This is a list of tried-and-true books for seventh graders. They come recommended by schools around the country, and I can also personally and professionally vouch for many, as they belong to my personal library for my own use.
I have tried to include something for everyone from history buffs to sci-fi fans. There are so many more wonderful books I could include, but the request was for the 25 every seventh grader should read, so that is what I have attempted to provide. Enjoy.
Genres Listed in this Article
5,000 Miles to Freedom by Judith Bloom Fradin
Judith Bloom Fradin
5,000 Miles to Freedom: Ellen and William Craft`s Flight from Slavery
Ellen and William Craft were two of the few slaves to ever escape from the Deep South. Their first escape took them to Philadelphia, then on to Boston, pursued by slave hunters, and finally 5000 miles across the ocean to England, where they were able to settle peacefully.
An American Plague by Jim Murphy
An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793
It's 1793, and there's an invisible killer roaming the streets of Philadelphia. The city's residents are fleeing in fear. This killer has a name—yellow fever—but everything else about it is a mystery. Its cause is unknown, and there is no cure.
The Boys` War: Confederate and Union Soldiers Talk About the Civil War by Jim Murphy
The Boys` War: Confederate and Union Soldiers Talk About the Civil War
Includes diary entries, personal letters, and archival photographs to describe the experiences of boys, 16 years old or younger, who fought.
George Washington, Frontier Colonel by Sterling North
George Washington, Frontier Colonel
This book chronicles the early life of George Washington, from his childhood years in Virginia and his career as a surveyor to his early victories in the French and Indian War and his assumption of the leadership of the Continental Army.
Hitler Youth: Growing up in Hitler's Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler`s Shadow
Susan Campbell Bartoletti explores how Hitler gained the loyalty, trust, and passion of so many of Germany's young people. Her research includes telling interviews with surviving Hitler Youth members.
Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Andrea Davis Pinkney
Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters
Ten female freedom fighters let their lights shine in African-American history. Their stories are told here.
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
Al Capone Does My Shirts
A 12-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935, when guards' families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister.
The King of Mulberry Street by Donna Jo Napoli
Donna Jo Napoli
The King of Mulberry Street
In 1892, a nine-year-old Jewish boy from Naples arrives in New York penniless and alone. His starving mama has bribed someone on a cargo ship to hide him away so that he could come to America for a "new start." Slowly, befriended by two other youngsters in similar straits, even as he struggles to survive on the New York city streets, he comes to the realization that Mama was not left behind by accident.
Pagan's Crusade by Catherine Jinks
Sixteen-year-old Pagan is squire to Lord Roland, a Templar knight, as Saladin's armies close in on Jerusalem. This tale follows the growth of the relationship between squire and mentor in this twist on a "coming of age" story, in which we find that sometimes the younger is indeed the wiser.
The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner
The Red Necklace
Taking place during the French Revolution, this marvelous tale of history and magic follows Yann Margoza, a gypsy orphan being raised by the dwarf Tetu. Each of them has magic of their own, which allows them to travel with a successful magician Topolian. Their fates are destined to intertwine with Sido, the young daughter of a Marquis when they are invited to do a special performance at her father's chateau. Thus begins a chain of events that will lead young Yann to eventually become a hero of the revolution.
Tangerine by Edward Bloor
Paul Fisher plays soccer despite the thick glasses he wears because of a mysterious eye injury.
Crackback by John Coy
A teen struggles with the multiple difficulties of pleasing his father, his coach, and his friends at the same time. Added to his stress is his own drive to succeed in the world of football and his internal debate whether steroids will be his way to stand out. What is the price of success?
Heat by Mike Lupica
Pitching prodigy Michael Arroyo is on the run from social services. Rival coaches who doubt that he is only twelve years old want proof, but Michael has no parents.
Reaching for the Sun by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer
Tracie Vaughn Zimmer
Reaching for Sun
Josie, who lives with her mother and grandmother, has cerebral palsy. She befriends a boy who moves into one of the rich houses behind her old farmhouse.
Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Margaret Peterson Haddix
Among the Hidden
Born third when having more than two children per family is illegal, Luke has always lived in hiding. This is the first book in The Hidden series; they are all can't-put-down reads!
Flush by Carl Hiaasen
Noah and his younger sister, Abbey, must figure out a way to prove that the owner of a casino boat is illegally dumping sewage into the bay near their Florida home.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games
America, now Panem, requires each of its 12 territories to select two children between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the Hunger Games. On television, these twenty-four kids will fight to the death, and only one will survive. Also recommended is Catching Fire, the sequel.
Middle School Is Worse than Meatloaf by Jennifer Holm
Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff
Told entirely through notes, grocery receipts, and a vast array of other items, this story follows Ginny as she accidentally dyes her hair pink, throws live frogs in class, and loses the lead role in ballet to her ex-best friend.
Myst: The Book of Atrus by Rand Miller, Robyn Miller, and David Wingrove
Rand Miller, Robyn Miller, David Wingrove
Myst: The Book of Atrus
The ages of Myst are worlds of adventure and awe, of mystery and beauty, of intrigue and betrayal. You have seen only a glimpse of the picture. Now take a step further into the fictional legend of Myst. These pages are your link to the story of Atrus, son of Gehn, and the last of the race of D'Ni—the masters of The Art, the craft of linking to other worlds through the descriptive art of writing. For most of his young life, Atrus thought the stories his grandmother told him were just strange legends. Then his time came to explore the magnificent underground realm.
Crossing the Wire by Will Hobbs
Crossing the Wire
Fifteen-year-old Victor Flores journeys north in a desperate attempt to cross the Arizona border and find work in the United States to support his family in central Mexico.
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father Mo, a bookbinder, can "read" fictional characters to life when an evil ruler named Capricorn, freed from the novel Inkheart years earlier, tries to force Mo to release an immortal monster from the story.
Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt
The Tillerman kids' mother just left them one day in a car in a mall parking lot. Their father had left them a long time ago. So, as usual, it was up to 13-year-old Dicey, the eldest of four, to take care of everything, make all the decisions, feed them, and find places to sleep. But above all, Dicey would have to make sure to avoid the authorities who would split them up and place them in foster homes. Deep down, she hoped they could find an adult they could trust, someone who would take them in and love them. But she was afraid it was too much to hope for.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Set in a world where fear, pain, and war no longer exist, this is the story of Jonas, a twelve-year-old boy who has just received his Life Assignment as "The Receiver," a highly prestigious position as keeper of memory for his entire society. Unfortunately, with this assignment come realizations about his community and their life that are not all he has been led to believe. When the life of a newchild (baby) his family is caring for comes to hang in the balance, he and his mentor, the Giver, hatch a desperate plan to change a society.
The Kid Who Invented the Popsicle by Don Wulffson
The Kid Who Invented the Popsicle
Brief factual stories of how various familiar things were invented, many by accident, make for an informative read.
The Dream Book by Patricia Garfield
The Dream book: A Young Person's Guide to Understanding Dreams
Do you ever dream you've shown up to school in your underwear? How about driving a car and you've never even driven? Have you ever dreamed you're hanging out with Katie Holmes or Johnny Damon? These are more common dreams than you might think, and there are reasonable yet surprising explanations for them!
- Education World—Education World's recommended summer reading list for seventh graders.
- The Kinkaid School—You can look at the Kinkaid's School's summer reading lists for every grade.
- Great Non-Fiction for Young Adults—The Waltham Library's list of great non-fiction books for young adults.
If I have left any of your favorite books off of this list, feel free to leave them in the comments. As I said in the beginning, there are many more wonderful books out there to be read—these are just the beginning. Happy reading.
Guy on March 23, 2020:
Most of these books are from the dark ages.
JAY on March 11, 2019:
Maybe popular best books
ballssucker on January 13, 2019:
private on July 07, 2018:
i love the hunger games. its an awesome series book
P.J fan on April 04, 2015:
I personally think that the Percy Jackson series and Heroes of Olympus series are great books and you should read if you want to know about greek mythology and roman mythology.How Rick Riordan writes the story makes you wish the series wasn't over when you read his books.Read them please I recommend.
faze rain on March 25, 2015:
Some MLG Nerd on March 20, 2015:
This helped a lot. Thank you. I will now go rek some scrubs on COD.
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh on March 20, 2015:
i am also in school on March 20, 2015:
same here @im in school
im in school rn on March 20, 2015:
bruh Aot titan series should be on here all u chumps should know bout it
mlg scrub reker on March 20, 2015:
get rekt taleyana
hi on March 18, 2015:
this did not help
William on May 19, 2013:
Now I know why the schools are so screwed up. All of these have a social agenda that promotes the libtard agenda. Our country is in trouble and I know why. I thank God that I had good teachers who were more interested in my learning to think than to follow some political agenda. If you aren't a liberal when you are twenty you don't have a heart, if you are not a conservative by 40 then you don't have a brain!
jorge on March 03, 2013:
I think that the American plague was a great book
unknown on December 10, 2012:
I really enjoyed fever 1793 and I read it in 4th grade. It is a sad story, but also really good.
purplecloud on July 10, 2012:
Those are some great books. I also thing the hunger games is the best book Eva!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
caterpillar=butterfly on June 30, 2012:
The Hunger Games ROXXXXX and so dus the Percy Jackson series and then Heroes of Olympus. not The Red Pyramid, though; i didn't even finnish the first book. also Trapped is really good. for girls try Before I Fall and for readers who want a challenge try The Book Theif. also, try The Westing Game and avoid all classics, and titles such as Dragonwings, and Chasing Vermeer. thanks for all the sugestions, im starting 7th grade in the fall and my mom is making me read 10 books over the summer :(
i :) reading!!!!!
Mary on May 20, 2012:
Thank you for writing about literature for seventh graders.
I do agree with Brock and Teacher. I'd like to see the readers who are able or have the potential to read on or above grade level be required to read challenging books in school and would also like to see more classics listed (however, a list by definition ends and I am happy to see reading recommendations).
With regard to The Outsiders, I wish schools would eliminate it and find a better book to highlight.
Katie on May 18, 2012:
thanx but these books sukkkkkk!!!!!!!!! lol jk but seriously!!!!!!
Bree on May 05, 2012:
Thanks bigjkl92008 and I'll be sure to check out the second book. :)
bigjkl92008 on April 27, 2012:
i think the hunger games book, inkhert, and a few others are the best and yes the second book in the hunger games book is better
Bree on April 06, 2012:
I was right. The Hunger Games movie was better than the book (see comment above).
Bree on March 02, 2012:
Try the Maximum Ride series, the Witch and Wizard series, or The Heroes of Olympus. These are all a 7th grade reading level according to the American reading company, and they're amazing books.
By the way, what's the big deal with the hunger games? I read the first book, and it was ok, but not great. Interesting plot, but it's been done 500 times before, and it wasn't well described at all. It takes a lot for me to say I wont read the rest of a series or say I didn't want to finish a book, but the hunger games made me say that. I honestly think the movie will be better. Is the 2nd book better than the first?
Emi on January 12, 2012:
Thanks for all the suggestions! I never heard some of those and I am in need of a good book to read. My favorite is probaby the Giver and Inkheart. Another good one is School of Fear and Ruby Holler!
Gen on January 10, 2012:
Defintely add maximum ride! it rocks!!
JWs on October 23, 2011:
wanna make out Taleyna
Rachel on October 17, 2011:
omg! i loved all the books! keep reading everyone! turn those pages!
selena on September 19, 2011:
homecoming is awesome
greg on September 14, 2011:
these books are awesome/
Taleyna (author) on September 12, 2011:
If you liked The Hunger Games, try Divergent by Veronica Roth or the Matched trilogy by Allyson Condie.
Taleyna (author) on September 12, 2011:
Let's see... the best book... personal preference? I'd say it's a tie between The Giver, Among the Hidden and The Hunger Games, but that's just me.
Taleyna (author) on September 12, 2011:
I have simply repeated my answer to this question, as I have answered it previously.
Though personally I adore the Harry Potter Series and the lessons it teaches about friendship and courage under fire, it did not make many reading lists. This may have been because certain factions that will remain nameless chose to make it a "soapbox" for their battles and ends, thus denying thousands of youths access to a perfectly marvelous series. Sorry, didn't mean to ramble. You hit a sore point there.
lalala on August 27, 2011:
Good list, but....
WHAT ABOUT HARRY POTTER?!?
alice101 on August 16, 2011:
I totally loved the Hunger Games and Inkheart triologies. I loved Harry Potter and the Gone series. If you are looking for a book, read The Declaration or Uglies,or Son of the Mob, or Fairest. I loved Narnia and My Sister's Keeper,and Percy Jackson, he Lost Hero, and The Red Pyrimid. I liked those Princess Diary Books too (good historical fiction)
i am awesome on August 11, 2011:
my favorite book of all is the red pyrimid cant beat that
i am awesome on August 11, 2011:
i have a question are there any other books for seventh grders that are good.and i am also my other name is usuck.sorry about that.
JWs on August 04, 2011:
Aw man, how come no one lists The Outsiders anymore? I loved doing that one with my 7th graders, and it accompanies good poetry (like Robert Frost's Nothing Gold Can Stay) so, so well. It's a great lead in to other great concepts, too. Poor, poor Ponyboy :)
usuck on August 02, 2011:
i found all these books cool except for the boy hu invented the popsicle. I like the hunger games the most
Teacher on August 01, 2011:
I think if they can read "To Kill a Mockingbird" they can most certainly handle reading "The Color Purple" and "The Catcher in the Rye". It's time to challenge our students of all levels.
i love this list!!!! on July 27, 2011:
Joe is awesome on July 27, 2011:
i've never read the hunger game
Elizabeth on July 22, 2011:
The hunger games are AMAZING! Every teen should read it...i'm not surprised it's on this list! I'm on the third book in the series and can't put it down.My english teacher even read it and enjoyed it!
Jesse on July 08, 2011:
LOVE ALL THESE BOOK
Jacob on July 08, 2011:
My favorite story in this list was The Hunger Games. I would also recommend the Percy Jackson Series. It has always been one of my favorites :)
john on July 03, 2011:
Abby on May 22, 2011:
I loved the Hunger Games and I am looking for another book just as good...(i finished the trilogy)
Abby on April 26, 2011:
the hunger games is definitely the best!!
Chasidy on March 11, 2011:
What's the best book up here???
jackie on February 06, 2011:
great books! my kid can now read great stories1 k wowow
unknown on January 25, 2011:
i am in eighth grade and in seventh grade the best books a read were the among the hidden series, go ask alice, the hunger games series, the twilight series, and gone.
Taleyna (author) on January 04, 2011:
Brock, No offense taken I assure you. I agree with you that school should be challenging, but in addition I also firmly believe it should be interesting. To that end I tried to include here a bit of something for everyone; those interested in drama or science, history or sci-fi, fantasy or sports.
All of the books, and the short story you mentioned have merit. In the right supportive environment (with parental permission of course), at the right age, which, I'm sorry, 12 is not unless you ARE reading them with your parents; these books can open up some wonderful and challenging discussions. It is not that the books are too difficult, you had it right. It's all about the subject matter they contain. I know, I know, you hear it every day.... but NOT the classroom.
Taleyna (author) on January 04, 2011:
Christine and cool dude, yes reading level wise there are indeed books on both the 5th and the 8th grade level in here... and a couple on the sixth as well! Being certified in Special as well as Regular Education I am well acquainted with the fact that BEING in the 7th grade does not necessarily mean that you are READING on the same level! I also totally agree that using historic fiction makes a history class more interesting!
brock on January 02, 2011:
i am in the seventh grade and i think we should be reading books like
-the color purple
-The giver(i know u mentioned this)
-the catcher in the rye
- the cave(a short story)
not the kid who invented the popsicle. Some will say that these books are to inappropriate but when i sit at my lunch table i hear far worse things than what's in the color purple. we know this stuff trust me. some will say that it is to hard but you when you come to school you should have to think hard and be challenged. That is what stories like the cave wall does. But instead in a lot of schools you read the kid who invented the popsicle and you learn nothing and it is a waste of time.
P.S i mean no disrespect towards Taleyna...i have read all the books mmentioned...i am in the seventh grade... i am african american... and im the son of a professor and teacher.
cool dude on September 12, 2010:
some of these books are for 5th grade, some of them are good
Christine on June 18, 2010:
Content-wise, several of these books would be better left for eighth grade when students are covering US history. I like to use historic fiction with my seventh graders that gives them a story to go along with what they are learning in Social Studies. I use Seven Daughters and Seven Sons by Barbara Cohen and I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade by Diane Lee Wilson.
Taleyna (author) on February 01, 2010:
StarLambert, Though personally I adore the Harry Potter Series and the lessons it teaches about friendship and courage under fire, it did not make many reading lists. This may have been because certain factions that will remain nameless chose to make it a "soapbox" for their battles and ends, thus denying thousands of youths access to a perfectly marvelous series. Sorry, didn't mean to ramble. You hit a sore point there.
Star Lambert on January 31, 2010:
how about harry potter
Taleyna (author) on January 19, 2010:
WildIris, the sequel to Hunger Games is just as good. Be sure to read it too!
RGraf, YW..I had fun doing it!
RiaM., I've read many of them myself!
Ria Bridges from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada on January 18, 2010:
I think the only ones on this list that I've actually read are The Giver, and about 1/3 of InkHeart (must get back to reading that). However, a lot of them seem interesting, and I'll have to see if my local library has copies of any of them. Might be a fun way to spend an afternoon, since even as an adult I'm not opposed to taking trips down memory lane and reading some YA books.
Rebecca Graf from Wisconsin on January 18, 2010:
I haven't heard of many of these. Thank you.
WildIris on January 16, 2010:
Some of these book are new to me. The Hunger Games was a big hit with my 7th grader as was Heat. Thanks for the list--Great Hub.
Taleyna (author) on January 14, 2010:
YW geekchick, it was my pleasure. I try to keep up.
Thanks for the heads-up hubber-2009, I actually had amazon on, but somehow it disappeared! Hopefully it will stay up and running this time!
hubber-2009 from India on January 14, 2010:
very good detail about the books.. you could have added some affiliate for these books..
geekchick on January 11, 2010:
Great list and there are some on here I've never heard of. Thanks for sharing.