Finding appropriate 7th grade books can be a challenge. I find my readers are either still very much in a 6th Grade mindset or ready for YA lit. Finding this balance in books for my classroom can be difficult. Linked below are ten great reads to add to your recommended 7th grade books list. Some of these books have been been made into movies, which is always a bonus!
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Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt (Realistic Fiction)
Ally Nickerson is a fabulous and relatable protagonist that middle school students will enjoy getting to know. As soon as the reader opens the book they are thrown into the middle of Ally’s story and her trouble at school. She immediately gets sent to the principal’s office and we get a glimpse into Ally’s academic struggles. Ally’s school difficulties throughout the novel, help students build empathy towards Ally. Is this book a good fit for your classroom? Read the Common Sense Media Book Review
Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick (Realistic Fiction)
Kevin and Max meet for the very first time in daycare. Kevin has to wear leg braces while Max has other learning difficulties, both of these boys form a powerful friendship. Together their friendship helps them tackle the challenges they face. Is this book a good fit for your classroom? Read the Common Sense Media Book Review and Movie Review
The Giver by Lois Lowry (Science Fiction)
“The Giver” is written from the point of view of a 12 year old, living in a dystopian world. Where there is no pain, fear, war and as well as hatred. At the age of 12, every community member is assigned a job based on their abilities and interests. Read how Jonas faces his new role in society with all of the responsibilities and challenges that come his role. Is this book a good fit for your classroom? Read the Common Sense Media Book Review and Movie Review
Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne (Historical Fiction)
During World War Two, eight year old Bruno has recently moved away from his home in Berlin due to his father’s job promotion. Feeling isolated he begins to explore his new environment. During his explorations he meets another boy behind a fence whose life circumstances are very different from Bruno’s reality. The boys begin a forbidden friendship unaware of the true reality of their circumstances. Is this book a good fit for your classroom? Read the Common Sense Media Book Review and Movie Review
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park (Historical/Realistic Fiction)
Set in Sudan during the Civil War of the 1980’s, this book will immediately capture your student’s attention as the story begins with Salva’s school being attacked. Him and his classmates flee for their lives in what will start a journey through desert to find safety and shelter. This story about one of the Lost Boys of Sudan is inspired by true events told by two narrators Salva in the past fleeing the violence in his country and Nya in the present walking several hours a day to fetch water for her family. Is this book a good fit for your classroom? Read the Common Sense Media Book Review
Refugee by Alan Gratz (Historical/Realistic Fiction)
Three young people leave their homes in Berlin, Cuba and Syria to seek refuge from the unsettling events taking place in the countries they call home. Each of these stories take places during different time periods 1938 Berlin, 1994 Cuba, and 2015 Syria, but all three face eminent dangers throughout their lives and journeys. Though each of them are separated by different years and countries the common theme of survival and a better life join them together. Is this book a good fit for your classroom? Read the Common Sense Media Book Review
Peak by Roland Smith (Realistic Fiction)
Fourteen year old Peak Marcello is in major trouble for climbing a skyscraper in New York City. He is given two options spend time in juvie or go live with his estranged father in Thailand. Given these options he chooses Thailand – but his selection comes with some conditions. His father wants his son to be the youngest person to climb Mount Everest. Peak must overcome obstacles if he is going to achieve this goal.
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (Realistic Fiction)
When a new girl arrives at Mica High, she becomes the centre of attention. Her school spirit, good looks and charming personality at a hit with her peers, until one day they turn on her. She becomes hated by her peers for being herself. Stargirl is faced with the decision to remain true to her self or conforming to the status quo. Is this book a good fit for your classroom? Read the Common Sense Media Book Review
Schooled by Gordon Korman (Realistic/Humour Fiction)
Cap has been home schooled his entire life. He has lived on a commune his entire life with his grandmother. When his grandmother falls out of a tree and can no longer care for Cap, he must go and live with a new guardian and attend the local school. Things do not go as smoothly as Cap had hoped at his new school. This reality is much different than the one he shared with his grandmother.
Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen
After injuring another person, Cole Matthews is sent to the remote Alaskan island program called Circle Justice. This program is based on Indigenous healing and justice principles. While in the Alaskan wilderness, Cole is attacked by a bear and left stranded. While he waits for help or death his thoughts begin to wander towards making amends for his actions.
Other Great Reads
- 10 Books for Picky Middle School Readers
- Book Review: Patina by Jason Reynolds
- Book Review Sunny by Jason Reynolds