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 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

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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