Thursday, September 13, 2012

Suggested Middle Grade Reading List

Just in time to start school, I decided to create a list of the Best Middle Grade books. Parents can use this to recommend old favorites for their back-to-schoolers, kids can use this list as a guide to selecting the absolute BEST books written for readers aged 10-15. See how many of these do you remember reading?

If I missed YOUR favorite, please list it in the comments section.

1984 by George Orwell
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn  by Betty Smith
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin
A Wrinkle in Time (and others) by Madeline L'Engle
Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
Alices’ Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Bucking the Sarge by Christopher Paul Curtis
Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Charley Bone series
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Crispin by Avi

East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Feed by M.T. Anderson
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling
Hatchet (and many others) by Gary Paulsen
Holes by Louis Sachar
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
Journey to America by Sonia Levitin
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
Life of Pi by Yann Martell
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks
Messenger by Lois Lowry
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM by Robert C O'Brien
My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Nory Ryan's Song by Patricia Reilly Giff
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Ramona the Pest by Beverly Clearly
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Sabriel by Garth Nix
Slave Dancer by Paula Fox
Soldier’s Heart by Gary Paulsen
Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
Sounder by William Armstrong
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Doyle
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
The Black Pearl by Scott O'Dell
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

The Book Thief by Markus Zusa
The Cat Ate My Gymsuit by Paula Danziger
The Cay by Theodore Taylor
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen
The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli
The Fighting Ground by Avi
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
The High King by Lloyd Alexander
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
The Last of the Mohicans by James Cooper
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
The One-Eyed Cat by Paula Fox
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
The Watsons go to Birmingham – 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleishman
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
The Yearling by Marjorie Kinan Rawlings
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Water Sky by Jean Craighead George
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls


  1. Also, The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaimann. (If I missed it on the list, apologies.)

  2. That is quite an extensive list. Thank you for posting it. I'll repost on my blog and hopefully readers will read a good many on this list. E :)

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of FINALLY HOME, a middle grade/YA mystery, written similar to a Nancy Drew mystery