My Bookstagram account combines two things I LOVE: My pups, Snowball and Sandy, and great middle-grade books! For all my other dog lovers out there, you know there’s no one quite like your pups to comfort you, hang out with you, and make you smile on a bad day. Meanwhile, a great book can be a fun escape, especially when you don’t have anywhere to go. Books open up your imagination, and I believe reading great books makes you more creative too!
I’ve been using my dogs as models for my Bookstagram account. (Be sure you’re following me on Instagram right here!) It’s been such a fun way to combine my love for my furry friends, and the written word, and it also inspired me to write today’s post! If you’re a middle-grade reader and love animals, this is the list for you. Here are 10 pawsome middle-grade books and series for dog lovers that you’ll love to read.
P.S. – Love animals as much as I do? Let’s show them our love by protecting them and keeping them safe! $1 from every one of my Welcome to Superhero School books sold, will be donated to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) International. You can find out more about their mission and the book right here!
1. A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron
Amazon description: This 3 book series is based around the beloved bestselling novel by W. Bruce Cameron. It’s the soulful and surprising story of one devoted dog who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he teaches to laugh and love. Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh-out-loud funny, A Dog’s Purpose is not only the emotional and hilarious story of a dog’s many lives but also a dog’s-eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man’s best friend. This moving and beautifully crafted story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.
2. Bowser & Birdie Series by Spencer Quinn
Amazon description: This 3 part book series is a New York Times bestselling mystery! There is trouble brewing in the Louisiana swamp — Bowser can smell it. Bowser is a very handsome and only slightly slobbery dog, and he can smell lots of things. Like bacon. And rawhide chews! And the sweat on humans when they’re lying. Birdie Gaux, the girl Bowser lives with, also knows something is wrong. It’s not just that her grammy’s stuffed prize marlin has been stolen. It’s the weird rumor that the marlin is linked to a missing treasure, and the truck that seems to be following Birdie and the bad feeling on the back of her neck.
When Birdie and Bowser start digging into the mystery, not even Bowser’s powerful sniffer can smell just how menacing the threat is. And when the danger comes straight for Birdie, Bowser knows it up to him to sic ’em.
3. The Last Dogs Series by Christopher Holt
Amazon description: This 4-book series is great for dog lovers of all ages! When all the humans in his world disappear, Max, a yellow Labrador Retriever, begins the search for his family. He knows that if he can just find Madame Curie, a wise, old black Lab, she’ll be able to help. Madame had a premonition of astonishing events to come — she might know where Max’s family is.
But Max can’t make the journey alone. Joined by friends Rocky and Gizmo, Max sets off to find Madame. Along the way, the trio must face a pack of angry wolves, forage for food in a land where kibble is akin to gold, befriend a house full of cats, and outsmart a gang of subway rats. Ultimately, they’ll have to escape from the biggest threat of all: the Corporation, a “perfect” society for dogs and by dogs, where nothing is quite as it seems. These books are a thrilling adventure and a tale of three unlikely friends on an epic quest to find their people — and bring them home.
4. The Seagate Summers Series by Lisa Greenwald
Amazon description: Eleven-year-old Remy loves Seagate, the island where her grandmother had a house and where her family spends every summer vacation. But this year’s different. Remy misses her dog, Danish, who recently passed away. The usual Seagate traditions don’t feel the same—and neither does her relationship with her two best friends, Micayla and Bennett. Micayla’s family is moving to Seagate year-round, and she’s spending more time with the year-round kids. Bennett’s doing “boy stuff” with new kid Calvin and his snobby sister Claire. Remy takes comfort in the company of Dog Beach—which is where she hatches her plan to bring her friends closer and recapture the Seagate magic. This start of a new series is filled with summer treats, activities, and the spirit of friendship and invention that are Greenwald’s trademarks.
5. Argos by Ralph Hardy
Amazon description: This book is a reimagination of The Odyssey from the point of view of Odysseus’s loyal dog. Argos is a thrilling tale of loyalty, determination, and adventure.
For twenty years, the great hero Odysseus struggles to return to Ithaka. After ten years beneath the walls of Troy, he begins the long journey back home. He defeats monsters, outsmarts the Cyclops, battles the gods, and does whatever it takes to reunite with his family. And what of that family—his devoted wife, Penelope; his young son, Telemachos; his dog, Argos? For those twenty years, they wait, unsure whether they will ever see Odysseus again. But Argos has found a way to track his master. Any animal who sets foot or wing on Ithaka brings him news of Odysseus’s voyage—and what a voyage it is!
These tales bring hope that one day his master will return. Meanwhile, Argos watches over his master’s family and protects them from the dangers that surround a throne without its king. This rousing story of devotion and determination is an original take on one of the most beloved myths of all time.
6. Henry Huggins Series by Beverly Cleary
Amazon description: Henry Huggins feels like nothing very exciting ever happens on Klickitat Street . . . until one day when a friendly dog sits down and looks pleadingly at Henry’s ice-cream cone. From that moment on, Henry and his new dog, Ribsy, are inseparable—and together, they cause more excitement than Klickitat Street can handle! This collection includes four beloved classics: Henry Huggins, Ribsy, Henry and Beezus, and Henry and Ribsy. Boys and girls alike will be charmed by these funny stories about an average boy whose life is turned upside down when he meets a lovable puppy with a nose for mischief.
7. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Amazon description: Dog lovers, this one is for you! One summer’s day, ten-year-old India Opal Buloni goes down to the local supermarket for some groceries – and comes home with a dog. But Winn-Dixie is no ordinary dog. It’s because of Winn-Dixie that Opal begins to make friends. And it’s because of Winn-Dixie that she finally dares to ask her father about her mother, who left when Opal was three. In fact, as Opal admits, just about everything that happens that summer is because of Winn-Dixie.
8. The Chase Ryder Series by Jo Ho
Amazon description: What would you do if you found an exceptionally intelligent dog only to discover he had valuable information inside his head that could change mankind forever? The first time I saw him, I had no idea he had recently escaped from a mysterious lab. That he had been created there. I’d been living on the streets, which was tough, but preferable to home. Then one day, I stumbled upon this mangy dog being attacked. I saved him, but then he saved me, and I realized that Muttface wasn’t a normal dog. He was crazy intelligent. I’m talking Mensa levels. It wasn’t only his cleverness that I fell for, however. Bandit happened to be one of the sweetest, purest souls that ever walked the earth. Also, who knew that a dog could have such a goofy sense of humor?
When we sought help from a grieving veterinarian named Sully, his clinic was attacked and destroyed by mercenaries. So now here we are, the three of us. On the run across the country against a powerful enemy. Who are they and what do they want with us? Through the danger, terror, and pain, one thing was becoming clear to me: I have finally found the family I always wanted and I will do anything to keep them safe…
9. Survivors Book Series by Erin Hunter
Amazon description: This is a great 6-book series for dog lovers! Lucky has always been a Lone Dog, roaming the busy city streets and relying on his instincts. Then the Big Growl strikes—a devastating earthquake that changes Lucky’s world forever. For the first time, he must team up with a Pack, a group of former Leashed Dogs who have been separated from their owners.
Lucky’s vivid point of view and the pulse-pounding action make for the start of an addictive series that shows readers the world through the eyes of dogs.
10. Welcome To Superhero School
Amazon description: Last but certainly not least, my very own dog Snowball has a small but vital role in my first novel, Welcome To Superhero School!
From subterranean sewers to lush jungle, from dinosaurs to dragons, our heroes will be pushed to their limits in ways they’d never imagined. Will their collective Powers—Flight, Morphing, Invisibility, Mind Reading, and more—be enough for them to overcome the malevolence of Vork? Or will they stumble over their own doubts and painful histories?
This action-packed journey of friendship, hardship, and humor will take our heroes to thrilling new heights and a deeper understanding of their own place in the world. But will that be enough—or will Vork always be one step ahead?
So what do you think, dog lovers? Which of these books are you planning to add to your reading list?
Reach out on my Instagram account and let me know!