A classroom of middle graders has a much variation as a basketful of fruit. Some students are shy, some crave the spotlight. Some are in the grips of puberty, while some are still hormonally inert. Some are still curling up with their parents at night, others have already been thrust into the role of caregiver, and still others are doing both. And, of course, some love to read and some… don’t.
It’s not surprising, then, that different kids will be drawn to different books. Just like different adults are drawn to different books… only more so. And yet, this is an age where only the most basic lines tend to be drawn (this is a boy book and this is a girl book) and generalizations predominate. As parents, we can help encourage our children to read by helping them find the books of interest to them. Not necessarily the books their friends are reading. And not necessarily the books the teacher has decided they have to read.
To help you find the right book for your reader, we’ve provided a few different categories of book lists and links to web articles below. You can find more by visiting the Mixed-Up Files middle-grade book list page.. But don’t limit yourself to categories and lists! A good librarian or bookseller can find the perfect book for your child based on their age, reading level, and topics of interests. So don’t be shy – ask!
Advice for Helping Children Who Can Read, but Don’t
Jon Scieszka on getting kids to read
Books to read aloud with your kids
RELUCTANT READERS: Our kid experts put in their two cents
HI-LO BOOKS: High Interest, Low Level books for older readers
I JUST WANT HER TO READ SOMETHING!: Learn how ”-ology” books attract reluctant and distracted readers
Finding Age-Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers
BIG KID BOOKS IN THE MIDDLE GRADE SECTION: Great picks for the younger MG reader
CLEVER BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS: A few good books for young mystery fans!
The varied reader
Eight Reasons to Let Your Kids Read Comics
DARK HUMOR: A different brand of humor
BIG STORIES IN SMALL PACKAGES: Choosing a novel in verse
SPINE-TINGLING READS: Spooky stories just right for Halloween night
The history buff
MYTH CONCEPTION: New spins on old mythological stories and characters
BIOGRAPHIES: Before They Were Famous
CLASSIC TALES RETOLD: For a new spin on an old classic fairy or folk tale…
IN PRAISE OF HISTORICAL FICTION: Including suggestions from readers!
A TASTE OF TITANIC: A few books to get you started
SCIENCY FICTION: Novels with real science built in
S.T.E.M. BOOKS: Making Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fun!
The animal lover
HOORAY FOR MICE: A “Mischief” of Mice Stories!
HORSE BOOKS: For your ‘horsie’ kid
MONKEYING AROUND: Books about Monkeys, for your monkeys
NO DEAD DOGS: Middle grade books in which devoted canine companions survive and thrive!
The art lover
ART AND LETTERS: Books inspired by works of art
The movie lover
Books to movies the whole family can enjoy
ROAD TRIP!!: Eye-opening journeys
WORLDS APART: Books that take place on faraway islands
DESTINATION: BOOKS!: Let these titles take you around the world