I'm not at all sure if my favorite book of all time, Watership Down, counts as a middle grade novel. As it is, I'll list it as:
0. Watership Down - Richard Adams -- I read this four times before I was twelve. The adventure series to end all adventure series. I spent much of my fourth and fifth grade years pretending to be a rabbit.
1. Little White Horse - Elizabeth Goudge -- I discovered this one as an adult and was blown away by Goudge's flowery description and absolutely lovable characters. I recently re-read it to see if it would hold up (after 10 years as a librarian) and it sure did.
2. The Dark is Rising - Susan Cooper -- It's hard not to take this series as a whole, but if I had to only read one of them again, it would be this one. I found this one when I was fifteen in a tiny rural library in northern Michigan and recognized it from Julia Ecklar's filk song of the same name. I fell into immediate love and consumed all five in one week. Since then I've read them many times and find new things to love every time.
3. A Little Princess - Francis Hodgson Burnett -- My favorite by far of her books, and the classic I re-read most frequently (even more than Little Women). Sara's attic just came to life in my mind each time I opened the book.
4. The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster -- I think this book inspired my love of puns and wordplay, not to mention math and word games. It brought to earth large concepts like Boredom and Truth.
5. Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Big Hill - Maud Hart Lovelace -- Discovered as a child, rediscovered as a teen and still loved as an adult, all the Betsy-Tacy books are worth reading, but this was my favorite. My sister and I played a lot of Betsy-Tacy when we were growing up.
6. Danny the Champion of the World - Roald Dahl -- Even though all of Roald Dahl's books have a special spot on my bookshelves, this is my favorite. It evoked the clearest, simplest feeling of love by a child for a parent that any book has ever done.
7. The Diamond in the Window - Jane Langton -- What a great mix of mystical adventures, houses with hidden places and sibling rivalry (and a nod to some famous American literary figures). I had no idea it was part of a series until I became a librarian!
8. A Wind in the Door - Madeline L'Engle -- I liked this one even more than the first book. I think it was the powerfully imagined character of Proginoskes.
9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rowling -- My favorite of the seven. Harry had to make an appearance on my list.
10. The Four-Story Mistake - Elizabeth Enright -- This is another book I can't believe I didn't read until I was an adult. I saw it on so many favorites lists, I had to pick them up. Again, it stands alone as a series, so I had a hard time choosing which one was the best, but I have a warm spot in my heart for houses with secret places inside.
I could add so many more...
Trumpet of the Swan
What are YOUR choices?