Middle School List

Beneath

Beneath by Roland Smith -- Series

Pat O'Toole has always idolized his older brother, Coop. Coop is... different. He doesn't talk on the phone, doesn't use email, and doesn't have friends. He's never really cared for anything but the thrill of being underground, and for Pat of course. So it's no surprise to anyone that after a huge fight with their parents, Coop runs away. One year later, Pat receives a package containing a digital voice recorder and a cryptic message from his brother. He follows the clues to New York City and soon discovers that Coop has joined the Community, a society living beneath the streets. Now it's up to Pat to find his brother -- and bring him home.

Code of honor
Code of Honor by Alan Gratz

Kamran Smith has it all. He's the star of the football team, dates the most popular girl in school, and can't wait to enlist in the Army like his big brother, Darius. Although Kamran's family hails from Iran, Kamran has always felt 100% American. Accepted. And then everything implodes.

Darius is accused of being a terrorist. Kamran refuses to believe it, but the evidence is there -- Darius has been filmed making threats against his country, hinting at an upcoming deadly attack. Kamran's friends turn on him -- suddenly, in their eyes, he's a terrorist, too. Kamran knows it's up to him to clear his brother's name. In a race against time, Kamran must piece together a series of clues and codes that will lead him to Darius -- and the truth. But is it a truth Kamran is ready to face? And is he putting his own life at risk?

Ghost
Ghost by Jason Reynolds -- Series

Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down. Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves. 

Ghost has a crazy natural talent, but no formal training. If he can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all starting with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who blew his own shot at success by using drugs, and who is determined to keep other kids from blowing their shots at life.

Girl in the blue coat
Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days procuring and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, her nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the Germans invaded. She likes to think of her illegal work as a small act of rebellion.

On a routine delivery, a client asks Hanneke for help. Expecting to hear that Mrs. Janssen wants meat or kerosene, Hanneke is shocked by the older woman's frantic plea to find a person-a Jewish teenager Mrs. Janssen had been hiding, who has vanished without a trace from a secret room. Hanneke initially wants nothing to do with such dangerous work, but is ultimately drawn into a web of mysteries and stunning revelations that lead her into the heart of the resistance, open her eyes to the horrors of the Nazi war machine, and compel her to take desperate action.

Haikyu
Haikyu!! by Haruichi Furudate -- Series

Ever since he saw the legendary player known as the "Little Giant" compete at the national volleyball finals, Shoyo Hinata has been aiming to be the best volleyball player ever! He decides to join the team at the high school the Little Giant went to-and then surpass him. Who says you need to be tall to play volleyball when you can jump higher than anyone else?

After losing his first and last volleyball match against Tobio Kageyama, "the King of the Court," Shoyo Hinata swears to become his rival after graduating middle school. But what happens when the guy he wants to defeat ends up being his teammate?!

Princess X
I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest 

Once upon a time, two best friends created a princess together. Libby drew the pictures, May wrote the tales, and their heroine, Princess X, slayed all the dragons and scaled all the mountains their imaginations could conjure. Once upon a few years later, Libby was in the car with her mom, driving across the Ballard Bridge on a rainy night. When the car went over the side, Libby passed away, and Princess X died with her.

Once upon a now: May is sixteen and lonely, wandering the streets of Seattle, when she sees a sticker slapped in a corner window. Princess X?

When May looks around, she sees the Princess everywhere: Stickers. Patches. Graffiti. There's an entire underground culture, focused around a webcomic at IAmPrincessX.com. The more May explores the webcomic, the more she sees disturbing similarities between Libby's story and Princess X online. And that means that only one person could have started this phenomenon -- her best friend, Libby, who lives.

I will always
I Will Always Write Back by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda

The true story of an all-American girl and a boy from Zimbabwe and the letter that changed both of their lives forever.

It started as an assignment. Everyone in Caitlin's class wrote to an unknown student somewhere in a distant place. Martin was lucky to even receive a pen-pal letter. There were only ten letters, and fifty kids in his class. But he was the top student, so he got the first one.

That letter was the beginning of a correspondence that spanned six years and changed two lives.  In this compelling dual memoir, Caitlin and Martin recount how they became best friends --and better people--through their long-distance exchange. Their story will inspire you to look beyond your own life and wonder about the world at large and your place in it.

Lily and Dunkin
Lily & Dunkin by Donna Gephart

Lily Jo McGrother, born Timothy McGrother, is a girl. But being a girl is not so easy when you look like a boy. Especially when you’re in the eighth grade. 

Dunkin Dorfman, birth name Norbert Dorfman, is dealing with bipolar disorder and has just moved from the New Jersey town he’s called home for the past thirteen years. This would be hard enough, but the fact that he is also hiding from a painful secret makes it even worse. 

One summer morning, Lily Jo McGrother meets Dunkin Dorfman, and their lives forever change.  

Love and gelato
Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this New York Times bestselling debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure. Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything Lina knew about her mother, her father—and even herself. People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

OCDaniel
OCDaniel by Wesley King

Daniel is the back-up punter for the Erie Hills Elephants. Which really means he’s the water boy. He spends football practice perfectly arranging water cups—and hoping no one notices. Actually, he spends most of his time hoping no one notices his strange habits—he calls them Zaps: avoiding writing the number four, for example, or flipping a light switch on and off dozens of times over. He hopes no one notices that he’s crazy, especially his best friend Max, and Raya, the prettiest girl in school. His life gets weirder when another girl at school, who is unkindly nicknamed Psycho Sara, notices him for the first time. She doesn’t just notice him: she seems to peer through him.

Then Daniel gets a note: “I need your help,” it says, signed, Fellow Star Child—whatever that means. And suddenly Daniel, a total no one at school, is swept up in a mystery that might change everything for him.

Top Prospect
Top Prospect by Paul Volponi

Travis Gardner lives to play quarterback. He's a standout QB by the middle school, and he's prepared to put everything he has into the game. Then Gainesville University's head coach makes Travis a promise: Travis will have a place on the team, and a scholarship to go with it. He just has to get through high school first.

As Travis starts ninth grade, he'll have to earn his teammates' trust and dodge opponents aiming to sack the star quarterback. But his biggest challenge might be staying focused in the face of sudden fame. Because now the pressure is on, and Travis has to prove himself with every pass. 

Under their skin
Under Their Skin by Margaret Peterson Haddix  -- Series

Nick and Eryn’s mom is getting remarried, and the twelve-year-old twins are skeptical when she tells them their lives won’t change much. Well, yes, they will have to move. And they will have a new stepfather, stepbrother, and stepsister. But Mom tells them not to worry. They won’t ever have to meet their stepsiblings.

This news puzzles Nick and Eryn, so the twins set out on a mission to find out who these kids are—and why they’re being kept hidden.