Thursday, May 31, 2018

Our Top 10 Book Series for Middle School

It's very common for other teachers or parents to ask for reading recommendations for their middle school student(s). While I could give them a list that could keep most readers busy for months on end, I wondered what my readers would I asked them. Last week, I posted A Few of Our Favorite Reads, but I discovered that books that are in a series are very high on their list. As a reader this makes sense. When we connect with characters, we want to continue on their journey to see how things end up in the end. We feel like they've become a part of our lives.

One thing for us to remember is no one book is a perfect fit for every student. We must know our students to know what may fit for them. Some common denominators when recommending books is finding those that are both addictive (moves at a pace that will keep the attention of the middle school reader) and appropriate (in content and readiness). 

So here is my students' list (in no particular order) of their top ten book series for middle grades readers: 

  1. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
  2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  3. The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
  4. The Babysitter's Club (graphic novel series) by Ann M. Martin (author) and Raina Telgemeier (illustrator)
  5. The Blackthorn Key series by Kevin Sands
  6. Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell
  7. A Tale Dark and Grimm (Grimm Series) by Adam Gidwitz
  8. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
  9. Legend series by Marie Lu
  10. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Would this have been the exact list that I would have put together? Probably not. There would have been a couple on this list that may have been different. But in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. We want our students to have choice and a voice in their reading selections. Reading selection is a very personal decision. As their teachers, we need to provide them with plenty of options (and guidance) in selecting their next great read.  This list definitely showed me some places where I need to build my classroom library.

What are your middle grades students reading now? What's the book (or series) that you cannot keep on your shelves?

If you are looking for a way to give students voice and choice in their reading and sharing, check out this post: Flipping for Book Chats with Flipgrid.

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