Back to School Books for Middle Grade

Get ready for a new school year with these novels for grades 3-8.

Updated July 6, 2023
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New kid
Craft, Jerry
Winner of the Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Author Award, and Kirkus Prize for Young Readers' Literature!  Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Gene Luen Yang, New Kid is a timely, honest graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle...
Figure it out, Henri Weldon
Davis, Tanita S.
Tanita S. Davis, author of Partly Cloudy and Serena Says, has written another funny, warm story featuring middle school and family life--all about the complex calculations it takes for everyone to balance the equations of their lives and what it takes to be part of a team while...
Honey and me
Drazin, Meira
Fans of Judy Blume, The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, and The Penderwicks will love this funny, charismatic story of a Jewish girl striving to forge her own identity in the shadow of her fearless best friend. **A 2023 Sydney Taylor Award Honor Book!** **A...
Ahmed Aziz's epic year
Hamza, Nina
This hilarious and poignant tween debut--which SLJ heralded as "destined to become a classic" in a starred review--tackles evergreen topics like dealing with bullies, making friends, and the power of good books. A great next read for fans of Merci Suárez Changes Gears and John David Anderson. ...
The unteachables
Korman, Gordon
A hilarious new middle grade novel from beloved and bestselling author Gordon Korman about what happens when the worst class of kids in school is paired with the worst teacher--perfect for fans of Ms. Bixby's Last Day. A good choice for summer reading or anytime! The...
Playing through the turnaround
Larsen, Mylisa
In a timely, insightful story told with sparkling wit and heart, young musicians protesting plans for budget cuts navigate miscalculations, indifferent adults, and unexpected loss as they discover the power of speaking out and the value of listening. "A brave and dazzling...
Hummingbird
Lloyd, Natalie
A Schneider Family Book Award Honor Book From the bestselling author of A Snicker of Magic comes a heartfelt story about a girl who -- armed with her trusty, snazzy wheelchair -- refuses to let her brittle bone disease stand in the way of adventure Twelve...
Join the club, Maggie Diaz
Moreno, Nina (Young adult fiction writer)
This humorous and heartfelt middle-grade debut by Nina Moreno with illustrations by Courtney Lovett is perfect for fans of Celia C. Pérez and Terri Libenson, and any reader still deciding what their passion in life is. "MAYBE I'M GOOD AT SOMETHING I DON'T EVEN KNOW ABOUT YET." ...
The Boy at the Back of the Class
Raúf, Onjali Q.
Told with humor and heart, The Boy at the Back of the Class offers a child's perspective on the refugee crisis, highlighting the importance of friendship and kindness in a world that doesn't always make sense. There used to be an empty chair at the back of Mrs. Khan's...
Omar rising
Saeed, Aisha
"Irresistibly appealing and genuinely inspiring--a story that helps us to see the world more clearly, and to see ourselves as powerful enough to change it." --Rebecca Stead, author of Newbery Award Winner When You Reach Me In this compelling companion to New York Times...
The Wednesday wars
Schmidt, Gary D.
In this Newbery Honor-winning novel, Gary D. Schmidt tells the witty and compelling story of a teenage boy who feels that fate has it in for him. Seventh grader Holling Hoodhood isn't happy. He is sure his new teacher, Mrs. Baker, hates his guts. Throughout the school year,...
Barakah Beats
Siddiqui, Maleeha
"This book about friendship and faith absolutely sings." -- Buzzfeed Perfect for fans of The First Rule of Punk or Save Me a Seat, this is a sweet, powerful, and joyous novel about a girl who finds her voice on her own terms. Twelve-year-old Nimra Sharif has...
Forget me not
Terry, Ellie
Astronomy-loving Calliope June has Tourette syndrome, so she sometimes makes faces or noises that she doesn't mean to make. When she and her mother move yet again, she tries to hide her TS. But it isn't long before the kids at her new school realize she's different. Only Calliope's neighbor, who...
Other words for home
Warga, Jasmine
New York Times bestseller and Newbery Honor Book! A gorgeously written, hopeful middle grade novel in verse about a young girl who must leave Syria to move to the United States, perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Aisha Saeed. Jude never thought she'd be...
Save me a seat
Weeks, Sarah
A new friend could be sitting right next to you.Joe and Ravi might be from very different places, but they're both stuck in the same place: SCHOOL.Joe's lived in the same town all his life, and was doing just fine until his best friends moved away and left him on his own. Ravi's family just...
Genesis begins again
Williams, Alicia
A Newbery Honor Book Winner of the Correta Scott King - John Steptoe for New Talent Author Award A Morris Award Finalist An NPR Favorite Book of 2019 A School Library Journal Best Middle Grade Book of 2019 A Kirkus Reviews...
Finally seen
Yang, Kelly
From the New York Times bestselling author of Front Desk comes a "involving, realistic" (Booklist, starred review) middle grade novel about a young girl who leaves China to live with her parents and sister, after five years apart, and learns about family, friendship, and the...

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