The best portal-hopping middle-grade reads

Nikki Mitchell Author Of Nightshade Forest: Book One of Eleanor Mason's Literary Adventures
By Nikki Mitchell

The Books I Picked & Why

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

By Lewis Carroll

Book cover of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Why this book?

One of the first memories of a portal-hopping character as a kid was Alice. The book taught me that no matter what is happening in the world, books are very much like wonderland: a new world and a way to find yourself. I recommend this one to all of the middle-grade readers out there because first, it’s a classic. Second, it’s just a whole lot of fun.

As a kid who was bullied a lot, it helped me feel that I had a place, even if it was having tea parties with fictional characters. This book actually inspired my trilogy.


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Octavia Bloom and the Missing Key

By Estelle Grace Tudor

Book cover of Octavia Bloom and the Missing Key

Why this book?

Octavia is another character I adore and one that my daughter fell in love with as well. This is the first book in a five-book set and you get to go on adventures in a fairy world with the Bloom Family. It’s absolutely a charming portal-hopping tale filled with adventures, animal sidekicks, and a sense of wonder. It will have all the kids, and some adults, looking in their attic for a fairy door. It’s a book that is perfect for bedtime or those chilly rainy days.


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The Lightning Thief

By Rick Riordan

Book cover of The Lightning Thief

Why this book?

I was an adult in college when I first picked up this book, but it was such a fun read and I remember binge reading them instead of the reading material I was supposed to be reading for class. Once again, the main character feels out of place in his natural world, and it is because he finds that he belongs to another. So again, this feeling of belonging when the real world just doesn’t make sense is my favorite trope and I know a lot of young readers who feel that way as well.


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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

By C.S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes

Book cover of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Why this book?

This is a classic and I know it’s on many people’s favorite lists, but it’s such an inspiring book. To think that years later, people are still searching fancy wardrobes in secondhand stores (or maybe it’s just me haha) is wonderful. Lucy hit home with me as a kid when I read it, even though I was an only child. To believe that something else is out there—something that we can’t explain is exciting, and the entire series brings that feeling right into your living room.


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A Soul as Cold as Frost

By Jennifer Kropf

Book cover of A Soul as Cold as Frost

Why this book?

This one has winter Narnia vibes, but with a whole new twist on the story. I was a beta reader for Jennifer and I read the book in one sitting because it was so good. This one is adventure-packed and perfect for those just starting to love reading. It’s book one of a series, and I recommend this one to everyone who loves Narnia or portal-traveling books. Imagine being able to just jump realms.


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