakable bond to escape. Only then does she discover the truth: not all day-folk are the same, and the foundations that have guarded the Faeran for eons are under attack. For ages 8-12.

Time Sandwich by Matt Brennan with illustrations by Jonathan Reich

Time Sandwich

This young adult graphic novel is quite the hoot! I knew I was going to be in for a treat when I saw the tagline of “A Start in the Middle Book” on the front cover.

When Tuckie and Huggs discover a time machine, they have no idea of the adventures they’re about to have – but their future selves do! Their crazy adventures are filled with hazards like hungry dinos, killer robots and even themselves! Start in the middle of the book and then turn the page backward or forwards to follow the timelines and to travel backward and forward in time. For ages 8-12.

The official release date for Time Sandwich is Nov. 6.  Go here to pre-order ASAP.

The Pomegranate Witch by Denise Doyen

When a scary old tree blooms with the most beautiful pomegranates ever seen, the neighborhood kids’ mouths water with anticipation. But the tree isn’t theirs—and it has a protector! So begins the Pomegranate War, a fun, rollicking, rhyming tale of a battle between the sly, plucky young rascals and their wry, witchy neighbor who may have more than one trick up her sleeve. This delectable romp from award-winning children’s poet Denise Doyen and acclaimed illustrator Eliza Wheeler honors classic children’s literature and revels in nostalgia for free-to-roam days full of playful invention. For ages 4-9

The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes

The Storm Chaser

How can one boy with a limp stop the Maya god of death, disaster, and darkness from destroying the world?

Zane has always enjoyed exploring the dormant volcano near his home in New Mexico, even though hiking it is challenging. He’d much rather hang out there with his dog, Rosie than go to middle school, where kids call him Sir Limps a Lot, McGimpster, or Uno – for his one good leg.

What Zane doesn’t know is that the volcano is a gateway to another world and he is at the center of a powerful prophecy. A new girl at school, Brooks, informs him that he’s destined to release an evil god from the ancient Maya relic he is imprisoned in–unless she can find and remove it first. Together they return to the volcano, where all kinds of crazy happen. Brooks turns into a hawk, a demon attacks them in a cave, and Rosie gives her all while trying to protect Zane. When Zane decides to save his dog no matter the cost, he is thrust into an adventure full of surprising discoveries, dangerous secrets, and an all-out war between the gods, one of whom happens to be his father.

To survive, Zane will have to become the Storm Runner. But how can he run when he can’t even walk well without a cane?

For ages 10-14. Grab a copy of this book on Amazon Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and on Rick’s website.

Villain booklist

Here’s another excellent series with villains your YA readers will love to hate!

Recipient of the 2017 IBPA Ben Franklin Awards-Children’s/YA-New Voices GOLD Award!

Ascension by Hannah Rials

Enter this world of vampires, set in the south, and realize you are being pulled in more—and deeper—with each page.

Steeped in the mystery, intrigue and rich history of New Orleans and the secretive world of the Deuxsang, teen vampire, Cheyenne, and her forbidden love, Eli, embark on a very different, and vastly more dangerous, journey as the net of betrayal tightens around them. This intense and fresh novel is enchanting, engrossing and impossible to put down right up to the cliffhanger ending. Remember, the end is not the end.

What an extraordinary debut novel with new and intriguing twists on vampires—a strong female protagonist as one. I already can’t wait for book two.-Jill Murphy Long, author of The Conduit

This book is by the far the BEST YA/Adult fiction that I’ve read in a very long while. So exciting!-Rebecca F

Get sucked in…

Grab your copy of Ascension HERE and visit Hannah on Facebook, Twitter and on her website.

1 thought on “5 Middle Reader Books for Kids who Love Villains

  1. Oh, Time Sandwich sounds like a book we would enjoy reading. Thanks for sharing this great list. I never really considered the importance of a villain. I stopped by from Sharing Saturday.

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