Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Would Recommend to My Seventh Graders

Top Ten TuesdayAgain, thanks to Jamie over at The Broke and the Bookish for their Top Ten Tuesday ideas and graphics! This week was a freebie, so I decided that since I just started teaching middle school English, I would make a list of books I’d recommend for them! They’ve already asked me to make a list of books I’d recommend, so I guess this is a good start!

1. Gracefully GraysonGracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky

This book was incredible. Grayson is in 6th grade, and he is figuring out who he is – he feels like he should have been born a girl. Even if someone has never gone through this feeling, everyone can benefit from Grayson’s story. He has to struggle, of course, but she is such a strong heroine and main character that anyone can see how absolutely wonderful she is. This is a book of self discovery, bravery, and growing up.

Harry Potter Collection2. Harry Potter books 1-7 by J.K. Rowling

I MEAN, DUH!! What kind of blogger and book lover and educator would I be if I didn’t recommend every Harry Potter book ever to my students?! I have a Deathly Hallows tattoo on my right wrist and on my car, plus a poster of the Hogwarts crest in my classroom. My kids know I’m an HP freak. I want them to make good life choices and be HP freaks, too.

Iron Trial3. The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

I don’t read much middle grade, but when I do, it’s always compared to old Harry up there. This book was about wizards and magic and a special school, but that’s about where the similarities ended. I was so pleasantly surprised by this book! The school itself is full of demons and dark caves, unlike Hogwarts. Granted, there’s danger there, but it tries to stay hidden. Anyway, this book is fantastic, fast paced, and will jump start any seventh graders imagination and love for reading!

Balance Keepers4. Balance Keepers: The Fires of Calderon by Lindsay Cummings

I adored this. I picked up a copy at ALA over the summer and blew through it. After I was done, I lent it to a coworker’s 12 year old son, and he is now obsessed too. This is packed full of action, adventure, magic, and a hidden world under our own. There are magical creatures, alternate universes, and danger around every corner. It was absolutely fantastic!!

Percy Jackson5. The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan

Seriously, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like Riordan’s books. I would recommend every series of his involving mythology (The Kane Chronicles and The Heroes of Olympus). I learned more mythology from Riordan than an actual mythology class! These books are full of action and adventure and, as an added bonus, teaches kids about Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology without kids knowing that they’re learning! It really is a beautiful thing.

Fablehaven6. The Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull

THIS. SERIES. IS. AMAZING. It’s about a brother and sister – Seth and Kendra – who are banished to their grandparents’ house for the summer. Come to find out, their grandparents run a magical creature sanctuary! This whole series is crazy fun. It’s full of all types of mythical creatures like dragons, brownies, witches, a Sphinx…honestly I was super surprised about how much I loved this. I have the whole series on my Kindle. This one is a must read for anyone.

Candy Shop War7. The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull

Yes, more Brandon Mull! This guy has a special talent for middle grade awesome! This one is about a new woman who moves to town, Mrs. White. She makes special candies that give the kids magical powers like jumping to incredible heights. Then things go DOWN and they have to defeat Mrs. White. This book was so awesome and I have zero shame in how much I love it! I’m pretty sure this one is a duology. It has a sequel, called Arcade Catastrophe.

The Alchemyst8. The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott

This series is amazing. There are SIX books of awesome. You may notice the name, Nicholas Flamel, from the first Harry Potter book. Same guy, different concept. This series is based on the actual Nicholas Flamel and his wife who died in 1418. When the graves were uncovered, they were empty. That’s the actual awesome history. This book revolves around a brother and sister who stumble across Flamel (without knowing who he is) and a prophecy that centers around them. What ensues is a magical education, meetings with gods and goddesses, and whole lot of adventure. This is an insane ride for any age, really.

Septimus Heap9. The Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage

This series is incredible! Pretty much all of the books on this list include magic, and this one is no different. Septimus is a seventh son of a seventh son – magical in its own right. He is supposed to be dead…but obviously he isn’t. He goes on a crazy adventure over 7 books that is just…wonderful. That’s really the only word I can use! It’s a fantastic story of magic, love, friendship, decisions, and growing up into your destiny.

The Last Apprentice10. The Last Apprentice series by Joseph DeLaney

This is another series about a seventh son of a seventh son spanning THIRTEEN awesome books! This main character is an apprentice to the Spook, who catches magical beings who threaten the town. They catch ghosts, bind witches, and are all around magical creature vigilantes. This series is incredibly written and steeped in myths and folklore, which is what drew me to the series in the first place! A great read for anyone interested in magical creatures that may or may not exist.

I hope this list helps you identify books for your middle schooler – or even yourself! I love every single series and book on this list and I have zero shame about my love for Middle Grade books! They’re always so fun! Let me know some of your favorite middle grades!


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