I am having a hard time processing the fact that I now need to make a reading list for 7th grade! When I started making book lists, my child was a wee thing! But I digress. This 7th grade summer reading list is chock full of interesting books that will keep your kid’s eyeballs off his phone and his nose in a book!
As always, I’ve created an eclectic book list, with a hefty dose of titles featuring diverse protagonists and experiences. I’ve also included a must read non-fiction book for 7th graders. (Note: book covers and titles are affiliate links.)
More summer reading for 7th graders:
- 12 Can’t Put Down Books for 12 Year Olds
- Summer Reading for Globally Conscious Kids
- 11 Books for 11 Year Olds
Nothing but the Truth by Avi. I couldn’t put this book down! Ninth grader, Phillip, causes class disruption in an effort to get transferred away from a particular teacher’s class. 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.
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. Anne was 11-13 years old while she was writing her diary, approximately the age of a rising seventh grader. You might also consider reading this aloud with your child.
Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart will remind readers of Lord of the Flies, only with a less disturbing outcome. 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 a few 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 may have a hard time putting it down.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill is the 2017 Newbery Award recipient, and rightly so. 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.
Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose is a lovely book, written in verse, about a friendship between two 12 year old girls in late 16th century Roanoke. What happened to the Roanoke colony remains a mystery to this day. Alis, an English settler meets Kimi, a member of the Roanoke tribe and the two form a strong bond, despite their lack of a common language. During heightened tensions between the settlers and two different Native American communities Alis and Kimi decide go against their communities and risk everything to help each other.
The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson is a fun choice for summer reading. My own 12 year old loved this fast-paced heist story. With school political shenanigans, a diverse group of protagonists and a clever, twisting plot, your kids will enjoy reading it, too.
Lowriders in Space by Cathy Camper, illustrated by Raul the Third. You might not think that a space adventure would easily combine with Mexican car culture. Well, you’d be wrong! Lowriders is great fun and has a good message about working together and friendship. Lupe Impala, El Chavo Flapjack, and Elirio Malaria are a great team when it comes to fixing cars. Together they enter a contest to turn a hunk of junk into the best car in the solar system. This was a great one for my son who is starting to learn Spanish. A glossary in the back helps kids with the Spanish words sprinkled throughout the text.
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.
Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan. A thoughtful story about a Pakistani-American middle schooler Amina, who must balance the love of her cultural identity with her anxieties about fitting in with her peers. An attack on the local mosque puts the community on edge and Amina, her family and friends struggle with their feelings. No matter what their cultural or religious identity, all readers will relate to Amina’s coming of age story.
Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly, illustrated by Isabel Roxas. A diverse group of children come together when a prank puts one of the kids and a guinea pig at the bottom of a well. Four different voices narrate the story of middle schoolers pooling their strengths and cooperating to make things right.
The False Prince (trilogy) by Jennifer A. Nielsen. I love to put this title on book lists. I devoured this series as it was being published. Each year I eagerly awaited the publication date of each new installment in the trilogy. The Kingdom of Farthenwood 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 of Farthenwood. As a reader, I was constantly on my toes as to the outcome and a surprise twist will leave kids eager to read the next two books.
Even more 7th grade summer reading book lists:
- Classic summer reading list for tweens
- Books for kids who like Diary of a Wimpy Kid
- 100 funny chapter books for kids
- 12 books for 12 year olds