All posts in Reading Lists: Middle School

My Son's 6th Grade Recommended Book List

My Son’s 6th Grade Recommended Book List

My son’s reading journey started when he turned three and wanted to only read about dinosaurs. At age four, his interest switched to Pokémon. He learned to read in kindergarten when he turned six and we read mostly picture books.

Graphic novels got him reading in first grade but we also read a lot of picture books too, particularly those with a math theme. By second grade, he read books about aliens, funny books, and graphic novels, and explored different genres in third grade.

In fourth grade, he read a combination of funny, realistic fiction and graphic novels with a little fantasy adventure thrown in. In fifth grade, he discovered he liked poetry thanks to Kwame Alexander. (Thanks Kwame!) This was the year his reading exploded.

Sixth grade was marked by a year of concussion, but we kept on reading with me reading aloud to him. I would describe his taste in books as solidly Rick Riordan, realistic fiction, anything funny including graphic novels, with an interest in science topics either in fiction or nonfiction. He is essentially your typical boy. We’d love your recommendations for a boy who likes funny, action adventure. Thanks so much!

p.s. His sister’s 6th grade reading list: 6th Grade Chapter Books from a Sixth Grade Girls.

 

My Son’s 6th Grade Reading List

Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

This was the assigned summer reading for his rising 6th grade. We both really liked it, and were thrilled to learn that director Rob Reiner, also reading this book with his daughter, liked it so much that he decided to make it into a movie. My son isn’t into girls but he didn’t seem to mind this middle school love story. [chapter book, ages 12 and up]

Booked by Kwame Alexander

My son learned that he liked poetry after reading The Crossover. My son doesn’t play basketball but he’s played club soccer since he was eight. When I told him Kwame Alexander’s next book was about soccer, he was excited to read it. He liked this book about soccer, divorce, and bullying too. I was surprised that a soccer star could be bullied. I haven’t seem that where I live, but I guess it happens. [novel in verse, for ages 10 and up]

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My 2018 Newbery Predictions

My 2018 Newbery Predictions

The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

A Newbery Book Should Have Broad Age Appeal

There’s nothing worse, in my mind, with a Newbery winner that is too high such that only the most advanced elementary school readers can attempt it. The Westing Game is a good example of that for me. It won in 1978.

A Newbery Winner Does Not Have to be Middle Grade Chapter Book

Last’s year picture book surprise, Last Stop on Market Street, opened up the possibility that other genres are being seriously considered. Both Roller Girl and El Deafo took home Newbery Honor prizes too, putting graphic novels right in the hunt.

The Newbery Seeks Diversity?

Winning a Newbery does have a significant financial impact for an author which can not be underestimated. This award can affect what might get published in the future, showing that diversity books appeal to a broader audience than the characters they represent. Brown Girl Dreaming is a good example of that in showing the world that a girl about a brown girl would be read by non-brown girls.

p.s. My Caldecott/Newbery predictions are here: 2017201620152014, and 2013.

 

My 2018 Newbery Predictions

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

The only reason I suspect that this book won’t get Newbery recognition is because of previous honors via The One and Only Ivan which won in 2013. But this story is remarkable in its spareness that still conveys exquisite detail of multi-generations of intertwining stories as told by a special tree who has been rooted in place for centuries, assisting in the making of wishes come true. Applegate adds in an especially relevant theme of anti-Muslim bigotry which is a Very Important Message, pushing this book, at least for me, into Newbery recognition territory. It’s a kind of Charlotte’s Web meets [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla

Charlie has OCD and possibly also has Aspergers Syndrome. Accommodating his needs leads his crew on a cross country trip in search of birds in a circuitous path that finalizes at a hospital in Virginia caring for their brain damaged father. While Charlie’s siblings are on this trip — three siblings with their own strong personalities — it’s their caregiver, the mysterious Ludmila whose own backstory they discover throughout the course of their journey, that ties her, indirectly, to their father. And it’s during this adventure that includes meeting an assortment of people that pushes Charlie out of his usual routine and into a quest for both birds and a chance to meet a mysterious ornithologist that inspires him. Weaving these backstories together to such a satisfying ending is what makes this book Newbery caliber for me. It reminds me of Walk Two Moons and Moon Over Manifest, yet Pla manages to tie even more backstories together which is quite a feat. All the more remarkable that this is her debut book! [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

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Middle Grade Humor for Boys and 3 Signed Book GIVEAWAY!

Middle Grade Humor for Boys and 3 Signed Book GIVEAWAY!

Please welcome author Mark Maciejewski with a book list on how to get boys reading, even reluctant ones. His answer? Humor! It works! He wrote a hilarious book about a bald, middle school outcast and we are giving away three signed copies!

I Am Farticus by Mark Jaciejewski

Chub is a short, accidentally bald, middle school outcast with no chance of ever becoming one of the popular kids. With help from his personal band of like-minded misfits (not to mention tactics gleaned from the Colonel, a US military vet with toenail issues), Chub’s determined to bring down his nemesis, class hero and now potential class president, Archer, or the Arch—the very guy who betrayed Chub with the lice-killing potion that left him bald as a billiard ball. If the Arch gets to be president, Chub knows his life is officially over. [chapter book, ages 9 and up]

To enter to win, please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom.

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I love to laugh, especially when I read. Some of my best memories as a kid were of losing myself in a giggle fit over a book (usually, one I shouldn’t have been reading at that age.) Back then there simply weren’t a lot of books written directly to middle graders, and of the ones that were, few of them were funny. So I ended up reading a lot of humor meant for grown-ups, which may or may not have had a positive effect on my developing brain.

Today, however publishers have gotten smart. They realize that if you make a kid laugh, that kid will probably keep on reading. Nowadays there are tons of hilarious book written for the Middle Grade set. If you know a middle Grader who thinks reading is a bore, put one of these books in their hands, sit back and watch them crack up. You might just turn them into a reader, or God forbid, a writer.

 

Middle Grade Humor for Boys and Other Reluctant Readers

Pickle by Kim Baker

Pickle is about a prank club at Fountain Point Elementary School which is so secretive they operate a full scale pickle making club as a front for their operations. This book features a wonderful, diverse cast of characters who pull off one hilarious prank after another. I love Kim Baker’s comic touch and the way she creates a full cast of utterly unique characters, dealing with real life challenges, that any middle school reader will completely relate to. [chapter book, for ages 8 and up]

Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Cofer

Magic and Mobsters. Need I say more? Artemis Fowl is the son of an Irish crime lord who tricks a fairy into giving up her book of spells so he can use it for his own criminal enterprises. I love the way Colfer blends action, adventure, fantasy, and humor to make us root for a great Middle Grade anti-hero. I also hear there’s a movie in the works. Bonus! [chapter book series, for ages 8 and up]

I have a post on Eoin Colfer when I met him at the Mega Awesome Event.

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Nevermoor Giveaway

Nevermoor Prize Pack GIVEAWAY!

Disney-Hyperion sent me a copy to check out, and is partnering with me for a giveaway!

I’m giving away a prize pack in celebration of Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend. This book reminds me of The Hunger Games meets The Unwanteds.

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10 Books to Turn Reluctant Readers into Eager Ones & 3 Book Giveaway!

10 Books to Turn Reluctant Readers into Eager Ones & 3 Book Giveaway!

Please welcome my guest author today, Jarrett Lerner. I met him at the six middle grade event in Boston!

He’s the author of EngiNerds and we are doing a 3 book giveaway! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom.

EngiNerds by Jarrett Lerner

The battle between boys and bots is on in this funny, fast-paced novel.

They may be brainiacs, but they’re just like everyone else: they fight with one another, watch too much TV, eat Chinese food, and hate walking their dogs. Well, maybe not just like everyone because Ken’s best friend Dan has been building robots. He then secretly sent one to each of the EngiNerds, never letting them know he’s the mastermind.

But be careful what you wish for: Dan’s robot, Greeeg, may look innocent, but his ravenous consumption of food—comestibles—turns him into a butt-blasting bot. And once the other robots ‘come alive’ it’s up to the motley crew of EngiNerds to not only save the day, but save the planet! [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

10 Books to Turn Reluctant Readers into Eager Ones

1. The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

Any list like this would be incomplete if it failed to mention Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants (and now also Dog Man) series. They are, quite simply, some of the best books produced in the past couple decades. They are wonderfully approachable, and always manage to deliver the perfect amount of silliness and adventure while also leaving readers with something positive to think over. Pilkey’s books are a sure-fire way of eroding some of your reluctant reader’s reluctance. [chapter book, ages 6 and up]

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Meet 6 Middle Grade Authors & HUGE 6 Book GIVEAWAY!

Meet 6 Middle Grade Authors & HUGE 7 Book GIVEAWAY!

It was fun to meet six KidLit authors and learn more about their newest books at Trident Booksellers and Café on Newbery Street in Back Bay, Boston. Despite having an office in Back Bay, I had never been to this book store before! It’s great with two good sized cafés.

Middle Grade Authors Describe & Read from Their Books

The KidLit middle grade panel had a nice mix of books. They featured mystery, fantasy, science fiction, foodie fiction, and one story co-written by seven different authors: Rachele Alpine, Ronni Arno, Alison Cherry, Stephane Faris, Gail Nall, Jen Malone, and Dee Romito.

Trident Booksellers and Cafe

I video taped each author (and the moderator) as they described and then read from their book (or book jacket).

Middle Grade Authors Describe & Read from Their Books

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#MistressOfAllEvil

#MistressOfAllEvil Prize Pack GIVEAWAY!

I’ve partnered with Disney Hyperion for this Mistress of All Evil Giveaway. They are supplying the prize package.

Why does Maleficent curse the innocent princess? What led to her becoming so filled with malice, anger, and hatred? Many tales have tried to explain her motives. Here is one account, pulled down from the many passed down through the ages. It is a tale of love and betrayal, of magic and reveries.

It is a tale of the Mistress of All Evil.

Are you excited for the fourth book in this series? I’m giving away a prize pack that includes all four books and a color changing branded mug! Read more…

Click'd by Tamara Ireland Stone

#ClickdBook Prize Package GIVEAWAY!

I’m thrilled to giveaway Tamara Ireland Stone’s latest book, Click’d. I loved her last book, Every Last Word, about a high school girl who suffered from OCD. I have a book list about OCD coming out soon inspired by this book.

I’m actually giving away a prize package, courtesy of Disney Hyperion. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter.

 

Click’d by Tamara Ireland Stone

Allie Navarro can’t wait to show her best friends the app she built at CodeGirls summer camp.

Watching her app go viral is amazing. Leaderboards are filling up! Everyone’s making new friends. And with all the data Allie is collecting, she has an even better shot at beating her archenemy, Nathan, at the upcoming youth coding competition. But when Allie discovers a glitch that threatens to expose everyone’s secrets, she has to figure out how to make things right, even if that means sharing the computer lab with Nathan. Can Allie fix her app, stop it from doing any more damage, and win back the friends it hurt—all before she steps on stage to present Click’d to the judges? [chapter book, ages 9 and up]

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Cover Reveal for The Length of a String by Elissa Brent Weissman

Cover Reveal for THE LENGTH OF A STRING & 3 Book Giveaway!

I’m thrilled to revealing the cover for Elissa Brent Weissman’s lastest book, The Length of a String! We are also giving away three of her previous books. My son is a big fan of her Nerd Camp books! Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter.

What do you think of her book cover? Thanks for sharing your impressions!

 

The Length of a String by Elissa Brent Weissman

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