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I Need Recommendations > Middle Grade books for English class

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message 1: by Demi (new)

Demi Spelbos | 18 comments Hi everyone! I'm an English teacher and I always try to recommend new books to my pupils. However, I've noticed that a lot of the books I recommend are series and some children just don't want to commit to a full series.
Are there any middle grade books you know that you'd recommend for me to use in my classes?
I'm looking for books for children around 11 to 14.

Obviously I already have a bit of a list, but hopefully you guys will give me some new ones to try out. (I always read them before recommending them, since I do have to state any "shocking" subjects that might be present in the book)

(If you do still have an AMAZING middle grade series to recommend to me, I obviously don't mind)


message 2: by Jordan (new)

Jordan (snicketypicket) My little brother, who is eleven years old and a reluctant reader, really enjoyed the book How to Beat the Bully Without Really Trying, as did I. Although it is part of a trilogy, it works perfectly fine as a standalone novel.


message 3: by Melliott (new)

Melliott (goodreadscommelliott) | 419 comments A Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park
Wonderstruck, by Brian Selznick
Kiki Strike, by Kristin Miller (it's a series but you can read the first as a standalone)
Fang Girl, by Helen Keeble
Lots of books by Joan Bauer: Rules of the Road, Hope Was Here, Best Food Forward...
Ella Enchanted, by Margaret Peterson Haddix
The Rithmatist, by Brandon Sanderson

If you change your mind on the series, I have about a dozen that I recommend to middle-schoolers and they love them. But I know what you mean about the difficulty of finding stand-alones.


message 4: by Caroline (last edited Sep 09, 2019 02:52PM) (new)

Caroline  (caro7) Demi wrote: "Hi everyone! I'm an English teacher and I always try to recommend new books to my pupils. However, I've noticed that a lot of the books I recommend are series and some children just don't want to c..."

Hi, Demi--

I have a middle schooler and one almost-middle schooler. Some both have read:

Fever 1793
The Giver (It has companion books but isn't technically a series. This story stands alone.)
Wonder
Esperanza Rising
The Tiger Rising
Because of Winn-Dixie (maybe too young for that age group, though.)
Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
Touching Spirit Bear
Whirligig

There are more I'm definitely forgetting.

Could the older ones read The Diary of Anne Frank?


message 5: by Jordan (new)

Jordan (snicketypicket) Role of Thunder Hear My Cry
One Crazy Summer
Fever 1793
So B. It
A Mango-Shaped Space
Hoot


message 6: by Drakeryn (new)

Drakeryn | 36 comments Gemini Game is a fun ride (though potentially dated? I haven't read it in years). It's about twins who created a virtual reality computer game that is now going haywire, and they have to enter their own game to fix what is going wrong.

A Thousand Perfect Notes and The Boy Who Steals Houses are both middle-grade reading level, although you may want content warnings. (Both are contemporaries set in Australia. ATPN deals with abuse; TBWSH deals with abuse and bullying, and the main characters are brothers who have run away from home. But they're ultimately hopeful books, and I think they'd be interesting to discuss with kids who aren't bothered by such content.)


message 7: by Evelyn (last edited Sep 09, 2019 06:48PM) (new)

Evelyn | 239 comments I definitely recommend Wonder, The Because of Mr. Terupt series is also a really real story that i'm sure lots of middle graders will love. The One and Only Ivan is such a good story and the formatting is written in verse so it's a nice read for young readers who have some reading difficulty. Jake and Lily is about twins trying to reconcile so i'm sure lots of kids will connect to that too! These were all my absolute fav going through middle school. Growing up to be honest, classics were my nightmares, lol. I'm sure a lot of other kids will still say the same so I would try to avoid those until high school. Usually you don't read classics until high school anyways.


message 8: by Elyse (new)

Elyse (winesaboutbooks) Anything by Jacqueline Woodson!


message 9: by Aakash (new)

Aakash (aakashthedreamer) | 72 comments 1. Percy Jackson's Greek Gods.
2.Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes. These two books are great source of humor and mythology.


message 11: by Demi (new)

Demi Spelbos | 18 comments Caroline wrote: "Demi wrote: "Hi everyone! I'm an English teacher and I always try to recommend new books to my pupils. However, I've noticed that a lot of the books I recommend are series and some children just do..."

Hi Caroline! Thank you so much for your suggestions! I'll definitely put them on my list to review for them! I'm an English teacher in The Netherlands, so most of them will already read the diary of Anne Frank in the original text.


message 12: by Demi (new)

Demi Spelbos | 18 comments Jordan wrote: "My little brother, who is eleven years old and a reluctant reader, really enjoyed the book How to Beat the Bully Without Really Trying, as did I. Although it is part of a trilogy, it works perfectl..."

I've never actually heard of that one! I'll definitely check it out!


message 13: by Demi (new)

Demi Spelbos | 18 comments Melliott wrote: "A Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park
Wonderstruck, by Brian Selznick
Kiki Strike, by Kristin Miller (it's a series but you can read the first as a standalone)
Fang Girl, by Helen Keeble
Lots of ..."


Ella Enchanted has been on my list for AGES, I just never get to it for some reason, I loved the film so much when I was younger! I'll definitely be checking out the rest too!


message 14: by Demi (new)

Demi Spelbos | 18 comments Jordan wrote: "Role of Thunder Hear My Cry
One Crazy Summer
Fever 1793
So B. It
A Mango-Shaped Space
Hoot"


I actually don't know any of these, so that's absolutely great, thank you


message 15: by Demi (new)

Demi Spelbos | 18 comments Evelyn wrote: "I definitely recommend Wonder, The Because of Mr. Terupt series is also a really real story that i'm sure lots of middle graders will love. [book:The One and Only Iva..."

Thanks for your recommendations! Yeah, I agree. I definitely avoid using classics. As they are English learners, most of those are to difficult for them anyway. Most of the times they are allowed to pick their own books. But from experience, most of them "can't see the forest because of all the trees" like we say in The Netherlands. Meaning you can't see properly because there's too much. They just don't know what to pick. By giving them a list of what I personally think they'll like, I make the decision just a bit easier.


message 16: by Demi (new)

Demi Spelbos | 18 comments Elyse wrote: "Anything by Jacqueline Woodson!"

Thank you, I'll definitely check her out. I've not read anything by her yet.


message 17: by Demi (new)

Demi Spelbos | 18 comments Aakash wrote: "1. Percy Jackson's Greek Gods.
2.Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes. These two books are great source of humor and mythology."


Percy Jackson and anything Rick Riordan is THE BEST. It's what got me into mythology when I was younger.


message 18: by Demi (new)

Demi Spelbos | 18 comments Christine wrote: "Holes
Flipped
A Wrinkle in Time
The Book Thief
The Westing Game
Nimona
Airborn
[book:Walk Two Moons|..."


Thank you so much! I'll definitely check them out. The Book Thief is one of my favourite books. I've also read A Wrinkle In Time, but for some reason I thought it was quite confusing, maybe it gets better once you get further into the series?
I've not read the rest of your recommendations, so I'll definitely check those out. I've been hearing a lot of good things about Holes, so maybe I'll start there.


message 19: by Julia (new)

Julia | 115 comments Melliott wrote: "A Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park
Wonderstruck, by Brian Selznick
Kiki Strike, by Kristin Miller (it's a series but you can read the first as a standalone)
Fang Girl, by Helen Keeble
Lots of ..."


Isn't Ella Enchanted written by Gail Carson Levine? I think the author you mentioned wrote the Among the Hidden series.


message 20: by Julia (new)

Julia | 115 comments I recommend Skellig (and its companion My Name Is Mina), The Leap, The Thief Lord, and Touching Spirit Bear (and its sequel Ghost of Spirit Bear).


message 21: by Audrey (new)

Audrey (niceyackerman) | 307 comments I think Lockwood & Co. (Jonathan Stroud) and Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians are both absolutely amazing series. Five books in each.

Also,
The Callender Papers
The Phantom Tollbooth
The House on Hackman’s Hill

I also love Holes, and A Wrinkle in Time was my favorite book at that age. I second The Westing Game – it’s perfect for that age group.


message 22: by Caroline (new)

Caroline  (caro7) Demi, I forgot Hatchet.


message 23: by Ana (new)

Ana Madalina (anamada15) | 1 comments The Book Thief is honestly amazing. Hmm...Imaginary is pretty nice, too


message 25: by Melliott (new)

Melliott (goodreadscommelliott) | 419 comments Yes, I put together two lines with the title from one and the author from the other. Gail Carson Levine is the author of Ella! Sorry.


message 26: by Melliott (new)

Melliott (goodreadscommelliott) | 419 comments If you are open to trying some series (they can read the first book and if they don't like it, they won't go further...but they MIGHT love it and keep reading!), then here are a few:

For reluctant boy readers, these are sure to please:
the Alex Rider series, by Anthony Horowitz
the Artemis Fowl series, by Eoin Colfer
the Pendragon series, by D. J. McHale

More for girls, though some boys enjoy:
the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter
the Ruby Redfort books by Lauren Child (13-yo spy)
the Kiki Strike series
the Circle of Magic series by Tamora Pierce
the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, by Patricia Wrede

For any readers:
the Lockwood & Company books (ghosts, very exciting)
Vampirates, by Justin Somper (yes, vampire pirates)
the Chrestomanci books, by Diana Wynne Jones


message 27: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 13, 2019 07:07AM) (new)

Holes (Holes, #1) by Louis Sachar (though its proably alredy on your radar)
My Brother Is A Superhero (My Brother is a Superhero, #1) by David Solomons Strictly speaking a series but this is the first one you can just read this one. You dont need to read the whole series.

The Breadwinner (The Breadwinner, #1) by Deborah Ellis great look on life during taliban in afganistan.


Bookkitten (collector of nice things) (thebookkitten) | 33 comments Skulduggery Pleasant series
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie series
The Storybook of Legends I know it´s a commercial doll series, but it´s a fairy tale retelling series, too.

Augustus Moon and his amazing tea-time machine
Ronia, the Robber's Daughter
The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner: And Other Stories to introduce them to Terry Pratchett XD
Tudor Rose it doesn´t quite fit the age, but if you notice someone showing signs of dyslexia, it might come handy later


message 29: by Wendi (new)

Wendi Lee (wendimlee) | 1 comments Bob
The One and Only Ivan
When Mischief Came to Town

are some of our stand-alone favorites.


message 30: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Barnes (barnes65) I would recommend any of the Friday Barnes series.


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