Great Books for Middle Schoolers 

 *also available on audiobook or playaway


Children’s books

Belly Up (series) by Stuart Gibbs

Henry the hippo is dead. Yes, the signature denizen of America’s newest and largest zoo has been found belly. But there’s worse to come when 12-year-old Teddy begins to suspect it’s murder most foul and sets out to solve the crime by himself.

Bystander by James Preller 

Eric is the new kid in seventh grade. Griffin wants to be his friend. When you're new in town, it's hard to know who to hang out with―and who to avoid. And if Griffin doesn't like you, you'd better watch your back. There might be a target on it.

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya*

Save the restaurant. Save the town. Get the girl. Make Abuela proud. Can thirteen-year-old Arturo Zamora do it all or is he in for a BIG, EPIC FAIL?

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

Esperanza thought she'd always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances--Mama's life, and her own, depend on it.

It Ain't So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas

Based on her own experience emigrating from Iran to Newport Beach, California in the 1970’s, Dumas has written a funny and insightful middle grade novel about the challenges of fitting in and finding yourself in a new country.

The Last Boy at St. Edith’s by Lee Malone

Seventh grader Jeremy Miner has a girl problem. Or, more accurately, a girls problem. 475 of them to be exact. That’s how many girls attend his school, St. Edith’s Academy. Jeremy is the only boy left after the school’s brief experiment in co-education. And he needs to get out.

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P Figg by Rodman Philbrick

Twelve-year-old orphan Homer runs away from Pine Swamp, Maine, to find his older brother, Harold, who has been sold into the Union Army. With laugh-aloud humor, Homer outwits and outruns a colorful assortment of civil War-era thieves, scallywags, and spies as he makes his way south, following clues that finally lead him to Gettysburg.

Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart* 

Jonathan Grisby is the newest arrival at the Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys. Just as he's getting used to his new situation, however, a freak accident leaves the troubled boys of Slabhenge without any adult supervision. Suddenly the kids are free, with an entire island to themselves. But freedom brings unexpected danger.


Teen Books

*also available on audiobook or playaway

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella*

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Shopaholic series comes a terrific blend of comedy, romance, and psychological recovery in a contemporary YA novel sure to inspire and entertain.

The Girl From Everywhere (series) by Heidi Heilig*

As the daughter of a time traveler, Nix has spent sixteen years sweeping across the globe and through the centuries aboard her father’s ship. Modern-day New York City, nineteenth-century Hawaii, other lands seen only in myth and legend—Nix has been to them all. But when her father gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end.

House Arrest by Karen Holt

Timothy is a good kid who did a bad thing. Now he's under house arrest for a whole year. He has to check in weekly with a probation officer and a therapist, keep a journal, and stay out of trouble. But when he must take drastic measures to help his struggling family, staying out of trouble proves more difficult than Timothy ever thought it would be. A novel in verse.

Trapped by Michael Northrop

It’s a setup just plausible enough to give you chills. A nor’easter, which will ultimately be known as the worst blizzard in U.S. history, sweeps into a rural New England community, trapping seven kids inside their high school for days.

Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

In 1845, Sammy, a Chinese American girl, and Annamae, an African American slave girl, disguise themselves as boys and travel on the Oregon Trail to California from Missouri.