Great books for kids in middle school
Unless otherwise noted, all books may be found in
the juvenile fiction section under the author’s last name.
KIDS LIKE ME
Rules / Cynthia Lord
Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, 12 year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her life is also complicated by a friendship with an young paraplegic.
Hope was here / Joan Bauer
Hope and her aunt become involved with a diner owner's campaign to oust the town's corrupt mayor.
Waiting for normal / Leslie Connor
Twelve-year-old Addie tries to cope with life in a small trailer, her mother's erratic behavior, and being separated from her beloved stepfather and half-sisters.
Getting Near to Baby / Audrey Couloumbis
Willa Jo and her sister come to terms with a tragedy when they stay for a while with their loving, but misunderstood, aunt and uncle.
When Zachary Beaver Came to Town / Kimberly Willis Holt
During the Vietnam War, two Texas boys befriend the “fattest boy in the world.”
Silent to the Bone / E. L. Konigsburg
When a boy loses the ability to speak after he is accused of injuring his infant half-sister, his friend sets out to discover the truth.
A Fine White Dust / Cynthia Rylant
Thirteen year old Pete falls under the spell of a travelling Preacher Man.
The Wednesday Wars / Gary D. Schmidt
A 7th-grade boy learns about Shakespeare and life in this funny novel set in 1967.
Antsy does time / Neal Shusterman
"Antsy" Bonano learns about life, death, and more when he tries to help a friend with a terminal illness.
So B. It / Sarah Weeks
Raised by her mentally retarded mother and agoraphobic neighbor, a 12-year-old girl decides to find the truth about her past.
The boy who dared / Susan Campbell Bartoletti
In October, 1942, a 17 year-old boy is imprisoned for distributing anti-Nazi leaflets.
Code Talker : a novel about the Navajo Marines of World War Two / Joseph Bruchac
In World War II, a Navajo boy enlists in the Marines where his native language is used as a secret code.
Carrie’s War / Nina Bawden
In World War II Carrie and her brother are evacuated from London.
Revolution is not a dinner party / Ying Chang Compestine
In 1972 9 year-old Ling, the daughter of two doctors, grows up during China’s Cultural Revolution, which changes everyone’s life.
Hattie Big Sky / Kirby Larson
In 1917, after inheriting a homesteading claim in Montana, 16-year-old orphan Hattie tries to make a home for herself .
Good Night, Mr. Tom / Michelle Magorian
During World War II an abused London boy is sent to live with an old man in the country.
Playing Beatie Bow / Ruth Park
A lonely Australian girl is transported to another family in the 1880s.
The Perilous Gard / Elizabeth Pope
Kate is imprisoned in a remote English castle inhabited by practitioners of druidic magic.
Here lies Arthur / Philip Reeve
In 5th century Britain, a homeless girl is protected by a bard who wants to use her in his plan to transform young Arthur into the heroic King Arthur.
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy / Gary Schmidt
In 1911 Maine, a minister’s son befriends a girl from a poor community founded by former slaves.
A True and faithful narrative / Katherine Sturtevant
In 1680s London, Meg tries to choose between 2 men: one of whom was kidnapped and enslaved in North Africa and the other who helped win his release.
MYSTERIES / ADVENTURES
Vanishing act / John Feinstein
Eighth-grade sports reporters investigate the mysterious disappearance of a Russian tennis player.
The diamond of Drury Lane / Julia Golding
An orphaned girl living at a theater in 1790s London, tries to find a hidden diamond which involves her with street gangs as well as the world of nobility.
Downriver / Will Hobbs
Rebellious teenagers daringly run the white water in the heart of the Grand Canyon.
The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn / Dorothy Hoobler
In the 1700s, a Japanese boy who longs to be a samurai becomes an actor to solve a mystery.
The Wreckers / Ian Lawrence
A boy discovers an evil secret about the town he is stranded in after being shipwrecked.
Princess Ben / Catherine Gilbert Murdock
A girl is transformed from sullen, pudgy, graceless Ben into Crown Princess Benevolence.
Airborn / Kenneth Oppel
Aboard a huge airship, 2 kids search for mysterious winged creatures that are said to share the sky.
A drowned maiden's hair / Laura Amy Schlitz
Eleven-year-old Maud is adopted by three spinster sisters who moonlight as mediums.
SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY
Book of a thousand days / Shannon Hale
A princess and her maid spend years locked in a tower as punishment, only to escape and be at the mercy of an evil prince .
Skellig / David Almond
In the garage of his new house, Michael finds a mysterious stranger.
The city of Ember / Jeanne DuPrau
In this fantasy, a 12 year-old wants to see new places in her decaying city.
The house of the scorpion / Nancy Farmer
A young clone of the 142-year-old leader of a corrupt empire learns of the fate of other clones like himself.
The graveyard book / Neil Gaiman
Nobody Owens is a normal boy, except that he has been raised the inhabitants of the graveyard.
Rapunzel's revenge / Shannon Hale and Dean Hale (GRAPHIC j HALE)
An Old West retelling of the traditional fairy tale.
House of many ways / Diana Wynne Jones
When Charmain house-sits for her wizarding uncle she finds that his house is much more than it seems.
Fairest / Gail Carson Levine
In this version of Snow White, a plain girl with a beautiful voice discovers the real value of outer and inner beauty.
Coraline / Neil Gaiman; adapted and illustrated by
P. Craig Russell (GRAPHIC j CORALINE)
A mysterious door leads Coraline into a world that is similar, yet disturbingly different from her own.
Magyk / Angie Sage
A foundling girl with a noble heritage is raised by the wizarding Heap family.
The new policeman / Kate Thompson
An Irish teenager discovers that time is leaking from his world into the land of the fairies.
KIDS IN OTHER LANDS
Kampung boy / Lat
A boy’s childhood growing up on a rubber plantation in rural Malaysia. (GRAPHIC j LAT)
The Other Side of Truth / Beverly Naidoo
After their mother’s murder, a brother and sister are smuggled into London, where they become lost.
Shabanu : daughter of the wind / Suzanne Staples
In Pakistan, an 11-year-old girl is pledged in marriage to an older man whose money will help her family.
The arrival / Shaun Tan
A man leaves his homeland and sets off for a new country, where he must build a new life for himself and his family. (GRAPHIC j TAN)
Tasting the sky : a Palestinian childhood / Ibtisam Barakat (j 92B BARAKAT Bar )
The author recounts how, as a child, her world was shattered by the Six-Day War.
What the world eats / Faith D'Aluisio (j 641.3 Men )
A photographic collection exploring what the world eats featuring portraits of families from 21 countries surrounded by a week's worth of food.
The Road from Home / David Kherdian
Author’s moving biography of his Armenian mother’s childhood in Turkey. (j 92K KHERDIAN Khe)
Snow falling in spring : coming of age in China during the cultural revolution / Moying Li
The story of one girl's difficult but determined coming-of-age during the Cultural Revolution. (j 92 LI Li)
Good masters! Sweet Ladies!: voices from a medieval village / Laura Amy Schlitz ( j 940.1 Sch)
A collection of short one-person plays featuring teen-aged characters who live in or near a 13th-century English manor.
The wall / Peter Sís
The author’s illustrated memoir of growing up behind the Iron Curtain in Communist Czechoslovakia. (j 92S SIS Sis)
To dance / Siena Cherson Siegel ; with artwork by Mark Siegel (GRAPHIC j SIEGEL)
The author describes how her dreams of being a ballerina carried her from her home in Puerto Rico to dance class in Boston to performing with the New York City Ballet.
America at war / poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins
A collection of poems about America at war from the Revolution to the Iraq war. (j811.08 Hop)
19 varieties of gazelle : poems of the Middle East / Naomi Shihab Nye (j 811 Nye )
Keeping the night watch / Hope Anita Smith (j 811 Smi)
A father returns home to his African American family and they all must deal with their feelings of anger, hope, abandonment, and fear.
Look for these and other great books in
The Children's Library
Mt. Lebanon Public Library
16 Castle Shannon Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15228