Books to Read This Summer: For Upcoming 7th Graders

Ah. The crisp pages and finely print words. Don’t you just love to read a book in this weather! The sun is shining, the birds are whistling. It’s the perfect book season! Four books reviewed below are geared towards incoming 7th graders, but any middle schoolers could read them. Refer to the list below for some great spring and summer reads!

Title: The Warden’s Daughter

Author: Jerry Spinelli

Overview: Cammie is the warden’s daughter. She experiences the challenges of growing up, from friends, to family, and even boys. The thing is, she lives in a prison. She also lost her mother while she was a baby. In this book, it shows a girl learning how to find herself.

Why you should read it: This book has some valuable lessons about friendship and family. This story also shows the life of a young girl in a different time period. When reading this you may relate to some parts or you may learn something new.

Who should read it: Common Sense Media says it’s a, “Heartbreaking story of a motherless girl’s grief, healing” (Common Sense Media). They recommend ages 9+. But, with the length of the book and the hardships presented it seems to be, in my opinion, 12+. Perfect for incoming 7th graders or any middle schoolers!


Title: My Basmati Bat Mitzvah

Author: Paula J. Freedman

Overview: Tara is Jewish and has an Indian background. So, it can be hard for her to find herself. Her Bat Mitzvah is also coming up. This can be a huge struggle with the countless hours of preparation. She can’t even decide if she wants to have a Bat Mitzvah! Tara also experiences conflicts with family, school, friends, boys, and just everyday problems.

Why you should read it: This book is very relatable, especially for people who have a similar cultural background. Tara shows how she overcomes multiple challenges thrown her way and shows how she discovers herself as a person.

Who should read it: Kirkus Reviews says the age range is 10 – 14. They also named this book one of the best books of 2013 (Kirkus Reviews). Personally, this book is probably 11+ just because of the growing up aspect and how it is fairly relatable to any middle schooler.  


Title: Auggie & Me

Author: R.J. Palacio

Overview: This book is the sequel to the very popular, “Wonder” also by R.J. Palacio. It shows an extended part of the book in 3 more perspectives. One of them is Julian. We probably all know who Julian is: the main bully in this amazing novel set.

Why you should read it: This shows extended perspectives, which is important because you really get a feel for everyone’s point of view. You get to really know how they feel and the thoughts behind their actions.

Who should read it: Common Sense Media says it is for kids ages 10+ (Common Sense Media). That is definitely a good age. You are not too young and you may understand the lessons they are trying to teach better.

Side Note: Definitely read “Wonder” first so there are no spoilers!


Title: The War That Saved My Life

Author: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Overview: Ada is living during World War II. She has what the author describes as a “clubfoot”. Her mother is ashamed of her; she makes Ada stay inside and watch her little brother play. But when her mother sends her little brother away, so that he won’t be in a bomb zone and makes her stay, will she be… dead? Ada decides to escape in the very early morning and find a new life.

Why you should read it: This shows the struggle of overcoming challenges. She faces her fears which is a good lesson to any reader. This book shows how a girl could defy the odds and show true bravery.

Who should read it: Common Sense Media says that this is rated 9+ (Common Sense Media). This should be 10+ because it is a little harder to understand. 10 and up readers might understand it a little better.


Any of these books would be a great choice. They are full of good lessons and show how someone can overcome challenges. So, this spring and summer just sit back and relax with one of these great books. You will definitely be pleased!




Eisenhart, Mary. “The War That Saved My Life.” Common Sense Media,

“My Basmati Bat Mitzvah .” Kirkus Reviews,

Stewart, Darienne. “The Warden’s Daughter.” Common Sense Media,

Stewart, Darienne. “Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories.” Common Sense Media,