Why Adults Should Read More Middle Grade Books
Afoma Umesi Guests on the Reading Women Podcast
On this week’s episode of Reading Women, Kendra, Sumaiyya, and special guest Afoma Umesi share books around April’s theme, Middle Grade Magic.
From the episode:
Afoma Umesi: My favorite thing about middle grade literature is how hopeful it is. It is very unassuming. I mean, it’s supposedly books for kids, but it can cover a wide range of emotions and a wide range of topics as well. Literally anything you can think about happening in real life is touched in middle grade literature. There are middle grade books about a variety of topics, whether you’re thinking about addiction, domestic violence, travel, death, and grief. And then there are also feel-good books as well, sibling relationships, everything. It covers all of this.
But unlike the sometimes dreary outlook of adult books—because they want to be so rooted in real life—middle grade books, they always end on a very hopeful note. You know that at the end of the book, no matter how sad everything has been throughout the journey, you’re going to come out feeling a little light. You’re going to come out with a little more hope for the world. I really wish more adults would read middle grade books. It doesn’t have to become the bulk of your reading life, but I definitely recommend dipping your toes in now and again because there’s so many beautiful stories, and middle grade writers and authors working so hard, creating such amazing stories for every genre. So I’m definitely a huge fan, obviously, but it’s something that I recommend as a way to escape and at the same time develop more empathy, both for our present selves and for our child selves.
Afoma Umesi is a writer, editor, and the founder of the kidlit website Reading Middle Grade, where she blogs about children’s literature.