Avon Middle High School Library - Avon, MA

100 Books To Read In Middle School


Please remember to take advantage of our neighbor, the Avon Public Library (click here) or your local library for additional borrowing needs. (Their Catalog found here!)

Need a paper copy of this book list?  Print one out here (no annotations)

A worksheet  for the Middle School summer reading books 2010 can be found here


Do you have a suggestion for this list?
We're always looking for good titles.











Higson, Charles; Fleming, Ian. 

Blood fever



  During a summer holiday in Italy, the teen-age James Bond tangles with an underground empire of criminals as he attempts the rescue of a kidnapped young girl.



Emerson, Kevin. 

 Carlos is gonna get it


 Recounts the events that occur at the end of seventh grade, when a group of friends plan to trick Carlos, an annoying "problem" student who says he is visited by aliens, while they are on a field trip in the mountains of New Hampshire



 Perkins, Mitali.

First daughter : extreme American makeover 

sequel is First daughter : White House rules


During her father's presidential campaign, sixteen-year-old Sameera Righton, who was adopted from Pakistan at the age of three, struggles with campaign staffers who want to give her a more "all-American" image and create a fake weblog in her name.



Roth, Matthue.

Never mind the Goldbergs  


 Don't think for a second that you know Hava or her place in the world. Yes, she's an Orthodox Jew. But that doesn't mean she can't rock out. And yes, she has opinions about everything around her. But her opinions about herself can be twice as harsh. Now Hava's just been asked to be the token Jew on a TV show about a Jewish family, trading one insular community for another. There is soon a collision of both cultures and desires -- with one headstrong heroine caught in the middle.



Alexie, Sherman

The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian


Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Native American is the school mascot.




Nothing but the truth: a documentary novel


Ninth grader Philip Malloy is suspended for humming the National Anthem during homeroom. When the story hits the national news, the results of telling nothing but the truth unfold in surprising and thought-provoking ways.



Bloor, Edward               



Though legally blind, Paul Fisher can see what others cannot. He can see that his parents' constant praise of his brother, Erik, the football star, is to cover up something that is terribly wrong. But no one listens to Paul--until his family moves to Tangerine. In this Florida town, weird is normal: Lightning strikes at the same time every day, a sinkhole swallows a local school, and Paul the geek finds himself adopted into the toughest group around: the soccer team at his middle school.    


 Boyne,  John  

The boy in the striped pajamas : a fable


Bored and lonely after his family moves from Berlin to a place called "Out-With" in 1942, Bruno, the son of a Nazi officer, befriends a boy in striped pajamas who lives behind a wire fence. The story of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is very difficult to describe. Usually we give some clues about the book ont he jkacket, but in this case we think that would spoil the reading of the book. We thiink it is important that you start to read without knowing what it is about. If you do start to read this book, you wll go on a journey with a nine-year-old boy called Bruno. (Though this isn't a book for nine-year-olds) And sooner or later you will arrive with Bruno at a fence. Fences like this exist all over the world. We hope you never have to encounter such a fence.


Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker

Leap of faith


Abigail is starting a new middle school, a Catholic school, because she’s been expelled from her old one. She’s sure that this place will be just the same as the last, and no one will listen to her here either. Even her parents don’t seem able to really hear the truth about what happened at the previous school. But now she finds herself in a community of people who do listen, who want to be her friends, and who help her discover a talent for theater that she never knew she had. Converting to Catholicism began merely as a way to annoy her parents, but quickly it becomes more. Could she be developing real faith?


Brashares, Ann

The sisterhood of the traveling pants

The second summer of the sisterhood

Girls in pants : the third summer of the Sisterhood

Forever in blue : the fourth summer of the Sisterhood

2001 etc.

“The guys-to -die-for romances, sibling rivalry, and heartbreaking tragedy are themes enabling the book’s popularity to gain legs as teen girls share the book and recommend it to others. (RW) Four gossipy adolescents share a used pair of jeans. It’s like eavesdropping on their daily lives—romance, parents, and jobs.”




Butler, Dori Hillestad.


The truth about Truman School


Tired of being told what to write by the school newspaper's advisor, Zibby and her friend Amr start an underground newspaper online where everyone is free to post anything, but things spiral out of control when a cyberbully starts using the site to harrass one popular girl.



Cabot, Meg


* Series


Susannah, a mediator--a contact person for dead people with unresolved issues--has moved with her mother and stepfather to California, and there's a ghost sitting in her new bedroom and another one at her new high school.


Card, Orson Scott       



Ender's game



In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Preview the book here



Choldenko, Gennifer

Al Capone does my shirts


A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards' families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister.



Choldenko, Gennifer

If a tree falls at lunch period


Kirsten and Walk, seventh-graders at an elite private school, alternate telling how race, wealth, weight, and other issues shape their relationships as they and other misfits stand up to a mean but influential classmate, even as they are uncovering a long-kept secret about themselves.



Velde, Vivian Vande

Remembering Raquel


Various people recall aspects of the life of Raquel Falcone, an unpopular, overweight freshman at Quail Run High School, including classmates, her parents, and the driver who struck and killed her as she was walking home from an animated film festival.



Colfer, Eoin

Artemis Fowl

* Series


 Artemis Fowl, a charming but villainous twelve-year-old, takes on the dangerous world of the Fairy People. Artemis Fowl opens up a riveting world of fantasy and mystery where anything, literally, is possible.



COLLINS, Suzanne..–

The Hunger Games


In reality TV run amok, an annual, government-run competition pits two dozen teens against one another in a fight to the death, and 16-year-old Katniss must hold her own against stronger and more ruthless players. A compelling and often-poignant portrait of young people forced to deal with unspeakable evil.



Compestine, Ying

Revolution is not a dinner party : a novel 


Ling, the daughter of two doctors, struggles to make sense of the Cultural Revolution, which empties stores of food, homes of anything deemed bourgeois, and people of laughter.




Cooney, Caroline B.


The face on the milk carton


"When Janie sees her own face on the milk carton under the words "Missing Child," she begins to wonder about her so-called parents."



Creech, Sharon

Walk two moons


After her mother leaves home suddenly, thirteen-year-old Sal and her grandparents take a car trip retracing her mother's route. Along the way, Sal recounts the story of her friend Phoebe, whose mother also left.



Cummings, Priscilla

Red kayak



 Living near the water on Maryland's Eastern Shore, thirteen-year-old Brady and his best friends J.T. and Digger become entangled in a tragedy which tests their friendship and their ideas about right and wrong.



Curtis, Christopher Paul

The Watsons go to Birmingham--1963 : a novel


Two young boys travel with their parents to Birmingham, Alabama in the middle of the tumultuous civil rights movement.  Violence and racism are everywhere, but the family does a great job of protecting itself until an unspeakable event impacts all of them.  This is loved by boys and girls, and is a must read for everyone. 



Deuker, Carl




 When a new job falls his way, Chance jumps at the opportunity, becoming a runner who picks up strange packages on a daily route and delivers them to a shady man at the marina. Chase knows how much he will earn—what he doesn’t know is how much he will pay. Suspenseful, fast-paced, and timely, this novel avoids easy answers as it examines issues of terrorism and patriotism, fear and courage, and lives of privilege and poverty.



 Curtis, Christopher Paul

 Bud, not Buddy


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 of Grand Rapids.


Draper, Sharon-

Double Dutch


Three eighth-grade friends, preparing for the International Double Dutch Championship jump rope competition cope with Randy's missing father, Delia's inability to read, and Yo Yo's encounter with the class bullies. Great for reluctant readers.



Ellis, Deborah

The breadwinner


 Young Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan. Because he has a foreign education, her father is arrested by the Taliban, the religious group that controls the country. Since women cannot appear in public unless covered head to toe, or go to school, or work outside the home, the family becomes increasingly desperate until Parvana conceives a plan. She cuts her hair and disguises herself as a boy to earn money for her family.



Feinstein, John

Last shot : a Final Four mystery

Cover-up -

Final Four Mystery series



. After winning a basketball reporting contest, eighth graders Stevie and Susan Carol are sent to cover the Final Four tournament, where they discover that a talented player is being blackmailed into throwing the final game.




Fergus, Maureen

Exploits of a Reluctant (But Extremely Goodlooking) Hero


 Meet a teenage hero who likes nothing better than to sit back with a bucket of fried chicken and a girlie magazine, waiting for his family plumbing fortune to come to him. But when our hero gets into some serious trouble, he's forced to volunteer at a local soup kitchen where he finds himself at the center of a struggle between the rich and the poor, the selfish and the selfless. It is a worthy cause he could care less about until the day he stumbles across a shocking piece of information. What happens next surprises everybody, including our very reluctant hero... Exploits of a Reluctant (But Extremely Goodlooking) Hero is a novel of adventure, intrigue, Ukrainian dance lessons, disruptive horseplay, inappropriate ogling and some truly heroic consumption of junk food. Adrian Mole meets South Parkin this often outrageous and always hilarious trip into the inner world of a boy teetering on the brink of manhood.



Flake,  Sharon


Who am I without him? : short stories about girls and the boys in their lives


This is the antidote for the sappy romance genre: gritty and funny stories about boys and first loves. (TSL) This book is on a subject of primary importance to middle school girls, and it offers enough diverse views and situations that most teens will recognize themselves within its pages. 




Fleischman , John

Phineas Gage a gruesome but true story about brain science


Lots of gory detail plus great nonfiction information about the brain makes this a knockout for boys (and girls like it, too). The mere thought of living with an iron rod embedded in one’s brain will fascinate and completely engage the middle school boy’s penchant for gross and gory.



Freedman, Russell.

The voice that challenged a nation : Marian Anderson and the struggle for equal rights


Opening with a moving account of the great African American contralto’s Easter Sunday concert from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1939, Freedman tells the powerful story of Marian Anderson’s struggle for the right to sing.


Cooney, Caroline B Code Orange 2005

 While conducting research for a school paper on smallpox, Mitty finds an envelope containing 100-year-old smallpox scabs and fears that he has infected himself and all of New York City.


Gantos, Jack

Joey Pigza Series

 1 Joey Pigza swallowed the key

2 Joey Pigza loses control



To the constant disappointment of his mother and his teachers, Joey has trouble paying attention or controlling his mood swings when his medication wears off.







Giff, Patricia Reilly 

Pictures of Hollis Woods


A troublesome twelve-year-old orphan, staying with an elderly artist who needs her, remembers the only other time she was happy in a foster home, with a family that truly seemed to care about her.




Haddix,  Margaret Peterson

Among the hidden

*Shadow Children series. 


  In the future, families are restricted to two children due to limited resources.  But Luke is born a third child, and he finds it very lonely hiding inside his own home.  He soon discovers another third child, and the book takes off from there. 



Halpin, Brendan.

How ya like me now


After his father dies and his mother goes into rehab, Eddie moves from the suburbs into his cousin's Boston loft, where he gradually adjusts to being one of the few white kids in a progressive private school, and learns how to feel like a normal teenager




Hiaason, Carl



Middle school students invent clever pranks to save the owls’ nesting site from new construction.


Hobbs, Will

Crossing the wire


 Fifteen-year-old Victor Flores journeys north in a desperate attempt to cross the Arizona border and find work in the United States to support his family in central Mexico.


Horowitz, Anthony


Alex Rider Adventures series

1) Stormbreaker

2) Point blank .

3) Skeleton Key

4) Eagle Strike

5) Scorpia

6) Ark Angel

7) Snakehead



These books effectively blend adventure, danger, technology—including cool gadgets—and an interesting hero, teen spy Alex Rider, in thrilling plots.  Recruited by British Intelligence to become a secret agent, fourteen year old Alex outwits the bad guys while continuing to deal with the desires, fears, and doubts of a middle school boy.



Houston, Julian

New boy



 Fifteen-year-old Rob Garrett wants nothing more than to escape the segregated South and prove himself. But in late 1950s Virginia, opportunity doesn’t come easily to an African American. So Rob’s parents take the unusual step of enrolling their son in a Connecticut boarding school, where he will have the best education available. He will also be the first student of color in the school’s history. No matter—Rob Garrett is on his way.



Johnson,  Angela


The first part last


Bobby is your classic urban teenaged boy -- impulsive, eager, restless. On his sixteenth birthday he gets some news from his girlfriend, Nia, that changes his life forever. She's pregnant. Bobby's going to be a father. Suddenly things like school and house parties and hanging with friends no longer seem important as they're replaced by visits to Nia's obstetrician and a social worker who says that the only way for Nia and Bobby to lead a normal life is to put their baby up for adoption.



Kent, Rose.


Kimchi and calamari


Adopted from Korea by Italian parents, fourteen-year-old Joseph Calderaro begins to make important self-discoveries about race and family after his social studies teacher assigns an essay on cultural heritage and tracing the past.



Kinney, Jeff

Diary of a wimpy kid



 Greg records his sixth grade experiences in a middle school where he and his best friend, Rowley, undersized weaklings amid boys who need to shave twice daily, hope just to survive, but when Rowley grows more popular, Greg must take drastic measures to save their friendship.



Konigsburg,  E. L.


The outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place


Prefer Not To....  That's Margaret Rose Kane's response to every activity she's asked to participate in at the summer camp to which she's been exiled while her parents are in Peru. So Margaret Rose is delighted when her beloved uncles rescue her from Camp Talequa, with its uptight camp director and cruel cabinmates, and bring her to stay with them at their wonderful house at 19 Schuyler Place.




Korman , Gordon



Capricorn (Cap for short) had lived every day of his life on Garland Farm growing fruits and vegetables. He was homeschooled by Rain, the only person he knew in the world. Life was simple for Cap. But when Rain falls out of a tree while picking plums and is hospital-ridden, he has to attend the local middle school and live with his new guidance counselor and her irritable daughter. Cap doesn't exactly fit in at Claverage Middle School (dubbed C Average by the kids). He has long, ungroomed hair, wears hemp clothes, and practices Tai Chi out on the lawn. While Cap knew a lot about Zen Buddhism, no amount formal education could ready him for the trials and tribulations of public middle school.




Korman,  Gordon


Son of the mob


The time-tested Romeo and Juliet theme of opposites from feuding families falling in love is presented in a fresh, fast-moving, and completely funny story.


Wallace, Rich.

Shots on goal


 While pursuing his goal of helping his soccer team win the league championship, fifteen-year-old Bones tries to deal with his resentment of his best friend, on whose girlfriend he has a crush.



Lasky,  Kathryn

Blood secret


 Fourteen-year-old Jerry Luna, mute since her mother's disappearance, is sent to her great-great aunt Constanza's house, where she discovers a trunk that draws her into the world of her ancestors during the Spanish Inquisition.



Lawson, Kirby

Hattie Big Sky 


It is 1918 in rural Iowa, and Hattie Inez Brooks has survived to her sixteenth year being shuttled among various relatives and near-relatives. She has an opportunity to homestead in Montana when her uncle dies. All she has to do is cultivate 40 acres, put up 480 rods of fence and pay a filing fee of $37.75 within the next ten months.





Lichtman, Wendy.


Do the math : secrets, lies, and algebra


Tess has always loved math, and she uses mathematical concepts to help her understand things in her life, so she is dismayed to find out how much math--and life--can change in eighth grade.




Lipsyte, Robert

Yellow flag



 When seventeen-year-old Kyle reluctantly succumbs to family pressure and replaces his injured brother in the family racecar, he struggles to keep up with his trumpet playing while deciding how--or if--he can continue making music with a brass quintet and headlines as a Nascar racer.




Lisle, Janet Taylor

The art of keeping cool


 In 1942, Robert and his cousin Elliot uncover long-hidden family secrets while staying in their grandparents' Rhode Island town, where they also become involved with a German artist who is suspected of being a spy.



Lord, Cynthia.



Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her world is further complicated by a friendship with an young paraplegic



Lupica, Mike

Travel team


After he is cut from his travel basketball team--the very same team that his father once led to national prominence--twelve-year-old Danny Walker forms his own team of cast-offs that might have a shot at victory.




Lupica, Mike



 Pitching prodigy Michael Arroyo is on the run from social services after being banned from playing Little League baseball because rival coaches doubt he is only twelve years old and he has no parents to offer them proof.



MacHale, D.J.

The merchant of death

Pendragon series


 Reluctant hero Bobby Pendragon discovers his special talent forcing him to battle evil by entering different parallel worlds. Bobby’s resourcefulness and nobility continue drawing boy readers back to the series.



Magorian, Michelle    


Good night, Mr. Tom


 Willie Beech, a nine-year-old abused child, goes to live with kind "Mister Tom" after being evacuated from World War II London, but is summoned home by his disturbed mother.



Trueman, Terry


Inside out


A sixteen-year-old with schizophrenia is caught up in the events surrounding an attempted robbery by two other teens who eventually hold him hostage.



Mass, Wendy

A mango-shaped space : a novel


 Afraid that she is crazy, thirteen-year-old Mia, who sees a special color with every letter, number, and sound, keeps this a secret until she becomes overwhelmed by school, changing relationships, and the death of her beloved cat, Mango.



Meyer,  L. A.



Bloody Jack : being an account of the curious adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, ship's boy


Reduced to begging and thievery in the streets of London, a thirteen-year-old orphan disguises herself as a boy and connives her way onto a British warship set for high sea adventure in search of pirates.



Meyer, Stephanie


* Series



 Seventeen-year-old Bella leaves Phoenix to live with her father in Forks, Washington, where she meets an exquisitely handsome boy at school for whom she feels an overwhelming attraction and who she comes to realize is not entirely human.


Moriarty,  Jaclyn

The year of secret assignments


Lots of laughs, plenty of attitude, mystery, and hijinks permeate this book that has been incredibly popular with our eighth grade students. Three longtime girlfriends in high school—Emily, Lydia, and Cassie—who are connected through parents who went to law school together, are each required to become pen pals with guys in a cross-town school with a bad reputation. The story is told primarily through these letters back and forth,along with some journal entries, and a hysterically funny fill-in-the-blanks writing workbook that Lydia’s dad has given her.  



Myers, Walter Dean 




 While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Stevemon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the f of a film script as tries to come to terms with his life.


Cover Image

Myers, Walter Dean  

Sunrise over Fallujah



 Robin Perry, from Harlem, is sent to Iraq in 2003 as a member of the Civilian Affairs Battalion, and his time there profoundly changes him.



Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds

Almost Alice
Dangerously Alice
Alice in the know
Alice Series

2008, etc

 The Alice series follows the main character, Alice McKinley, known as "Al" to her father and older brother as she grows up in Silver Spring, Maryland. The Alice series broaches many topics, including relationships, dating, sex, friendship, life problems, families, God, and understanding. The books have made the ALA (American Library Association) list of most challenged books for several years



Nelson,  Kadir


We are the ship : the story of Negro League baseball


Using the collective “we” to honor “the voice of every player,” this pitch-perfect history, the product of extensive research, features a folksy and conversational storytelling style and loads of attention-grabbing details. Nelson’s grand slam, though, is the art: each oil portrait transmits a proud formality, and his from-the-ground perspectives render the players appropriately larger than life.



Nelson, Blake, 1960-


Gender Blender


When the students in health class at George Wilson Middle School are assigned girl/boy partners to discuss gender issues, no one could imagine that two students would actually switch bodies.



Nye, Naomi Shihab.




When fourteen-year-old Liyanne Abboud, her younger brother, and her parents move from St. Louis to a new home between Jerusalem and the Palestinian village, they face many changes and must deal with the tensions between Jews and Palestinians.



Park, Linda Sue

Project Mulberry : a novel


 While working on a project for an after-school club, Julia, a Korean American girl, and her friend Patrick learn not just about silkworms, but also about tolerance, prejudice, friendship, patience, and more. Between the chapters are short dialogues between the author and main character about the writing of the book.



Paterson, Katherine.

Bread and roses, too


In the winter of 1912, the Lawrence, Massachusetts, mills go on strike and local workers endure horrible conditions. The children are shipped to Barre, Vermont, where Rosa and bad-boy Jake learn about cooperation. Rachel (8th grade) said, “Once the author went into detail with Rosa, the little girl won my heart. She was independent and determined but could not speak her mind.”



Paulsen, Gary

How Angel Peterson got his name : and other outrageous tales about extreme sports


 Author Gary Paulsen relates tales from his youth in a small town in northwestern Minnesota in the late 1940s and early 1950s, such as skiing behind a souped-up car and imitating daredevil Evel Knievel.




Trueman, Terry.

7 days at the hot corner


 Varsity baseball player Scott Latimer struggles with his own prejudices and those of others when his best friend reveals that he is gay.



Pierce, Tamora.

First test

Protector of the small.series .


Keladry of Mindalen, daughter of nobles, serves as a page but must prove herself to the males around her if she is ever to fulfill her dream of becoming a knight.



Rees, Celia

Pirates! : the true and remarkable adventures of Minerva Sharpe and Nancy Kington, female pirates


 At the dawn of the eighteenth century, Nancy Kington and Minerva Sharpe, set sail from Jamaica on a pirate vessel, hoping to escape from an arranged marriage and slavery.



Rinaldi, Ann

An unlikely friendship : a novel of Mary Todd Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckley


 Relates the lives of Mary Todd Lincoln, raised in a wealthy Virginia family, and Lizzy Keckley, a dressmaker born a slave, as they grow up separately then become best friends when Mary's childhood dream of living in the White House comes true.



Riordan, Rick

The lightning thief

Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series


 Percy Jackson learns he is a demigod, the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, God of the Sea. His mother sends him to a summer camp for demigods where he and his new friends set out on a quest to prevent a war between the gods.



Sonnenblick, Jordan


Drums, girls, & dangerous pie 


When his younger brother is diagnosed with leukemia, thirteen-year-old Steven tries to deal with his complicated emotions, his school life, and his desire to support his family.



Rowling, J.K

Harry Potter and the deathly hallows

* Harry Potter Series

2007  etc

 Harry Potter's final year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry



Selzer, Adam.

How to get suspended and influence people



 Gifted eighth-grader Leon Harris becomes an instant celebrity when the film he makes for a class project sends him to in-school suspension.


Selznick, Brian

The invention of Hugo Cabret : a novel in words and pictures


When 12 year old Hugo, an orphan living in a Paris train station and repairing clocks, meets a mysterious toy seller, his life and his biggest secret are jeopardized.



Sharenow, Robert.

My mother the cheerleader : a novel


Louise’s alcoholic mother keeps her out of school and hurls insults daily at new student Ruby Bridges, but Louise is oblivious to the racism until Morgan Miller comes to stay at their boarding house and sheds light on the situation. Tiana (9th grade) says that “it offers an interesting and different perspective on the beginning of integration in schools.” LaVern (7th grade) recommends it “because it shows a great deal of courage [from] a young girl.”




Shull, Megan.


Amazing grace


Tennis has a new "it" girl and her name is Grace Kincaid. The only problem is -- Grace has suddenly realized that being a teen sensation isn't all it's cracked up to be. With fame and fortune just a backswing away, all she really wants is to be ...NORMAL!



Sones,  Sonya


What my mother doesn't know


 Sophie describes her relationships with a series of boys as she searches for Mr. Right.



Sonnenblick, Jordan.

Zen and the art of faking it



When thirteen-year-old San Lee moves to a new town and school for the umpteenth time, he is looking for a way to stand out when his knowledge of Zen Buddhism, gained in his previous school, provides the answer--and the need to quickly become a convincing Zen master.




Spinelli, Jerry



 Seventh-grader John "Crash" Coogan has always been comfortable with his tough, aggressive behavior, until his relationship with an unusual Quaker boy and his grandfather's stroke make him consider the meaning of friendship and the importance of family



Stroud, Jonathan.


The Amulet of Samarkand. - Bartimaeus trilogy ;



Nathaniel, a young magician's apprentice, becomes caught in a web of magical espionage, murder, and rebellion, after he summons the djinni Bartimaeus and instructs him to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from the powerful magician Simon Loveland. The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud



Tolan, Stephanie

Surviving the Applewhites



 Jake, a budding juvenile delinquent, is sent for home schooling to the arty and eccentric Applewhite family's Creative Academy, where he discovers talents and interests he never knew he had.



Van Draanen,  Wendelin

Confessions of a serial kisser


 After reading her mother's secret collection of romance novels during her parent's difficult separation, seventeen-year-old Evangeline Logan begins a quest for the perfect kiss.



Voight, Cynthia



 Abandoned by their mother, four children begin a search for a home and an identity.



Weeks,  Sarah

So B. It : a novel


After spending her life with her mentally retarded mother and agoraphobic neighbor, twelve-year-old Heidi sets out from Reno, Nevada, to New York to find out who she is.


Cover Image

Whittenberg, Allison.



Sweet thang


In 1975, life is not fair for fourteen-year-old Charmaine Upshaw, who shares a room with her brother, tries to impress a handsome classmate, and acts as caretaker for a rambunctious six-year-old cousin who has taken over the family.


Cover Image

Winerip, Michael

Adam Canfield of the Slash


While serving as co-editors of their school newspaper, middle-schoolers Adam and Jennifer uncover fraud and corruption in their school and in the city's government.



Winthrop, Elizabeth.


Counting on Grace

2007 -

Inspired by a photograph of a young girl working in a textile mill taken by child labor reformer Lewis Hine, this story relates the struggles of immigrant workers as they attempt to make a living in the mill towns of New England



Wolf, Joan M.

Someone named Eva




In 1942, Milada is taken, along with other blond, blue-eyed children, to a school in Poland tobe trained as proper Germans in order to be adopted by German families.   “I liked how it showed another side of the Nazi horrors. Usually Holocaust books are about the concentration camps, but this one is different. Although it is less harsh than many other books on the Holocaust, it affected me most because I can almost understand her fear and confusion. This book is that emotional and effective,” said Sudeshna (6th grade)



Wolff, Virginia Euwer                      

Make lemonade
True believer
This full house




 In order to earn money for college, fourteen-year-old LaVaughn babysits for a teenage mother.



Woodson,  Jacqueline



Shows the effects of a witness protection program on a family.


Yee, Lisa

Stanford Wong flunks big-time
Millicent Min, girl genius
So totally Emily Ebers

**3 books - different viewpoints on same story.



 After flunking English, basketball prodigy Stanford Wong must struggle to pass his summer-school class, keep his failure a secret from his friends, and satisfy his academically demanding father.



Yolen, Jane

The devil's arithmetic


When 12-year-old Hannah is transported back to a 1940's Polish village, she experiences the very horrors that had embarrassed and annoyed her when her elders related their Holocaust experiences.


Zusak, Markus


The book thief 


 It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.  This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.


Student comments from
Top Shelf Fiction Middle School Readers  Voya (Voice of Youth Advocates)
Masscat annotations
Westwood Public Schools 100 Books to Read in Middle School

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