All families are different and must decide their own standards for the books their children read. Parents assume all responsibility for their children’s education. This book list is based on commonly recommended books for middle school students, heavily influenced by the reading we have done with our own children. If you are not familiar with something on this list, please review the book first. It’s been a long time since I read them myself, as the parent of a middle school student, and only you know the maturity level of your child.
If you have a reluctant reader, focus on short, classic books. For kinesthetic learners, focus on books with active main characters. For those voracious readers, feed their book hunger with quality literature instead of junk. For moody children, avoid dark characters or themes and locate uplifting books with heroes and over-comers. Middle school reading lists have become darker in our current educational system. For a fascinating comparison, see this article: Middle School Reading Lists 100 Years Ago vs. Today. One resource that helped us choose books was The Read Aloud Handbook, by Jim Trelease. For high school students, or children advanced beyond their years, look over my College Bound Reading List for inspiration.
The following books are generally suitable for middle schoolers, ages 11-13.