Middle School Summer Reading List

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based on 39 ratings
May 5, 2010
Updated on Apr 22, 2014

Remember that look in your child's eyes the the first time she started to read on her own? Even though the novelty may have worn off your adolescent by now, with the right book in her hand she can rediscover the joy of reading. Does your child need a little convincing? We've searched high and low for new titles to entice even the most reluctant of middle school readers.

Our 2012 Summer Reading List

Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby. Fourteen-year-old Portia Remini has always felt a little different but safe in the arms of her gypsy family. After her father disappears, she winds up at MacGreavey’s Home for Wayward Girls. Upon her arrival, Portia has only two goals in mind: 1) Get out, and 2) Find her father. She trails a traveling circus, and uses her gypsy storytelling techniques to talk her way into a spot in their employ. She is soon folded into their close-knit family of so-called “freaks,” where absolutely no one is normal by traditional standards. Teenage readers will find a refreshing female protagonist in Portia, a quick-witted and resilient heroine who doesn’t find a prince, but does live happily ever after. (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, $12.40)

101 Ways to Become a Superhero...Or an Evil Genius by Richard Horne and Helen Szirtes. There’s a reason why superhero movies are a staple at summer box offices…the want for superpowers is something kids (and many adults!) never outgrow. After taking in this summer’s crop of big-budget action flicks, your child can groom her superhero (or evil genius) alter-ego with the help of this handy how-to. Full of checklists, charts, and bulleted lists featuring ordinary household items and real-life training tactics, your kid will soon be on a journey from ordinary citizen to world-saving superhero or diabolical nemesis. Word of warning: Mild language may make it an iffy choice for readers on the younger end of the middle school spectrum. (Bloomsbury, $9.59)

The Roar by Emma Clayton. Ever since Mika’s twin sister Ellie vanished a year ago, his parents have been saying she’s dead. But Mika can still feel that twin connection they’ve always had, and he’s not convinced. In his world, all the humans live in a tiny habitable area, crowded and cowed, terrified of the animals that have been outlawed for fear of plague. Can kids fight the totalitarian regime and find out the truth? This gripping adventure pulses with excitement and sports well-written heroes of both genders. A heart-pounding summer read that can compete with a movie blockbuster! (Chicken House, $8.99)

Gift by Andrea J. Buchanan. Is your teen tired of the vampires and dystopian tales that have defined YA lit in recent years? Spark your high schooler’s imagination with this electrifying thriller, centered around mysterious protagonist Daisy Jones, the new girl in school with a secret, supernatural gift. When Daisy finds herself and her friends wrapped up in paranormal activity, it’s up to her to exercise control of her power before it’s too late. The fast-paced narrative and a killer twist at the end will leave your teen sneaking a flashlight under the covers, unable to unhinge herself from the story as the plot unravels. Note: Available only in Kindle edition at this time but will be available in paperback July 10, 2012. (Open Road, $7.99)

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