Middle School Reading List

Instructor: Donna Smith
A middle school language arts curriculum often requires students to read a combination of fiction and nonfiction during the school year. This article includes a sample of what's on a middle school student's reading list.

Middle School Fiction

Many middle school language arts curricula include classic novels as well as contemporary literature. Genres include realistic, historical, adventure and narrative fiction in addition to fantasy and mystery. The table below shows some popular selections taught in middle school.

6th Grade Books7th Grade Books8th Grade Books
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Bridge to Terabithia
The Cay
Tuck Everlasting
Watsons Go to Birmingham
The Westing Game
Al Capone Does My Shirts
Bud, Not Buddy
A Christmas Carol
Fever 1793
Island of the Blue Dolphins
Johnny Tremain
Treasure Island
A Wrinkle in Time
Animal Farm
The Call of the Wild
The Book Thief
Flowers for Algernon
The Martian Chronicles
The Outsiders
Touching Spirit Bear
The Weirdo
Watership Down

Middle School Nonfiction

Middle school English teachers are also introducing more nonfiction into the classroom. This shift is due to many states' adoption of the Common Core standards. According to these curriculum guidelines, around half of the materials students read should be nonfiction texts, including historical documents, essays, letters and memoirs. The inclusion of these texts is designed to help students prepare for what they'll encounter in college and the workplace.

The following texts are examples of the nonfiction reading suggested for middle school students by the Common Core:

  • 'Letter on Thomas Jefferson'
  • The Great Fire
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and American Slave, Written by Himself
  • This Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life and Songs of Woody Guthrie
  • 'Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: Address to Parliament on May 13,1940'
  • The Building of Manhattan
  • Harriet Tubman: Conductor of the Underground Railroad
  • Travels with Charley: In Search of America

More About Middle School Language Arts

Study.com is an educational resource where you can find more information about middle school language arts and the Common Core standards. The Middle School Language Arts: Lessons & Help course gives you and your student(s) a comprehensive overview of middle school English topics. Features include short video lessons, tutorials, practice questions, quizzes and tests. Plus, you can always get assistance from online instructors.

Additional courses feature language arts lessons aligned with Common Core standards for middle school:

Grade 7

Grade 8

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