Middle Grade Animal Stories

Books with talking animals are nothing new. You need look no further than The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe or Charlotte’s Web to get examples of the best. We are fascinated by the question, “What goes on in the minds of animals?” Look to these authors for a possible glimpse into their world.

Pax by Sara Pennypacker


Peter rescued Pax 5 years ago and he’s taken care of him ever since. But now his dad is off to war, Peter is off to his grandfather’s and Pax must return to the forest. In a gut-wrenching opening scene, Peter throws a toy into the woods then drives away. Both fox and boy have one goal. To find each other again.

Wing and Claw by Linda Sue Park (series)


Raffa belongs to a family of apothecaries. When he discovers a rare red vine in the forest, he’s shocked to learn that it not only has healing properties, but also enables animals to talk. He uses it to heal a bat, but learns that if used improperly if can have devastating effects.

Wildwood by Colin Meloy (series)


This one is a long fantasy adventure. When five crows swoop in and abduct Prue’s baby brother, she sneaks into the Impassible Wilderness to steal him back. This forest is home to both humans and talking animals. A deposed governess is trying to gain back power by raising an army of coyotes and feeding infant blood to an ivy vine that will destroy the forest.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate


Ivan is a gorilla at a rundown mall zoo. He befriends an old elephant and a dog that comes and goes. When a new baby elephant arrives at the zoo, Stella makes Evan promise to do whatever it takes to get her to a better home. Using the drawing skills he learned from the janitor’s daughter, he sets about keeping his promise.

The Wonderling by Mira Bartok


Number 13 is a foxlike groundling at Miss Carbunkle’s Orphanage for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures. Conditions are deplorable. Birdlike orphan, Trinket, renames him Arthur and helps him escape to Lumentown to find his parents. He settles in with a group of thieves and ends up exiled to the sewers.

The Tale of Despereux by Kate DiCamillo


Despereux is a mouse who loves all things in the human world, especially the princess. Roscuro is a rat living in the dungeon, but wanting to live in the light. Mig is a servant girl who wants to be a princess. The lives of these three characters are going to insect in the most amazing way.

Foxcraft by Inbali Iserles (series)


When a band of ruthless foxes leave Isla without a family, she sets out to find them. A fox named Siffrin finds her and saves her from a dog. The Elders have tasked him with finding Isla’s brother Pirie. Together they evade the ruthless fox band by practicing foxcraft magic.


Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White


Classic telling of the runt pig, Wilbur, who is saved by Fern and later sold to a local farmer. When he realizes, what the farmer intends to do with him, the spider Charlotte steps in to help by spinning words in her web like “Radiant” and “Some Pig.” Eventually her plan succeeds and he is saved from the slaughter.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (series)


Four siblings are sent to the countryside during the London bombings, discover a magical wardrobe while playing hide and seek. They enter a magical world called Narnia where animals talk and an evil witch-queen turns her enemies to stone and keeps the land frozen in Winter. Only Aslan can help the children save Narnia.

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