MIDDLE SCHOOL READS: FOR GIRLS

REALISTIC FICTION

THE MISFITS by James Howe

What do a 12-year-old student who moonlights as a tie salesman, a tall, outspoken girl, a gay middle schooler and a kid branded as a hooligan have in common? Best friends for years, they’ve all been the target of cruel name-calling and now that they’re in seventh grade, they’re not about to take it any more.

 

 

STARGIRL by Jerry Spinelli

Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of “Stargirl, Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first.

 

 

THE TOTAL TRAGEDY OF A GIRL NAMED HAMLET by Erin Dionne

All Hamlet Kennedy wants is to be a normal eighth grader. But with parents like hers – Shakespearean scholars who actually dress in Elizabethan regalia . . . in public! – it’s not that easy. As if they weren’t strange enough, her genius seven-year-old sister will be attending her middle school, and is named the new math tutor.

 

 

FANTASY & FAIRY TALES

THE GOOSE GIRL by Shannon Hale

She can whisper to horses and communicate with birds, but the crown princess Ani has a difficult time finding her place in the royal family and measuring up to her imperial mother. When she is shipped off to a neighboring kingdom as a bride, her scheming entourage mounts a bloody mutiny to replace her with a jealous lady-in-waiting, Selia, and to allow an inner circle of guards more power in the new land.

 

 

THE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND IN A SHIP OF HER OWN MAKING by Catherynne M. Valente

Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland.

 

CINDER by Marisa Meyer

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction.

 

 

 

ADVENTURE & MYSTERY

BLOODY JACK by L.A. Meyer

Life as a ship’s boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of eighteenth-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas. There’s only one problem: Jacky is a girl.

 

 

 

THE RUBY IN THE SMOKE: A SALLY LOCKHART MYSTERY by Philip Pullman

“BEWARE THE SEVEN blessings . . . ” When she first utters these words, 16-year-old Sally Lockhart doesn’t know their meaning. But when an employee of her late father hears them, he dies of fear. Thus begins Sally’s terrifying journey into the seamy underworld of Victorian London, in search of clues to her father’s mysterious death.

 

 

THE LAST DRAGONSLAYER by Jasper Fforde

In the good old days, magic was indispensable. But now magic is fading: Drain cleaner is cheaper than a spell, and magic carpets are used for pizza delivery. Fifteen-year-old Jennifer Strange runs Kazam, an employment agency for magicians—but it’s hard to stay in business when magic is drying up.

 

 

 

HISTORICAL FICTION

CHAINS by Laurie Halse Anderson

As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight…for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel.

 

 

WEEDFLOWER by Cynthia Kadohata

When Pearl Harbor is attacked, the lives of a Japanese-American girl and her family are thrown into chaos. Sumiko, 12, and her younger brother, Tak-Tak, live with their aunt and uncle, grandfather Jiichan, and adult cousins on a flower farm in Southern California. Then Uncle and Jiichan are taken to a prison camp, and the others are eventually sent to an assembly center at a racetrack, where they live in a horse stable.

 

 

BEFORE WE WERE FREE by Julia Alvarez

Anita de la Torre never questioned her freedom living in the Dominican Republic. But by her 12th birthday in 1960, most of her relatives have emigrated to the United States, her Tío Toni has disappeared without a trace, and the government’s secret police terrorize her remaining family because of their suspected opposition of el Trujillo’s dictatorship.

 

 

 

GRAPHIC NOVELS

SMILE by Raina Telgemeier

Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached.

 

 

RAPUNZEL’S REVENGE by Shannon Hale

This is the tale as you’ve never seen it before. After using her hair to free herself from her prison tower, this Rapunzel ignores the pompous prince and teams up with Jack (of Beanstalk fame) in an attempt to free her birth mother and an entire kingdom from the evil witch who once moonlighted as her mother.

 

 

THE WONDERFULWIZARD OF OZ by Eric Shanower and L. Frank Baum

When Kansas farm girl Dorothy flies away to the magical Land of Oz, she fatally flattens a Wicked Witch and is hailed by the Munchkin people as a great sorceress. But all she really wants to know is: how does she get home?