There’s something about motels and inns. The adventure of being away from home. A place to rest after exploring new places. Interesting people. Are you with me? Whether you’re more interested in the mom and pop roadside motel or the grand hotel in the country, there’s an adventure waiting on the pages of these highly entertaining middle grade reads.
Front Desk by Kelly Yang
When Mia’s father loses his restaurant job, they move to Anaheim to manage a motel. At first it seems like a dream job, but the owner, Mr. Yao, cares only about maximizing his own profit. When she does the math, she sees how much Mr. Yao is making and is determined to “get off her roller coaster” and onto the good one.
Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel by Kimberly Willis Holt
When Stevie’s parents die in a freak accident, she is sent to live with her grandfather. He owns a cheap motel and isn’t easy to get along with. Stevie is determined to win him over. When she has the chance to live with her aunt, she realizes how much she has grown to love the motel, the people and her grandfather.
Greetings from Nowhere by Barbara O’Connor
Four lives come together at a rundown roadside motel in the Smokey Mountains. Aggie is old and can no longer run the motel. Willow’s dad is buying the motel and Willow isn’t happy about it. Loretta is visiting all the places her birth mother once visited. Kirby is happy his mom’s car broke down to delay his arrival at reform school.
Home Sweet Motel (Welcome to Wonderland #1) by Chris Grabenstein
P.T.’s grandfather owns an old Florida motel that predates Disney World. Even the tacky statues he’s accumulated aren’t bringing customers anymore. P.T. figures out a marketing strategy to save the motel from foreclosure.
Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn by Greg Leitich Smith
During a scheduled rocket launch at Kennedy Space Center, a UFO appears, resulting in a media frenzy. The owner’s son finds out one of the vacationers is an alien, who’s trying to get back to her spaceship. The interesting part is that she’s got a dead alien in her refrigerator.
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
Greenglass House is a hard-to-get-to hotel that rarely has visitors over Christmas break. Milo is looking forward to his winter vacation with the cozy fireplace, hot chocolate and just his parents. Then, strangely, people start showing up one by one.
Winterhouse by Ben Guterson
Elizabeth, who unfortunately lives with a not-so-nice aunt and uncle, comes home from school to find a locked door, $3, a bag of clothes, and instructions to take the 6:20 train to the WinterHouse Hotel. It’s a grand hotel, but something sinister is going down in the library.
The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing (Mo and Dale Book 2) by Sheila Turnage
Lana and Grandmother Miss Lacy buy the rundown Tupelo Inn at an auction. When they read the fine print, they see it comes with a ghost, which happens to be Miss Lacy’s childhood friend. Mo and Dale are going to get to the bottom of it. Their history grade depends on it.
The Inn Between by Marina Cohen
Quinn is invited along on a road trip with Kara’s family. They stop at a grand hotel in the desert. At first it seems different and fun, but there’s a lot of weird people. The next morning, Kara’s parents are gone. Then Josh disappears. Quinn soon becomes convinced her missing/deceased sister is at the hotel.