Best Books for Middle School
Seven words fill me with dread, “Mom, I have nothing good to read.” Ironic that our house bulges with books for kids. Everyone room has a bookcase or a pile of books but like the Cobbler’s kids, mine have nothing good to read.
I can usually always find something for my younger two, but my oldest has a good point. We have much less inventory for her. Young Adult is new to me and our shelves lack pre-screened YA books for her.
It’s a new year and that will change. But first, to find good YA books for her. I turned to her amazing English teacher (post parent/teacher conference) and am now consulting StorySnoops, a blog she recommends. I’m collecting book lists from the middle school librarian like this one below. I found Your Next Read on Pinterest. It makes book recommendations similar to the one you type in. I’ve also asked my daughter for book recommendations from her friends.
What do you do to find good books for your middle school kid? Please share!!! Mine likes realistic fiction, and action adventure fantasy. Paranormal is great but it has to be set in modern times. The books I am selecting for her to check out are starred.
p.s. Do you judge books by the cover? There are no descriptions of the books here but if you click on image, you can read the blurb at Amazon. My daughter will likely pick first by cover and then by blurb. And if any book blogger leaves me a link to your book review, I’d be delighted to link to it. Thanks!
My 7th grader hasn’t read mysteries since American Girl Doll mystery books in 3rd and 4th grade. I like the combination of Tokyo and mystery and will see if I can get her to give it a try.
Poison Most Vial by Benedict Carey
Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon
Safekeeping by Karen Hesse
Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn
Secret Letters by Leah Scheier
Double by Jenny Valentine
This is a genre she likes. Laugh with the Moon also teaches about what we can do to help developing countries so I’d love for her to read that. I think See You At Harry’s might win a Newbery and I loved it. Books about boy/girl relationships are relevant to her now. The Love at First Sight book is perfect for her. I know she likes Sonnenblick so even though it looks like a baseball book, it’s worth a try. (She plays soccer not softball).
Laugh with the Moon by Shana Burg
See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles *
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith *
Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick *
You can’t go wrong with humorous! I would recommend anything by Carl Hiaasen in general. This is a great category of books for kids who don’t love to read.
The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde
Chomp by Carl Hiaasen
Ungifted by Gordon Korman
Cat Girl’s Day Off by Kimberly Pauley
Historical Fiction should be renamed Historical Adventure because typically it is a riveting story and not a dusty retelling of something boring from a long time ago. Crow keeps popping up again and again on lists. That’s the first one I want to read on this list.
The Wicked and the Just by Jillian Anderson Coats
The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
For What It’s Worth by Janet Tashjian
Tracks by Diane Lee Wilson
The Last Song by Eva Wiseman
Crow by Barbara Wright
We loved Drama and are looking for more graphic novels with girl appeal.
Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks
Ichiro by Ryan Inzana
The Girl Who Owned a City by Dan Jolley
Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Cardboard by Doug TenNapel
Pandemonium by Chris Wooding
My daughter doesn’t tend to like Fantasy because she likes books set in modern times. Still, Serafina might tempt her.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent by Alan Early
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Winterling by Sarah Prineas
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
I am too squeamish for Horror but my daughter and I like Supernatural like Twilight and Born at Midnight. The key for her is the setting MUST be modern day.
Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough
The Demon Catchers of Milan by Kat Beyer
Fracture by Megan Miranda
Transcendence by C.J. Omololu
Ripper by Stefan Petrucha
The Dead of Winter by Chris Priestley
We like science fiction that turns on character and relationships like A Wrinkle in Time. I’ve heard great things about A Year without Autumn and my daughter is a fan of her Emily Windsnap series.
The Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman
A Year without Autumn by Liz Kessler
Insignia by S.J. Kincaid
The Vindico by Wesley King
A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Biographies & Nonfiction
My daughter doesn’t read biographies or nonfiction. I’m hoping the origami and art book will appeal to her as she is artsy. The cook book looks great too!
His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg: Courage, Rescue,and Mystery during World War II by Louise Borden
Teen Cuisine: New Vegetarian by Matthew Locricchio
The Fairy Ring, or, Elsie and Frances Fool the World by Mary Losure
Zombigami: Paper Folding for the Living Dead by Duy Nguyen
The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity by Elizabeth Rusch
Art Lab for Kids by Susan Schwake
I want to get my kids reading more poetry because we really don’t read any at all. These book covers are VERY appealing!
Eva of the Farm by Dia Calhoun
The Arrow Finds Its Mark: A Book of Found Poems by Georgia Heard
Sisters of Glass by Stephanie Hemphill
Running with Trains by Michael J. Rosen
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.