About a month ago, I posted my first “Hot Books in My Classroom” list. For this months list, I will be making a list of books that are currently popular in my classroom, along with books that were popular earlier this year. These are books my 6th grade students love, and run the gamut of levels and genres.
For the Middle Grade Student Dreading Middle School:
Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff: Told through a year of “stuff”- notes, assignments, lists, cards, receipts, postcards, articles, and comics, my students can’t put this book down. Over the past 2 weeks, I have seen my single copy in a different student’s hands each day. This novel appeals mostly to girls, who identify with Ginny’s desire to finally have a great year at school (and actually have a decent school picture, “for once!”). A great book for girls who are reluctant readers. This hardcover edition also makes a perfect present.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: I have not seen any of my 3 copies of this book since October. Boys and girls alike are devouring this illustrated novel about Greg’s middle school adventures (and misadventures!). Perfect for reluctant readers of either gender, this is a must-have!
Shopaholics (and shopaholic wannabees!):
The Clique: Too young for Gossip Girl, but still love the idea of wealth and unlimited shopping in a middle school age group? My girls are eating these books up. This is another series that is being passed around my classroom like candy. Series are a great way to hook a lot of kids into reading!
The Face on the Milk Carton: I remember reading Caroline Cooney’s Janie series when I was in middle school. Scholastic began offering the books this year and my boys and girls alike are fascinated by Janie’s life. A good series for kids who are interested in mysteries and adventure. Janie’s story is exciting and keeps you on the edge of your seat. I have had more than one student who completed the first book in the series tell me that they have gone looking for their own baby pictures, “Just to make sure”!
Double Identity: If they love Haddix’s other books, “Double Identity” is a great mystery for middle grade readers. A quick read with a slight sci-fi overtone. 2 thumbs up from my class! Not unlike her The Shadow Children Boxed Set series, this novel is more realistic to many readers.
Tuck Everlasting: The greatest children’s book ever written, my students have fallen in love with Babbitt’s beautiful story. Every child should have the opportunity to read this fantastic love, life, and family story.
Eragon (Inheritance, Book 1): My boys have started reading “Eragon” and “Eldest” over the last few weeks. They have been reading them from cover to cover and comparing notes. Paolini draws a rich and vivid fantasy world that immediately draws in the reader. A nice addition to any fantasy collection.
Realistic Fiction for Realistic Kids:
Rules (Newbery Honor Book): Cynthia Lord’s story of a pre-teen girl and her struggle to come to terms with her brother’s autism is a story that will bring a tear to the eyes of many readers. This novel has quietly been making waves in my classroom, rarely gathering dust on the bookshelf. Many of the same students who enjoy this book also enjoy Ida B: . . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World.
This is by no means a complete list- hopefully, this list and my prior Hot Books list have given you some good ideas for your middle grade reader this holiday season!