Working on your HONOR card? Below is a list of award-winning books, most can be found in our school library.
Middle School Recommended Reading List
This is a short list of classics that most of our students have read by the time they finish middle school.
The following titles are merely suggestions for 7-8th grade students. There are many different genres and levels of difficulty included in this list. Those titles with an asterisk(*) indicate a more mature read. It is recommended that parents preview the books, especially those marked by asterisk, prior to student reading
* Almond, David. Kit’s Wilderness. Thirteen-year-old Kit goes to live with his grandfather in
the decaying coal mining town of Stoneygate, England, and finds both the old man and the town haunted by ghosts of the past.
Anderson, Laurie Halse. Chains. Slaves Isabel and younger sister Ruthie are sold to harsh Loyalists at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. Isabel must decide to be loyal or spy for the American patriots.
*Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. In early nineteenth-century England, a spirited young woman copes with the suit of a snobbish gentleman as well as the romantic entanglements of her four sisters.
Avi. Crispin: The Cross of Lead. Set in 14th-century England, the story of a young serf on the run from his miserable past.
Babbitt, Natalie. Tuck Everlasting. The Tuck family is confronted with an agonizing situation when they discover that a ten-year-old girl and a malicious stranger now share their secret about a spring whose water prevents one from ever growing older.
Bloor, Edward. Tangerine. Twelve-year-old Paul, who lives in the shadow of his football hero brother Eric, fights for the right to play soccer despite his near blindness and slowly begins to remember the incident that damaged his eyesight.
*Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. Futuristic fantasy about a society in which all books must be burned.
*Brashares, Ann. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. During their first summer apart, four friends share a pair of second-hand jeans and experience adventure, happiness, and heartbreak.
Colfer, Eoin. Airman. Conor Broekhart spends his days dreaming of flying hot air balloons and inventing flying machines until murder and court intrigue sends him to prison and labor in the diamond mines.
Creech, Sharon. Walk Two Moons. Sal hopes that her missing mother will soon return home as she learns more of her Native American heritage.
Curtis, Christopher Paul. Bud, Not Buddy. Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father--the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway.
*Curtis, Christopher. The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963. The story of an African American family living in Flint Michigan whose lives are dramatically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963.
Cushman, Karen. The Midwife's Apprentice. A homeless girl is taken as an apprentice by a midwife in the Middle Ages.
Dahl, Roald. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Five lucky children win golden tickets and get to visit Mr. Willy Wonka's mysterious chocolate factory.
*Dessan, Sarah. The Truth About Forever. The summer following her father's death, Macy plans to work at the library and wait for her brainy boyfriend to return from camp, but instead she goes to work at a catering business where she makes new friends and faces her grief.
DiCamillo. Kate. The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread. The adventures of Desperaux Tilling, a small mouse of unusual talents, the princess that he loves, the servant girl who longs to be a princess, and a devious rat determined to bring them all to ruin.
Dowd, Siobhan. The London Eye Mystery. When their cousin Salim disappears into thin air during a ride on the London Eye ferris wheel, Ted and his sister Kat try to solve the mystery.
*Dumas, Alexandre. The Count of Monte Cristo. Sent to prison on a false accusation in 1815, Edmond Dantes escapes many years later and finds a treasure which he uses to exact his revenge.
*DuPrau, Jeanne. The City of Ember. In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions.
*Farmer, Nancy. The House of the Scorpion. In a future where humans despise clones, Matt
enjoys special status as the young clone of El Patron, the 142-year-old leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States.
Fox, Helen. Eager. Set at the end of the 21st Century, the story of the Bell family and their new robot, Eager, who is programmed to not merely obey but to question, reason, and exercise
Funke, Cornelia. Dragon Rider. The story of a team of bravehearts seeking a mysterious lair of ancient dragons.
*Golding, William. The Lord of the Flies. Shipwrecked English schoolboys set up their own civilization, but savagery finally emerges.
*Green, Bette. Summer of my German Soldier. The story of an unlikely friendship between a Jewish girl and a young German soldier during World War II.
Hesse, Karen. Out of the Dust. In a series of poems, fifteen-year-old Billie Jo relates the hardships of living on her family’s wheat farm in Oklahoma during the dust bowl years of the Great Depression.
*Hemmingway, Ernest. The Old Man and the Sea. A symbolic story in which an aging fisherman struggles to catch a great fish with his bare hands in the ocean.
*Hinton, S.E. The Outsiders. Ponyboy, a “greaser”, can count on his brother and on his friends, but not on much else. Trouble starts when the “Socs”, a gang of rich kids, begin beating up “Greasers”.
Hobbs, Will. Crossing the Wire. A young boy makes the difficult decision to make the dangerous crossing across the Mexican border in search of a better life.
Horowitz, Anthony. Raven’s Gate. A boy in foster-care becomes involved in the protection of the world against evil forces. A supernatural fantasy.
*Horvath, Polly. The Canning Season. Thirteen-year-old Ratchet spends a summer in Maine with her eccentric great-aunts Tilly and Penpen, hearing strange stories from the past and encountering a variety of unusual and colorful characters
*Houston, Jeanne Wakatsuki. Farewell to Manzanar. The true story of a Japanese American family's struggle to survive evacuation and internment during World War II.
*Johnson, Angela. Heaven. Fourteen-year-old Marley's seemingly perfect life in the small town of Heaven is disrupted when she discovers that her father and mother are not her real parents.
*Johnson, Angela. The First Part Last. Prequel to Heaven. A 16-year-old tells the story of how he became a single father.
Kadohata, Cynthia. Kira-Kira. The story of a Japanese American family told from the point of view of the younger sister Katie. Personal challenges and family tragedy are set against the oppressive social climate of the South during the 1950s and early 1960s.
*Kingsolver, Barbara. The Bean Trees. The story of a poor, young woman who leaves her confining Kentucky home and heads west to confront the challenges of adopting a Native American child.
Konigsburg, E.L. The View From Saturday. Four students, with their own individual stories, develop a special bond and attract the attention of their teacher, a paraplegic, who chooses them to represent their sixth-grade class in the Academic Bowl competition.
L’Engle, Madeleine. A Wrinkle in Time. Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers to search for Meg’s father who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.
*Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. The story of the quiet heroism of Atticus Finch and the honesty of his children Jem and Scout as they face prejudice in the American South during the 1930s.
Lewis, C.S. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Four English schoolchildren find their way through the back of a wardrobe into the magic land of Narnia and assist Aslan, the golden lion, to triumph over the White Witch, who has cursed the land with eternal winter.
*London, Jack. The Sea Wolf. Pressed into service aboard the Ghost, Humphrey Van Weyden becomes an unwilling participant in a tense shipboard drama.
Lowry, Lois. Gathering Blue. Lame and suddenly orphaned, Kira is mysteriously removed from her squalid village to live in the palatial Council Edifice, where she is expected to use her gifts as a weaver to do the bidding of the all-powerful Guardians.
Lowry, Lois. The Giver. Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.
Lowry, Lois. Messenger. Uniting characters from The Giver and Gathering Blue, this is the story of Matty, a young boy struggling to conceal an emerging healing power that he cannot explain or understand.
*Na, An. Step From Heaven. A young Korean girl and her family find it difficult to learn English and adjust to life in America.
Nimmo, Jenny. Midnight for Charlie Bone. Charlie Bone's life with his widowed mother and two grandmothers undergoes a dramatic change when he discovers that he can hear people in photographs talking.
*Nolan, Han. Dancing on the Edge. A young girl from a dysfunctional family creates an alternative world for herself. This nearly results in her death, but ultimately leads her to reality.
*Martinez, Victor. Parrot in the Oven: Mi Vida. Mandy Hernandez, a Mexican American teen, endures many hardships during the year that leads up to his initiation into a California gang.
*Orwell, George. 1984. Winston Smith is a low-ranking member of the ruling party in London, in the nation of Oceania. Everywhere Winston goes, the Party watches him and everywhere he looks he sees the face of the Party's seemingly omniscient leader, Big Brother.
* Patron, Susan. The Higher Power of Lucky. Lucky, a young girl living in a trailer in the desert, deals with abandonment and self-esteem issues. A humorous and uplifting read. (Newbery Award winner)
Park, Linda Sue. A Single Shard. A tale about a 12th-century Korean boy named Tree-ear, who must overcome a host of obstacles in order to attain his life's dream.
*Paolini, Christopher. Eragon. In Aagaesia, Eragon, a fifteen-year-old boy of unknown lineage, finds a mysterious stone that weaves his life into an intricate tapestry of destiny, magic, and power, peopled with dragons, elves, and monsters.
*Paulson, Gary. The Time Hackers. Somebody has decided to make Dorso and his buddy Frank the target of some strange techno-practical jokes. The ultimate gamesters have hacked into the time line, and things from the past are appearing in the present.
Paulson Gary. The River. Because of his success surviving alone in the wilderness for 54 days fifteen-year-old Brian, profoundly changed by his time in the wild, is asked to undergo a similar experience to help scientists learn more about the psychology of survival.
Peck, Richard. A Long Way From Chicago. A young boy, Jerry, recounts his annual summer trips to rural Illinois with his sister during the Great Depression to visit their larger-than-life grandmother, Grandma Dowdel.
Peck , Richard. A Year Down Yonder. Sequel to A Long Way From Chicago. 15-year-old Mary Alice recounts memories of her Grandma Dowdel.
Philbrick, Rodman. The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg. This rollicking yarn, presented through the voice of 12-year-old Homer, uses humor and pluck to mitigate the horrors of the Civil War.
Rawlings, Marjorie Kinnan. The Yearling. Jody Baxter, living in the Florida backwoods with his pet fawn, experiences the joys and pains of adolescence.
Riordan, Rick. The Lightning Thief. A boarding student’s Greek mythology book comes to life and he embarks on a quest to prove his innocence to the Greek gods.
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Wizards and Witches.
Ryan, Pam Munos. Esperanza Rising. When Esperanza’s wealthy father is brutally murdered in Mexico, she and her mother flee to California and take up residence in a migrant worker
Sachar, Louis. Holes. As further evidence of his family’s bad luck, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.
Spinelli, Jerry. Stargirl. The unique and individual Stargirl arrives in a small Arizona town bringing with her the winds of change.
Stead, Rebecca. When You Reach Me. (2010 Newbery Award winner.) Sixth-grade student Miranda starts to find mysterious notes which lead her to believe she can prevent a tragic death.
*Steinbeck, John. The Red Pony. Raised on a ranch in northern California, Jody is schooled in the demands of a rancher's life and the way of horses, but nothing has prepared him for the special connection he will forge with Gabilan, a pony his father gives him.
*Stevenson, Robert Louis. Kidnapped! The story of David, an orphan, whose uncle cheats him out of his inheritance and schemes to have him kidnapped and sold into slavery.
*Tolkein, J.R.R. The Hobbit. Prequel to The Lord of the Rings. The adventures of the well-to-do hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, who lived happily in his comfortable home until a wandering wizard granted his wish.
*Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. A tale of boyhood adventure that brings to life an array of irresistible characters—the awesomely self-confident Tom, his best buddy Huck Finn, indulgent Aunt Polly, and the lovely, beguiling Becky.
Voight, Cynthia. Homecoming. Abandoned by their mother, four children begin a search for a home and identity. (Newbery Author)
White, E.B. Charlotte’s Web. Wilbur the pig is desolate when he discovers that he is destined to be the farmer's Christmas dinner until his spider friend, Charlotte decides to help him.
Wilkinson, Carole. Dragon Keeper. In ancient China during the Han Dynasty, a young slave toils away in a castle for a cruel master. The nameless orphan is hopeless and lonely, until, in a moment of startling bravery, she comes to the aide of an aging dragon.
Williams, Mark. Danger Boy: Ancient Fire. When twelve-year-old Eli becomes involved with the time travel experiments that the government pressures his parents to pursue, he travels to fifth-century Alexandria, Egypt, where he meets Thea, a scholar accused of sorcery, and Clyne, an extraterrestrial saurian who is working on a homework assignment.
Wolff, Virginia Euwer. Make Lemonade. Trying to raise money for college, fourteen-year-old LaVaughn babysits for Jolly, a single mother, in her squalid apartment. Seventeen and almost illiterate, Jolly has two children and works nights in a factory.
*Yep, Lawrence. Dragonwings. Inspired by true events, the story of Moon Shadow and his father, Windrider, a Chinese immigrant, who made a flying machine in 1909.
*Zusak, Markus. The Book Thief. Narrated by Death, this beautifully told story of a young girl living Nazi Germany during W.W. Two is both touching and humorous. (Award winner)
*Zindel, Paul. The Pigman. The tragic death of an older friend shake two teenagers out of their self-centered world.