Too-Good-to-Miss Books: Middle School

Too-Good-to-Miss Books: Middle School

Check out one of these too good to miss titles for readers in 6-8th grade!


Compiled by:
Becky F.
The Adventurers Guild

Zack Clark
(Juvenile Fiction - J Clark)

Conscripted into the dangerous Adventurers Guild, best friends Zed and Brock must defend what is left of humanity against terrible monsters in this epic fantasy.


The Cardboard Kingdom

Chad Sell
(Juvenile Graphic Novels - J-GN Sell Cardboard Kingdom)

Welcome to a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary boxes into colorful costumes, and their ordinary block into cardboard kingdom. This is the summer when sixteen kids encounter knights and rogues, robots and monsters--and their own inner demons--on one last quest before school starts again. 


Chains

Laurie Halse Anderson
(Juvenile Fiction - J Anderso)

After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.


Counting By 7s

Holly Goldberg Sloan
(Juvenile Fiction - J Sloan)

Twelve-year-old genius and outsider Willow Chance must figure out how to connect with other people and find a surrogate family for herself after her parents are killed in a car accident.


The Crossover

Kwame Alexander
(Juvenile Fiction - J Alexand)

Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.


Dead End in Norvelt

Jack Gantos
(Juvenile Fiction - J Gantos)

In the historic town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Jack Gantos spends the summer of 1962 grounded for various offenses until he is assigned to help an elderly neighbor with a most unusual chore involving the newly dead, molten wax, twisted promises, Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, lessons from history, typewriting, and countless bloody noses.


The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding

Alexandra Bracken
(Juvenile Fiction - J Bracken)

Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old and storied family history-that is, until he discovers the demon living inside him. Turns out Prosper's great-great-great-great-great-something grandfather made-and then broke-a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. The fiend has reawakened with one purpose--to destroy the family whose success he ensured and who then betrayed him.


The First Rule of Punk

Celia C. Perez
(Juvenile Fiction - J Perez)

Twelve-year-old María Luisa O'Neill-Morales (who really prefers to be called Malú) reluctantly moves with her Mexican-American mother to Chicago and starts seventh grade with a bang--violating the dress code with her punkrock aesthetic and spurning the middle school's most popular girl in favor of starting a band with a group of like-minded weirdos.


Goodbye Stranger

Rebecca Stead
(Juvenile Fiction - J Stead)

As Bridge makes her way through seventh grade on Manhattan's Upper West Side with her best friends, curvacious Em, crusader Tab, and a curious new friend--or more than friend--Sherm, she finds the answer she has been seeking since she barely survived an accident at age eight: "What is my purpose?"


The Graveyard Book

Neil Gaiman
(Juvenile Fiction - J Gaiman)

After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.


Hello Universe

Erin Entrada Kelly
(Juvenile Fiction - J Kelly)

Lives of four misfits are intertwined when a bully's prank lands shy Virgil at the bottom of a well and Valencia, Kaori, and Gen band together in an epic quest to find and rescue him. 


The House with Chicken Legs

Sophie Anderson
(Juvenile Fiction - J Anderso)

All 12-year-old Marinka wants is a friend. A real friend. Not like her house with chicken legs. Sure, the house can play games like tag and hide-and-seek, but Marinka longs for a human companion. Someone she can talk to and share secrets with. But that's tough when your grandmother is a Yaga, a guardian who guides the dead into the afterlife. It's even harder when you live in a house that wanders all over the world . . . carrying you with it.


Hurricane Child

Kheryn Callender
(Young Adult - Y Callend)

Born on Water Island in the Virgin Islands during a hurricane, which is considered bad luck, twelve-year-old Caroline falls in love with another girl--and together they set out in a hurricane to find Caroline's missing mother.


Inkling

Kenneth Oppel
(Juvenile Fiction - J Oppel)

The Rylance family is stuck. Dad's got writer's block. Ethan promised to illustrate a group project at school--even though he can't draw. Sarah's still pining for a puppy. And they all miss Mom. Enter InklingInkling begins life in Mr. Rylance's sketchbook. But one night the ink of his drawings runs together--and then leaps off the page! This small burst of creativity is about to change everything.


The Inquisitor's Tale

Adam Gidwitz
(Juvenile Fiction - J Gidwitz)

Crossing paths at an inn, thirteenth-century travelers impart the tales of a monastery oblate, a Jewish refugee, and a psychic peasant girl with a loyal greyhound, the three of whom join forces on a chase through France to escape persecution.


The Language of Spells

Garret Weyr
(Juvenile Fiction - J Weyr)

Grisha the dragon is born in the Black Forest in 1803, the last year any dragon was born, and while young he was trapped by the emperor's sorcerer, and turned into a teapot, which kept him alive while magic and other dragons were disappearing--until one day he meets Maggie, and the two of them set out to discover what happened to all the other dragons.


The Marvels

Brian Selznick
(Juvenile Fiction - J Selznic)

The journey begins on a ship at sea in 1766, with a boy named Billy Marvel. After surviving a shipwreck, he finds work in a London theatre. There, his family flourishes for generations as brilliant actors until 1900, when young Leontes Marvel is banished from the stage. Nearly a century later, Joseph Jervis runs away from school and seeks refuge with a reclusive uncle in London.


The Night Gardener

Jonathan Auxier
(Young Adult - Y Auxier)

Irish orphans Molly, fourteen, and Kip, ten, travel to England to work as servants in a crumbling manor house where nothing is quite what it seems to be, and soon the siblings are confronted by a mysterious stranger and secrets of the cursed house.


Otherwood

Pete Hautman
(Juvenile Fiction - J Hautman)

Hatred combined with lies and secrets can break the world.' Grandpa Zach used to say that before he died, but Stuey never really knew what he meant. But then one day, when Stuey and his best friend, Elly Rose, are playing in the deadfall in the middle of the woods, something totally unbelievable happens.


Rain Reign

Ann M. Martin
(Juvenile Fiction - J Martin)

Struggling with Asperger's, Rose shares a bond with her beloved dog, but when the dog goes missing during a storm, Rose is forced to confront the limits of her comfort levels, even if it means leaving her routines in order to search for her pet.


The Ruins of Gorlan

John Flanagan
(Juvenile Fiction - J Flanaga)

When fifteen-year-old Will is rejected by battleschool, he becomes the reluctant apprentice to the mysterious Ranger Halt, and winds up protecting the kingdom from danger.


The Science of Breakable Things

Tae Keller
(Juvenile Fiction - J Keller)

Middle schooler Natalie's year-long assignment to answer a question using the scientific method leads to truths about her mother's depression and her own cultural identity.


The Screaming Staircase

Jonathan Stroud
(Juvenile Fiction - J Stroud)

In The Screaming Staircase, the plucky and talented Lucy Carlyle teams up with Anthony Lockwood, the charismatic leader of Lockwood & Co, a small agency that runs independent of any adult supervision. After an assignment leads to both a grisly discovery and a disastrous end, Lucy, Anthony, and their sarcastic colleague, George, are forced to take part in the perilous investigation of Combe Carey Hall, one of the most haunted houses in England. Will Lockwood & Co. survive the Hall's legendary Screaming Staircase and Red Room to see another day?


The Season of Styx Malone

Kekla Magoon
(Juvenile Fiction - J Magoon)

Caleb Franklin and his big brother, Bobby Gene, spend an extraordinary summer with their new, older neighbor, Styx Malone, a foster boy from the city.


Serafina and the Black Cloak

Robert Beatty
(Juvenile Fiction - J Beatty)

In 1899, a twelve-year-old rat catcher on North Carolina's Biltmore estate teams up with the estate owner's young nephew to battle a great evil and, in the process, unlocks the puzzle of her past.


Ship Breaker

Paolo Bacigalupi
(Young Adult - Y Bacigal)

In a futuristic world, teenaged Nailer scavenges copper wiring from grounded oil tankers for a living, but when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl in the wreckage, he has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth or rescue the girl.


Small Spaces

Katherine Arden
(Juvenile Fiction - J Arden)

After eleven-year-old Ollie's school bus mysteriously breaks down on a field trip, she has to take a trip through scary woods, and must use all of her wits to survive. She must stick to small spaces.


The Strangers

Margaret Peterson Haddix
(Juvenile Fiction - J Haddix)

Told from separate viewpoints, Chess, Emma, and Finn Greystone, ages twelve, ten, and eight, investigate why their mother went missing and uncover their ties to an alternate world.


Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

Jonathan Auxier
(Juvenile Fiction - J Auxier)

In nineteenth-century England, after her father's disappearance Nan Sparrow, ten, works as a "climbing boy," aiding chimney sweeps, but when her most treasured possessions end up in a fireplace, she unwittingly creates a golem.


The Sword of Summer

Rick Riordan
(Juvenile Fiction - J Riordan)

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother's mysterious death, he's lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits. One day, he is tracked down by a man he's never met -- a man his mother claimed was dangerous and tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.


The Thief

Megan Whalen Turner
(Juvenile Fiction - J Turner)

Gen flaunts his ingenuity as a thief and relishes the adventure which takes him to a remote temple of the gods where he will attempt to steal a precious stone.


The Unicorn in the Barn

Jacqueline Ogburn
(Juvenile Fiction - J Ogburn)

Fifth-grader Eric's life transforms when he encounters a unicorn in the woods around Chinaberry Creek and discovers a special veterinary clinic that cares for "supernatural exotic patients.


Where the Woods End

Charlotte Salter
(Juvenile Fiction - J Salter)

Twelve-year-old Kestrel lives in a seemingly endless forest, and in order to escape she will need to defeat her Grabber, a creature that builds its body to reflect her greatest fear.