Thursday, August 9, 2012

Top Ten Books for Struggling & Reluctant Middle School Readers

For my first 5 years of teaching, I taught 6th and 7th grade Language Arts; however, a year ago I switched to teaching 6th and 7th grade Intensive Reading for the students in my school who had not passed the state assessment. When I moved to primarily teaching struggling readers, I knew I had to exam more deeply which books would truly grab these students' attention and help me make them identify themselves as readers. After a year in this position, I have some go-to books that I find have become great foundations for my students to grow into just plain readers, not struggling or reluctant.


For the lists, I did break them up by genders, but they are definitely not concrete. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is loved by all kids, but I put it under boys. Same thing with Sharon Creech's Love that Dog and Brian Selznick but vice versa. This is just a guideline for books I have found to be successful.

Top 10 Books for Struggling and Reluctant Middle School Boys
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #1)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (series) by Jeff Kinney

Big Nate (series) by Lincoln Peirce

Amulet (series) by Kazu Kibuishi

Out from Boneville (Bone, #1)
Bone (series) by Jeff Smith

The Dodgeball Chronicles (Knights of the Lunch Table, #1)
Knights of the Lunch Table (series) by Frank Cammuso

Bad Island
Graphic Novels Bad Island, Ghostopolis, and I'm sure Cardboard by Doug TenNapel

Sidekicks
Sidekicks by Dan Santat

I Survived... (series) by Lauren Tarshis

Maximum Ride, Vol. 1 (Maximum Ride: The Manga, #1)
Maximum Ride: The Manga (series) by James Patterson

Any nonfiction book by Seymour Simon

Top 10 Books for Struggling and Reluctant Middle School Girls
Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life
Dork Diaries (series) by Rachel Renee Russell

Smile and I'm sure Drama

Wonderstruck
Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

Dear Dumb Diary by Jim Benton

Love that Dog & Hate that Cat by Sharon Creech

Lost and Found (Bluford, #1)
Bluford (series) by various

Shattered Star
Surviving Southside (series) by various

The Popularity Papers: Research for the Social Improvement and General Betterment of Lydia Goldblatt & Julie Graham-Chang
Popularity Papers (series) by Amy Ignatow

I Heart You, You Haunt Me
Any novel in verse, specifically Lisa Schroeder 

What My Mother Doesn't Know (What My Mother Doesn't Know, #1)
and Sonya Sones

I am looking forward to sharing these books with students again this year 
and I hope you find success with them as well. 

Happy reading and sharing! :) 

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