Book clubs are starting to pop up in libraries and schools for readers of all ages. While book clubs are a great way to encourage reading and picking up books outside a reader’s comfort zone, they are about much more than the books being read. Book clubs are about fostering a sense of community, creating or strengthening relationships, and shared experiences.
If your middle grade reader is interested in joining, or starting a club of their own (or perhaps a parent and child book club is more your speed) they might be at a loss as to what books the group will read next. It is a common issue with adult book groups, so I am sure it happens with younger readers as well. Here are some suggested titles to add to the list of possibilities. Some are tried and true titles that you might have enjoyed at their age, and others are newer books that are simply wonderful. your selections will depend quite a bit on the interests and maturity of those in your group, but this can help get the selection process started.
Paperboy by Vince Vawter
Taking over a friend’s newspaper route in 1959 Memphis, an 11-year-old baseball enthusiast struggles with a speech disability while attempting to communicate with customers, a situation that turns dangerous when he has a confrontation with a thieving local junkman.
A Tale Dark & Grimm (A Tale Dark & Grimm, #1) by Adam Gidwitz
Follows Hansel and Gretel as they walk out of their own story and into eight more tales, encountering witches, devils, warlocks, kindly strangers, and other helpful folk as they take charge of their own happily ever after.
Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth, and what follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached.
Twelve-year-old Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of 12 children chosen to stay in the new town library–designed by his hero, the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello–for an overnight of fun, food and games, but in the morning, the kids find all the doors still locked and must work together to solve secret puzzles in order to discover the hidden escape route.Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
When a father runs out to buy milk for his children’s breakfast cereal, the last thing he expects is to be abducted by aliens, and he soon finds himself transported through time and space on an extraordinary adventure, where the fate of the universe depends on him and the milk–but will his children believe his wild story?
Still looking for more ideas, or some great middle grade novels to read? Here are even more:The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood, Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai, Inkheart (Inkworld, #1) by Cornelia Funke, One For The Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Matilda by Roald Dahl, A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1) by Madeleine L’Engle, Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1) by Roald Dahl, Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, The Giver by Lois Lowry, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg, The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall, Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff, Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1) by L.M. Montgomery, Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper, The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1) by Philip Pullman, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli, Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff, The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #1) by Trenton Lee Stewart, Endymion Spring by Matthew Skelton, My One Hundred Adventures by Polly Horvath, Doll Bones by Holly Black, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick, The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate,Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee,The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald, The City of Ember (Book of Ember, #1) by Jeanne DuPrau, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter, #1) by J.K. Rowling, One Crazy Summer (Gaither Sisters, #1) by Rita Williams-Garcia, and The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.