Summer Reading Lists for Middle School Kids

Best Middle School Books for Summer Reading

Please click on any title heading to see the complete post which includes book reviews. You can also click on any book to purchase at Amazon. I compiled all the book lists I have made on for Middle School. I hope this helps you find some great books to keep your middle school child reading happily this summer.

Books Like Twilight and Hunger Games

My oldest (12 year old girl) loved Hunger Games so much that she read the series 5 times. She liked Twilight also but was less devoted. When she ran out of “good books to read,” I thought it would be easy to find similar series for her. Alas, no. It turns out that she has very specific requirements. The vampires have to be in a MODERN SETTING was a big one. C. C. Hunter’s Born at Midnight series fits the bill perfectly and it skews a tad younger than Twilight.

Born at Midnight series by C. C. Hunter is the winner!

Picks from Our Middle School Librarian (by Genre)

Our middle school librarian created a wonderful book list by genre including: Adventure/Mystery, Realistic Fiction, Humorous, Historical Fiction, Graphic Novels, Fantasy, Horror/ Supernatural, Science Fiction, Biographies & Non-Fiction, and Poetry.

Summer Reading List for Ages 8 and Up

Great New-ish Books for Middle School

This great list is from the Newton Free Library system. It has great detailed book reviews if you click on the title. I found many of our favorite new books there that are middle school approved by my daughter and her friends. Also Karen Day is a local author and every kid who has read her books has raved about them!

My Favorite Book from 90 6th Graders

When wandering the halls of my daughter’s middle school at Parent Visiting Day, I spotted two bulletin boards with a first day assignment each new 6th grader did in which they listed their favorite book or books. I wrote them all down in my iPhone and posted them here. It’s from the horse’s mouth!


YA Dystopian Like THE GIVER

Best Graphic Novels for Middle School 

I have become a great fan of graphic novels and these are some new favorites of ours. I could use more ideas. What graphic novels do you like?

Best Historical Fiction from The Fourth Musketeer

The Fourth Musketeer is a bloggy friend of mine who is a librarian with a great blog focusing on Historical Fiction for kids and teens. I asked her to guest post for me on her favorite books of the year — she only posts on newly published books — and this is her list.

Top 10 Best Historical Fiction

Another Top 10 Best Historical Fiction List

Top 10 Middle School Picks by My 6th Grade Daughter

This post got tons of traffic and complimentary comments. My oldest, then in 5th grade, blogs on her favorite chapter books of the year.

Best YA Title for Boys

There seems to be a real scarcity of great Young Adult books for boys which is a real shame because research shows that reading drops off for boys starting in 7th grade! Try these books if you are noticing your son is reading less.

Top 10 Diversity Chapter Books Like Percy Jackson

Thought Provoking and Downright Scary Book Recs from a Middle School Boy Wunderkind

My mother’s helper said that there was a Go To boy at her summer camp who read EVERYTHING and anyone who wanted a great book recommendation went to him. He posted this list in her summer camp newsletter and I copied it.

5 Amazing Novels in Verse

Best Multicultural Chapter Books

5 Books to Get Your Gamer Reading

Great Sports Novels

One strategy to get kids — tweens and teens included — reading more is to match books with things they are interested in. These were the sports chapter books that stood out. What are your favorites and I’ll add to the list. Not every sport is covered so please give your suggestions!


The Final Four is perfect for March Madness and skews young such that it’s fine for middle school. I think any book by Mike Lupica is popular too!

Basketball Books for March Madness


I would hand this chapter book to any kid who worries about making the cut.


Mudville is a new classic to me. And anything about Fenway Park is popular here in Boston!

Baseball Chapter Books



Children’s Choice Awards

If children, teens and tweens could pick their own books to confer an award, it would be these books because KIDS are actually the judges and vote for their favorites. I’d start with this list for summer reading fun!

 Maximum Ride + Hunger Games = This Book

I’m always on the lookout for new series and these two remind me of two other favorites with both interesting character development and fast paced adventure.

2108 Eyes Open, K L Glanville, sci fi tween, new zealand fiction

Review here

Tweens Who Read 2 to 3 Grades Below

A bloggy friend who is also a teacher requested this list and it took me several iterations to get it right, at least in terms of my kids approving. In finding books for 12-15 year olds who read two to three grades below, I thought about the book being interesting for that age group but also fun and easy to read. Text broken up by graphics, shorter pages, and larger font were all carefully considered. And of course, the book has to grab the reader by the first chapter.

Books for Reluctant Middle School Readers

Diversity Picture Books for 8th Grade

Diversity Picture Books for 7th Grade

Diversity Picture Books for 6th Grade

Worst Case Scenario Adventure Books: You Decide How the Book Ends

Choose Your Ending … or rather choose how the book goes down. Using a short reference chapter at the end of the book, the reader gets to decide at each decision point what to do when faced with danger. It’s a fun and exciting format that is particularly great for boys who want to learn as they read.

Josh in 6th Grade Shares His Favorite Books

Recommendations from peers is another great way to “sell” a book to kid. Josh in 6th grade shares two posts of his favorite books and he has great taste!

Josh in 6th Grade Shares His Ten Favorite Books

Massachusetts Book Awards

Our 5th graders are challenged to read the entire list.

Historical Fiction of Brit Amelia Earhart

Her life reads like an action adventure book but it’s all the more fascinating because she is a real person! And she actually makes Amelia Earhart look like a girly-girl wimp.

Middle School Chapter Books from Books4YourKids

Books4YourKids knows her stuff as an indy book store owner. She reviews a pile of newly published books and presents her favorites here.

Top 100 Best Young Adult Books by Persnickety Snark’s Poll

This is from a few years ago, but it’s another way to see what other people like. After months of polling about YA books, these are the books in the order of how many votes they received. A fun list to check out to see if you agree or not.

The Book Thief, Markus Zusak, http://PragmaticMom.comShiver, Maggie Stiefvater, best young adult contemporary fantasy, http://PragmaticMom.comGraceling, Kirstin Cashore, best young adult novels,

Books for the Middle Grade Reluctant Reader

Some ideas for middle school readers who may be good at reading but just don’t like to read.

Multi-Cultural Books for Middle School

If kids need to read about someone like them, try these multi-cultural books.

Top 10 Chapter Book Series Because They Are So Awesome

My 12 year old posted on her favorite chapter book action adventure series and it’s a very popular post for me.

Reading list of USA president B. Obama is accessible on this site

To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

best books for middle school, 7th grade reading lists, 8th grade summer reading lists, 6th grade reading lists

I am an Amazon affiliate which means if you buy anything through my blog, I get a very small kickback at no cost to you. I use this money to pay for postage and handling for my giveaways.

This group Pinterest board has great book lists and book reviews from KidLit Bloggers. Search here for more ideas of what to read with your kids.


  1. What a fantastic, comprehensive list! I’m sharing this on FB now for all my friends with older children. Thanks!
    Mrs Brown recently posted…My Dad by Anthony BrowneMy Profile

  2. I included a link to your Possible Newbery Medal 2013 Winners on my 6th grade classroom website this past year when we participated in Mock Newbery book clubs. Today I’m updating links for my students in search of a great summer read. I’m so excited to link to this post. Thanks!

  3. Super helpful! Thank you so much 🙂
    Maria Galloway recently posted…Kindergarten SnowmenMy Profile

  4. Caleb

    You have some great books on this list, thanks for sharing. Kids need to read as much as they can. It is important to find out what your kids like and introduce them to literature in that area.

    • Hi Caleb,
      That is such a great point! I totally agree that matching up interests with books is the key to getting kids of any age to read!! And series are great for that. I always cringe when my kids finish a series and say that “there’s nothing good to read!” Then we scramble to find books as close as possible to the ones they liked.

      Another trick I used with success is to read the first few chapters aloud — even to my middle schooler! — just to get them invested in the book until they want to know how the story turns out. Sometimes one chapter will do the trick; other times we have to read at least half way through. It is hard to get kids reading. I think there are more distractions and forms of entertainment than ever for kids compared to when I was in middle school!
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Meeting Ridley Pearson and Rick RiordanMy Profile

  5. Hi I love that you put this list up! It is very helpful to me; I love the diary of a wimpy kid, dork diaries, and between shades of gray books.Thx for the help! 2001 (13)

  6. My 7th grade students created a list of best graphic novels:

    1. Robot Dreams

    2. Bone

    3. The Kane Chronicles

    4. Percy Jackson

    5. Maximum Ride

    6. Boxers

    7. Saints

    8. Adventure Time

    9. Pokemon Manga(there’s so many books that I’ll just say that instead of a specific obscure one)

    10. Amulet Series

    The Adventures of Tintin

    Tintin and Alph-Art

    The Amazing Spiderman

    The Man of Steel

    Marvel Civil War

    The Justice League

    Uglies: Cutters


    Guardians of the Galaxy

    Iron Man




  7. lovvvvvve so many books.
    most of all the romantic scenes in my fav book
    luv romance!!!!

  8. Robin

    Not sure if your daughter has read these two series, but my kids devoured these! I read them with my boys as well, I love reading the same books as them because we get to have great conversations!!

    Under the Never Sky trilogy by Veronica Rossi, and then the Shatter Me (trilogy) by Tahereh Mafi. Both are modern dystopian series and are attention gripping for sure!

  9. Thanks for sharing info about Summer Reading Lists.

  10. I can’t thank you enough for giving us the list that the middle school kids need during summer, its great

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