The Ultimate 7th Grade Literature Reading List
A short list of books that students from 5th to 9th grade may like based on their reading/comprehension level. I have read about half of the books on this list. What about you?
Thirteen-year-old Mary Lou grows up quickly during the summer while learning about romance, homesickness,death, and her cousin’s search for his biological father.
/ Margaret Peterson Haddix In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke has lived allhis twelve years in isolation and fear on his family’s farm, until another “third” convinces him that the government is wrong.
For five days, American scientists struggle to identify and control a deadly new form of life.
Cynical Leah Lewis-Hall, stuck in the hospital alone during the holidays, learns about the miracles of love, faith, and angels when she meets the loving family of her roommate, a young Amish girl named Rebekah.
An adventurous young orphan goes to live on a farm with an elderly brother and sister.
A collection of eleven short stories focusing on the everyday adventures of Hispanic young people growing up in Fresno, California.
/ Will Hobbs A troubled Indian boy goes to live with an elderly rancher whose caring ways help the boy become a man.
Bright Dawn must face the challenge of the Iditarod dog sled race alone when her father is injured
Because the Taliban rulers of Kabul, Afghanistan, impose strict limitations on women’s freedom and behavior, eleven-year-old Parvana must disguise herself as a boy so that her family can survive after her father’s arrest.
In South Carolina in 1780, fourteen-year-old Caroline sees the Revolutionary War take a terrible toll among her family and friends and comes to understand the true nature of war.
/ Theodore Taylor Philip, an adolescent white boy who is blinded in a torpedo attack at sea during World War II, acquires a new type of vision, courage, and love when he is stranded on a tiny Caribbean island with Timothy, a kind, elderly black man.
/ Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey Presents a memoir by two siblings from the Gilbreth clan in which they look at the lives of their parents, Frank Bunker Gilbreth and Lillian Moller Gilbreth, discuss Frank and Lillian’s careers as industrial engineers and work with scientific management, and share the adventures the couple encountered raising a family of twelve children.
An illustrated history of skateboarding, from 1959 through the 1990s, featuring interviews with some of the world’s top skaters, and including true stories of the sport.
Nineteenth-century mechanic Hank Morgan suffers a blow to the head and wakes up in King Arthur’s Court where he tries to introduce modern technology and political ideas to the inhabitants.
/ Jerry Spinelli Seventh-grader John “Crash” Coogan has always been comfortable with his tough, aggressive behavior, until his relationship with an unusual Quaker boy and his grandfather’s stroke make him consider the meaning of friendship and the importance of family.
To a thirteen-year-old Vermont farm boy whose father slaughters pigs for a living, maturity comes early as he learns “doing what’s got to be done,” especially regarding his pet pig who cannot produce a litter.
/ by Peter Mayle The memoirs of Boy, a shaggy dog of unknown origins, who describes his life in the village of Provence in France
/ Zilpha Keatley Snyder A group of children, entranced with Egypt, play their own Egypt game, are visited by a secret oracle, become involved in a murder, and befriend the Professor before they move on to new interests, such as Gypsies.
A photograph of a missing girl on a milk carton leads Janie on a search for her real identity.
/ Rodman Philbrick At the beginning of eighth grade, Max, who has a learning disability, and his new friend Freak, whose birth defect has affected his body but not his brilliant mind, find that when they combine forces they make a powerful team.
Lame and suddenly orphaned, Kira is mysteriously removed from her squalid village to live in the palatial CouncilEdifice, where she is expected to use her gifts as a weaver to do the bidding of the all-powerful Guardians
/ Spring Hermann This story examines the life of the Apache chief Geronimo, who led one of the last Indian uprisings.
While fleeing from Mozambique to Zimbabwe to escape an unwanted marriage, Nhamo, an eleven-year-old Shona girl, struggles to escape drowning and starvation and in so doing comes close to the luminous world of the African spirits.
When eleven-year-old Gregor and his two-year-old sister are pulled into a strange underground world, they trigger an epic battle involving humans, bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders while on a quest foretold by ancient prophecy.
/ J.K. Rowling – Novice wizard Harry Potter, now sixteen-years-old, begins his sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the midst of the battle between good and evil which has heated up with the return of the Dark Lord Voldemort.
When sixteen-year-old Hope and the aunt who has raised her move from Brooklyn to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, to work as waitress and cook in the Welcome Stairways diner, they become involved with the diner owner’s political campaign to oust the town’s corrupt mayor.
In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special status as the young clone of El Patron, the 142-year-old leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States.
/ Katherine Paterson While living on a Vermont poor farm during 1855 and 1856, Jip learns his identity and that of his mother and comes to understand how he arrived at this place.
Three men dare to adventure into a subterranean world full of danger and beauty. They discover many unusual things on their trip to the Earth’s mysterious core.
/ Jean Craighead George Escaping from an unwanted marriage, a thirteen-year-old Eskimo girl gets lost on the Alaskan tundra and is befriended by a wolf pack.
/ Rudyard Kipling The adventures of a young boy, Mowgli, who is reared by a pack of wolves, and the wild animals of the jungle. Also includes other short stories set in India.
/ Mal Peet South American journalist Paul Faustino begins his interview with World Cup Soccer star El Gato and learns a fantastic story of a young, lonely boy growing up in the middle of a rain forest who wandered upon a mysterious soccer field and an apparition that appeared to him daily.
/ Patricia Reilly Giff During a summer spent at Rockaway Beach in 1944, Lily’s friendship with a young Hungarian refugee causes her to see the war and her own world differently.
A young boy who has no identity nor memory of his past washes ashore on the coast of Wales and finds his true name after a series of fantastic adventures.
In a series of journal entries, eleven-year-old child prodigy Millicent Min records her struggles to learn to play volleyball, tutor her enemy, deal with her grandmother’s departure, and make friends over the course of a tumultuous summer.
/ James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier Recounts the tragedy that strikes the Meeker family during the Revolution when one son joins the rebel forces while the rest of the family tries to stay neutral in a Tory town.
/ Kevin Henkes On a summer visit to her grandmother’s cottage by the ocean, twelve-year-old Martha gains perspective on the death of a classmate, on her relationship with her grandmother, on her feelings for an older boy, and on her plans to be a writer.
Upon leaving an oppressive summer camp, twelve-year-old Margaret Rose Kane spearheads a campaign to preserve three unique towers her grand uncles have been building in their back yard for over forty years.
/ Walter Van Tilburg Clark A posse captures and hangs three men believed to be guilty of cattle rustling and murder, only to learn later that the men were innocent.
/ Ben Mikaelsen In 1922 Petey, who has cerebral palsy, is misdiagnosed as an idiot and institutionalized; sixty years later, still in the institution, he befriends a boy and shares with him the joy of life.
/ Paula Danziger & Ann M. Martin Twelve-year-old best friends Elizabeth and Tara-Starr continue their friendship through letter-writing after Tara Starr’s family moves to another state.
Young Tom, the seventh son of a seventh son, starts work as an apprentice for the village spook, whose job is to protect ordinary folk from “ghouls, boggarts, and all manner of wicked beasties.”
Describes the lives and inspirations of several important mapmakers throughout history, such as Cheng Ho, Captain James Cook, and Phyllis Pearsall, and includes map reproductions.
/ Cynthia Voigt As a dedicated runner, a teenage boy has always managed to distance himself from other people until the experience of coaching one of his teammates on the track team gradually helps him see the value of giving and receiving.
While working on a genealogy project for his seventh grade history class, Andy Bonner becomes determined to solve the mystery surrounding a distant relative who was accused of stealing the family fortune.
/ by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor When he finds a lost beagle in the hills behind his West Virginia home, Marty tries to hide it from his family and the dog’s real owner, a mean-spirited man known to shoot deer out of season and to mistreat his dogs.
/ Elizabeth George Speare Left alone to guard the family’s wilderness home in eighteenth-century Maine, a boy is hard-pressed to survive until local Indians teach him their skills.
Carmen decides to discard an old pair of jeans, but Tibby, Lena, and Bridget think they are great and decide that whoever the pants fit best will get them. When the jeans fit everyone perfectly, a sisterhood and a memorable summer begin.
Sliding into Home / Dori Hillestad Butler When thirteen-year-old Joelle, a star baseball player, moves to a new town where the only option for girls is softball, she starts an all-girl baseball league against the wishes of her school coaches and others in the town.
/ William H. Armstrong A young African-American boy learns the pain of humiliation and anger when his father is given an unjust jail sentence for stealing a ham from a white man. Learning to read and to discover that things do not die, but become part of other things, brings the youngster new hope.
The poet recreates the life he experienced as a Chicano growing up in California’s Central Valley.
Jake, a budding juvenile delinquent, is sent for home schooling to the arty and eccentric Applewhite family’s Creative Academy, where he discovers talents and interests he never knew he had.
Sandra Steen and Susan Steen Traces the development of women’s basketball, from its beginning in the 1890s through the formation of the Women’s National Basketball Association in 1997.
/ Charles and Mary Lamb Retells for children the stories of twenty of Shakespeare’s plays, including “King Lear,” “Romeo and Juliet,” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
/ Edward Bloor Paul Fisher, a stellar soccer player despite being legally blind, finally comes into his own when his family moves to the strange town of Tangerine, Florida.
/ S.E. Hinton Sixteen-year-old Mark and Bryon have been like brothers since childhood, but now, as their involvement with girls, gangs, and drugs increases, their relationship seems to gradually disintegrate
After his father begins working for the mysterious Eden Corporation, Jack uncovers a sinister plot that threatens the existence of his entire family.
/ Judy Blume Resettled in New Mexico with her mother and brother, Davey Wexler recovers from the shock of her father’s death during a holdup of his 7-Eleven store in Atlantic City.
/ Robert Louis Stevenson While going through the possessions of a deceased guest who owed them money, the mistress of the inn and her son find a treasure map that leads them to a pirate’s fortune/
The Tuck family is confronted with an agonizing situation when they discover that a ten-year-old girl and a malicious stranger now share their secret about a spring whose water prevents one from ever growing any older.
After her mother’s death, Julie goes to live with Aunt Cordelia, a spinster schoolteacher, where she experiences many emotions and changes as she grows from seven to eighteen.
–1963: A Novel / Christopher Paul Curtis. The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African-American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963.
/ by Wilson Rawls. A young boy living in the Ozarks achieves his heart’s desire when he becomes the owner of two redbone hounds and teaches them to be champion hunters.
A bratty prince and his whipping boy have many adventures when they inadvertently trade places after becoming involved with dangerous outlaws.
/ Madeleine L’Engle Three extraterrestrial beings take Meg and her friends to another world
/ Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings A young boy living in the Florida backwoods is forced to decide the fate of a fawn he has lovingly raised as a pet.