Book Recs for Middle School Students

Wondering what book your Middle School student should read next? Fairfax County Public Schools put together a middle school reading list for students. Here are some of our favorites.

Al Capone Does My Shirts

Al Capone Does My Shirts is a coming of age story about a boy named Moose whose family moves to Alcatraz when his dad gets a job as a guard. Moose tries to traverse school and life in San Francisco with his new friends and his sister with autism. Moose begins sending and receiving messages in his laundry from inmates who take care of the laundry, which leads to a twisting tale of favours between him and the inmates. This is a good book for those not quite at YA level yet, but enjoy the themes common in YA books.

Define “Normal”

Antonia, a straight “A” student is chosen by the school guidance counselor to be the peer of Jazz, a student thought to be a delinquent by the majority of the school. Despite Antonia’s perfect grades, she has a toxic home life with a father who left prior to the beginning of the book and a mother in a state of constant depression, barely able to get out of bed as result of her husband leaving. Antonia is in charge of everything at home, making dinner every night, doing all the chores, and taking care of her two little brothers. Jazz decides to drag Antonia out of her shell just enough to have a little fun. The two become friends, and learn that each can help the other out, despite their initial perceptions of each other. Define “Normal” is a book good for middle school age children, as middle school seems to be the time in everyone’s life where they need a bit of reassurance about themselves.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

This book, illustrated more than written, by Brian Selznick is the story of Hugo, a boy who lives by himself in a train station in Paris. Orphaned at a young age when his father was killed in a fire, Hugo decides to continue his father’s work with his knowledge of clockwork taught to him by his uncle, which he also uses to run the station’s clocks. Hugo plans to fix a machine he calls an automaton that his father had been working on before his death. The book is almost entirely pictures, and can be finished in an afternoon. Nonetheless, each page of illustration can be stared at for quite some time before every subtlety is caught. A great book for anyone who believes that a picture is worth a thousand words.

The Hobbit

A story of magic and wonderment, The Hobbit follows Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who is very comfortable with his life, going on an adventure with Gandalf, a wizard, and thirteen loveable dwarves: Dwalin, Balin, Kili, Fili, Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin, Gloin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, and Thorin. Bilbo travels with these companions through many challenges to fight the dragon, Smaug, who had taken over the dwarves’ mountain. Join Bilbo and the gang for some song singing, elvish speaking, and adventure hunting fun of a story. There will be no regret reading one of the best books of the 20thcentury. The Hobbit is the perfect bedtime story that everyone should read at least once in their life.

Other great reads that were In the list for Middle School students include The Hunger Games, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, A Wrinkle in Time, Stargirl, Anything but Typical, The Lightning Thief, and Mockingbird. What are you reading this summer? To see the complete list, visit the FCPS page.


Blog by Daniela.

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