Reading in the Middle School

We take reading seriously. Here are some good sources for things to read now or next ...

The library has a shelf of “Recommended Reads” for middle school students, with multiple copies of books available.  Start by clicking here to browse the list of those multiple-copy titles.  See also the library guide on Booklists for Middle School and a more general one on Books & Reading. Note copies of the Red Dot books, an annual reading initiative, will be available in the library before the end of the term.

Our Middle and High Schools have started to make use of Goodreads, an online social reading site.  One interesting feature of Goodreads is the listopia page where you can add your own suggestions to all kinds of lists including:

  • 100 best Young Adult Books
  • Best “strong female” Fantasy Novels
  • 2012 YA contemporary challenge
  • Best books of the 20th Century

We also thought you might be interested in some of our personal recommendations. I’ve asked each of the Middle School teachers to tell you about two YA (Young Adult) novels they love from childhood, two good YA novels they’ve read recently, and two other suggestions for Christmas reading.

Ian Tymms
Grade 6 Enghums and Grade 7 English

Two books I loved all those years ago:

Ursula Le Guin The Left Hand of Darkness
J. R. R. Tolkien The Hobbit

Two great YA books I’ve read recently
Paolo Bacigalupi Ship Breaker  (very readable)
E. H. Gombrich  A Little History of the World (a truly beautiful history book which I read aloud with my children - perfect for a summer holiday)

Two other suggestions:
John Marsden Tomorrow when the war began (series) (I’ve had more success getting reluctant boys to read with this series than any other)
Erin Morgenstern The Night Circus (some students love it, some don’t - harder)

Miles Beasley Grade 6 EngHum
Two books I loved all those years ago:
Maurice Gee Under The Mountain
William Golding Lord of the Flies

Two great YA books I’ve read recently
Nancy Farmer House of the Scorpion
          Johnathan Stroud The Amulet of Samarkand (part of the Bartamaeus Trilogy)

Two other suggestions:
Terry Pratchett The Wee Free Men
          Cornelia Funke Inkheart
Paula Guinto
Grade 7 and 8  English
Books I loved all those years ago:
Antoine de Saint Exupery The Little Prince
Alice Walker The Color Purple
Robert Cormier The Chocolate War

Great YA books I’ve read recently:
Alice Sebold  Lovely Bones
Marcus Sedgwik  Floodland
Neil Gaiman Graveyard Book
Julie Orringer How to Breathe Underwater (short stories)
Daniel Tammet Born on a Blue Day (memoir)

Two other suggestions:
Patrick Ness The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking: Book 1)
John Green  The Fault in Our Stars (mature themes)

Kate Levy
Grade 8  English
Two books I loved all those years ago:
Lewis Carroll  Alice in Wonderland
Harper Lee  To Kill a Mockingbird

Great YA books I’ve read recently:
John Boyne The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
Marcus Zusak The Book Thief

Two other suggestions:
Kathryn Stockett The Help
Yann Martel The Life of Pi

Maya Thiagarajan
Grade 7 English
Two books I loved all those years ago:
Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird
R.K.Narayan The Ramayana  (Narayan’s English adaptation of the Ramayana is a perfect way to introduce the ancient Indian epic to middle school kids.)

Great YA books I’ve read recently:
Anita Desai Village by the Sea
David Almond Skellig
Minfong Ho The Stone Goddess

Two other suggestions:
John Knowles A Separate Peace
Adeline Yen Mah Chinese Cinderella

Jabiz Raisdana
Grade 7 and 8 English
Two books I loved all those years ago:
F. Scott Fitzgerald- The Great Gatsby
John Steinbeck- The Grapes of Wrath
Aldous Huxley - Brave New World

Great YA books I’ve read recently:
Laurie Halse Anderson- Speak (Mature themes)
Lois Lowery- The Giver

Two other suggestions:
Thomm Hartmann- The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight  
Daniel Quinn- Ishmael  
Dave Cullen- Columbine

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