Five Books Every Middle Schooler Must Read This Summer

Middle school is a time of much change and growth for every child, a phase of the journey of growing up that can sometimes  be particularly challenging. Books can serve as reliable companions that can teach gentle lessons and remind children that they’re never alone. Here are five new releases that are sure to appeal to every middle schooler this summer: 

Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan

The latest offering from New York Times Bestselling author Holly Goldberg Sloan, Short is the endearing story of Julia, a preteen who is embarrassed about her lack of stature but slowly comes into her own while taking part in a local theatre production. A classic breezy summer read, this novel is the perfect mix of relatable, funny and moving. Julia is easy to connect with and her story is one that children of all ages and even adults can enjoy.

Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson

It is Earth year 2213 but there is no Earth anymore and humans have fled to Mars, a temporary sojourn before they embark on a one-hundred-fifty-year-long journey to a distant star that is a potential new home. The protagonist is Liam Saunders-Chang, the son of two scientists who have been racing against time to create technology vital to humanity’s survival, Liam and his friend Phoebe are going to be on the very last starliner to depart before Mars, like Earth before it, is destroyed. This brilliant work of science fiction will transport the reader away from the  limbo of summer to a fascinating future that can very easily be imagined within the realm of possibility. 


Prisoner of Ice and Snow by Ruth Lauren

Thirteen year old Valor is true to her name, conniving to help break her twin sister out of a prison that nobody has managed to escape in three hundred years.. Set in a unique and brilliantly crafted world, this fantasy adventure is a warm hearted tale of courage and sisterhood that will appeal to both preteens and young adults. Releasing April 2017, this debut novel book has garnered several five star early reviews on Goodreads. 


The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish 

This beautiful debut novel starts off with the unanswerable question: what becomes of who you were before if you unwittingly do something tragic and irrevocable that divides your life forever into two parts? Ethan is a deep and multi-dimensional protagonist, as is Coralee, the new friend he makes upon moving from bustling Boston to a small town in Georgia. The plot immediately captivates the reader, embarking on a journey of healing from guilt and grief, growing up and coming of age. First-time author Standish has crafted a winning story that will have readers rooting for  Ethan the whole way through.


Hello Universe by by Erin Entrada Kelly 

Told from four intertwining points of view, this is a novel about unexpected friendships and finding your inner hero. The suspenseful narrative is infused with humour and hope, while the diverse cast of protagonists are plucky and compelling. Acclaimed Filipino-American author Erin Entrada Kelly has crafted a deeply engaging story that tackles issues of bullying and self-acceptance in a witty, poised manner that young readers will easily connect with.