Books for grade 7 – this list of suggested reading books for grade 7 has been curated and compiled for middle and high school students aged 12-13. There is a range of exciting and thought-provoking books to suit all abilities in the 7th Grade, including easy readers and more difficult texts. This list of 7th grade reading recommendations includes titles by Lois Lowry, Lana Krumwiede, Markus Zusak, Kwame Alexander and S.E. Hinton.
Books for Grade 7 – our recommendations
Starfish by Lisa Fipps
Using free verse, 12-year-old Ellie tells the reader about her swimming pool safe place where she can escape a world that fat shames and bullies her. With the help of her new neighbor, her dad, and her therapist, Ellie grows in confidence. An inspiring, empowering, and personal story that will appeal to less confident readers. Perfect for book club discussion.
Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed
Amal’s dreams of being a teacher when she’s older are put on hold when she has to look after her siblings instead of going to school in rural Pakistan. But her hope is further shattered when she is forced into working for a rich family to pay off a family debt. The corruption she sees and the enemies she makes put her in grave danger. Will she be able to save her family and realize her dreams? A sparkling story of bravery, resilience, justice, and revenge.
The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente
To keep themselves from thinking about being sent away to boarding school, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne Brontë create a game to pass the time. But in a spectacular story of enchantment, their Glass Town game comes alive, their toy soldiers have real weapons, and there’s a magic potion to be found and fought over. Highly recommended, this is a highly original and imaginative fantasy.
Small Town Pride by Phil Stamper
When 13-year-old Jake comes out, his family and his friends at middle school are supportive. But the same cannot be said for the small-town mindset of Barton Springs, Ohio. When Jake’s father shows his support by planting an enormous pride flag in their front yard, the townsfolk feel threatened and raise concerns with the Mayor. But Jake is not deterred and becomes determined to organize a town pride parade. In an era of book bannings and veiled homophobia, this heartwarming and positive book is a breath of fresh air.
New Kid by Jerry Craft
Jordan loves to draw – especially cartoons. Denied the chance to go to art school by his parents, he is sent to an upmarket academic school away from his friends. Jordan has to find a new path and adapt to his new surroundings. A graphic novel – this will appeal to reluctant middle school readers.
A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata
An insightful chapter book that covers a less well known period of history. A Japanese / American family released from internment after WW2 are pressured to revoke their US citizenship and return to Japan. Bewildered hurt, and confused over her identity, young Hana finds herself living near Hiroshima with her elderly grandparents. Starvation, disease and the difficulty of coping with an unfamiliar Japanese culture awaken Hana to the realities of war.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
When 12-year-old Jonas is appointed the Receiver of Memory he starts to uncover and understand the buried secrets held by the people he lives amongst. The first in a gripping quartet.
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
When Winnie Foster stumbles upon a fountain of eternal youth she thinks all her prayers are answered. But then she meets a family who drank from the spring water. Will she decide to live forever? Will she keep the magic water secret? A modern classic and an ideal seventh-grade group reader.
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
When millionaire Samuel Westing dies, he leaves a will like no other. Sixteen people will have to play a cunning game to inherit his vast fortune. A cracking page-turner which will appeal to young adults.
The Wednesday Wars by Gary D Schmidt
Told over the course of one year between 1967 and 1968 in Long Island, this novel follows Holling, a seventh-grader who juggles his home life, getting into trouble at school and growing up amid the backdrop of the Vietnam War. Great to read in one sitting.
Family | Historical fiction
Watership Down by Richard Adams
An atmospheric quest story about a group of rabbits fleeing from danger to danger in search of a peaceful and safe life. When Fiver, Hazel, Bigwig, and friends think they’ve found the perfect location, events take a turn for the worse. An ideal 7th grade reading book for more advanced students.
Animal story | Classic
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
A stunning story, set entirely in verse, about two brothers who compete against each other in life and on the basketball court. Gripping and ideal for reluctant readers.
Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen
When Cole Mathews commits a terrible crime, the judge gives him an unusual choice: jail time or a rehabilitation program on a remote Alaskan wilderness island He chooses the latter and soon has to fight for his life in a captivating story of survival and iron will. A great addition to a 7th grade reading bookshelf.
Crime | Contemporary
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
A captivating and gripping story – told from the eyes of death – and set in Nazi Germany in 1939 which follows Liesel, a girl who steals books. A surprising friendship develops which allows her to read the vast library of a local dignitary. Her view of the world changes completely. A challenging and thought-provoking book for a 7th grade reading list.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
A multi-award-winning middle-grade fantasy novel about Xan, a girl who breaks a sacred tradition and feeds a baby bound for sacrifice with moonlight. As a result, the child grows to become extraordinarily powerful with dangerous magical abilities.
Snow White by Matt Phelan
A highly engaging graphic novel film noir style retelling of the Snow White tale. Set in 1930s New York, Samantha White has come home after years of exile, protected by seven street urchins. With vibrant artwork, this book is great for reluctant seventh-grade readers.
Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan
Cast down from Mouth Olympus by his angry father Zeus, Apollo finds himself fending for himself as a regular teen boy in New York. A regular teen with no superhuman powers. Can he ever make it up with his father and return to the gods?
Action | Fantasy
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
After years of saving and waiting, Billy buys two pups, Old Dan and Little Ann. Soon he feels invincible, exploring the Ozarks with his stellar hunting dogs. But danger lurks just around the corner. This modern classic is a perfect easy reader for 7th grade.
Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D Schmidt
A startling and moving story about family and sacrifice. 12-year-old Joe narrates the story of his friend Joseph, a father at the age of 13, but he has never seen his daughter and will do anything to find her. A gripping page-turner for more mature seventh-grade readers.
Family | Contemporary
The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer
An epic fantasy series about Alex and Conner, twin brothers who find themselves embroiled in adventures in a fairy tale world after reading from a strange and magical book. This is an addictive and enthralling set of books which is bound to appeal to reluctant readers in grade 7.
Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer
The year is 793 in a quiet Saxon settlement. When Viking Berserkers appear from the mist and kidnap 11-year-old Jack, he and his sister are thrown into an epic quest with Olaf One-Brow.
Action | Myth
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
When a practical joke goes badly wrong the unforeseen consequences last longer than high school friends John and Lorraine could ever have imagined. Perhaps their only chance of redemption is for them to tell the story of Pigman. A classic young adult novel ideal for more advanced readers.
Family | Friendship
Brian’s Winter by Gary Paulsen
In a sequel to Hatchet, Gary Paulsen asks the question – what if Brian hadn’t been rescued? What if he had to survive long enough to face the dangers of winter? Will he survive? Find out in this thrilling and exciting adventure.
The Girl with the Ghost Machine by Lauren DeStefano
A fun and easier read for children in grade 7. When Emmaline’s mother dies suddenly, her father Monsieur Beaumont tries to build a ghost machine. But when he spends longer and longer on the machine, Emmaline decides she must either destroy it or make it work herself. An ideal book to use in class when discussing loss or grief.
Science fiction | Family
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
When Marty finds a stray dog in the woods, the beagle soon becomes the most important part of his life. But when he discovers who the dog ran away from, will the dangerous secret become too much for Marty to bear? A moving story that is perfect for less confident readers.
Animal story | Friendship
Tex by SE Hinton
A thought-provoking and a character-driven novel about carefree Tex and his tense home life in the care of his resentful older brother. When their often absent father returns, Tex runs away and events spiral out of control. An ideal novel for 7th-grade book clubs.
Family | Historical fiction
The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
Sophie and Agatha are sent to the school for Good and Evil where students are trained to be heroes and villains. A highly original and enchanting series of stories where which intertwine characters into fairy tales from which they must try to escape. Fast-paced – these books are ideal for less confident readers.
Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt
When four siblings are abandoned by their mother in a parking lot they have to use their wits and luck to trek across America’s East Coastal Highway from Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Crisfield in Maryland where their grandmother lives. A more challenging read for seventh-grade students.
Counting by Sevens by Holly Goldberg Sloan
A story of triumph in the face of adversity. When introverted Willow’s parents both die tragically in a car accident she finds herself completely alone in a world she already finds challenging. Will she ever be able to connect with people and have a normal family life? A great book for group discussion.
Family | Contemporary
Nothing by the Truth by Avi
Philip is left out of the track team due to his English grades but Philip is convinced it is all because of his unfair teacher Miss Narwin. However, when he stages a rebellious protest, he isn’t prepared for what follows when it goes viral…
River Thunder by Will Hobbs
In this high-octane sequel to Downriver, each one of the teenage crew has something to prove. Can Trey learn to work with other people? Is Jessie brave enough? Can the crew survive the perilous rapids? A stimulating book that is ideal to provoke 7th-grade reading discussions.
Action | Adventure
Crown of Three by JD Rhinehart
Tarlan, Elodie, and Gulph are triplets with superpowers who have never met each other. Events conspire to force them together in this epic tale of good and evil in a magical land filled with danger. Will they fulfill the ancient prophecy and bring peace and harmony to the world?
Where the Lilies Bloom by Vera & Bill Cleaver
A classic historical drama that examines poverty and hardship in rural America. Mary Calls stops at nothing to carry out her dying father’s last wish to keep the family together. An uplifting tale of survival against the odds.
Loot by Jude Watson
March’s father’s dying wish is for his son to find his long lost twin sister – Jules. But there’s no happy ending when he finds her – both are soon kept under lock and key in a dark orphanage. Will they find a way to escape and pull off the life-changing robbery their father had planned?
Redwall by Brian Jacques
A despotic rat called Cluny the Scourge threatens to invade and conquer an enclave of peace-loving mice in Redwall Abbey. Seemingly, nothing can stop the rat army unless unlikely alliances can be made. A tale of good versus evil and an easier reader for children in the seventh grade.
Action | Fantasy
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Thomas knows who he is, but that’s it. Finding himself trapped in a walled encampment he has to choose friends and alliances carefully to survive the dangers of the maze. Thrilling and edgy, this story will appeal to reluctant readers. A captivating read for any 7th-grade reading group.
Action | Dystopia
The Absolute Value of Mike by Kathryn Erskine
Mike wants to relate to his dad, but that’s hard when his dad is obsessed with math. When Mike agrees to stay with relatives for the summer vacation to appease his father, he cannot imagine the adventure that awaits. A great story about the human condition.
Family | Contemporary
Freakling by Lana Krumwiede
In this dark dystopian fantasy, Taemon unexpectedly loses his power to move objects with his mind – a power everyone in his world has. Faced with shame, discrimination and worse, how can he stop people from finding out? Or will the exile he fears turn out better than he could have imagined? An ideal novel for 7th-grade book clubs and class discussion.
Dystopia | Fantasy
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
High fantasy adventure with Bilbo Baggins joins Gandalf on an epic quest to the Lonely Mountain where vast treasure and the fierce dragon Smaug await them. The prequel to The Lord of the Rings.
Fantasy | Classic
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