Books for Advanced Middle Grades Readers

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Books for Advanced Middle Grades Readers
by Leslie Preddy
Perry Meridian Middle School
With the advances in the publishing world, this is an exciting time to me a middle grades educator
and reading promoter. In recent years, progress has been made with the publication of high quality
literature appropriate for advanced middle grades readers. Through this literature, the unique
intellectual, emotional and literary needs of middle grades readers reading above grade level.
Through the Books for Advanced Middle Grades Readers project, a committee of middle grades
educators with students to meet the important needs of this group of students, historically
overlooked by publishers and educators. Traditionally, it was assumed these students could
manage on their own, but that is not a fair or equal assumption. Advanced readers need as much
personalized time and attention selecting appropriate reading materials as do struggling readers.
To that end, a committee of library media specialists, in cooperation with classroom teachers and
advanced readers in grades 6-8 throughout Indiana collaborated to develop a list of recommended
books for advanced readers in the middle school. Begun in 2005, the committee’s work is
ongoing, and the list is continually changing and evolving as the publishing world and advanced
readers continue to change. The list of “Books for Advanced Middle Grades Readers” is available
at [http://mgrn.evansville.edu/vocabulary.htm].
----Participating schools utilized a reader’s rubric inspired by and adapted from a rubric developed by
Denise Keogh, Tipton Middle School. This post-reading assessment tool was created and annually
revised and approved by the committee. Committee members collaborated, trained and taught
teachers and students about the program and shared a recommended reading list compiled my
committee members based on recommendations, reviews and professional assessment. Students
with an advanced reading level read from the book list, or added to the list a recommendation of
their own, completed the evaluation form after a book was read, and turned the completed form.
At the end of the semester, committee members turned in the completed reviews from their school.
Based on comments students placed on the evaluations and a numerical formula for a quantitative
score, the reading list was narrowed to the nearly finalized list. This list was then reviewed by the
committee. Committee members, using their own professional expertise, reviewed the list and
participated in electronic discussion until a final list was ready.
After the recommended list was posted, work is still not complete. It is the committee’s
philosophy that the recommended book list will never be static, therefore we are always seeking
suggestions for committee’s recommended reading list. Throughout summer and first semester,
titles are collected for the project reading list before participating school’s advanced reading use
the list second semester to evaluation and review titles. Any school interested in sending
recommendations for the list or participating in the student evaluation process and joining the
committee should send an email to <[email protected]>.
This year, for the first time, books were divided into two categories: Middle Grades Advanced
Reader Classics and Middle Grades Advanced Reader Contemporary List. It is also important to
note that what is advanced reading for 6th grade varies greatly for what is appropriately advanced
of 8th grade. As committee member Cindy Newton commented, “Personal maturity changes so
much during this middle school journey.” It is always important to consider the individual student
and the community in which the students live when making recommendations. The committee
strongly recommends that when selecting a book for yourself, your students, or your child, please
keep in mind that children mature at different rates. Not every book is appropriate for every child
at every age. When choosing a book, always rely on your wisdom and good judgment. Continue to
encourage students and parents to read together as a family and enjoy lively discussions about they
are reading.
----Through the generous support of the Middle Grades Reading Network, spine labels are available
to help designate books for advanced middle grades’ readers on school library shelves. This allows
students, parents and educators to browse for advanced reading materials, quickly and efficiently,
and sometimes with the privacy one needs when choosing something so personal as something to
read.
It is the committee’s goal to provide intellectually stimulating and high reading level books that
have been reviewed and recommended by students, educators, and committee members. Books
were selected for review based on lexile, a published reading level, and/or the intellectually
stimulating nature of the reading, which taps the imagination, both intellectually and in an
entertaining fashion. If your school would like to be involved in the selection and review process,
or if you would like to recommend a book or books (fiction and non-fiction) to be evaluated for
possible inclusion in this list, please email me at <[email protected]>. Remember to check
the website annually for an updated, revised list.
Contemporary
Author
Tilte
Adam
Hitchhiker's Guide SERIES
Alexie
Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Alphin
Ghost Soldier
Anderson
Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing
Anderson
Chains
Anderson
Pox Party
Anderson
Speak
Anderson
Wintergirls
Avi
True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
Bartoletti
Boy Who Dared
Bass
Sign of the Qin SERIES
Bauer
Am I Blue? Coming out of the Silence
Bauer
Rules of the Road
Beddor
Looking Glass Wars SERIES
Bell
Nick of Time
Bissinger
Friday Night Lights
Bodeen
Compound
Bray
Going Bovine
Brian
Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys
Brown
DaVinci Code
Bryson
BuckleyArcher
Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
Carvell
Sweetgrass Basket
Chabon
Summerland
Clancy
Hunt for Red October
Clements
Things Not Seen SERIES
Collins
Hunger Games SERIES
Connor
Miss Birdie Chose a Shovel
Cormier
Chocolate War
Crutcher
Athletic Shorts: six short stories
Curry
Black Canary
Curtis
Bucking the Sarge
Curtis
Elijah of Buxton
Curtis
Watsons Go to Birmingham
Cushman
Catherine, called Birdy
Cushman
Midwife's Apprentice
Delaney
Last Apprentice SERIES
Denenberg
Pandora of Athens: 399 BC
Dhami
Bindi Babes
Dickinson
Ropemaker
Draper
Fire From the Rock
Draper
Just Another Hero
Elliott
Give Me Liberty
Ellis
Breadwinner
Ende
Neverending Story
Farmer
House of Scorpion
Farmer
Land of the Silver Apples, The
Feinstein
Cover-Up
Flamel
Secrets of the Immortal SERIES
Fleischman
Bull Run
Fletcher
Shadow Spinner
Gideon SERIES
Follett
Pillars of the Earth
Frost
Braid, The
Frost
Crossing Stones
Frost
Keesha's House
Funke
Inkheart SERIES
Gantos
Joey Pigza SERIES
Gilmore
Exchange Student
Gordon
Deeper SERIES
Gottleib
Stick Figure: a Diary of My Former Self
Green
An Abundance of Katherines
Grimes
Jazmin's Notebook
Gruber
Witch's Boy
Haddon
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night
Hannigan
Ida B
Hardinge
Fly by Night
Hesse
Out of the Dust
Hoffman
Indigo SERIES
Hoffman
Water Tales SERIES
Horvath
Vacation
Hosseini
Kite Runner
Houston
New Boy
Howe
Totally Joe
Hulme
Seems SERIES
Hunter
Warriors SERIES
Jacques
Redwall SERIES
Jacques
Ribberjack & Other Curious Yarns, The
Jansen
Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You
Junger
Perfect Storm
Kadohata
Cracker!
Karim
Skunk Girl
Kelly
Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, The
Kidd
Secret Life of Bees
Kingsolver
Bean Trees
Koja
Buddha Boy
Larbalestier
Magic or Madness
leavitt
Keturah and Lord Death
Lester
Day of Tears
Lester
Guardian
I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class
President
Lieb
Luttrell
Lone Survivor
McClintock
Back
McCormick
Cut
McKinley
Spindle's End
Meyers
Jacky Farber SERIES
Moore
Hero
mortenson
Three Cups of Tea
Murdock
Princess Ben
Myers
Fallen Angels
Naylor
Jade Green
Nix
Keys to the Kingdom SERIES
O'Brien
Aquamarine
O'Brien
Things They Carried
Ogilvy
Measle and the Mallockee
Ortiz
Call me Maria: a novel
Paolini
Inheritance Cycle SERIES
Patron
Higher Power of Lucky
Paulsen
Boy who owned the School
Paulsen
Hatchet SERIES
Paulsen
Puppies, Dogs & Blue Northers
Paulsen
Soldier's Heart
Pearson
Pfetzer &
Galvin
Adoration of Jenna Fox
Within Reach: My Everest Story: One Young Man’s Unforgettable
Journey
Philbrick
Freak the Mighty
Picoult
My Sister's Keeper
Pullman
Amber Spyglass SERIES
Reeve
Larklight
Riordan
Percy Jackson SERIES
Roth
From Baghdad with Love
Rowling
Harry Potter SERIES
Sage
Septimus Heap SERIES
Schlasser
Fast Food Nation
Sedaris
Dress Your Family in Denim and Corduroy
Sedaris
Engulfed in Flames
Sedaris
Naked
Shaffer
Guernsey Literqary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Shusterman
Downsiders
Smith
Boys of San Joaquin
Springer
Enola Holmes SERIES
Stanley
Bella at Midnight
Staples
Green Dog
Staples
Shiva's Fire
Stolz
Cezanne Pinto
Stroud
Bartimaeus TRILOGY
Takaya
Fruits Basket: Vol. 1
Taylor
Land, The
Valentine
Me, the Missing, and the Dead
VandeVelde
Now you see it
Walls
Glass Castle: A Memoir
welsh
Unresolved, The
Williams
Chosen One: A Novel
Wilson
I rode a horse of milk white jade
Wooding
Haunting of Alaizabel Cray
Woodson
After Tupac and D Foster
Woodson
Feathers
Yolen
Devil's Arithmetic
Zusak
Book Thief
Classics
Author
Title
Alcott
Eight Cousins
alcott
Little Women SERIES
Austen
Pride and Prejudice
Austen
Sense and Sensibility
Barrett
Lilies of the Field
Baum
Wizard of Oz SERIES
Buck
Good Earth
Christie
Then There Were None
Cooper
Last of the Mohicans
Craven
I Heard the Owl Call My Name
Defoe
Robinson Crusoe
Dickens
Christmas Carol
Dickens
David Copperfield
Dickens
Great Expectations
Dickens
Hard Times
Dickens
Oliver Twist
Dickens
Tale of Two Cities
Doyle
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes SERIES
Fitzgerald
Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Fitzgerald
Great Gatsby
Forbes
Johnny Tremain
Frank
Alas, Babylon
Frank
Diary of Anne Frank
Gaines
Lesson Before Dying
Golding
Lord of the Flies
Hawthorne
Scarlet Letter
Herbert
Dune
Hinton
Outsiders
Hughes
Raisin in the Sun
Hugo
Hunchback of Notre Dame
Hunt
Lottery Rose
Hunt
Up a Road Slowly
Huxley
Brave New World
Irving
Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Kipling
Captains Courageous
Kipling
Jungle Book
Knowles
Separate Peace
Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird
LeGuin
Earthsea SERIES
Lewis
Screwtape Letters
London
Call of the Wild
London
White Fang
Miller
Crucible
Miller
Death of a Salesman
Mitchell
Gone with the Wind
Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables SERIES
O'Dell
Island of the Blue Dolphins
O'Neill
Long Day's Journey into Night
Orczy
Scarlet Pimpernel
Orwell
1984
Orwell
Animal Farm
Poe
Pit and the Pendulum
Poe
Tell-tale Heart
Sewell
Black Beauty
Shakespeare
Hamlet
Shakespeare
History Plays
Shakespeare
Macbeth
Shakespeare
Midsummer Night's Dream
Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare
Twelfth Night
Shelley
Frankenstein
Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men
Stevenson
Treasure Island
Stowe
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Steinbeck
Pearl
Tolkein
Hobbit
Tolkien
Lord of the Rings SERIES
Twain
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Twain
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Twain
Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Upton
Jungle
Verne
20,000 Leagues under the Sea
Verne
Around the World in Eighty Days
Wells
War of the Worlds
2009-2010 Advanced Reader’s Committee
Karen Ault, Brownstown Central Middle School
Amanda East, Lynhurst 7th & 8th Grade Center
Susan Hearon, Concord Junior High
Jack Humphrey, MGRN
Denise Keogh, Tipton Middle School
Nicki Kirchoff, Shelbyville Middle School
Jennifer Longgood, Northwestern Middle/Senior High Schools
Julie Mahaffey, Pleasant View Middle School
Kristina M. McGlaun. Jackson Creek Middle School
Nancy McGriff, South Central Schools
Cindy Newton, Connersville Middle School
Leslie Preddy, Perry Meridian Middle School
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