The Best Middle School Summer Reading List

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Are you looking for some great books to read this summer? Or maybe you’re the parent of a middle school student, and you’re looking for something that they can really get into this summer. Well, no matter which side of the spectrum you’re on, these are going to be some great picks. Your child is going to absolutely love them, and you’re going to be more than happy to pick them up and pass them on. In this post, we’ll go over the best middle school summer reading list.

Each of these books is going to be great for any 6th grade summer reading list and up. Whether you’re looking for an old classic, a little magic, or something that’s really going to make you think about the world, you’re going to find it right here. After all, that’s what summer is all about, right? It’s about having some fun and enjoying a great, relaxing read. Summer is all about no more boring books that your teachers are forcing you to read. Instead, you get to have some fun with it.

When you’re ready to pick up a book this summer, you might have some recommendations from friends, or you might have something that your teachers recommend. You might even have a list of recommended books from a local library or elsewhere. But you’re definitely going to want to take a closer look here as well because each of these books is going to make it a whole lot easier to check some boxes off your required reading this year.

If enjoy this post and are an advanced reader, you may also want to check out our high school reading book list here. Or check out our other reading book lists for middle school here.

The 5 Best Fiction Middle School Books for any Summer Reading List

When it comes to fiction books, we all love to be immersed in fantastical worlds, right? Whether those fantasy worlds are entirely fantasy or they have a strong foundation in our own world, we love something that takes us away for a while. Well, these aren’t quite quick reads for middle school students, but they’re going to be great for getting them really into reading this summer.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

If you’re looking for a favorite fiction book, you really can’t look any further than the Harry Potter books. The Harry Potter series has captivated more than just one generation, and it’s definitely going to become one of your favorites as well if you’re interested in magic, mystery and a whole lot of the good vs. evil (but in a more toned down way). You’ll find a great 7th grade summer reading list option right here (though you definitely don’t even need to be that old in order to start reading this one).

Harry Potter is the Boy Who Lived, and that is going to be a moniker that he has to fight to keep throughout the 7 years that he spends at Hogwarts and beyond. As he faces trials and tests that would make even most adults run for cover, he builds strong bonds with his friends along the way. More than that, he develops the traits and skills that it really takes to defeat evil, love, kindness, compassion, and selflessness. They’re skills that will serve anyone throughout their lives.

What Makes it Great:

  • Each book takes you into a completely new world filled with magic, where anything is possible.
  • The entire series gives you plenty to read for a long time, so you’re not searching for the next best thing.

Why Choose This Book:

  • Excellent descriptive passages that feel real.
  • Well-developed characters and plots that make everything relatable, even in a fantasy world.

Harry Potter: The Complete Collection (1-7)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Rowling, J.K. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2024-07-18

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Those who want to see the evolution of a girl into a strong and powerful force are definitely not going to be disappointed with The Hunger Games series. The entire series is about fighting for what’s right and in a world where you won’t find magic, but you will find things that seem too fantastical to be believed (though not necessarily in a good way). Sometimes the enemy has been there all along, and the right thing might just be forced upon you, but then you have to be strong enough to stand up for your own power.

The Hunger Games depicts a post-apocalyptic world like you’ve never seen before. The world isn’t a desolate, ravaged husk in this one, but it’s definitely not the same world we all know and love. Katniss Everdeen, however, is thrown into the midst of a terrible ordeal that changes the way she looks at the entire world around her, whether she wants it to or not. And that’s only the start of her journey as she becomes far more than just another starving citizen like she thought she was.

What Makes it Great:

  • Strong characters that fight for what they believe in, no matter the odds
  • Action and adventure that makes you not want to stop reading.

Why Choose This Book:

  • See how important it is to always stand up for what you believe is right.
  • Vivid detail and passion throughout the book.

On Sale
The Hunger Games
  • Suzanne Collins (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages - 07/19/1972 (Publication Date) - Scholastic Press (Publisher)

Last update: 2024-07-18

The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan

Generations have loved reading about the Greek gods and goddesses, and The Trials of Apollo series is no different. Whether you’re looking for action and adventure or a little bit of humor and historically based fiction, you’re going to find it right here. After all, the Greek gods and goddess were once believed to have walked the Earth (and sailed above it).

Apollo is fighting his own demons now, ever since he angered his father and was cast aside. But what is a downtrodden god to do when he’s lost everything he ever knew? Well, he’s going to have to fight his way back into the good graces, right? And while that is likely going to mean humiliating tasks and even danger, Apollo is determined to do what he must, but will his vanity get in the way? Or maybe his ego? There’s no telling what can happen next when it comes to an immortal who suddenly finds himself completely mortal.

What Makes it Great:

  • Unique viewpoint of a well-known ‘historical’ figure
  • Fun stories and depictions of the trials throughout the series

Why Choose This Book:

  • Return to Camp Half-Blood and the world of Percy Jackson
  • Relates ancient mythology to entirely modern aspects

On Sale
Hidden Oracle, The-Trials of Apollo, Book One
  • Riordan, Rick (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 416 Pages - 10/03/2017 (Publication Date) - Disney Hyperion (Publisher)

Last update: 2024-07-18

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Based on a true story, Wonder is all about a boy who looks different from the rest of his class and feels like no one likes him because of it. But Wonder isn’t just about being different. It’s about loving who you are despite being different and about being accepted and loved for who you are as well. Auggie is just a boy, after all, and he only wants what any other boy wants friendship and acceptance.

Auggie is a young boy who has always been protected by his entire family, but the day comes when he has to step outside of his comfortable environment and into the rest of the world. Entering school for the first time is hard, but navigating the world of friends, bullies and life lessons is one that he learns to face head-on, with a little help, of course. Wonder is a story of love and perseverance, even with extreme difficulty.

What Makes it Great:

  • Teaches about differences and the power and strength of them.
  • Auggie is a child that’s easy to relate to and understand since everyone feels alone sometimes.

Why Choose This Book:

  • All about overcoming fear and putting yourself out there.
  • Descriptive and easy to put yourself right in the midst of everything.

Wonder (4K UHD)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Jacob Tremblay (Actors)
  • Stephen Chbosky (Director) - Stephen Chbosky (Writer) - David Hoberman (Producer)

Last update: 2024-07-18

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

A book series that was later turned into a TV show as well, Anne of Green Gables is the story of a young orphan girl who manages to wind her way into the heart of a somewhat gruff old lady. But it’s also a story of a young girl who manages always to find her way in some scrape or another, struggling to be the young lady that she’s meant to be as she works her way through childhood and into her own adulthood.

Anne of Green Gables is a realistic fiction book that will put you in the midst of living on a farm in a small town. Rather than immersing you in an entirely fictional world, here you’re going to be immersed in a world that might not be 100% real, but it definitely could be. It’s a story of love and growth, adventure and humor and a whole lot more as you also get the chance to experience Anne (with an e) as she struggles along.

What Makes it Great:

  • Humor and fun mixed with a realistic backdrop
  • Relatable characters that truly immerse you in a simpler time

Why Choose This Book:

  • Long and detailed story-line of characters you want to know better
  • Easy to read and to fall in love with quickly

On Sale
Anne of Green Gables
  • Montgomery, L.M. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 157 Pages - 12/21/2020 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)

Last update: 2024-07-18

The 4 Best Non-Fiction Middle School Books for any Summer Reading List

Sometimes it can be a little more challenging to read non-fiction books because they can seem dry or dull. But they definitely don’t have to be. There are some really interesting books out there that are entirely factual, and you can definitely learn some things even while you’re enjoying a great book, like any of these 8th grade summer reading list books.

How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg

You know all kinds of facts and stories about famous people throughout history, but do you know all of the details about just how they died? Sometimes there’s just such an out-there story to how someone died that it just needs to be shared and that’s what How They Croaked is all about. You’ll learn about some of the most famous men and women throughout history and just how their stories actually ended.

Everyone dies, but not just everyone dies in a gruesome or completely unimaginable way. Of course, famous people always seem to have the most exciting stories, and that’s precisely what How They Croaked is going to talk about. All those exciting stories that you’re not going to read about anywhere else. But if you’re interested in all of the gory details, How They Croaked is a book that you’re definitely not going to want to miss out on.

What Makes it Great:

  • Informational but intriguing at the same time
  • Individual stories are short and to the point to make it easier to focus

Why Choose This Book:

  • Fun art and descriptions throughout
  • Great for middle schoolers who are into the darker side of history

On Sale
How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Bragg, Georgia (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2024-07-18

A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer

Child abuse is a horrible act; however, it occurs, but when it occurs in ways that are more extreme than anyone could even imagine, it really makes you question the world around you. A Child Called It tells the story of horrendous child abuse and a child who was able to survive it all somehow. Though no one would have been surprised if he was broken down entirely by it all.

Dave’s mother was the type of person that no one can even imagine existing, and the things that she did to her son would shock anyone who heard them. But Dave manages to survive everything she puts him through with only his dreams to keep him moving on for one more day at a time. A Child Called It is a fantastic read for those who have suffered abuse themselves, and even for those who have never had to imagine the horrors that are described here.

What Makes it Great:

  • Shines a light on a subject that’s often not talked about
  • Provides a healing source for those who have been through trauma

Why Choose This Book:

  • All about strength and courage in the face of unimaginable horrors
  • Inspirational and beautiful even in its terrible to imagine descriptions

A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive
  • Dave Pelzer, A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive, paperback
  • Pelzer, Dave (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Last update: 2024-07-18

Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust by Doreen Rappaport

We’re often shown the stories of the Jewish men, women, and children who suffered through unspeakable horrors in the Nazi death camps and ghettoes. What we’re not shown are the ones who did everything they could to sabotage the Nazi’s at every turn. We’re not shown the story of the Jewish men, women, and children who fought back in every way they possibly could to defend themselves and their fellows. That’s precisely what Beyond Courage is all about.

Courage, strength, determination, and selflessness are all characteristics that we all wish we had more of, and these are individuals who had it at a time when their very lives were at stake. If you’ve never read any other book about the Holocaust, this is one that you should pick up. It’s the stories of individual people who achieved incredible things, not as soldiers, but as people who weren’t willing to give up or to allow the horrors that they saw throughout the world.

What Makes it Great:

  • Stories of bravery and strength in real people who risked their lives
  • Stories are short and easy to read

Why Choose This Book:

  • Amazing experiences and achievements by a people with minimal resources against a massive military
  • Understand what perseverance and a willingness to do what’s right can achieve

Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust
  • Rappaport, Doreen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 01/23/2014 (Publication Date) - Candlewick (Publisher)

Last update: 2024-07-18

Fannie Never Flinched by Mary Cronk Farrell

Throughout history, every amazing accomplishment or advancement has happened because someone was willing to stand up and say that change needed to happen. When it comes to the creation of unions, fair wages, decent living conditions for workers and more, Fannie Sellins was one of those people. She traveled throughout the country to fight for these rights and more, for not just the garment workers that she was once a part of, but for those in mining and other areas as well.

Fannie Never Flinched is a story of a woman who was never afraid to stand up for what she believed in or to fight the power that tried to hold her back. In fact, Fannie was willing to give up her life for the things that she believed in, and she did. That makes the story of this courageous woman, one that anyone and everyone should read. After all, if you’re not willing to stand up for what you believe in, just what are you going to stand up for?

What Makes it Great:

  • Story of an ordinary person doing extraordinary things
  • Standing up for what you believe in no matter what

Why Choose This Book:

  • Strong, courageous woman doing what needs to be done
  • Easy to read and understand for younger readers

Last update: 2024-07-18

Summary of the Best Middle School Summer Reading List

Wrapping everything up, here are the middle school summer reading list we went over today:

Product Number Of Pages
Harry Potter: The Complete Collection (1-7) 4045
The Hunger Games 384
The Hidden Oracle (Trials of Apollo, Book One) 416
Wonder N/A
Anne of Green Gables 157
How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous 192
A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive 184
Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust 240
Fannie Never Flinched 56

If you’re looking for some books to read this summer and you’re just not sure where to start, hopefully, this summer reading list is going to be an excellent option for you. With any of these 9 books, you’re definitely not going to go wrong. After all, they’re going to immerse you in old worlds, new worlds and a whole lot more. So think it over and pick your favorite book (or series) to start with.

Did you find this helpful? Want more books to explore? Check out our high school reading book list here or all of our high school reading book lists here. You may also find these educational websites for middle school students helpful.

If you’re looking for middle grade specific lists, check out our lists for middle school boys or middle school girls or our recommended high Lexile books for middle schoolers.

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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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