While adhering to a recommended reading list for middle school isn't always a requirement, it can be a great help to educators and parents when choosing age-appropriate reading material for children in this group.
Types of Books
When it comes to middle schoolers, who are typically in grades 6-8, there's no limit to subject matter. Many books on a recommended reading list for middle school students feature children who are the same age as the readers, or slightly older. There are plenty of fantasy books on the list, as well as historical fiction, which is good for teaching today's child how families lived in past decades. Most books will be chapter books and can be humorous, scary, exciting or serious.
Recommended Reading List for Middle School Students
Every school or homeschool plan may differ when it comes to what it wants its middle schooler to read, but this is a general list that parents and teachers can use for suggestions.
- Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis: The story of a Depression-era boy who flees an abusive foster home in search for the man he believes is his father.
- The Sammy Keyes series by Wendelin van Draanen: With titles such as Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief and Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy among several others, this series of books featuring the mystery-solving Sammy will be a literary treat for kids who love sleuth books.
- Still a classic, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle is a fantasy story about three teens who go on a dangerous, wild adventure. A 1963 Newbery Medal winner, this book is still enjoyed by many kids today.
- Under the Blood Red Sun by Graham Salisbury is a wonderful book about the struggles Japanese-Americans faced during World War II, seen through the eyes of a teenage boy.
- The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer: The title character in this series of fantasy books isn't your typical teen hero; in fact, he's an evil genius bent on reaping a big ransom by kidnapping a fairy.
- Dealing With Dragons series by Patricia C. Wrede: Not your average princess, Cimorene is a girl who tomboys will probably identify with. Follow her adventures as she lives with dragons and fights evil wizards.
- The Cay by Theodore Taylor is another World War II-era story about a boy who befriends a man that he initially held prejudices against based on the color of his skin.
- Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo is the story of how a big, ugly dog helps a 10 year-old girl trying to come to terms with not having a mother and making new friends.
- Another book about dragons, Jeremy Thatcher, the Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville relates the tale of 12 year-old problem-plagued Jeremy and what happens when he unwittingly buys a dragon egg.
- Steal Away by Jennifer Armstrong is a good choice in historical fiction that can teach young readers a lot about the trials of slavery, escaping to freedom and personal prejudices.
- What Could Go Wrong? by Willo Davis Roberts is another great read for mystery lovers. When three cousins unwittingly pick up a piece of paper that holds the key to a crime, they become involved in an adventure that they'll never forget.
School or Summer Reading
Parents can make regular library and bookstore visits a fun part of summer, so that children have access to plenty of books when they're out of school. Encourage children to read books outside of their usual subject matter when you can - they may discover new themes and characters to love.