Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer reading recommendations for middle schoolers

This week I had the great pleasure of speaking about some of my favorite books to try to help the middle school students at St. Anne School get even more excited about summer vacation. I know some of the students there-- and I know they are voracious readers. (Shout out to Max M. and Sam M., if you ever find this blog!) The challenge for me was to find a mix of books that would be pure pleasure, appropriate for really smart middle schoolers, sophisticated enough for the students but not horrifying to the parents.

To start off, I asked how many had read The Hunger Games. As I suspected, the majority raised their hands. So my first grouping of books was for readers who loved that series. They're dystopian books with plenty of action but also heart-pounding relationships.

Enclave by Anne Aguirre
Divergent by Veronica Roth
I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve
Dark Life by Kat Falls

Then I said, "If you like all that and a side of fantasy..."
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Eon by Alison Goodman
Mistwood by Leah Cypess (especially if readers liked Graceling)
(bonus: all these books already have sequels published!)

Next, I asked who was traveling internationally over the summer. I suggested that one way to travel the world without needing a passport or having to pack was to pick up some realistic books about other cultures:

To Timbuktu by Casey Scieszka and Steven Weinberg (nine countries including Morocco, China, and Mali)
Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy (Afghanistan)
Tall Story by Candy Gourlay (London, the Philippines)

If, like me, you like a clever con:
Heist Society by Ally Carter (I tried to convince them that, despite the cover, it's fiendishly clever fun that boys-- especially ones who've seen Leverage-- would love, too. I don't know if I convinced...)

If you like historical fiction with loads of action (and some big, out-there twists):

And finally, a straight historical fiction novel that was so vivid I felt like I was near the front of the Crimean War with Florence Nightingale:
The Shadow of the Lamp by Suzanne Dunlap


Rene' Kirkpatrick said...

Wow! This is a great list, Tegan- I haven't read a couple of them so I think I'll need to go shopping when I get to work!

TSquared said...

Happy reading, Rene! And let me know what you think.