10 Books for Middle Schoolers to Read Outside of School

Your middle school student will enjoy reading these books.  Many of them contain situations that will resonate with many different aspects of the educational journey.  Being able to relate to stories in literature will help build a positive association with reading. This habit will enhance their education and enrich their lives.

Booked by Kwame Alexander

Twelve-year-old Nick, with the support of his best friend and an inspiring librarian, deals with problems at home, with girlfriends, bullies, and even his soccer team.

The Line Tender by Kate Allen

Artistic Lucy utilizes the grief resulting from losing her mother to work on a project that fuses her new interest in sharks. A shark expert, and her best friend, Fred, help support this new hobby.

Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly

Lalani visits the island of Isa to seek help for her sick mom and the relentless rain which is causing devastation on her island. The story of Lalani is interwoven with other islands as they join forces to show that success is not based on brute force.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Ponyboy, Darry, and Sodapop have a rough life.  However, they know that they can rely on their loyal friends. Unfortunately, after an evening of fighting with a gang of rich kids, the Socs, the group must demonstrate their loyalties.

A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry

Based on a real wolf’s journey, Swift, a yearling wolf, journeys alone through the Pacific Northwest in search of a new home after an assault on his family’s territory.

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Because of the threat of gun violence to him and his mother by his father, Castle Crenshaw, known as Ghost, has been on the run. Only after he starts running for the middle school track team, can he begin to see what running can do for him.

Wringer by Jerry Spinelli

Once boys turn ten in Palmer’s town, they become “wringers”. This means that they have to end the lives of injured pigeons in a town event. Nine-year-old Palmer not only despises the practice, but also keeps a pigeon in his house, creating a moral dilemma.

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

This memoir recounts Telgemeier’s experiences with the pain of friendships, boy drama, and even an earthquake.

Paperboy by Vince Vawter

Little Man is a talented ball player, but he can’t speak much without stuttering. Little Man isn’t looking forward to interacting with the customers when he takes over his best friend’s paper trail for July.

Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom by Booki Vivat

In this illustrated book, Abbie Wu deals with finding herself in the ups and downs of middle school social life when everyone else seems to fit in well.