5 Middle Grade Books & Series that Use Pictures to Up the Fun Factor


I am a book lover through and through; have been since the 2nd grade. Picture books and those with illustrations are some of my favorites as a book collector. Though from an early age the words, not the pictures, were the most important part to me. Now my 11 year old daughter is a different story.

She is huge comic book fan. Books without some graphics or illustrations typically don’t grab her attention, and she is not the only young reader that feels that way. The popularity of chapter book series such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dork Diaries has shown the mix of an entertaining story with quirky illustrations to be a draw for readers. More and more middle grade books with graphics are hitting bookshelves for ages 8 to 12.

Below are a few of my daughter’s current middle grade favorites. All five of these books and series bring the fun to draw young readers in and keep them hooked.

Smile, Sisters, and Drama

Raina Telgemeier used her life as inspiration for her books Smile and Sisters. These two books are packed with humor about growing up and dealing with a sibling. Her other book, Drama, tells the story of the craziness that happens when a girl named Callie becomes a part of her middle school’s theater production.

Dork Diaries Series


This 10 book series by Rachel Renee Russell tells the story of 14 year-old Nikki Maxwell through her humorous diary entries. The 11th book in the series is due out October 2016. Readers can learn more about each book on the Dork Diaries website –

The Origami Yoda Book Series by Tom Angleberger


The Origami Yoda book series by Tom Angleberger started with The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. The series has now expanded to include a total of six titles: Darth Paper Strikes Back, The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee, The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppet, Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue, and Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus.

Star Wars: The Original Trilogy Graphic Novel


Star Wars: The Original Trilogy provides readers a written version of the original movies that is both visually fun and appealing. This recently released graphic novel condenses Star Wars Episodes 4, 5, and 6 down to approximately 65 pages for each movie.

DC Comics: Secret Hero Society – Study Hall of Justice

DC Study Hall Of Justice book

Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen are the creative team behind DC Comics Lil’ Gotham series, and they have now created a new series of chapter books beginning with Secret Hero Society: Study Hall of Justice. In book one of the series, readers follow Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, and Diana Prince as they join together to solve mysteries at their middle school, Ducard Academy.  Many characters from the DC Universe are featured throughout the book. The story will continue when book two hits shelves in 2017.

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