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Sixth through Eighth Grade

Sixth GradeSeventh GradeEighth Grade

The summer before... sixth grade

Three Cups of Tea
Get inspired by International Bestseller Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson. Three Cups of Tea is...
  • An international bestseller by a Nobel Peace Prize-nominated author.
  • Available in three editions: an adult book, a book revised for middle school, and a picture book, Listen to the Wind.
  • One of the most popular "One Book, One City/School" selections in the country.
  • A non-fiction book that reads like an adventure story.
  • Perfect for those interested in how they can make the world a better place.
  • A great way to begin discussions on tolerance, diversity, and appreciating different cultures.
  • An excellent fit for social studies and language arts curriculums and a great inspiration for community service projects.

A Long Way from Chicago A Year Down Yonder
A Season of Gifts
Get wrapped up in the heartfelt and humorous Grandma Dowdel trilogy by Richard Peck. A Long Way from Chicago, A Year Down Yonder, and A Season of Gifts are...
  • Filled with laugh-out-loud funny, incredibly endearing, and absolutely unforgettable characters.
  • Full of inspiring relationships and tales complete with adventure and action ideal for creative writing projects.
  • Written in a short story format that is appealing to readers.
  • An excellent literary accompaniment to a unit on the Great Depression.
  • Perfect for book club and literature circle discussion groups.

For this grade level, we also recommend...
  • 21 Balloons by William Pène du Bois
  • The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
  • The Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator series by Jennifer Allison
  • The Enola Holmes series by Nancy Springer
  • The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood
  • Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham
  • Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
  • The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen
  • The Redwall series by Brian Jacques
  • The Lost Years of Merlin and The Merlin's Dragon series by T.A. Barron

The summer before... seventh grade

Upper middle school and junior high school students will enjoy diving into these stories. By reading widely, students will increase the benefit of their summer reading experience. Encourage them to read across genres and to discover new authors and series.

Summer of My German Soldier
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
Summer of My German Soldier is the story of twelve-year-old Patty Bergen, a Jewish girl from Arkansas who begins a romance with a German prisoner during World War II.

Climbing the Stairs
Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman
Set during World War II and the last days of British occupation in India, Climbing the Stairs is a powerful story about love and loss.

Postcards from No Man's Land
Postcards from No Man's Land by Aiden Chambers
Geertrui and Jacob live worlds apart, but their voices blend together to tell one story that transcends time and place and war. By turns moving, vulnerable, and thrilling, this extraordinary Printz Medal–winner takes the reader on a memorable voyage of discovery.

Red Kayak
Red Kayak by Priscilla Cummings
Priscilla Cummings weaves a suspenseful tale of three teenagers caught in a web of deception in her multistate award-nominated Red Kayak.

My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park
My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park by Steve Kluger
Told in alternating perspectives, this is the hilarious and touching story of T.C., Augie, and Alé's most excellent year.

The Schwa Was Hereby Antsy Does Time
The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman
Neal Shusterman's award-winning The Schwa Was Here is an unforgettable story of a unique friendship and an unusual quest for notoriety that middle school students will love. Continue Antsy's advenures in Antsy Does Time.

The Outsiders That Was Then, This Is Now
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
A groundbreaking classic that reads as if it was written for today's teens. First published in 1967, The Outsiders immediately resonated with young adults: honest and gritty, it was like nothing else out there and still stands up as one of the greatest modern YA classics.

Love The Outsiders? Check out another great S.E. Hinton read! That Was Then, This Is Now by S.E. Hinton

Close to FamousPeeled
Rules of the Road Hope Was Here
Joan Bauer Full of humor, unforgettable characters, surprises, and lots and lots of heart, Joan Bauer's books are perfect for kids coming into their own.
  • Close to Famous by Joan Bauer
    Everyone has a dream, but nobody is even close to famous in the little town of Culpepper
  • Peeled by Joan Bauer
    Something's rotten in the heart of apple country!
  • Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer
    Meet Jenna Boller, star employee at Gladstone Shoe Store in Chicago.
  • Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer
    Meet everyone's favorite waitress in this Newbery Honor-winning novel.

The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod
The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series by Heather Brewer
Sink your teeth into a boy-friendly vampire series that's clean (as long as you don't mind a little blood).

Boy, More About BoyGoing Solo
Boy, More About Boy, and Going Solo by Roald Dahl
Learn the true story of Roald Dahl's childhood. Read these three nonfiction tales to see where he got the inspiration for his marvelous storytelling.

The Mayflower and the Pilgrims' New World
The Mayflower and the Pilgrims' New World by Nathaniel Philbrick
Adapted from the New York Times bestseller Mayflower specifically for younger readers, this edition brings to life an important period of history.

>Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don't You Grow Weary
Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don't You Grow Weary by Elizabeth Partridge
Award-winning author Elizabeth Partridge leads you straight into the chaotic, passionate, and deadly three months of protests that culminated in the landmark march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.