7 Realistic Fiction Titles to Recommend to Your Middle School Students

July 21, 2017

Teachers' lives are hectic, and though many of us love to read, we don't always have the time to do it, which can make it tough to make recommendations to students or to select titles for our classroom library. Here's 7 realistic fiction titles that I've recently read and would recommend to middle school students.
Teachers' lives are hectic, and though many of us love to read, we don't always have the time to do it, which can make it tough to make recommendations to students or to select titles for our classroom library. Here's 7 realistic fiction titles that I've recently read and would recommend to middle school students. Click the title of each to read my full review and ideas for using it in the classroom.

1. Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Melody wants the same things as any other fifth grade girl: to fit in, have friends, and maybe even get a spot on the Quiz Team. there is just one problem, she can't talk, and once she can, not everyone wants to listen.

2. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
This novel is a great  read about learning to make new friends and accept the differences in others. The main character, Miranda, has recently lost her best friend but gained some new ones, and when she begins receiving mysterious notes from an unknown sender about events in her future.

3. One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Carley puts up a tough facade for her foster family and the kids at her new school, but inside are a whirlwind of emotions surrounding a night she is struggling to remember. Just as Carley becomes comfortable accepting and returning the love of her new family and friends, she must chose between this new life and returning to the one who hurt her most.

4. Mailbox by Nancy Freund
Part Esperanza from The House on Mango Street and part Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird, Sandy is a character to love. She is a kind, observant young girl who doesn't let anyone push her around. The vignettes in the novel perfectly capture the moments in her childhood and young adulthood.

5. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
This is book one in a series about life in a very realistic post-apocalyptic world. An asteroid has knocked the moon closer to Earth causing all sorts of natural disasters. Miranda, the main character, and her family must make difficult choices about survival with no end to the disaster in sight. 

6. Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Being different doesn't seem to phase Willow. She wears her gardening outfit on her first day of middle school and turns her mandatory counseling sessions  into a game. But after both parents die suddenly, Willow must adapt to a new life with the Nyguyen family while coping with her grief. Willow meets these challenges and changes the people around for the better as she does.

7. Wonder by R. J. Palacio
August can't hide his differences. They are as plain to see as the misshapen nose on his face. Despite his physical deformities, his parents decide that he will attend a traditional middle school after years of homeschooling. At first, August struggles to fit in as many of his peers cannot accept his differences, but over time, just being himself is enough to win them over.

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