The Best Books for Gifted Middle Schoolers

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Finding an exciting read for your gifted child can be challenging.  They may lose interest quickly or simply not be intrigued by typical books for middle schoolers.  However, though their intellect may be a challenge now, this is not an unfortunate dilemma to have.  Their intelligence opens them up to a wide array of books that they may not have read otherwise.

We want to help you find the best books for gifted readers, and this list will do just that.  We will open you and your child up to a variety of the best books for gifted middle schoolers.  This will include genres from fiction to biographies.

The books on this list are not only items that can be read for enjoyment but books that can also help them advance in their courses.  Imagine watching your child sit emotionless as they stare into the pages of a book like The Complete Set of Fudge by Judy Blume.  Though for a lot of children, this may be an intriguing read, you can see the disappointment in your student’s face.

This list is here to help eliminate that.  We will not only provide you with information on the best books, but we will also give you simple tips you can use to help them choose a book that challenges them and fits their personality.

All you have to do is keep reading to unlock the power of words.

If you want to just get back to studying, get our top choice for books for gifted middle schoolers here.

Our Top Favorite
A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet)
Our Top Runner Up
The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure
Our Top Value Pick
Archibald Frisby (Reading Rainbow Book)
Book Title
A Wrinkle in Time
The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure
Archibald Frisby
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Favorite
A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet)
Book Title
A Wrinkle in Time
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Runner Up
The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure
Book Title
The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Value Pick
Archibald Frisby (Reading Rainbow Book)
Book Title
Archibald Frisby
Prime Eligible?
-

Last update: 2021-08-31

Our Favorites for Best Books for Gifted Middle Schoolers

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time is a classic text which is excellent for your middle schooler.  It is a Newbery Award winner, which is perfect for children ages 10 to 14.  This is a classic read which is often recommended for gifted children.

The book centers around two prominent themes that middle school kids can learn from.  One of the main themes in the book is its battle surrounding good and evil. A Wrinkle in Time is the story of two children whose father disappeared after a fantastic discovery. Meg and her younger brother, Charles, must go on an adventure to save their father.

The text is most known for being banned in the early 1960s.  This was due to the thought that it was promoting witchcraft, or even too complicated for students to understand. Some readers also were not fond of the protagonist, Meg.  This is the first book in a trilogy.  Many consider this to be a must-read for all ages and lovers of science fiction.

On Sale
A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet)
  • Square Fish
  • Madeleine L'Engle (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-08-31


Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Life as We Knew It is a story told uniquely. The entire story is told through a series of journal entries that span one year.  The journal entries are written through the eyes of Miranda. Miranda is a high school sophomore whose world is rocked when an asteroid hit, moving it closer to the earth.

This text is considered a dystopian novel.  These are novels that depict a society of mass suffering. Susan Pfeffer centers this book around a girl and her family who must stick together more than ever with disaster looking in the air.

The family in this text is one that is profoundly relatable and, even amid a crisis, still experiences ordinary life happenings. This book takes a look at what happens when an average family experiences an extraordinary disaster.

On Sale
Life as We Knew It
  • Harcourt Brace and Company
  • Pfeffer, Susan Beth (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-08-31


The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

This is an excellent book for gifted children as it explains what happens when gifted children respond to the call of duty.  Well, not the call of duty, but an ad in the newspaper that is looking for kids to perform mind tests on.  The four children who can get through these tests are then sent on a fantastic adventure.  This book captures that adventure.

This is an excellent text for gifted readers.  Several parents say that it is a creative story that profoundly depicts the characteristic of bravery in the main characters. Children and adults found this to be an enjoyable read that they didn’t want to put down.

This novel helps to teach students that it’s okay to be a leader.  It also helps them to appreciate that you do not always have to follow the pack; you can create your way.

On Sale
The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society, 1)
  • Little Brown Young Readers
  • Stewart, Trenton Lee (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-08-31


The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Hobbit is considered a modern classic. It is the text which introduces us to the Lord of The Rings.  This can be one of several challenging books for 7th graders; however, if they can get through it, they won’t be sorry.  If your child or student has a substantial interest in fantasy, this is an excellent option.

There are several themes present in this novel that can relate to real-life though the book is set in a high fantasy setting.  Some of these themes include greed, loyalty, bravery, and even family heritage.  If you are unfamiliar with the story, it follows the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins.

Bilbo’s goal in the novel is to gain the treasure that is being guarded by the dragon Smaug.  His journey quickly turns from light-hearted to sinister. Tolkien's book is widely known and loved by an array of individuals. Many adults were introduced to this text as a child and have continued introducing this book to their children and the children around them.   Many exclaim that the story is one of great adventure, friendship, and of course, danger.

On Sale
The Hobbit
  • Mariner Books
  • J. R. R. Tolkien (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-09-01


One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

The story penned by Rita Williams Garcia, author of Gone Crazy in Alabama and Clayton Byrd Goes Underground, is Newbery Honor winner as well as a New York Times Bestseller.  As the book’s cover depicts, the story is about three sisters set in the late 1960s.  The three sisters, Vonetta, Fern, and Delphine, have been estranged from their mother, and the oldest, Delphine, has stepped into that role for her sisters.

However, their mother has left to start a new life in California, and the girls are going to spend their summer with her.  Instead of seeing the Magic Kingdom, the girls are sent to a Black Panther ran summer camp.  This is an eye-opening summer about for the girls.  They not only learn about their mother but their own family and heritage.

This is an excellent text to introduce aspects of history to your child.  This text is culturally significant even still today. The book incorporates history, humor, and so much more in this short read.  The book shines a light on real-world issues that many minority children face every day.  The characters are also relatable and strong.

On Sale
One Crazy Summer
  • Amistad Press
  • Williams-Garcia, Rita (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-09-01


Runner Ups for Best Books for Gifted Middle Schoolers

The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure by Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Rotraut Susanne Berner

The Number Devil is a German text which has been translated into English.  With this text, the author takes a fantasy approach to mathematics.   It takes a subject which is generally seen as boring and unrelatable and creates excitement.

The text centers around a child who despises math, Robert. Robert meets the number devil in his dreams. The number devil teaches him an array of subjects like prime numbers, infinite numbers, and more. The more he dreams, the deeper that readers are transformed into the math realm.

It is no wonder that this textbook is an international bestseller.  Purchasers found it to be a fun and entertaining read.  Parents love how enthused children are to learn and solve math problems after reading through this text.

This is an excellent teaching tool for individuals who may not enjoy math. The book aims to keep children informed and encourage them to find the fun in math. The only criticism that some readers have is that names are made up of familiar math terms and theories. For example, when referring to prime numbers, the book instead may call them prima donna. This is a text which can not only be read in school but at home as well. It can also be seen as an excellent gift for gifted students.

On Sale
The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure
  • Metropolitan Books
  • Hans Magnus Enzensberger (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-08-31


Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Brown Girl Dreaming is written as a free-verse memoir and is the story of author Jacqueline Woodson’s childhood.  The story takes place in a variety of settings, and this includes Ohio, South Carolina, and even New York.

This series of poems depicts life growing up within the 1960s and 1970s.  This was an era of much radical change and racially charged events.  This text was inspired by the author’s love for literature and writing.

The story opens up with a poem that talks about the beginning of the author’s life.  It also talks about the climate of the world as she was brought into the world.  This includes the climate of the south, even though Woodson was born in Ohio.

Family is a major theme throughout the text; this is evident even when a family is not related by blood. The book has plenty of layers and underlying meanings, which make this an excellent read for gifted students.

This is an excellent text to share with your children; it is beautifully written and highly informative. She tells her story in a unique way that makes the categorization of the information hard.

On Sale
Brown Girl Dreaming
  • Puffin Books
  • Woodson, Jacqueline (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-08-31


Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Lord of the Flies is a tale of adventure.  It is the story of a group of boys who are school-aged and stranded on a tropical island.  This leaves several possibilities as there are no rules, no supervision, and in essence, no order.   Though the boys do well with creating rules and a structure for some time, eventually, everything takes a brutal turn.

This book brings to the forefront the notion of human nature and even savagery.   This is a classic text that may be difficult for some students to grasp but great for gifted readers.  This is often a book that is on summer reading lists and even taught in classrooms.

Readers tend to enjoy this book not just for the storyline but for the themes and underlying meanings behind some of the boy’s actions.  Some readers even called this text a Timeless treasure that can be relatable at several different times in society today.

On Sale
Lord of the Flies
  • ISBN13: 9780399501487
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most orders. Buy with Confidence! Millions of books sold!

Last update: 2021-09-01


Value Picks for Best Books for Gifted Middle Schoolers

Archibald Frisby by Michael Chesworth

Archibald Frisby is the story of a boy who not only loves science but who is wiser than his appearance may let on. He is intrigued by how things and their underlying structure. Although these can be seen as excellent qualities for a child to have, his mother is less than enthused about it. Therefore, instead of supporting his scientific ways, she sends him to camp.

The book provides an excellent marriage between entertainment and even science.  This would be an excellent read for early middle schoolers. It can also be a read which gets children acclimated and comfortable with science.

Chesworth’s text can help people who are not scientifically inclined relate to people who are.  Many families enjoy reading this book with children and have even purchased a copy for themselves. Some educators also make use of this book to introduce science to kids at an early age.

Archibald Frisby (Reading Rainbow Book)
  • Chesworth, Michael (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages - 03/11/1996 (Publication Date) - Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-08-31


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a coming of age story which is autobiographical in some aspects for the author Betty Smith. The story takes place in Brooklyn at the beginning of the 20th century. The story centers around Francie Nolan, a young girl that is living in the slums who is no stranger to poverty. This young girl is forced to be extremely strong not only because of the setting she is in but because of her family.

Her aunt always jumps in and out of marriages, and her father has a strong taste for alcohol.  Therefore, the family has no shortage of drama.   This tale is funny, heartbreaking, and can even be uplifting is a must-read.  Many readers heavily recommend this text for middle schoolers and even adults.

Readers found that A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a great way to introduce several hard topics to kids like alcoholism, death, and several other adult situations.  This is a favorite for several readers even still after 50 plus years.  The writing style is captivating, and overall, the book is a brilliant success.

On Sale
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Harper Perennial Deluxe Editions)
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • Smith, Betty (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-09-01


The Color Of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride

Ruth McBride Jordan is a “light skin” woman with 12 black children; she is also the mother to the author, James McBride.  This book takes a hand at exploring his mother’s life and her reluctance to admit that she was white.  His father, for those curious, was a black minister, who lived with his family in the projects of Brooklyn.

Unfortunately, the author, as a young child, was embarrassed by his mother.  He uses this text as a way to tell her story. The story looks at her life as Rachel Shilsky, the daughter of a rabbi who fled and settled in New York.  Her experience as a “light skin” woman begins from there.  The story explores themes like identity and growth through his mother and even at times through his self.

This is an excellent read on race and has also often been used for summer reading.  The Color of Water is a text which has had a profound impact on its readers.  Much like Ruth, many of us are living lives that we have no choice but to get through, no matter how bad we want to give up.   For some reason, this book even changed how they approach life.

Not only does the author give us an outstanding story, but the book is also profoundly written.  Some readers even called it the most memorable book they have ever read.

On Sale
The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother
  • The Color of Water A Black Man s Tribute to His White Mother
  • McBride, James (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2021-08-31


How to Choose the Best Books for Gifted Middle Schoolers for You

Choosing a book for your middle schooler can be hard.  There are some things that you may think they will like but that they do not.  It’s okay, not every parent or teacher will.  You can’t know everything about your child, that’s where we come in.  Use the tips below to help you pick a book that is suitable for them and one that they will enjoy.

What does their reading history say about them?

When your child talks to you about a book, make sure that you are taking a mental note. Pay attention to the things they have read in the past and what they are interested in. If you have a gifted reader who is interested in historical fiction, you probably should not go out and buy them Hunger Games or The Hobbit as these books do not relate to their interests.

What grade level are they currently reading at?

This is important.  Some 7th graders though young, may have the ability to read at a high school level and handle more complex situations. Therefore, challenging books for 7th graders may not be challenging for them at all. Books that don’t appeal to their intellectual level will seem dull and will be unable to hold their attention.

Is there a gifted reading list at their school?

The school’s reading list can be a great source of information and excellent books. It is also a unique way to determine what books will provide the right amount of challenge with entertainment.

These are only some beginning tips to begin choosing suitable texts for your gifted readers. The easiest thing you can do when picking a text is to bring your reader into the discussion or simply take a field trip to a bookstore. This is not only a great wat to scout books but good quality time with your student.

Wrapping Things Up: The Best Books for Gifted Middle Schoolers

We’ve gone over a lot today. Here’s a helpful table to consolidate every book for gifted middle schoolers: 

Our Top Favorite
A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet)
Our Top Runner Up
The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure
Our Top Value Pick
Archibald Frisby (Reading Rainbow Book)
Book Title
A Wrinkle in Time
The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure
Archibald Frisby
Prime Eligible?
-
Our Top Favorite
A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet)
Book Title
A Wrinkle in Time
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Runner Up
The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure
Book Title
The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Value Pick
Archibald Frisby (Reading Rainbow Book)
Book Title
Archibald Frisby
Prime Eligible?
-

Last update: 2021-08-31

If you’re looking for books for advanced 6th graders or just books that you know your gifted child will enjoy and learn from, then you are in the right place. Finding books that are not only challenging but entertaining may not be easy for a gifted student; however, it can be done. This list presents you with some of the best books for gifted middle schoolers and even some of the most recommended.

If you are looking for a text which will help your child address and get familiar with adult-like situations without overwhelming them, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith is an excellent option. It is entertaining, it is well written, and it is one that they will enjoy. Another great option is Golding’s classic text, Lord of the Flies. Most children often fantasize about a world with no parents or adults, but will they continue to do so after reading this book?

Overall, we hope you have found this list to be extremely helpful and an excellent introduction for your child to a variety of subjects.  Happy reading!

Because you read this post, you may also enjoy our post on the best Mensa reading list here.

If you’re looking for middle-grade-specific lists, check out our lists for middle school boys or middle school girls.

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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