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Books You Must Read

Looking for the best books to read? Look no further! This epic list features iconic classics, famous bestsellers, and life-changing nonfiction for everyone. This list includes the top 10 books middle-schoolers recommended along with why they love them and this list has something for everyone. So, if you're wondering what book to read next, start with these must-read recommendations!

Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson - Mystery

5 years ago, Andie Bell, a girl in Pippa’s village was murdered. She teams up with Ravi, the brother of the prime suspect, Sal Singh, to uncover the truth. As they dig deeper, they find that someone in the village wants to keep the past buried. The case not only puts Pippa's life at risk but others too. What shall happen?

“I really enjoyed reading this book, I couldn’t take my eyes off the book. I finished it fast. It was the perfect level for me (grade 7). It's just the best book I've ever read.” - Aya, 7th Grade Student

Unwind by Neal Shusterman - Dystopian Novel

In a dystopian future, the Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The resolution allows children to be "unwound" between ages thirteen and eighteen, keeping their organs alive in others. Connor, too unruly, Risa, a state ward, and Lev, a tithe, must escape this fate and survive together.

“It is a very mysterious book and I would give it a 5/5. I feel like this is very possible and might happen someday which is why it's a thriller because it gives intrusive thoughts but like in an interesting way." - Hayley, 7th Grade Student

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman - Romance Graphic Novel

Heartstopper tells the story of Charlie Spring and Nick Nelson – two British schoolboys who attend the fictional Truham Grammar School – as they meet and fall in love. The series also follows the lives and relationships of their friends, many of whom are LGBTQ+.

"I loved Heartstopper because it was so sweet and touching and it just generally showed the challenges people like them face. Some might find it boring but it tells a beautiful story and it's just a book I when I was bored." - 8th Grade Student

Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides - Thriller

"The Silent Patient" is a psychological thriller by Alex Michaelides about Alicia, a woman who murders her husband and then stops speaking. Theo, a psychotherapist, becomes obsessed with her case and manages to get her to speak. As their relationship deepens, Theo becomes entangled in Alicia's past and the mystery of her crime, leading to a complex and gripping story.

"It is slow-paced in the start but as the novel goes on I can't just stop thinking about this book, and I loved the mind-blowing twist at the end. I definitely recommend anyone who is in search of a book that keeps them captivated." - Adam, 8th Grade Student

Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster - Fantasy

Milo, a boy bored with life, discovers a magical tollbooth in his room. He drives through it and enters a fantastical land called Expectations where he embarks on a journey through various lands like Dictionopolis and the Valley of Sound meeting quirky characters like Tock the Watchdog and the Humbug. Together, they embark on an adventure to the Mountains of Ignorance and the Castle in the Air.

"This was my favorite book when I must have read it countless times. It's a book that makes you think a lot because of all the wordplay but it's surprisingly quite easy to read." - Mishika, 7th Grade Student

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer - Romance & Vampire Literature

It's the first book in the Twilight series and introduces 17-year-old Isabella "Bella" Swan, who moves from Phoenix, Arizona to Forks Washington. She is endangered after falling in love with Edward Cullen a 103-year-old vampire frozen in his 17-year-old body.

"I like how well the author has written every part in the book, it feels like the author is describing scenes in a movie to a blind person and it's perfect for the middle-schoolers age." - 6th Grade Student

School of Good and Evil by Soman Chainani - Fairy Tale Fantasy

It follows 2 best friends, Agatha and Sophie, as they enter a school where children are trained to become fairy-tale heroes or villains. However, their fates are unexpectedly reversed, leading them on a quest through the Endless Woods that challenges their beliefs and forces them to forge new alliances.

"It's a wonderful, captivating book series that is completely different from your average fairytale. If I could, I would give this series a MILLION stars! I started reading the books a while ago and they had me hooked with all the little details bringing together fascinating world inside the story." - 7th Grade Student

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman - Comedy

It’s about an angel and a demon, teaming up to stop the end of the world because they like hanging around on Earth. To do this, they attempt to track down the son of Satan after he was swapped for another child when he was born 11 years ago. There are also a couple of witch hunters, a girl who reads prophecies, and the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

"This is the first book I have ever finished, on my own, not for school. I've always been the type of person to say that I don't read or that books are boring" but this book changed my mind. It's hilarious and comforting, and it's perfect for people like me." - 6th Grade Student

From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks - Mystery

In the summer before seventh grade, Zoe focuses on baking for her audition on a Bake Challenge. She gets letters from her imprisoned father, Marcus, whom she's never met. Against her mother's wishes, Zoe secretly talks to Marcus and learns about his life and his innocence. With the help of her grandmother and friend Trevor, Zoe starts to learn about racism and its impact on her family.

"The book has a very interesting sequence of events, and it is written in a way that makes you want to read more. This is probably one of my favorite books because of the way it's written." - 7th Grade Student

Lost in the Pacific, 1942 by Tod Olsen - Narrative Nonfiction

On October 21, 1942, a B-17 bomber drones high over the Pacific Ocean, sending a desperate SOS into the air. The crew is carrying America's greatest living war hero on a secret mission deep into the battle zone, but the plane is lost, burning through its final gallons of fuel. At 1:30 p.m., there is only one choice left: an emergency landing at sea. If the crew survives the impact, they will be left stranded without food or water hundreds of miles from civilization. Eight men. Three inflatable rafts. Sixty-eight million square miles of ocean. What will it take to make it back alive?

"I love this book and I was surprised that it is all a true story. This book is compelling and is a huge page-turner. Some parts are intense and some aren't and it all builds into an amazing story." - 7th Grade Student

These ten books recommended by middle schoolers, which include many diverse genres, are perfect for the coming spring break or any free time. So, find a book that catches your attention and enjoy a captivating read!

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I read From the Desk of Zoe Washington and it is a great book that talks about difficult topics in it's own unique way. Being a history enthusiast, Lost in the Pacific, 1942 is now on my reading list, I hope I enjoy it! Thanks Mishika!



I'm reading The Silent Patient and it's a really gripping narrative- honestly, a real page-turner and something I haven't seen in a while. Heartstopper is a cute enough story, but, at times it feels a little hamfisted and oddly patronising. Coming from someone who's in the LGBTQ community I find it at times doesn't portray some characters as, well, characters. Some of them are used to convey an idea about a struggle (such as being transgender) without having the inherent depth that comes with being a character with a fleshed out backstory. Not a bad comic overall though.

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