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What are your top titles for 7th/8th grade literature (not history)

Michelle My Bell

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Can you give a sense of what she's read? I think this can go a lot of directions...


On ds's list for 7th grade...


The Time Machine

Tuck Everlasting


Wednesday Wars

Call of the Wild

A Long Walk to Water



But... ds is an average reader. And I picked a lot more boy books for him. He also has short stories to read by a variety of authors...

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My daughter is an average reader and she hasn't read a ton of good books unfortunately. Since she has been in school the last two years, it seems reading is not something that is done or assigned. The last curriculum she did was Heart of Dakota but that was 3 years ago. I am bringing her home next year so I want some fun and classic titles. 

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Well, let's see. I think, if she hasn't read much in school and doesn't read much for pleasure, then the first thing you want to do is get her to enjoy reading. So I'll focus on enjoyable books - no death march through literature here! (Though if your daughter really enjoys a good cry when she reads, I can come up with a different list of books, no problem.)


I'm going to organize this list loosely by reading level (but don't take that too seriously! a high reading level, however that's measured, is no guarantee of literary quality, and vice versa.) When books are part of a series, I will probably only list one of them. All these books are written for middle grade or YA.


The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond


The Jumbies


My Basmati Bat Mitzvah


A Time to Dance




The Thing About Luck


Hammer of Witches




The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm


Blackbird Fly




House of the Scorpion


Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer


The Moorchild


Starry River of the Sky


Mars Evacuees


Princess Academy


Zahrah, the Windseeker


Not Your Sidekick


Summer of the Mariposas






Ink and Ashes


Under the Mesquite


The Earthsea Cycle


A Face Like Glass



Historical fiction


(I know you said not to include this, but there's a lot that's pretty good, and something might catch your eye! These books are also loosely sorted by reading level.)


Stella by Starlight




Home Is With Our Family


Full Cicada Moon




One Crazy Summer


The Mighty Miss Malone


Celeste's Harlem Renaissance


The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate


The Golden Mountain Chronicles


Out of Many Waters


Heart of a Samurai




If I Ever Get Out of Here


Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry


Midwife's Apprentice


Code Talker


A Single Shard

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My 7th grade son read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory several years ago. He found The Glass Elevator at the library last week, checked it out, read it and loved it. It picks up right where Charlie and the Chocolate Factory left off. It was a fun read, which I think our kids need more of.



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My reluctant reader 7th grade son loved Tuck Everlasting and is now reading Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. Other titles I have in mind for him (some may be more "boy" books): Number the Stars, Hatchet, The Shakespeare Stealer, The Westing Game, The Giver, The Mysterious Benedict Society, Fever 1793, Because of Mr. Terupt,  and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I read aloud The Wednesday Wars and The Candymakers to him and he loved both. Currently I am reading the sequel to The Candymakers to him. He could have read these himself but they were/are our read alouds.


I had similar goals to yours when I brought my son back home this year—to help him love reading and give him exposure to "good" literature. He had been in school for the last three years and in his 6th grade honors Language Arts class he had only had one assigned novel all year!! Needless to say, my ds did not cultivate a love of reading from his school work, or the literary analysis skills I would have expected him to have by now, so I am playing a bit of "catch-up" and trying to keep the interest level and quality high without overwhelming him with way too much complexity.

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