Disclaimer: While we suggest grade levels, none of these books are necessarily for one grade specifically. Likewise, what each family deems appropriate is different; please “do your homework” on books of interest as you see fit and use your own discretion when selecting books for your children.

3rd-4th grade:

  • Edward’s Eyes by Patricia Maclachlan
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia Maclachlan
  • Baby by Patricia Maclachlan
  • The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by
  • The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
  • Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
  • The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo
  • Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
  • Wringer by Jerry Spinelli
  • Crash by Jerry Spinelli
  • Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
  • Eggs by Jerry Spinelli
  • The Library Card by Jerry Spinelli
  • From the Mixed up Flies of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
  • Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
  • The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid (series) by Jeff Kinney
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

5th-6th grade:

  • The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
  • Ghost by Jason Reynolds
  • The Best Man by Richard Peck
  • The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  • Built to Last by David Macaulay
  • All-American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
  • Phoenix Island by John Dixon
  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  • A Young People’s History of the United States: Columbus to the War on Terror by Howard Zinn
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

7th-8th grade:

  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  • Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick
  • A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
  • Feed by M.T. Anderson
  • The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
  • The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas
  • The Nine Cloud Dream by Kim Man-Jung (trans. Heinz Insu Fenkl)
  • Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar
  • The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells
  • Masters of Modern Soccer: How the World’s Best Play the Twenty-First-Century Game by Grant Wahl
  • Faster: How a Jewish Driver, an American Heiress, and a Legendary Car Beat Hitler’s Best by Neal Bascomb
  • Humble Pi: When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World by Matt Parker
  • Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II’s Greatest Rescue Mission by Hampton Sides
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
  • The Indomitable Florence Finch: The Untold Story of a War Widow Turned Resistance Fighter and sAvior of American POWs by Robert J Mrazek
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
  • The Trial by Franz Kafka (trans. Breon Mitchell)
  • My Vanishing Country: A Memoir by Bakari Sellers

9th-10th grade:

  • Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
  • The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  • Burning Down the Haus: Punk Rock, Revolution, and the Fall of the Berlin Wall by Tim Mohr
  • Billionaire Buddha by Rivera Sun
  • The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan by Robert Kanigel
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • The Plague by Albert Camus
  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
  • Libyan Sands: Travel in a Dead World by Ralph Alger Bagnold
  • The Invention of Nature by Alexander von Humboldt’s New World by Andrew Wulf
  • Cities of Salt by Abdelrahman Munif
  • The RBG Way: The Secrets of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Success by Rebecca Gibian
  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
  • The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdos and the Search for Mathematical Truth by Paul Hoffman
  • Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  • Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
  • Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha
  • There There by Tommy Orange
  • Cultural Evolution: People’s Motivations are Changing, and Reshaping the World by Ronald F. Inglehart

11th-12th grade:

  • The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
  • Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina García
  • Justice by Michael J. Sandel
  • The Overstory by Richard Powers
  • Lost Islamic History: Reclaiming Muslim Civilisation from the Past by Firas Alkhateeb
  • The Road Back to Sweetgrass by Linda LeGarde Grover
  • Benito Cereno by Herman Melville
  • The Making of Black Lives Matter: A Brief History of an Idea by Christopher J. Lebron
  • Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  • A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • The Witches: Salem 1692 by Stacy Schiff
  • Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes by Tamim Ansary
  • The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  • An Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
  • Norco ‘80: The True Story of the Most Spectacular Bank Robbery in American History by Peter Houlahan
  • The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies by Jason Fagone
  • The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco
  • Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid