Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Books Every Parent Should Read to Their Middle School Kids

If I Were Making the Summer Reading List for Upper Elementary and Middle School, my list would be very different from most. For one, I think parents should never stop reading to their children no matter their ages, so it would be a parent reading list too. And I think we need to be reading picture books to our kids no matter their ages.

So I've made my list. And it includes books with varying reading levels and book lengths because some kids get discouraged by the longer books. When you are struggling on page 3 of a 462 page book, it can seem impossible—so why try?

I encourage you to get both a print copy of the book and the book on CD from the library if they are available. Encourage your child to read along with the CD. Or listen to it as a family at meals. Our kids enjoy it. And I've seen them reading the books on their own later.

I've included some of the older award winning books as well as newer books. I've also include some books from various genres. I tried to include a genre with each book on my list, but honestly I’m not that great at determining genres so feel free to leave a comment.

Later I am going to do a reading list of Christian books.

My summer reading list for upper elementary and middle school is below. I know I’m missing some good books, but this is a start. I’ve also left off books that I know have lots of swearing or objectionable values.

* means there is a movie based on the book.
Sometimes the movies stay true to the book, other times not. Reading the book and then watching the movie allows your child to use his compare and contrast skills. Talk about the time, setting, character ages, details etc. How are they the same in the book and movie, and how are they different?

Blueberries for Sal     Robert McCloskey       picture book

*The Cat in the Hat                     Dr. Seuss                      picture book

Drummer Hoff                           Barbara Emberley       picture book

The Elf and the Shoemaker       Grimm                         picture book  
there are many versions available, choose your favorite

Green Eggs and Ham                Dr. Seuss                      picture book

Grandfather’s Journey              Allen Say                      picture book

*The Lorax                                Dr Seuss                        picture book

*Madeline (any)                         Ludwig Bemelman        picture book

Make Way for Duckling           Robert McCloskey        picture book

Oh, the Places You'll Go          Dr Seuss                         picture book

Song and Dance Man               Karen Ackerman           picture book

All-of-a-Kind Family                    Sydney Taylor                         historical fiction

*Because of Winn Dixie                  Kate DiCamillo                       realistic fiction

Behind the Bedroom Wall             Laura Williams                        historical fiction
This is a newer cover than the one I have

The Birchbark House                     Louise Erdrich                         fiction

*The Black Stallion                             Walter Farley                         fiction

*The Bridge to Terabithia                Katherine Patterson                 realistic fiction

Bud, Not Buddy                             Christopher Paul Curtis           historical fiction

Bunnicula                                       James Howe                             rabbit mystery?

By the Shores of Silver Lake         Laura Ingalls Wilder                 historical fiction
(And the rest of the series if you have time)

Caddie Woodlawn                           Carol Brink                              historical fiction

*Charlie and the Chocolate Factory  Roald Dahl                              fantasy

*Charlotte’s Web                               EB White                                 fiction

*City of Ember                                  Jeanne Du Prau                       early dystopian

Counting by 7’s                              Holly Sloan                              realistic fiction

The Diary of a Young Girl               Anne Frank                             diary/non fiction

Dr. Mr. Henshaw                              Beverly Cleary                        realistic fiction

Eight Keys                                        Suzanne LaFleur                     realistic fiction

Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery    Russell Freedman          biography

*Ella Enchanted                                  Gail Levin                               fantasy

*Escape to Witch Mountain                Alexander Key                        fantasy

*The Giver                                          Lois Lowry                              early dystopian

The Great Gilly Hopkins                   Katherine Patterson                 realistic fiction

*Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone    JK Rowling                        fantasy

Henry Huggins                                   Beverly Cleary                        realistic fiction

*Holes                                                  Louis Sachar                            fiction

The Horse and His Boy                     CS Lewis                                  fantasy
*Inkheart                                                         Cornelia Funke                fantasy

*The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe         CS Lewis                            fantasy

A Long Walk to Water                                    Linda Sue Park                      based on a true story

Maniac Magee                                                  Jerry Spinelli                             realistic fiction

The Naked Mole Rat Letters                              Mary Amato                                realistic fiction

Number the Stars                                            Lois Lowry                                  historical fiction

Over Sea, Under Stone                                 Susan Cooper                                fantasy

The Phantom Tollbooth                                  Norton Juster                              fantasy?

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry                      Mildred Taylor                               historical fiction?

*Sarah, Plain and Tall                                        Patricia MacLachlan                         fiction

Touching Spirit Bear                                        Ben Mikaelsen                                  fiction

The True Confessions of Charlottte Doyle       Avi                                                    fiction

*The Voyage of the Dawn Treader             CS Lewis                                                 fantasy

Wringer                                                        Jerry Spinelli                                   fiction

A Wrinkle In Time                                       Madeleine L’Engle                          sci fi

Mature Middle School Readers

*The Book Thief                                                  Markus Zusak                                    fiction

*The Boy in Striped Pajamas                         John Boyne                                        historical fiction

Chasing Lincoln’s Killer                                   James Swanson                                 non fiction

*Divergent                                                            Veronica Roth                                 dystopian

*Eragon                                                             Christopher Paolini                          fantasy

*The Hunger Games                                         Suzanne Collins                                 dystopian

*To Kill a Mockingbird                                       Harper Lee                                       fiction

*Percy Jackson series                                       Rick Riordan                                       mythopia

The Illustrated Classics series is a good way to introduce children to the classics without boring them. Here are some of the many available.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer                         Mark Twain  
Black Beauty                                                      Anna Sewell

Call of the Wild                                                  Jack London

Heidi                                                                   Johanna Spyri

Journey to the Center of the Earth                      Jules Verne

Oliver Twist                                                        Charles Dickens

Peter Pan                                                             JM Barrie

The Red Badge of Courage                                 Stephen Crane

Robin Hood                                                        Howard Pyle

Swiss Family Robinson                            Johann Wyss

Treasure Island                                                   Robert Louis Stevenson  
White Fang                                                         Jack London                      

 Please leave me a comment and let me know if your favorite books are on the list or not. Which book related movies have you watched? Did you prefer the book or movie?

Do you read to your children? Your teens?

1 comment: