5 Books Every Middle Schooler Should Read

gray clock icon
2 min read

The summer is a great opportunity for students to refresh and refocus their minds in preparation for the coming school year. With all the activities (like summer camp) occupying many students’ summer days, time spent reviewing previously learned content and preventing summer learning loss can fall by the wayside. 

Learning loss during the summer months, also known as summer slide, can equate to the loss of nearly two years of academics. Luckily, studies have found that just two to three hours of focused learning per week can combat this loss. One way to get middle schoolers ready for the fall is through reading. 

Looking to enhance your student’s summer learning? Here are five books every middle schooler should read.


Written by Paul Fleischman, this young adult novel centers around themes like tolerance and the importance of fostering a strong sense of community. In Seedfolks, a community garden brings together many different people and teaches them the significance of working together to create something beautiful. 

Calling All Minds: How to Think and Create Like an Inventor

This book by Temple Grandin encourages middle schoolers to think outside the box and to critically analyze the world around them. Readers are privy to insights regarding the thought processes behind various inventions, as well as about how to continually strive to create new objects. 

Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson’s autobiography takes readers on a journey through her life and career, providing middle schoolers with a glimpse into the life of a NASA mathematician. Johnson discusses the multitude of challenges and roadblocks she encountered along her path, and the importance of tackling every obstacle head-on. 

Song for a Whale

Song for a Whale, written by sign language interpreter Lynne Kelly, focuses on the story of a 12-year-old tech guru who is determined not to let the obstacles she faces as a deaf student limit her potential. After learning of a whale who can’t communicate with other whales, she embarks on a mission to create a way to sing to him herself. 

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

This novel, written by Brian Selznick, takes readers on a mystery-rich journey with orphan and clock keeper Hugo. Hugo, who lives in the walls of a train station in Paris, encounters new individuals who threaten his quiet, secretive life. 

In short, reading is a great opportunity for middle schoolers to keep their minds active throughout the summer months, as well as to prepare for the coming school year. 

[RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Backpack Essentials]

For additional support preventing summer learning loss, tutoring can provide the personalized assistance your student needs to succeed. With the right tactics, your student can beat summer slide with tools like books every middle schooler should read.


Any topics you want to know more about? Let us know! The Varsity Tutors Blog editors love hearing your feedback and opinions. Feel free to email us at blog@varsitytutors.com.