15 Must Read Books for Summer Reading Program – Middle School List

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Summer Is Creeping Up On Us Parents.

Go ahead, scream, you know you want to! I’ve already started a countdown calendar for when they go back to school. I love my kids… I do! I love my sanity just slightly more.

Okay, possibly a whole lot more.

Every year we set out to have the boys pick out so many books to read and they have to write at least one essay about the book. Every single year, I (yes me) drop the ball and forget about the essay. It’s really hard to believe that in the fall I’ll have a 6th grader and it will be his last year as a middle schooler.

Where Has The Time Gone?

I don’t have a problem getting my youngest, who is going into 6th grade next year, to read. He will read 1-2 books a week. A lot of the books on the list below he’s read already at least 1 time.

We’ve been making the boys take a book from a back wall at the library that has all of the classic books and they need to read one of those a month on top of their other books.

Surprisingly, They Are Loving The Books They Are Picking Out for This Years Summer Reading Program

So far they have read Life of Pi, Malcolm X, and a few others. I’m trying to get them to read more than just the same old “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” books that seem to be the craze even several years later. My youngest is just too old and has too high of a reading level anymore for that book series. Make sure to also check out my High School must read list as well.

15 Must Read Books for Summer Reading Program – Middle School List

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

J.K.Rowling has woken up a whole generation to reading The Times The Harry Potter books are that rare thing, a series of stories adored by parents and children alike Daily Telegraph The most remarkable publishing sensation for a generation … the story is told with such momentum, imagination, and irrepressible humor that it can captivate both adults and children Sunday Express Hooray for Harry Potter. This is must have set of books for your middle schooler. The vocabulary is just outstanding in each book, plus, they talk about the wizardry world.

Harry Potter Series is a Fandom in it’s own way. Rightfully so. This series will probably take you all summer to read, but you’ll really rack up the points with your library’s summer reading program!

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, the world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins

The extraordinary, ground breaking New York Times bestsellers The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, along with the third book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay, are available for the first time ever in a beautiful boxset edition. Stunning, gripping, and powerful. The trilogy is now complete!

Holes by Louis Sachar

Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

All five books in the blockbuster Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, in paperback, have been collected in a boxed set fit for demigods. Now with glorious new cover art and packaged with a special poster, this value-priced set includes the best-selling The Lightning ThiefThe Sea of MonstersThe Titan’s CurseThe Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian. Whether it is for readers who are experiencing Percy’s thrilling adventures with Greek gods and monsters for the first time, or for fans who want to devour the saga again, this gift will be prized by young and old.

This series will get you at the most a month’s worth of reading for your library’s summer reading program. Mixing demi-gods with modern day happenings. It’s perfect for 5th through 8th graders.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Ponyboy can count on his brothers. And on his friends. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up on “greasers” like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect—until the night someone takes things too far.

The Outsiders is a dramatic and enduring work of fiction that laid the groundwork for the YA genre. S. E. Hinton’s classic story of a boy who finds himself on the outskirts of regular society remains as powerful today as it was the day it was first published.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Jess Aarons has been practicing all summer so he can be the fastest runner in the fifth grade. And he almost is, until the new girl in school, Leslie Burke outpaces him. The two become fast friends and spend most days in the woods behind Leslie’s house, where they invent an enchanted land called Terabithia. One morning, Leslie goes to Terabithia without Jess and a tragedy occurs. It will take the love of his family and the strength that Leslie has given him for Jess to be able to deal with his grief.

The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Hobbits and wizards and Sauron–oh, my! Mild-mannered Oxford scholar John Ronald Reuel Tolkien had a little inkling when he published The Hobbit; Or, There and Back Again in 1937 that, once hobbits were unleashed upon the world, there would be no turning back. Hobbits are, of course, small, furry creatures who love nothing better than a leisurely life quite free from adventure. But in that first novel and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the hobbits Bilbo and Frodo and their elvish friends get swept up into a mighty conflict with the dragon Smaug, the dark lord Sauron (who owes much to proud Satan in Paradise Lost), the monstrous Gollum, the Cracks of Doom, and the awful power of the magical Ring.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

As the German troops begin their campaign to “relocate” all the Jews of Denmark, Annemarie Johansen’s family takes in Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen Rosen, and conceals her as part of the family.

Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden. The heroism of an entire nation reminds us that there was the pride and human decency in the world even during a time of terror and war.

A friend of mine’s daughter had this on her summer required reading list, so get a jump on it and join your local library for their summer reading program and get rewarded.

Chronicles of Narnia Box Set by C.S. Lewis

Experience all of The Chronicles of Narnia with full-color pictures throughout in this seven-book heavy-weight paperback box set. Readers of all ages whether they are experiencing Narnia for the first time or returning once again to the magical world-will love seeing the creatures and landscapes of C. S. Lewis’s classic fantasy series in gorgeous color. This set includes all seven titles in The Chronicles of Narnia-The Magician’s Nephew; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; The Horse and His Boy; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Silver Chair; and The Last Battle-with full-color illustrations by Pauline Baynes, the original artist.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

This startling new edition of Dutch Jewish teenager Anne Frank’s classic diary, written in an Amsterdam warehouse, where for two years she hid from the Nazis with her family and friends contains approximately 30% more material than the original 1947 edition. It completely revises our understanding of one of the most moving and eloquent documents of the Holocaust. The Anne we meet here is much more sarcastic, rebellious and vulnerable than the sensitive diarist beloved by millions. She rages at her mother, Edith, smolders with jealous resentment toward her sister, Margot, and unleashes acid comments at her roommates. Expanded entries provide a fuller picture of the tensions and quarrels among the eight people in hiding. Anne, who died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945, three months before her 16th birthday, candidly discusses her awakening sexuality in entries that were omitted from the 1947 edition by her father, Otto, the only one of the eight to survive the death camps. He died in 1980. This crisp, stunning translation provides an unvarnished picture of life in the “secret annex.” In the end, Anne’s teen angst pales beside her profound insights, her self-discovery and her unbroken faith in good triumphing over evil.

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she’s just a nuisance. She expects the school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by the Trunchbull she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back. It’ll take a superhuman genius to give Miss Trunchbull what she deserves and Matilda may be just the one to do it!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

I personally loved this book. I read it for the first time a few years ago and it’s since became a favorite. So I definitely suggest this as one of the books for your middle schooler to read this summer for their summer reading program through the library, or even at home.

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of “Stargirl, Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’ s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first.

Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal. In this celebration of nonconformity, Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the perils of popularity and the thrill and inspiration of first love.

About Author

I am a wife, mother (to both human & furry), daughter, sister, and blogger. I grew up in a semi-suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. In October 2013 I married the love of my life and in July 2018 we bought our first home in a small little country town about 45 minutes away from our hometown.

My belief is that someone is always needing a little help in various aspects of their life and I'm that chick who will help. On my website, you will find a variety of topics that primarily center around parenting teen sons, finances, crafting, DIY, food & drink, a little beauty & fashion, and I talk a lot about mental health.

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