Here are my choices:
If you write Middle Grade Fantasy and you want plenty of humor in the mix, go pick up -
Case File 13: Zombie Kid by J. Scott Savage.
Book Description - Case File 13: Zombie Kid follows three monster-obsessed friends who must solve fiendishly funny mysteries in their creepy hometown. Nick, Carter, and Angelo are obsessed with all things monster. And every Halloween they get to show off their monster-knowledge with elaborate homemade costumes. But this year, a surprise trip to the house of an aunt who may have been a voodoo queen throws a major wrench into the boys’ Halloween plans and lands Nick with a cursed amulet that turns him into a real, live (well, undead) zombie.
To Nick and his friends, this is . . . awesome! At first. Then the whole zombie thing starts to get a little out of hand (literally), and the boys have to go on a chilling adventure to reverse the curse. One that involves a talking cat, a skeleton who likes candy corn, and even the dreaded Zombie King himself.
That book has the perfect mix of creepy grossness and outright hilarious dialogue. The characters are witty and real and that's so important for young readers. They need real kids to read about and relate with. You won't go wrong with this series. Trust me!
Pick it up here: Zombie Kid
Janitors by Tyler Whitesides.
Book Description - The magical, secretive society of JANITORS will sweep the country in the fall of 2011. Have you ever fallen asleep during math class? Are you easily distracted while listening to your English teacher? Do you find yourself completely uninterested in geography? Well, it may not be your fault. The janitors at Welcher Elementary know a secret, and it s draining all the smarts out of the kids. Twelve year- old Spencer Zumbro, with the help of his classmate Daisy Gullible Gates, must fight with and against a secret, janitorial society that wields wizard-like powers. Who can Spencer and Daisy trust and how will they protect their school and possibly the world? Janitors is book 1 in a new children s fantasy series by debut novelist Tyler Whitesides. You ll never look at a mop the same way again.
There are two books already out in this series. The weapons alone are worth reading about and I really don't think I've read something so wickedly original. Great writing for helping you create unique elements to your story.
Pick up book 1 here: Janitors 1
The Books of Elsewhere by Jacqueline West
Book Description - When eleven-year-old Olive moves into a crumbling Victorian mansion with her parents, she knows there's something strange about the house - especially the odd antique paintings covering the walls. And when she puts on a pair of old spectacles, she discovers the strangest thing yet: She can travel inside the paintings, to a spooky world that's full of dark shadows. Add to that three talking cats, who live in the house and seem to be keeping secrets of their own, and Olive soon finds herself confronting a dark and dangerous power that wants to get rid of her by any means necessary. It's up to Olive to save the house from the dark shadows, before the lights go out for good.
It really reminded me of Coraline and there are parts that are downright scary. I read the first one with my 2 sons and they looked forward every night for the next chapter. Great description and an intelligent but highly likable protagonist.
Pick up Book 1 here: Books of Elsewhere