I have two middle schoolers in my house this summer! And I feel the need to create a summer reading challenge for these boys!
One is a fabulous reader! The other one — well, let’s just say he has a long long list of what he’d prefer to be doing rather than reading.
To get my younger middle schooler into reading, I still read out loud every night. Yep. Every. Single. Night.
It’s a wonderful ritual that we all adore.
You can find these summer reading challenge books at your local library or purchase through the affiliate links provided for your convenience. And a special thanks to the Association for Library Service for the wonderful summer reading inspiration.
Summer Reading Challenge for Middle School
Winner of the 2019 Newbery Medal!
Thoughtful, strong-willed sixth-grader Merci Suarez navigates difficult changes with friends, family, and everyone in between in a resonant new novel from Meg Medina.
Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down in this first electrifying novel of a brand-new series from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award–winning author Jason Reynolds.
2019 NEWBERY HONOR BOOK. An ALA Notable Book. A New York Times Editor’s Choice Pick. A Junior Library Guild Selection. Named a Best Book of the Year by Amazon, Kirkus Reviews, The New York Times, NPR, School Library Journal, and The Washington Post
It’s 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries: Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders.
Told through Nisha’s letters to her mother, The Night Diary is a heartfelt story of one girl’s search for home, for her own identity…and for a hopeful future.
A Kirkus Best Book of 2017. A New York Public Library Best Book of 2017. A Los Angeles Public Library Best Book of 2017. A 2017 Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children’s Literature Honor Book. A Booklist Top 10 Diverse Fiction for Older and Middle Readers
Turn the pages to experience life through the eyes of these boys and girls whose families originally hail from many different countries; see their hardships, celebrate their victories, and come away with a better understanding of what it means to be Latino in the U.S. today.
2019 NSTA Best STEM Book. 2019 Outstanding Science Trade Book. Starred Reviews: Booklist, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal. Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine “Best Children’s Books” list
Award-winning author and mechanical engineer Suzanne Slade joins up with New York Times best-selling illustrator Thomas Gonzalez to tell the powerful story of the successes, failures, triumphs, tragedies, and lessons from Apollos 1 through 10 that led to the first Moon landing.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2018! A coming-of-age middle-grade graphic novel about summer and friendships, written and illustrated by the Eisner Award–winning and New York Times–bestselling Hope Larson.
Jacqueline Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.
Jacqueline Woodson’s first middle-grade novel since National Book Award winner Brown Girl Dreaming celebrates the healing that can occur when a group of students share their stories.
Winner of the Coretta Scott King – John Steptoe Award for New Talent!
David Barclay Moore paints a powerful portrait of a boy teetering on the edge—of adolescence, of grief, of violence—and shows how Lolly’s inventive spirit helps him build a life with firm foundations and open doors.
2018 Newbery Honor. Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner. NPR’s Best Books of 2017. A 2017 New York Public Library Best Teen Book of the Year. Chicago Public Library’s Best Books of 2017. A School Library Journal Best Book of 2017. Kirkus Reviews‘ Best Teen Books of 2017
Acclaimed author Renee Watson offers a powerful story about a girl striving for success in a world that too often seems like it’s trying to break her.
A powerful middle grade coming-of-age novel set in a slowly integrating upper middle class Los Angeles neighborhood in the summer of 1965, from a Coretta Scott King Honor Award-winning author.
A space-obsessed boy and his dog, Carl Sagan, take a journey toward family, love, hope, and awe in this funny and moving novel for fans of Counting by 7s, Walk Two Moons, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
This edition of Margot Lee Shetterly’s acclaimed book is perfect for young readers. It is the powerful story of four African-American female mathematicians at NASA who helped achieve some of the greatest moments in our space program.
This book brings to life the stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, who lived through the Civil Rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the movement for gender equality, and whose work forever changed the face of NASA and the country.
Welcome to Pearl Famous Academy of Skate and Sword, where the blades are sharp and the competition is fierce. Peasprout Chen dreams of becoming a legend of wu liu, the deadly and beautiful art of martial arts figure skating.
Tensions rise when the dazzling pearl buildings of the Academy are vandalized and outsider Peasprout is blamed for the attacks by her rivals … and even some friends. Now, she must uncover the true vandal to ensure peace between Shin and Pearl – all while becoming a champion.
[easyazon_link identifier=”1101997281″ locale=”US” tag=”generationikid-20″]Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish[/easyazon_link]
The compelling story of a girl’s fight to regain her life and dreams after being forced into indentured servitude.
Earth baker Peony gets the deal of a lifetime when she agrees to be a contestant on the Universe’s hottest reality TV show, Space Battle Lunchtime!
But that was before she knew that it shoots on location… on a spaceship… and her alien competitors don’t play nice! Does Peony really have what it takes to be the best cook in the Galaxy? Tune in and find out!Dove Arising (The Dove Chronicles)
Fans of Ender’s Game and The Maze Runner will love this smart sci-fi debut and its sequel, Dove Exiled! Suspenseful, intelligent, and hauntingly prescient, Dove Arising stands on the shoulders of our greatest tales of the future to tell a story that is all too relevant today.
In thirteen-year-old Aster’s family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled.
When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help — as a witch. It will take the encouragement of a new friend, the non-magical and non-conforming Charlie, to convince Aster to try practicing his skills. And it will require even more courage to save his family . . . and be truly himself.
In Karen Rivers’s riveting new novel, Ish’s dreams for a future on Mars go heartbreakingly awry when an unexpected diagnosis threatens to rewrite her whole future.
A heartbreaking and powerful story about a black boy killed by a police officer, drawing connections through history, from award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes.
Young people are hungry to change the world, but often aren’t given the chance. This book empowers them to make change happen.
Using the inspiring stories of real life peacemakers, each chapter highlights a different aspect of peacemaking, from Opening Your Heart to Taking a Stand. With clear, step-by-step explanations of how each peacemaker achieved their goals, this book is a guide for anyone who wants to make a difference.
Illustrated with photographs by Thai Neave, The Playbook is intended to provide inspiration on the court of life. Each rule contains wisdom from inspiring athletes and role models such as Nelson Mandela, Serena Williams, LeBron James, Carli Lloyd, Steph Curry and Michelle Obama.
Kwame Alexander also provides his own poetic and uplifting words, as he shares stories of overcoming obstacles and winning games in this motivational and inspirational book just right for graduates of any age and anyone needing a little encouragement.
Set in 1980s Brooklyn, a young DJ accidentally summons a UFO that transports his family, best friend, and current crush to the robot-dominated planet of Discopia. Now Wax and his crew must master the intergalactic musical martial art of Sci-Fu to fight the power and save Earth. Word to your mother.
Don’t miss out on other age-appropriate summer reading lists for all the kiddos – from Kindergarten all the way through 8th grade!
And while you’re at it, find free summer reading programs in your area!