I thought it might be helpful to provide you with a list of the middle grade books recommended in the following About.com video book talks. After you watch the videos, you can print a copy to take to your local public library or bookstore or use it to compare prices and order books online.
Video: 5 Nonfiction U.S. History Books for Middle Graders
Dr. Marc Aronson, author and assistant professor at Rutgers University, begins by talking about how kids enjoy facts, such as those found in the book Guinness World Records 2012
(see my review
). He goes on to discuss the value of reading nonfiction about American history. Watch this video about 5 nonfiction books about U.S. history
to find out why he recommends the following books for middle grade readers:
- An American Plague by Jim Murphy (ISBN: 9780395776087) Compare prices.
- Harlem Stomp! by Laban Carrick Hill (ISBN: 9780316034241) Compare prices.
- Almost Astronauts by Tanya Stone (ISBN: 9780763645021) Compare prices.
- Claudette Colvin by Phillip Hoose (ISBN: 9780312661052) Compare prices.
- Ain't Nothing but a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry by Scott Reynolds Nelson with Marc Aronson (ISBN: 9781426300004) Compare prices.
If your kids also enjoy historical fiction, take a look at this annotated list of Historical Fiction for Middle Grade Readers
Books for Harry Potter Lovers
Elizabeth Bird, children's librarian with New York Public Library's Children's Center recommends books for kids who've read all of the Harry Potter series and want to read more fantasy like it. Watch this video about books for Harry Potter lovers
to find out why Bird recommends these middle grade books.
- The Dragon’s Tooth by N.D. Wilson (ISBN: 9780375864391) Compare prices.
- The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier (ISBN: 9780440240600) Compare prices.
- Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis (ISBN: 9781416994473) Compare prices.
- Small Persons With Wings by Ellen Booraem (ISBN: 9780142420546) Compare prices.
- The Ogre of Oglefort by Eva Ibbotson (ISBN: 9780142421352) Compare prices.
For more about each book in the Harry Potter series and the related books, like the Harry Potter Schoolbooks, read The Harry Potter Series: Fast Facts
Video: 5 Nonfiction Science Books for Middle Grade Readers
Susie Heimbach, children's librarian at the Mulberry Street branch of the New York Public Library, has selected a variety of science books to intrigue middle grade readers. Watch this video about middle grade nonfiction science books
to learn more about the books.
- Animals Up Close by Igor Siwanowicz (ISBN: 9780756645137) Compare prices.
- Volcanoes by Seymour Simon (ISBN: 9780060877170) Compare prices.
- Dino Wars by Jinny Johnson (ISBN: 9780810957985) Compare prices.
- Outside and Inside Mummies by Sandra Markle (ISBN: 9780802789662) Compare prices.
- A Drop of Blood by Paul Showers (ISBN: 9780060091101) Compare prices.
I have one more recommendation for you. One of my favorite nonfiction science series is the Scientist in the Field series
, which I recommend for ages 9-14.
Video: Classic Summer Reading Books for Middle School Students
Educator Michael White discusses 7 books with themes suitable for middle school students.
Watch this video book talk about recommended classic books
to learn about what each of these books teaches the reader.
- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (ISBN: 9780618968633) Compare prices.
- Maus by Art Spiegelman (ISBN: 9780394747231) Compare prices.
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (ISBN: 9780060935467) Compare prices.
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (ISBN: 9781612930893) Compare prices.
- The Giver by Lois Lowry (ISBN: 9780385732550) Compare prices. Read the review of The Giver.
- The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (ISBN: 9780679734772) Compare prices.
- Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (ISBN: 9780812550702) Compare prices.
Video: 5 Dog Books for Middle Readers
Watch this video about 5 middle grade books about dogs
and find out the reasons each is a good choice for middle readers. Two of the books are classics. Four of the 5 books have won major children’s book awards, and the fifth, about a dog named Marley, is an adaptation for children of a bestselling book for adults.
- Old Yeller by Fred Gipson (ISBN: 9780064403825) Compare prices.
- Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (ISBN: 0763607762) Compare prices. Read my review of Because of Winn-Dixie
- A Dog’s Life by Ann M. Martin (ISBN: 9780439717007 ) Compare prices.
- Marley: A Dog Like No Other John Grogan (ISBN: 9780061240355) Compare prices.
- Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (ISBN: 9780689835827) Compare prices. Read the review of Shiloh.
Video: 5 Dragon Books for Middle Readers
This video about dragon books for middle grade readers
introduces a rather diverse group of books for a wide range of middle grade readers, as well as some younger and older kids. It includes 528-page-long fantasy Eragon
, published in 2003 for ages 12-18, to My Father’s Dragon
, first published in the 1940s, which is 96 pages long and popular with independent readers 8 - 11.
- Eragon by Christopher Paolini (ISBN: 9780375826696)
Compare prices. Fans of Eragon and the other books in the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini may also enjoy Eragon's Guide to Alagesia.
- Dragon Keeper by Carole Wilkinson (ISBN: 9781423101710)
- How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell(ISBN: 9780316085274) Compare prices.
- Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke (ISBN: 9780545316484) Compare prices.
- My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett (ISBN: 9780440421214) Compare prices.
Another good dragon book, The Last Dragon
is an award-winning fantasy novel for ages 9-12. Read the review of The Last Dragon