Finding good books for middle school readers can be tricky (and if those readers are gifted, it’s doubly so).
A parent recently asked me for suggestions, so I’ve curated this list.
The list has two things: titles of books I recommend, and also places to find lists of good books for middle school readers with specific interests.
Good Books for Middle School Readers
Specific Books I Recommend
These are specific titles I recommend, in alphabetical order by title. These recommendations are for books I feel accomplish at least one of the following:
- Promote social growth and understanding
- Resonate with gifted kids
- Celebrate resilience
- Encourage personal strength & fortitude
- Contribute to the cultural conversation
I only recommend titles I’ve read, and I’ve tried to keep the list to a manageable size!
- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
- The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
- A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
- From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Homer Price by Robert McCloskey
- Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
- Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
- Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
- Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (entire series)
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
- Matilda by Roald Dahl
- Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
- My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
- The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
- Watership Down by Richard Evans
- Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
- The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Challenges for middle school readers include:
- Read 10,000 pages (or 100,000)
- Read 26 books with titles beginning with every letter of the alphabet (“x” can be anywhere in the title)
- Read a book with authors from all 50 states
- Try this 50-Book Challenge
- Read all of the Newbery winners
List of Books on Special Topics and Ideas
These are links to lists others have curated on specific topics:
- Animals and more Animals
- Fantasy and Science Fiction and more Fantasy
- Historical Fiction from Many Cultures
- Male Protagonists
- Reluctant Readers
If you’ve got suggestions for good books for middle school readers or other topics they like to read about, please, please share in the comments!
If you liked this post, you may like:
- The Problem with Reading
- Reading Buddies (includes a freebie)
- Summer Reading Extravaganza
- 3 Ways to Get Boys to Read Books About Girls
- The Most Popular Books of All Time
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