Recommend books for US 7-9th grade reading level?

I’d forgotten but what are good materials for 7-9th grade reading levels? A few English students have asked me and I don’t know whether my “short list” is appropriate. I tend to draw from American authors like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Jack London, Stephen Crane etc. However, I think other authors like O’Henry, Alexander Dumas are appropriate for that level. Or am I sadly mistaken?


"Frindle’ is a great book. I can’t remeber the author, but a quick search on should do it.

Yes, but Frindle (by Andrew Clements) is of Grade 3-5 reading level. A great book, nonetheless, about the power of independent thinking and determination.

At any rate, I would recommend Holes by Louis Sachar, A Single Shard by Linda Park, The Eye, the Ear, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer (as well as The House of the Scorpion by the same author for more mature readers), Dicey’s Song by Cynthia Voigt, The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin, The Giver by Lois Lowry (and Number the Stars by the same author for lower-level readers), A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Koenigsberg, The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo…

Actually, many of the books that are awarded the Newbery Honor and the Newbery medal are of the appropriate reading level for middle-school-aged children. All of the books I have listed, with the exception of Frindle, are Newbery books that I have read and very likely own myself.

Page One has some shelves set aside for them in the children’s literature section…putting them right above the classic children’s (pre-Newbery) literature.

Despite being a heavy bibliophile and being wont to say a negative word about a book, YC, I think the ones you recommend are tedious and horrible to read in the minds of most 7th to 9th graders (and older students as well), as well as timed and irrelevant to he lives of most students today, despite the fact that they are considered classics. They also have that ugly reputation for causing many high school students to get turned off from reading for pleasure which is a shame. Save the heavy stuff for when they have to read it for class.

Perhaps there’s a figurative reasoning for why Page One has placed Newbery books above the classics…


Here’s a list of summer reading for 7th grade
Looks a bit babyish to me – my 14-year-old nephew was reading Trainspotting last time I was back home.

Sandman, I was reading Stephen King when I was 11 years old, but I wouldn’t recommend it as appropriate reading material for 7th-9th graders.

Rumblefish or The Outsiders by S.E Hinton seem perfect. I remember thinking English was my favourite subject when it was on my high school’s reading syllabus. What about something like Charlotte’s Web? I found I had to run the dictionary sometimes when I re-read it.

I remember thinking the outing to see ‘The Outsiders’ movie was great. Rumblefish is possibly the better movie cinematically.

Thanks all for the suggestions and thoughts. I’ll check out some of these recommendations. I’m a believer that reading is a key component of ESL mastery, especially for improving one’s writing ability.

We’ll see what happens as I’ve got a couple of weeks or so to check out things. Thank God for Page One.

“REDRUM!” I suppose you’re right. Still, I notice that the link I posted has My Side of the Mountain on it. I read that as a child and it scarred me emotionally when I wasn’t allowed to go live in a tree for a year and kill deer. If anyone has a copy of it, I’d kind of like to read it again.

I think I have a copy of it. I am currently arranging all of my children’s books by age groups…I have well over 100 of them. I am pretty sure I have a copy of it somewhere… I have some other Jean George Craighead books as well.