Reading that Middle Schoolers Actually Like (Based on Middle Schoolers’ Suggestions)

Based on a request from a 7th Sisters to our other 7th Sisters: Reading that middle schoolers actually like (based on middle schoolers’ suggestions).

Reading that Middle Schoolers Actually Like (Based on Middle Schoolers' Suggestions). Literature for Homeschool Middle Schoolers based on suggestions by homeschoolers and their mothers. #HomeschoolMiddleSchool #MiddleSchoolLiterature #ReadingForHomeschoolMiddleSchool #ReadingForMiddleSchool #BooksMiddleSchoolersLike

Reading that Middle Schoolers Actually Like (Based on Middle Schoolers’ Suggestions)

The other day, one of our 7th Sisters on our 7SistersHomeschool Facebook Group (join us please, if you haven’t yet). She asked about good reading for middle schoolers and ideas for what kinds of interactions they should have with their literature. It was such a good discussion that we decided to turn it into a post.

First, let’s talk about what kinds of interactions middle schoolers should have with their books.

Let me start with the reminder that there’s not ONE right way to homeschool middle school. That’s because all our tweens are different! We are homeschooling so that we can do what is best for each student. So, with that in mind, here are some ways for homeschool middle schoolers to interact with books:

  • For struggling or reluctant readers
  • For more confident readers or for high school preparation reading

For struggling or reluctant readers

Relax and concentrate on building a good (or, at least, better) relationship with reading, through:

  • Audiobooks
  • Family read alouds
  • If you would like a light-hearted, no-busywork Literature Study Guide that you can adapt for the whole family, download 7Sisters Anne of Green Gables FREEBIE

Anne of Green Gables

  • Simple reading
    • Reading books that are at their level, whether that level is grade level or not
  • Remedial books in workbook form
    • We like (but are not affiliates of) Edcon’s Classics series
      • Edcon’s book levels refer to their own process, not grade level. Their Level 1 is not Grade 1.
  • Abridged classics

For struggling or reluctant readers, we suggest (but you know your tweens) that you do not put tons of effort into analysis.

  • Concentrate on the fun or impact of the story.
    • Discuss what they like or do not like in the books.
  • Perhaps do a project about the book:
    • An illustration,
    • An activity like one done in the book
  • If your homeschool middle schooler is ready, have them write a brief summary or report about the book.

For more confident readers or to help prepare for homeschooling high school

Remembering there’s not ONE right way to homeschool middle school, there are some good things you can do to build your tween’s literary strengths:

Misty literature study guide

Reading for Middle School: Build their interests or their skills

Now that we have that cleared up, here are some favorite books that were suggested by middle schoolers and their moms or homeschool graduates who fondly remember their middle school reading.

In no particular order and without authors’ names (since these are recommendations from others, we did not vet this list):

Literature Study Guide for Sarah Plain and Tall

Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH Study Guide

  • More Newbery Award Winners

    • From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
    • A Wrinkle in Time
    • The Witch of Blackbird Pond
    • Carry On, Mr. Bowditch
    • The Wheel on the School
    • Amos Fortune, Free Man
    • The Golden Goblet
    • The Door in the Wall
    • King of the Wind
    • The Twenty-One Balloons
    • Johnny Tremain
    • Caddie Woodlawn
    • The Trumpeter of Krakow
  • Historical Novels

  • Myth/Fantasy/Futuristic

    • The Chronicles of Narnia
    • The Wilderking Trilogy
    • Harry Potter series
    • Percy Jackson series
    • Hunger Games
    • Warrior Cats series
    • Redwall series
    • The Dark is Rising sequence
    • The Hobbit (7Sisters has a study guide, but it is high school level)
    • The Lord of the Rings
    • Ready Player One
    • The Land of Stories
    • Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster
    • Wingfeather Saga
    • Beyond the Tower
    • The Green Ember series
  • Dystopian novels

    • Divergent
    • Animal Farm (lots of metaphor, so make sure your middle schooler is ready for this)
    • 1984 (some material may not be appropriate for all middle schoolers)
  • Mysteries

    • The Hardy Boys
    • Nancy Drew
  • Fun/Silly

    • Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  • Classics

    • Charlotte Bronte novels
    • George MacDonald novels like The Princess and Curdie
    • Patricia St. John novels
    • Louisa May Alcott novels
    • Black Beauty
    • Heidi
    • Howard Pyle books
    • Treasure Island and other Robert Louis Stevenson books
    • Mary Poppins
    • Pollyanna
    • The Secret Garden
  • Other

    • Meanwhile, Back at the Castle
    • Alan Gratz books
    • The Outsiders

What would you add to this list? What books have your middle schoolers loved?

For more encouragement on how to homeschool middle school, check out these posts:


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Reading that Middle Schoolers Actually Like (Based on Middle Schoolers’ Suggestions)

Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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