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8 Fantastic Books for your Middle School Book Club

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On a quest to find books for our middle school book club, we focused on finding a variety of themes, genres, and a diversity of voices. After much discussion, we are so excited about the list of middle school book club books we selected for the 2020-2021 school year.

Middle school is such a fun age to begin dabbling in young adult literature while also enjoying a few good children’s titles. You’ll notice that our list includes book titles for middle school that fall into both categories.

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Books for our Middle School Boys Book Club 2020-2021

The reading list for our middle school book club includes a variety of literature, characters, and themes. One parent in the group made a lovely spreadsheet to confirm that we were exposing our boys to books that offered a diverse character experience as well as a diverse discussions about themes during the year.

We selected books using some of our own favorite titles as well as titles from various book lists. One of my own favorite sources is the literature list in the Build Your Library curriculum.

8 Middle School Book Club Titles

Enders Game by Orson Scott Card

Adapted From Amazon:In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin…is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity…His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs?”

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

From Amazon:Amal has big dreams, until a nightmarish encounter . . .

Twelve-year-old Amal’s dream of becoming a teacher one day is dashed in an instant when she accidentally insults a member of her Pakistani village’s ruling family. As punishment for her behavior, she is forced to leave her heartbroken family behind and go work at their estate.

Amal is distraught but has faced setbacks before. So she summons her courage and begins navigating the complex rules of life as a servant, with all its attendant jealousies and pecking-order woes. Most troubling, though, is Amal’s increasing awareness of the deadly measures the Khan family will go to in order to stay in control. It’s clear that their hold over her village will never loosen as long as everyone is too afraid to challenge them–so if Amal is to have any chance of ensuring her loved ones’ safety and winning back her freedom, she must find a way to work with the other servants to make it happen.

Greenglass House by Kate Milford

From Amazon: “It’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler’s inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again. Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House—and themselves.”

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit

From Amazon: What if you could live forever?

Is eternal life a blessing or a curse? That is what young Winnie Foster must decide when she discovers a spring on her family’s property whose waters grant immortality. Members of the Tuck family, having drunk from the spring, tell Winnie of their experiences watching life go by and never growing older.

But then Winnie must decide whether or not to keep the Tucks’ secret―and whether or not to join them on their never-ending journey.”

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia

From Amazon: “Kwame Mbalia’s epic fantasy, a middle-grade [tale of] American Gods set in a richly-imagined world populated with African American folk heroes and West African gods.”

New Kid (graphic novel) by Jerry Craft

From Amazon: “Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.

As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?”

Mananaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan 

From Amazon: Maximiliano Córdoba loves stories, especially the legend Buelo tells him about a mythical gatekeeper who can guide brave travelers on a journey into tomorrow.

If Max could see tomorrow, he would know if he’d make Santa Maria’s celebrated fútbol team and whether he’d ever meet his mother, who disappeared when he was a baby. He longs to know more about her, but Papá won’t talk. So when Max uncovers a buried family secret–involving an underground network of guardians who lead people fleeing a neighboring country to safety–he decides to seek answers on his own.

With a treasured compass, a mysterious stone rubbing, and Buelo’s legend as his only guides, he sets out on a perilous quest to discover if he is true of heart and what the future holds.

Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

From Amazon: “The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st Street. It’s practically another member of the family. So when their reclusive, curmudgeonly landlord decides not to renew their lease, the five siblings have eleven days to do whatever it takes to stay in their beloved home and convince the dreaded Beiderman just how wonderful they are. And all is fair in love and war when it comes to keeping their home.”

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  1. What a great list! Some we’ve already read but definitely looking forward to reading the others that we have not read yet!
    Do you offer book guides for these ones? I’m new to your site (Love it!) and still looking around, so sorry if that has been answered elsewhere on your site!

    1. I am working on the guides for this list as I type. Ender’s Game was released tonight! The rest will be coming along this year. Thanks for asking!

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