Saturday, July 14, 2012

Your Book Lists

Well I just returned home from a much needed vacation to Myrtle Beach. It was beautiful! More about that later! I am home for a day and then I am leaving to go to Florida to be a sponsor for our churches youth trip! Pretty excited!

Any who....I thought I would ask your advice.

I never expected to be teaching 6th grade and I have a ton of early elementary books and only about 10 Jr. High books. So this is where I need your help.

Would you give me your TOP 5 5th-8th grade books?

I am having a hard time knowing what is too young or too old for them!

Thank you in advance for your book lists!!!

p.s. please enter into Life in Middle School's 100 follower giveaway! There are so many AWESOME prizes!


  1. My all-time favorite book to use is The Cay (Taylor). I have also enjoyed Tuck Everlasting. My partner teacher used Esperanza Rising. I've used Maniac Magee before--but it only works with certain audiences. Best of luck!


  2. Hi! My favorite middle school books tend to be a bit newer (I'm a young teacher). These come from books I've taught and books I've discussed with my kids that they have read outside of class: Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief (more upper-middle school), To Kill a Mockingbird (7th or 8th grade), The Giver, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, Warriors Don't Cry (I loooved this book myself when I read it in 7th grade), and The Hunger Games (definitely upper middle school).
    Hope this helps a little! Good luck!

    1. I am also a young teacher...24...this is my first year teaching. Your book list is going to help me out greatly!! Thank you!

  3. Hi there! Thanks for your comment on my blog and I can't wait to join the discussion about my favorite 6th grade books!

    I would second The Giver by Lois whole class loved this book (and that rarely happens). It can be controversial a little bit so I do read the entire thing aloud in class so we can constantly discuss what has happened. There are also two follow up books that are loosely tied in a series to that---Gathering Blue and The Messenger. I just finished reading Gathering Blue myself.Anyway, it is an awesome story and ties in with the whole Hunger-Games frenzy (which are also awesome books for upper grade middle school).

    My teacher next door read Touching Spirit Bear, also a mature book, but her kiddos loved it. I will probably be reading this next year. I also read Tuck Everlasting with my kids and On My Honor, both of which are good to use as a launchpad for deeper thinking on things like mortality, trust, & friendship.

    As far as books my kids read, they read Percy Jackson, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and one of my kids grabbed Powerless off of my shelf (it came free from Scholastic) and literally couldn't put it down (and he doesn't even like to read normally). I'd also recommend the Among the Hidden/Imposters/etc series since they are always a hit! :)

    1. Thank you so much! This is a great list!

  4. I taught 6th grade four years ago, and love it!! I would agree that the kids read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Percy Jackson, Gregor the Overlander, Among the Hidden, and Eragon. I also love The Giver, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, Esperanza Rising, Inkspell, and the Harry Potter series. I know when I taught 6th grade I had a few readers that were at reading at a 3rd and 4th grade level so some Dan Gutman books or any of the William Allen White winners ( in the 3-6th category would nice to have on hand as well. My 6th graders also liked World Record books, magazines, and some nonfiction. Some of them would even choose a favorite picture book to reread on Fridays!!

    1. Awesome! Thank you so much! Very helpful :)

  5. Our 3 main books that we taught at 6th grade were:
    Hoot (Carl Hiaasen)
    Seedfolks (Paul Fleischman)
    Maniac Magee (Jerry Spinelli) - Anything by Spinelli is pretty awesome!

    I also really like:
    The City of Ember (Jeanne DuPrau)
    The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) - with the right group of students. I did it this past year as a small book club selection because so many were reading it anyway and I wanted to talk about it with them.

    Some other options are:
    Where the Red Fern Grows
    The Westing Game
    Rescue Josh McGuire

    Let us know what you decide!

    Mrs. Allen’s 5th Grade Files

  6. Percy Jackson is a fun series...

    I've always loved the Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. You can make a class game out of it with all the mysteries and clues.

    And thanks for linking my giveaway! :)

    Life In Middle School

  7. My favorites (in no particular order ;)) are:

    When You Reach Me
    ~Love the Sci Fi elements of this one. It's also fairly new. Just a really good, fun story.
    ~Such a compelling story with a good message about being yourself.
    The City of Ember
    ~Thrilling. Much better than the book.
    Among the Hidden (and all the rest in this series)
    ~Another thrilling series.
    Freak the Mighty
    ~A funny tearjerker with a great message about friendship.

    I could really go on and on about this topic. There are so many good ones!


  8. I love all the books that were mentioned earlier! A few other suggestions:
    The View From Saturday
    The Watsons Go To Birmingham - 1963
    Miracle's Boys

    Also, have you heard about the 2012 Global Read Aloud? It's a collaborative project where classes all over the world read the same book. This year older students are reading The One and Only Ivan. Here's the link if you're interested:

  9. Just found your blog and I am absolutely LOVING it! My students loved Percy Jackson, any graphic novels (the girls loved Baby Mouse). Of course Hunger Games and Dear America too! Make sure you have a huge variety-- their reading levels in 6th grade are all over the place!
    To The Square Inch

  10. I love....

    A Tale of Desperaux
    There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom
    Hatchet (really, really love)

    Teaching in Room 6

  11. Thanks for stopping by my blog! 6th grade is the best, and I'm going to be missing it this year. These are some books that my 6th graders have loved:
    * Among the Hidden (our district "banned" The Hunger Games as a read aloud and this was a great alternative. My kids ate up the 7 book series after that.
    * Holes, in my opinion, is a perfectly written novel, and the kids love the story and piecing the connections together.
    * The Transall Saga by Gary Paulsen is still one of his classic adventures, but adds an element of sci-fi. Everytime I read this the kids beg me to read the sequel, I wish I could, but he hasn't written one.

    Upper Grades Are Awesome

  12. Thank you to everyone who participated in my Book List conversation!! You have all helped me out so much and what kind of books to purchase!! I am getting ready to do a linky party about how you prepare your classroom for the first week of school! Stop back by and check it out! :)

    Mrs. Crouse :)