Spine Study :: “Who Was…?” Tolkien + Verne

One of the cool things about working on Saturdays at the library is, I get to stop and enjoy the books I shelve in middle grade/young adult on a different level.

I don’t have any children of my own so I’m pretty clueless on the middle grade literature spectrum – but here’s what I do know:

They have the coolest books.

Seriously. It’s this beautiful section brimming full with fantasy and history and science and mythology.

There is so much fostering of the imagination in middle grade that I’m going to start reading some just for the hell of it. Not because I “need to be informed” but because I’m drawn to a lot of those books geared toward the ages 8-14.

I love YA – and I’ll tell anyone that – but I truly had no idea what a gem I was missing at just one level down.

I grabbed these two “Who Was…” books before dashing out at noon last Saturday and read them both the same night. I’ve always been fascinated with these authors but haven’t studied much on either of them in my adulthood. I knew the basics (Lord of the Rings and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea kinda chit chat) as well as the fact Tolkien was a language master and Verne was consumed with wanderlust.

These editions are:

  • Informative
  • Comprehensive
  • Entertaining

These books are not watered down to the point of being boring and they’re not “easy” by any means. Younger-Me would’ve loved them but Now-Me adores them just as much.

Turns out there’s over a hundred different editions. I can not wait to read more of them.

Final rating for both: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Have you or your kids/students read any of these “Who Was…” books? Got a favorite I should grab?

– B

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