In middle school, kids are at a more advanced reading level and should be exposed to increasingly more complex novels. Unfortunately, during this period in their lives, they are often easily sidetracked by video games and other non-reading activities. But it isn’t too late for kids to develop a love, or at least an appreciation, for reading. It’s important for parents to continue to encourage their kids to pick up a book and read during school breaks or in the evenings. Because a large number of popular novels are made into blockbuster movies, parents can use this as a way to spark interest and introduce their middle school students to the original book. Novels that are popular with tweens can range from fantasy to paranormal to middle school shenanigans.
The following list is a sampling of books that are often popular with middle school students.
Eragon, by Christoper Paolini: Eragon is a story that takes the reader into a world of magic, empires, and dragons. It tells the story of a 15-year-old boy who discovers he’s destined to be a Dragon Rider. The book is the first in the Inheritance Cycle, which is a series of four popular fantasy novels.
Freak the Mighty, by Rodman Philbrick: Freak the Mighty is a popular book about the strength of best friends. Freak and Max are two boys who are both looked at as being different. While Max is big for his age and considered a slow learner, Freak is small, disabled, and a genius. They become best friends, and when they’re together, they are stronger and go by the name Freak the Mighty.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling: Sorcerer’s Stone is the first novel in the Harry Potter series. The novel starts off the series with young Harry living with his neglectful aunt and uncle when he learns of his past and his parents’ history with magic and wizardry. In the book, he is sent to Hogwarts for the first time, and he meets his future best friends, Ron and Hermione.
Jessica Darling’s It List: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Popularity, Prettiness, & Perfection, by Megan McCafferty: In this novel, tween Jessica Darling is starting junior high and learning that it’s a lot different than what she’s used to. This fun look at life in the seventh grade is the first in a series of Jessica Darling’s It List books.
Pickle: The (Formerly) Anonymous Prank Club of Fountain Point Middle School, by Kim Baker: Pickle is a popular book about a group of middle school pranksters. In it, the mischievous group creates a fake school club to meet as. While creating bigger pranks on the school, they have to keep their club’s true purpose secret.
The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien: The Hobbit is a classic story that continues to be popular with tweens. The novel is a familiar one to most, about a small hobbit named Bilbo Baggins who goes on an amazing journey along with Gandalf the wizard and a group of dwarves. The novel includes characters such as Smaug the dragon and introduces Gollum and the ring featured in the novel The Lord of the Rings.
The Land of Forgotten Girls, by Erin Entrada Kelly: Soledad and Ming are two sisters who were abandoned by their father after moving from the Philippines and left in the care of their cruel stepmother in Louisiana. Soledad uses her imagination to make life easier for her sister by telling stories, except Ming begins to believe that some of them may be true.
The Search for Wondla, by Tony DiTerlizzi: Eva Nine is a girl who lives in a sanctuary underground, raised by a robot. When it’s destroyed, Eva must come to the surface, where she goes on a search for other people like herself. The Search for Wondla is the first in a three-book series.
Ungifted, by Gordon Korman: Middle school student Donovan Curtis is a prankster who likes to do things he shouldn’t. After his latest prank, he’s accidentally sent to an academy for gifted students and has to fool his parents and the academy into believing that he’s meant to be there.
Wilder Boys, by Brandon Wallace: When the Wilder boys discover that their mother’s boyfriend is not only dangerous but also has a secret, they set off to find their missing father. This thrilling story takes two brothers from Pittsburgh to Wyoming with danger in pursuit. It is the popular first book of the Wilder Boys series.