Lee & Low’s Holiday Gift Guide: 9 Diverse Middle Grade and Young Adult Novels

If you are in a position this year to give gifts to young people in your life, consider giving books!

Yesterday, we rounded up a few of our joyful diverse picture books, perfect for gifting the little ones in your life. Today, we’re sharing our middle grade and young adult novels from light-hearted mysteries to heart-pounding thrillers.

Middle Grade

On These Magic Shores

On These Magic Shores: Minerva must take care of her sisters after her mother’s disappearance in this magical Latinx middle grade story that takes a critical look at Peter Pan.

Julieta and the Diamond Enigma

Julieta and the Diamond Enigma: In this smart, young mystery about a diamond gone missing from the Louvre, can sweet and spunky Julieta crack the case?

There's No Base Like Home

There’s No Base Like Home: ESPN Major League Baseball analyst and two-time Olympic medalist Jessica Mendoza teams up with her sister Alana Mendoza Dusan for their first highly-illustrated novel for young readers, a Dork Diaries for sporty kids.


Ahimsa: In this historical middle-grade novel, Gandhi asks for one member of each family to join the fight for independence from the British, and when Anjali’s mother is jailed for doing so, Anjali must step out of her comfort zone to take over her mother’s work.

The Wind Called My Name

The Wind Called My Name: In this heartwarming historical middle-grade set in the 1930s — perfect for fans of Esperanza Rising and Hattie Big Sky— Margarita Sandoval and her family try to navigate the shifting winds of belonging in their new Wyoming town.

Young Adult

Perfect Liars

Perfect Liars: Andrea Faraday is junior class valedictorian at the exclusive Woodruff School, where she was voted Most Likely to Do Everything Right. But looks can be deceiving. Sometimes, to save the day, a good girl’s gotta be bad. A perfect choice for thrill seekers!

Rogue Heart

Rogue HeartWarcross meets Final Fantasy in this companion novel to Rebel Seoul, in which a young telepath joins a rebel group on a secret mission to end a decades-long world war. Part heist novel, part love story.

Grand Theft Horse

Grand Theft Horse: In this gorgeous graphic biography, G. Neri, author of the acclaimed Yummy and Ghetto Cowboy, retells the life of his cousin Gail, a pioneer who challenged the horse racing world for the sake of one extraordinary horse. A must-read for horse lovers everywhere.

The Magnolia Sword

The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of MulanA Warrior in Disguise. A War for a Dynasty. Bestselling writer Sherry Thomas weaves an enthralling #ownvoices retelling of a story that has thrilled readers for centuries: the ballad of Mulan.

There are so many great books that it was hard to choose—what else would you add?

One thought on “Lee & Low’s Holiday Gift Guide: 9 Diverse Middle Grade and Young Adult Novels”

  1. Your book lists are wonderful! One thing I noticed as I was going through your mystery books was there aren’t a balance of male characters. I’m searching for great books for all of my students and I definitely need male voices. Thank you!

Comments are closed.