I taught grades 5-7 for 20 years and this time of the year always brought a sense of excitement for parents, anxious students, and me. During the first month of school it was inevitable to get this question: “Do you have any recommended lists of books to read at home?”
It was a little harder in those days to put the list together but I was always up on good reads for this age group. Since leaving the classroom I have continued to keep track of fiction and always buy the newest Newberry winners and honor books. The Internet makes it easy to find these lists and below I have listed my favorites in no particular order. I hope they will help everyone read just a little bit more this school year.
BANK STREET COLLEGE Located in New York City their children’s book committee always have wonderful recommendations for all age groups. Their lists are printable in PDF format and here is the direct download for the middle level list.
M.P. BARKER I like when authors share their favorite lists. M.P. Barker is the author of a debut historical fiction tale (A Difficult Boy) and though his list is heavy in his chosen genre, it’s very well done with quick descriptions of each title.
MACMILLAN Entice your reluctant boy readers with this selection of children’s books for middle grade boys. The covers are shown and a short description helps set the plot for each.
GOODREADS A comprehensive list of middle grade novels for 2012. Click on the book cover or title to get a complete description of the story. 216 titles so far!
FROM THE MIXED UP FILES This site has become one of my favorites for middle level parents, teachers, and authors. Their monthly look at new titles has a much more detailed description of each plot than most any other source.
BOOKS KIDS LIKE An alphabetical list according to themes (Adoption, Adventure, Animals, etc.). Reviews of each title are given. Not a huge list but well done with classics prior to the year 2000.
YOUNG HOOSIERS Indianapolis Public Library site with nominees and winners from their 2011-12 lists. Book jackets are shown and a pop-up window appears after making a selection with background information. Several titles here you won’t see on any other list.
SUMMER READING LIST Not as complete as some other sites but I like the way this is organized. Titles are listed as to when they should be read before each grade level. Students from this school are asked to read three during the summer months.