Suggested Reading for Middle Schoolers and Tweens
Have you been looking for suggested reading for middle schoolers? We know that tweens can be a hard age to please and getting them to read can be struggle. Books can help them find ways to relate to the world around them and to make sense of the changes they are experiencing as they transition from childhood to adolescence. Reading can be just the escape they are looking for or the adventure they are yearning to embark upon. Here are our suggestions for this difficult age group.
Brian is traveling to meet his father when the plane he’s a passenger on crashes in the remote Canadian wilderness. Brian is left with the hatchet his mother gave him as a gift and a will to survive that he’ll need to make it out alive. This survivalist tale is a favorite among old and young and a captivating read!
Remember that tween fantasy of discovering out your parents weren’t necessarily being upfront with you about
your true identity? Well 12 year old Emily makes a startling discovery about her past when her mother finally consents to allowing her to take swimming lessons. This series is imaginative, whimsical and a fun read as you journey with Emily through her discoveries about the kingdoms under the sea. Bonus: everyone loves a mermaid story with an intelligent girl as narrator/main character.
Utopia is possible and Jonas lives there. In this coming of age story, he begins to realize the full ramifications of what the costs are to living in a perfect world and must decide if the price is too high. A nice forerunner to recent dystopia fiction on a level appropriate for ages 10+.
Fun and imaginative Salamanca Tree Hiddle is proud of her heritage and storytelling ability. She sets out on a journey with her grandparents to find her mother, who left the family in years prior. Salamanca is learning to accept reality as she spins elaborate tales to those around her and comes to terms with her own identity.
This modern novel hits a nerve among young tween and teen audiences with a story that highlights the struggles of a young man to manage his life, goals and friendships among harsh circumstances. This book is well known for strongly resonating with boys who have given up reading in the middle school years and is often credited with reigniting reading for many young men. A fantastic read that defines what true friendship looks like.
Sophie and Agatha are best friends who live in a small town, where every four years one good and one evil child is whisked away by the School Master to the School for Good and Evil and are later found in fairytales from the local bookstore. As the day for two more children to be taken by the School Master comes closer everyone thinks Sophie will be the good child with her kind deeds and pink wardrobe and Agatha will be the evil one with her mysterious and dark personality. But when the day comes they’re pulled into their own fairytale with their destinies reversed. Will new and unlikely forged friendships help them put things right or is this the way things are meant to be?
Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life . . . until now.
Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.
William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and modern science was mystery. It was also a land withered by drought and hunger. William read about windmills, and he dreamed of building one that would bring to his small village a set of luxuries that only 2 percent of Malawians could enjoy: electricity and running water. His neighbors called him misala—crazy—but William refused to let go of his dreams. With a small pile of once-forgotten science textbooks; some scrap metal, tractor parts, and bicycle halves; and an armory of curiosity and determination, he embarked on a daring plan to forge an unlikely contraption and small miracle that would change the lives around him.
Harry was just an average boy, until a letter arrived inviting him to Hogwarts, a school of magic. He discovers a new world of wizards and witches he’s a part of, but is this a blessing or a curse. With this new world comes new enemies. As Harry tries to end the rise of the evil with help from newly found friendship battles rage and peace can rarely be found even in the haven of his new school. The question is who will win?
A Wrinkle in Time
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** These books are also good choices for advanced elementary readers
Looking for EVEN MORE book suggestions for tweens?
Need book suggestions for kids of other ages? Check out some of the other posts in this series: