Books for 7th Graders: Books to Help you Escape Doom-Scrolling

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Are you a 7th grader in search of a good book? Perhaps you’ve entered the world of doom-scrolling for the last time and are desperate to find books that will demand all of your attention instead of your cell phone. No? Is that only a parents wish? Whatever it may be, we have compiled an awesome list of books for 7th graders! So whether you are already a book lover or someone who is newer to reading, this list of books is perfect for you.

Books for 7th Graders

Middle school can be a rather challenging time for students who are undergoing a LOT of changes in their lives. During these years, it is crucial that kids at this age are exposed to books that offer a variety of themes including different interests, backgrounds, and emotional experiences. Books can open their eyes to view the world at large differently and help develop their character as they move into young adulthood.

Before you lies a list of amazing books for 7th graders. You will find books that will get your heart racing and your mind thinking. These are all great stories with different genres so there is something for everyone. You can’t go wrong with any of these picks!

Please do remember, if you are not in 7th grade, YOU can read these books too! So whether you are in a different grade or perhaps you are an adult (hello fellow teachers and parents!), you are sure to find something here to add to your reading list!

With that said, be sure to check out the other lists of middle grade books like the Top Middle Grade Books according to the Goodreads community.

Alright, let’s get to exploring these books for 7th graders, shall we? 

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Table of Contents

The Benefits of Being an Octopus

Ann Braden

You can say octopuses if you want. It is correct! I agree with the quote on the front of this book by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman, author of Book Scavengers. She said, “This book will open minds, expand hearts, and change lives.” 💯

This is a beautiful, heart-breaking book that captures the life of Zoey, a 7th grader who has her hands full. She wishes she was an octopus – her favorite animal – so she could do everything at once including caring for her baby siblings after school while her mother works to make ends meet. 

At school, Zoey experiences being bullied and wishes to remain under the radar, another skill that octopuses have. But unfortunately she is forced to join the debate club. Things take a turn when she begins seeing the world, including her own, as it truly is. 

This coming-of-age novel is complex and does a wonderful job navigating through tough subjects such as finding your place in society, kids taking the role of parents, and parent’s relationships with toxic partners. A book that will never be forgotten.

Arianne Costner

Any book that is set in Idaho shines bright on the radar! [Boise is my hometown and no there were no schools with potatoes as their mascot! 😅]. This book is playful and hilarious.

Ben Hardy believes he’s cursed by potatoes. And now he’s moved to Idaho, where the school’s mascot is Steve the Spud! Yeah, this cannot be good.

After accidentally causing the mascot to sprain an ankle, Ben is sentenced to Spud duty for the final basketball games of the year. But if the other kids know he’s the Spud, his plans for popularity are likely to be a big dud! Ben doesn’t want to let the team down, so he lies to his friends to keep it a secret. No one will know it’s him under the potato suit . . . right?

Liana Gardner

In this award-winning book inspired by true events, 7th grade turns out to be anything but normal when teachers announce the students’ bloodless revolution succeeded and they are now in charge. After conducting a secret-ballot vote on policy, the 7th graders emerge to find the school evacuated and the FBI lurking outside with the task of unearthing a treasure of national importance.

The students’ mission is clear—discover the treasure before the FBI locks down the building. To stay one step ahead of the FBI, they must delve into history and amass an arsenal to defend their school … because this is WAR!

Lauren Wolk

Twelve-year-old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the starkly beautiful Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift in a small boat when she was just hours old, Crow’s only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their fierce and affectionate neighbor across the sandbar.

Crow has always been curious about the world around her, but it isn’t until the night a mysterious fire appears across the water that the unspoken question of her own history forms in her heart. Soon, an unstoppable chain of events is triggered, leading Crow down a path of discovery and danger.

Yoon Ha Lee

Min, the protagonist of this story, comes from a long line of fox spirits. But you’d never know it by looking at her. To keep the family safe, Min’s mother insists that none of them use any fox-magic, such as Charm or shape-shifting. They must appear human at all times.

Min feels hemmed in by the household rules and resents the endless chores, the cousins who crowd her, and the aunties who judge her. She would like nothing more than to escape Jinju, her neglected, dust-ridden, and impoverished planet. She’s counting the days until she can follow her older brother, Jun, into the Space Forces and see more of the Thousand Worlds.

Caela Carter

Lydia hasn’t felt comfortable in her own skin since the boys at her school started commenting on the way she looks in her uniform. Her cousin and friends think she should be flattered, but the boys—and sometimes her mom’s boyfriend, Jeremy—make Lydia uncomfortable and confused. Even more confusing is when Jeremy hovers too close and hugs a little too long.

Then her mom surprises her by buying a dilapidated house in their neighborhood. Lydia hopes to find a little bit of magic in their new home. But just like the adults in her life, and God, and her friends, the magic Lydia deeply believes in eventually loses its power to keep her safe.

And as seventh grade begins, Lydia wonders: Is there a secret to figuring out how to be a girl in the world?

Rebecca Behrens

Jocelyn and Alex have always been best friends…until they aren’t. Jocelyn’s not sure what happened, but she hopes the annual joint-family vacation in the isolated north woods will be the perfect spot to rekindle their friendship.

But Alex still isn’t herself when they get to the cabin. And Jocelyn reaches a breaking point during a rafting trip that goes horribly wrong. When the girls’ tube tears it leaves them stranded and alone. And before they know it, the two are hopelessly lost.

Wearing swimsuits and water shoes and with only the contents of their wet backpack, the girls face threats from the elements. And as they spend days and nights lost in the wilderness, they’ll have to overcome their fractured friendship to make it out of the woods alive.

Ernest Cline

A world at stake. A quest for the ultimate prize. Are you ready?

In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the OASIS, a vast virtual world where most of humanity spends their days.

When the eccentric creator of the OASIS dies, he leaves behind a series of fiendish puzzles, based on his obsession with the pop culture of decades past. Whoever is first to solve them will inherit his vast fortune—and control of the OASIS itself.

Then Wade cracks the first clue. Suddenly he’s beset by rivals who’ll kill to take this prize. The race is on—and the only way to survive is to win.

Rodman Philbrick

Rodman Philbrick writes with such boldness and detail. Right from the get go you are sucked into the drama of trying to survive this massive wildfire! Another amazing book!

Newbery Honor author Rodman Philbrick sends readers straight into the nightmare of a raging wildfire as 12-year-old Sam is trapped by explosive flames and deadly smoke that threaten to take his life. Can he survive?

Flames race toward Sam Castine’s summer camp as evacuation buses are loading, but Sam runs back to get his phone. Suddenly, a flash of heat blasts him as pine trees explode. Now a wall of fire separates Sam from his bus, and there’s only one thing to do: Run for his life. Run or die.

Also by Rodman Philbrick

Freak the Mighty

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg
Douglas Adams

Omg, this book right here. I think I can safely state that this book is the first book to ever make me laugh out loud… and hard! What a great memory!

I don’t know about you but I am a big fan of dry British humor (me mum’s British <— spoken in my best British accent). I loved Monty Python and the Holy Grail growing up and still love the old slapstick comedies. 

So basically, Arthur Dent is faced with a dilemma, the city is here to knock down his house to make room for a new super highway. Ironically, at the same time, the people of the Earth hear a voice from the sky that Earth is to be destroyed in a matter of minutes to make way for a galactic super highway. Arthur’s long time best friend confesses he is an alien in haste and tells him he knows how to hitch a ride off the planet to safety… and it involves a towel.

Ok, I’ll leave you with that and URGE you to go buy this book no matter what your age is! Oh and that fact this book contains illustrations by Chris Riddell makes it that much more exhilarating! Go!

 

If you like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, you'll love this!

Mort by Terry Pratchett
Ali Benjamin
After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting–things don’t just happen for no reason. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory–even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy’s achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe…and the potential for love and hope right next door.
Shanthi Sekaran

Before his grandmother moved from India to the island of Mariposa, Muki Krishnan’s life was good. But now? He has to share his bedroom with Paati, his grandmother, who snores like a bulldozer and wakes him up at dawn to do yoga.

Paati’s arrival coincides with even bigger changes in Mariposa. The president divides citizens into Butterflies—families who have lived in Mariposa for three generations—and Moths, who, like Muki’s family, are more recent immigrants. The changes are small at first. But then Muki and his friends find a camp being built to imprison Moths before sending them away. Soon after, his Paati is captured and taken there.

While devising Paati’s escape, Muki discovers that a secret rebellion is underway, and as he digs deeper, he realizes that rescuing Paati will be the fight of his life.

Stacy McAnulty

Ok, this was a seriously fun read! Could you imagine finding a millionaire’s wallet? What if that millionaire challenged your to spend 5 million dollars in a month?? Would you accept it? What would you buy?

This book is not just about spending money. Stacy McAnulty does a great job teaching about friendship and the value of a penny!

Also by Stacy McAnulty

The World Ends in April

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl
Shanthi Sekaran

Would you make a deal with a magical tiger? This uplifting story brings Korean folklore to life as a girl goes on a quest to unlock the power of stories and save her grandmother.

Some stories refuse to stay bottled up…

When Lily and her family move in with her sick grandmother, a magical tiger straight out of her halmoni’s Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history. Long, long ago, Halmoni stole something from the tigers. Now they want it back. And when one of the tigers approaches Lily with a deal–return what her grandmother stole in exchange for Halmoni’s health–Lily is tempted to agree. But deals with tigers are never what they seem! With the help of her sister and her new friend Ricky, Lily must find her voice…and the courage to face a tiger.

Jacqueline Woodson
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.
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Nina Hamza

Ahmed Aziz is having an epic year—epically bad.

After his dad gets sick, the family moves from Hawaii to Minnesota for his dad’s treatment. Even though his dad grew up there, Ahmed can’t imagine a worse place to live. He’s one of the only brown kids in his school. And as a proud slacker, Ahmed doesn’t want to deal with expectations from his new teachers.

Ahmed surprises himself by actually reading the assigned books for his English class: Holes, Bridge to Terabithia, and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Shockingly, he doesn’t hate them. Ahmed also starts learning about his uncle, who died before Ahmed was born. Getting bits and pieces of his family’s history might be the one upside of the move, as his dad’s health hangs in the balance and the school bully refuses to leave him alone. Will Ahmed ever warm to Minnesota?

Kelly Barnhill

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is kind. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge—with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth’s surface. And the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl . . .

Erin Entrada Kelly

When I was in middle school, my best friend and I were obsessed with the idea of space and space travel. We poured over Homer Hickman’s October Sky and would take her telescope out into the middle of our school field to star gaze. Ugh, I just loved this book with my whole heart. It’s so heart-warming, exhilarating and relatable! As the cover states, “Family is a complicated galaxy.” So true. ❤

Cash, Fitch, and Bird Nelson Thomas are three siblings in seventh grade together in Park, Delaware. In 1986, as the country waits expectantly for the launch of the space shuttle Challenger, they each struggle with their own personal anxieties. Cash, who loves basketball but has a newly broken wrist, is in danger of failing seventh grade for the second time. Fitch spends every afternoon playing Major Havoc at the arcade on Main and wrestles with an explosive temper that he doesn’t understand. And Bird, his twelve-year-old twin, dreams of being NASA’s first female shuttle commander, but feels like she’s disappearing. 

The Nelson Thomas children exist in their own orbits, circling a tense and unpredictable household, with little in common except an enthusiastic science teacher named Ms. Salonga. As the launch of the Challenger approaches, Ms. Salonga gives her students a project—they are separated into spacecraft crews and must create and complete a mission. When the fated day finally arrives, it changes all of their lives and brings them together in unexpected ways.

Adam Gidwitz

1242. On a dark night, travelers from across France cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children. Their adventures take them on a chase through France: they are taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king, and save the land from a farting dragon.

On the run to escape prejudice and persecution and save precious and holy texts from being burned, their quest drives them forward to a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel, where all will come to question if these children can perform the miracles of saints.

Join William, an oblate on a mission from his monastery; Jacob, a Jewish boy who has fled his burning village; and Jeanne, a peasant girl who hides her prophetic visions. They are accompanied by Jeanne’s loyal greyhound, Gwenforte . . . recently brought back from the dead. Told in multiple voices, in a style reminiscent of The Canterbury Tales, our narrator collects their stories and the saga of these three unlikely allies begins to come together.

What did you think of these books for 7th graders? Have you read any of them? Would you recommend them to your friends? Let us know! Contact us today!