6 Thought-Provoking Books for Middle-Grades and Early Teens

It’s hard being a kid. But you know what’s even harder? Being a middle-school aged kid. Or an early teen. I mean, those years are rough. Thankfully, some of the books I remember most from my upbringing are the ones I read during these years. Ones that I loved and cherished and remember to this day.

Maybe that has something to do with how often stories written for this age really relate to the reader; hopefully making them feel a little more secure with themselves, despite the pressures of growing up and fitting in. Or maybe it’s just coincidence. Either way, here’s a list compiled of some of my favorite reads and recommendations for middle-grade and early teen readers. (The first half of the list includes a few of my favorites from when I was in middle school. The second half the list consists of new, great reads for this age range.)

1.       The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (Author), Alton Raible (Illustrator)

2.       The Giver by Lois Lowry

3.       Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

4.       Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

5.       The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (Author) and Ellen Forney (Illustrator)

6.       The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Young Reader's Edition by William Kamkwamba (Author), Bryan Mealer (Author), Anna Hymas (Illustrator)

Now, I know there are classics missing from this list! (I mean, the major elephant not on the list – the inimitable Harry Potter. For one, anyways.) But, it’s only a list 6-deep. And when I create reading recommendations, my goal is to mix things up a bit and maybe throw some content out there that you (and your child) haven’t seen before. At least sometimes. 😉

There will be plenty more lists to come. (Sci-fi or dystopian-specific lists, anyone?!) So, if you have any books you feel need to be included on a middle-grade or early teen list, or if you simply want to share what your middle-grade or early teen reader is enjoying these days, always feel free to holler at me here: jennifernicely@jennifernicely.com