HomeBooks by AgeAges 9-122009 Summer Reading Suggestions: Middle School

2009 Summer Reading Suggestions: Middle School

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: June 11, 2009

Welcome to the wonderful world where children have learned to read and are now reading to learn. The following reading suggestions are for children who you would consider fluent readers. Fluent readers can read for long periods of time and are also able to use expression when reading-aloud. They are now at a stage where they will continue to develop their reading skills independently. They are able to read a broad range of text types with accuracy, and will be able to continue challenging themselves with more difficult reading materials. The reading interests of middle-grade children vary widely, so I have selected a diverse range of very enjoyable books.

NOTE: Please remember that all children develop at a different pace and learn in different ways. During each reading phase there will be a a wide range of development taking place.

 The Runaway Dolls

by Ann M. Martin (Author), Laura Godwin (Author), Brian Selznick (Illustrator)

Reading level: Ages 9-12

Hardcover: 352 pages

Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (October 7, 2008)

The New York Times review: Many pleasures await young readers (and their parents) in The Runaway Dolls, not least of which is the expected delight of Selznick’s humorous illustrations—like the wordless interlude, lasting several pages, as the dolls take 20 minutes to cross a stream on a log…It’s not essential to read the first two books to read and love the third (and arguably the best). Still, why not read them all, while keeping a watchful eye on your own toys. ~ Kate McClelland

Add this book to your collection: The Runaway Dolls


 Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Almost True Stories of Growing up Scieszka

by Jon Scieszka

Reading level: Ages 9-12

Paperback: 106 pages

Publisher: Viking Juvenile (October 2, 2008)

School Library Journal review: Just try to keep kids away from this collection. Entertaining and fast-moving, silly and sweet, this homage to family life is not to be missed — starred review

Add this book to your collection: Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Almost True Stories of Growing up Scieszka

The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West

by Sid Fleischman

Reading level: Ages 9-12

Hardcover: 224 pages

Publisher: Collins (July 29, 2008)

Publishers Weekly review: “This biography of the writer who “changed literature forever” sets a standard few can meet: it is top-notch entertainment. Newbery Medalist Fleischman (The Whipping Boy) nearly channels Mark Twain’s voice, making great use of his subject’s wit to contextualize his place in American letters. …”

Add this book to your collection: The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West

 The Graveyard Book

by Neil Gaiman (author), Dave McKean (illustrator)

Reading Level: Ages 9-12

Hardcover: 320 pages

Publisher: HarperCollins; Later printing edition (September 30, 2008)

Add this book to your collection: The Graveyard Book


by Ingrid Law

Reading level:
Ages 9-12

Hardcover: 352 pages

Publisher: Dial (May 1, 2008)

TCBR review: “…This is certainly a novel aimed at tweens, and manages to convey pitch-perfect messages dealing with peers, guilt and growing up. While the story is based on the family’s supernatural powers, the emotion and events are certainly the main features that carry this powerful story, and I am positive that any child who reads this will find an element to truly connect with. …”

Add this book to your collection: Savvy

The Way We Work: Getting to Know the Amazing Human Body

by David Macaulay

Reading level: Ages 9-12

Hardcover: 336 pages

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin/Walter Lorraine Books; 1 edition (October 3, 2008)

Washington Post review: The appeal of Macaulay’s books is not limited to 10-year-olds, of course, and the daunting amount of information here (explaining such phenomena as actin filaments and antibody attacks) is balanced by his playful and ingenious pencil-and-watercolor illustrations. These pictures offer great detail and helpful analogies. ~ Abby Mcganney Nolan

Add this book to your collection: The Way We Work: Getting to Know the Amazing Human Body


by Carl Hiaasen

Reading level: Ages 10 and up

Hardcover: 384 pages

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (January 27, 2009)

TCBR review: “Six pages in and I was hooked on this contemporary new novel by the highly acclaimed author Carl Hiaasen. This book is full of snappy one-liners and fun references to Hiaasen’s hometown, Florida. …” Read more …

Add this book to your collection: Scat

Rapunzel’s Revenge

by Shannon and Dean Hale (Authors), Nathan Hale (Illustrator)

Reading level:
Ages 10+

Hardcover: 144 pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books (August 5, 2008)

Publishers Weekly review: “…With its can-do heroine, witty dialogue and romantic ending, this graphic novel has something for nearly everybody.”

Add this book to your collection: Rapunzel’s Revenge

Tales from Outer Suburbia

by Shaun Tan

Reading level: Ages 12+

Hardcover: 98 pages

Publisher: Templar Publishing (March 2, 2009)

The Washington Post review: “These 15 illustrated stories and vignettes resist easy understanding but invite reflection…Tan’s mixed-media art, with its surreal landscapes, rescued turtles and decorated missiles, both illuminates the text and highlights the strange beauty of the ordinary.” ~ Mary Quattlebaum

Add this book to your collection: Tales from Outer Suburbia

Have you read any of these books? Leave us a comment telling us about your favorite books!

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The Children’s Book Review, named one of the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Great Web Sites for Kids, is a resource devoted to children’s literacy. We publish reviews and book lists of the best books for kids of all ages. We also produce author and illustrator interviews and share literacy based articles that help parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians to grow readers. This article was written and provided by one of TCBR's regular contributors.


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