Finding good books for middle schoolers is of the utmost importance! As your pre-teens and young teens get older, it's crucial to help them maintain good reading habits. The suggested books on this 7th grade summer reading list are perfect for ages 12-13 (or thereabouts) will aid in the prevention of the "summer slide" as well as peak their interest and help them choose some great books to read.
This is a diverse collection of titles and includes a variety of genres like historical fiction, graphic novels, adventure stories and mysteries. Kids going into 7th grade will be able to spend their summer soaking in some sun, lazing by the pool and swinging in the hammock while turning the pages of these exciting books.
More summer reading lists for 7th graders:
MORE: Check out all our summer reading resources, like reading bingo, the great library challenge and more.
Would you like a printable version of this summer reading list for 4th graders? Grab it at the end of the post!
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SUMMER OF BRAVE by Amy Noelle Parks
Seventh grader, Lilla, is torn between her dad, who wants her to go to a specialty art school and her mom, who wants her to go to a STEM school. But Lilla secretly believes that she would prefer a general education where she could try out lots of subjects. This summer, her friend, Vivi, challenges Lilla to be brave and stand up for herself. Working as a camp counselor, Lilla has an uncomfortable experience and decides to use an upcoming art project to make her voice heard. A stunningly good book.
NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH by Avi
I couldn't put this book down! In an effort to get transferred away from a particular teacher's class, Phillip causes a class disruption. But the chain of events that he sets in motion has the community examining what it means to be truthful, patriotic and respectful of others. The narrative is "documentary style," with dialogue, interviews, letters and diary entries telling the story from different perspectives, making for a unique reading experience.
SCAR ISLAND by Dan Gemeinhart
Scar Island will remind readers of Lord of the Flies, only with a less disturbing outcome. When a freak (and I mean freak!) accident leaves all the adults of Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys dead, the boys look forward to finally getting away from the wretched place of misery. But some of the boys decide they would prefer a few days alone on the island before coming under the thumb of adults again. As you can imagine, things go awry in the power vacuum, and secrets previously kept hidden are revealed. It is a very compelling read and your child will have a hard time putting it down.
JUST BE COOL, JENNA SAKAI by Debbi Michiko Florence
Seventh grader, Jenna, has a lot going on. Most of all, her journalism advisor has given her an assignment outside of her comfort zone and Jenna does everything she can to avoid completing it. On top of that, her newly divorced parents are still figuring out how to get along and Jenna is trying to be in the same room as her ex-boyfriend without freaking out. She starts hanging out after school at a Broadway-themed diner where she meets a new friend and learns a few things about herself. This books will speak to every seventh grader!
THE GREAT GREEN HEIST (series) by Varian Johnson
This fast-paced heist story is a fun choice for summer reading. Jackson Greene decides to intervene when he thinks his classmates are rigging the school election against his friend, Gabby. Jackson and his friends engage in a scheme to make sure the election ballots are counted honestly. With school political shenanigans, a diverse group of protagonists and a clever, twisting plot, your kids will love this book.
THE SEVENTH MOST IMPORTANT THING by Shelley Pearsall
After Arthur hurls a brick at a man collecting trash, the judge overseeing his case sentences him to community service working for the victim. The "junk man," James, gives Arthur a list of the Seven Most Important Things he must collect. James, it turns out, is creating a fantastical work of art. Set in the 1960s, and inspired by folk artist James Hampton, this unusual story will get kids thinking about redemption, and friendship.
AMAL UNBOUND by Aisha Saeed
I could not put this book down! It is an important book to remind our children that there are still kids around the world who are denied an education and the freedom that it can bring. In her Pakistani village, Amal dreams of becoming a teacher one day, but an unfortunate event results in her going to live as an indentured servant in the household of her village's corrupt landlord. Amal is a strong protagonist who takes matters into her own hands, determined to achieve her goals, despite her circumstances.
Fantasy and Science Fiction
THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON by Kelly Barnhill
The Protectorate has always sacrificed a baby to keep the witch in the forest at bay. Little do they know the witch has been saving the babies all these years. One year the witch decides to raise the baby herself, and inadvertently fills her with a fierce and strong magic. As the girl grows older and comes into her magic, a man in the Protectorate vows to find and vanquish the witch, revealing the truth about both the Protectorate and the witch.
THE FALSE PRINCE (series) by Jennifer A. Nielsen
The kingdom is in turmoil and a nobleman is determined to pass off an unknown orphan as the missing prince. He brings three boys to train at his estate, promising that the one who best completes the test will have a new life as the ruler. Readers will find themselves constantly on their toes as to the outcome and a surprise twist will leave kids eager to read the next books in the series.
THE STORM RUNNER by J.C. Cervantes
In The Storm Runner, Mayan mythology is front and center. Thirteen-year-old Zane learns that the volcano in his New Mexico backyard is actually a prison for a Mayan god. When Brooks, a mysterious shape-shifting girl, shows up to help Zane fulfill his destiny, the adventure begins.
HOW TO FIND WHAT YOU'RE NOT LOOKING FOR by Veera Hiranandani
It's 1967, and the Supreme Court has just struck down interracial marriage prohibitions in Loving v. Virginia. Although Ari lives in Connecticut, where interracial marriage was never banned, Ari dwells on the recent court case because her sister, Leah, has fallen in love with a young man from India. Ari's Jewish parents disapprove of the relationship, so the pair elope and disappear. Ari grieves the loss of her sister and wants to find her. Ari also has to navigate her complicated relationships with her parents and at school faces the antisemitic taunts from a classmate, as well as struggles with undiagnosed dysgraphia. There's a lot going on here, but the unique second-person narration grips the reader from start to finish.
A CEILING MADE OF EGGSHELLS by Gail Carson Levine
Taking place just before the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, Levine's intensely moving and suspenseful tale follows the adventures of Paloma as she grows up in a relatively well-off Jewish family. Loma's grandfather is well-connected and famed for his ability to deal with Christians. Loma accompanies him on his travels around the country as religious and political tensions grow, facing dangers, prejudice and the constant threat of forced conversions. This is a page-turning book with an extremely strong girl at its heart and your kids won't want to put down.
TELL NO TALES: PIRATES OF THE SOUTHERN SEAS by Sam Maggs, illustrated by Kendra Wells
Tell No Tales is a swashbuckling graphic novel inspired by the legendary female pirate, Anne Bonny. Anne and her diverse crew make up an unconventional family as they bond over getting to know each other as they prepare for an encounter with the pirate-hunting villain, Woodes Rogers. Absolutely great fun. An author's note gives some background on the diverse cast of characters, their real-life counterparts and a (very) brief overview of piracy.
BEETLE AND THE HOLLOWBONES by Aliza Layne
Beetle is a young goblin and aspiring witch who is reunited with her friend Kat Hollowbone. Their friendship has Beetle questioning her feelings about her relationship with Kat as well as with her friend Blob Ghost. But it turns out Kat's aunt is evil and has plans to destroy the mall where Blob Ghost lives. This is a unique fantastical graphic novel.