Below is a list of recommended books for middle schoolers and young adult audiences. Click on the book covers or titles to read detailed descriptions of the books, biographies of the authors, reviews, recommended age ranges and more. This list is grouped by age range and alphabetically. While every reader is different, general age guidelines are: middle grade books (ages 8-12), and young adult books (ages 13 and up). For a list of graphic novels for young readers, click here.
Getting ready to start middle school? Well, you'll need to know what to expect. Get to know every person you'll meet and how they can help (and who to stay away from!).
The First Rule of Punk is a wry and heartfelt exploration of friendship, finding your place, and learning to rock out like no one’s watching.
From debut author Janae Marks comes a captivating mystery full of heart, as one courageous girl questions assumptions, searches for the truth, and does what she believes is right--even in the face of great opposition. A perfect book for fans of Front Desk and All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook!
It will take all of Mia's courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?
When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl.
The New York Times bestselling Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a children's book packed with 100 bedtime stories about the lives of extraordinary women from the past and the present, illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world.
Jacqueline Woodson's first middle-grade novel since National Book Award winner Brown Girl Dreaming celebrates the healing that can occur when a group of students share their stories.
The Breakfast Club meets middle school with a prank twist in this hilarious and heartwarming story about six very different seventh graders who are forced to band together after a vandalism incident.
At a time when everything is changing for Bea and her family, the important things will always stay the same. A soon-to-be classic by the Newbery Award-winning author of When You Reach Me.
An important book for all ages, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of forty trailblazing black women in American history. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash.
Winner of the 2019 Newbery Medal, this coming-of-age tale by New York Times best-selling author Meg Medina gets to the heart of the confusion and constant change that defines middle school — and the steadfast connection that defines family.
Everyone knows there are different kinds of teachers. The boring ones, the mean ones, the ones who try too hard, the ones who stopped trying long ago. The ones you'll never remember, and the ones you want to forget. Ms. Bixby is none of these. She's the sort of teacher who makes you feel like school is somehow worthwhile.
In this acclaimed novel by the author of the award-winning, bestselling The Thing About Jellyfish, being the new kid at school isn't easy, especially when you have to follow in the footsteps of a legendary classroom prankster.
A gorgeously written, hopeful middle grade novel in verse about a young girl who must leave Syria to move to the United States, perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Aisha Saeed.
Rad Women Worldwide tells fresh, engaging, and amazing tales of perseverance and radical success by pairing well-researched and riveting biographies with powerful and expressive cut-paper portraits.
A comic book for kids that includes children and families of all makeups, orientations, and gender identities, Sex Is a Funny Word is an essential resource about bodies, gender, and sexuality for children ages 8 to 10 as well as their parents and caregivers.
One lie snowballs into a full-blown double life in this irresistible story about an aspiring stand-up comedian.
A richly illustrated and inspiring book, Women in Sports highlights the achievements and stories of fifty notable women athletes from the 1800s to today, including trailblazers, Olympians, and record-breakers in more than forty sports.
Sunny Nwazue lives in Nigeria, but she was born in New York City. Her features are West African, but she's albino. She's a terrific athlete, but can't go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a "free agent" with latent magical power. And she has a lot of catching up to do.
In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.
A fierce coming-of-age verse novel about identity and the power of drag, from acclaimed UK poet and performer Dean Atta. Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Jason Reynolds, and Kacen Callender.
With five starred reviews, Tomi Adeyemi’s West African-inspired fantasy debut, and instant #1 New York Times Bestseller, conjures a world of magic and danger, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir.
A tragicomic story of bad dates, bad news, bad performances, and one girl's determination to find the funny in high school from the author of Denton Little's Deathdate.
Now in paperback, a fresh and funny contemporary YA rom-com about teens working as costumed characters in a local amusement park.
This poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny contemporary YA is about losing a sister and finding yourself amid the pressures, expectations, and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican American home.
Spanning more than 400 years, this classic bottom-up history examines the legacy of Indigenous peoples’ resistance, resilience, and steadfast fight against imperialism.
Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens. With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the camp's Director and his guards.
Juliet Milagros Palante is a self-proclaimed closeted Puerto Rican baby dyke from the Bronx. Only, she's not so closeted anymore. Not after coming out to her family the night before flying to Portland, Oregon, to intern with her favorite feminist writer--what's sure to be a life-changing experience. And when Juliet's coming out crashes and burns, she's not sure her mom will ever speak to her again.
David Scheinman is the popular president of his senior class, battling cystic fibrosis. Jamie Turner is a quiet sophomore, struggling with depression. The pair soon realizes that they're able to be more themselves with each other than they can be with anyone else, and their unlikely friendship starts to turn into something so much more.
A quirky and heartfelt coming-of-age story about a teen girl with bipolar II who signs her failed magician father up to perform his legendary but failed illusion on live TV in order to make enough money to pay for the medications they need--from the author of Symptoms of Being Human.
It’s 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, the world is changing. Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother to live with his stepfather and stepbrother. He’s terrified that someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge about himself. Reza knows he’s gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media’s images of men dying of AIDS.
In this poignant, funny, and romantic novel, four nights of epic partying will see two teens through their highest highs and lowest lows over the course of one unforgettable year.
Named to ten BEST OF THE YEAR lists and selected as a William C. Morris Award Winner, The Serpent King is the critically acclaimed, much-beloved story of three teens who find themselves--and each other--while on the cusp of graduating from high school with hopes of leaving their small-town behind.
From Printz Honor winner and Morris Award finalist Jessie Ann Foley comes a comitragic YA novel that will appeal to fans of Jandy Nelson and Jeff Zentner. As the youngest of eight, painfully average Pup Flanagan is used to flying under the radar. He's barely passing his classes. He lets his longtime crush walk all over him. And he's in no hurry to decide on a college path.
Told in two distinct and irresistible voices, Junauda Petrus's bold and lyrical debut is the story of two black girls from very different backgrounds finding love and happiness in a world that seems determined to deny them both.
Debut author Tobly McSmith delivers a coming-of-age teen love story about a transgender boy who's going stealth at his new Texas high school and a cisgender girl who is drawn to him, even as she's counting down the days until graduation.
A hilarious, snarky, and utterly addicting #ownvoices debut that explores friendship, sexual orientation, mental health, and falling in love (even if things might be falling apart around you).
Who are you? What is racism? Where does it come from? Why does it exist? What can you do to disrupt it? Learn about social identities, the history of racism and resistance against it, and how you can use your anti-racist lens and voice to move the world toward equity and liberation.
A fresh, irresistible rom-com from debut author Emma Lord about the chances we take, the paths life can lead us on, and how love can be found in the opposite place you expected.
From Heather Corinna, founder and director of Scarleteen.com, and Isabella Rotman, cartoonist and sex educator, comes a graphic novel guide that covers essential topics for preteens and young teens about their changing bodies and feelings.