I'm looking to possibly add new titles for summer reading for seventh grade next year. Does anyone have any great books they could recommend? Thanks!

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You may know of this book, but I love Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. It is about a young girl in the Dust Bowl and provides great background about the Depression.
Yes, I already have it. Karen Hesse is a wonderful writer. I have one of her new ones, Brooklyn Bridge but have not had a chance to read it.
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Airborn by Kenneth Oppel You'll need to read Hunger Games before you assign it--it is dark, but the kids would love it.
My Amazon cart is overflowing! Yes, I have these titles as well.....not sure about Hunger Games as a summer read, maybe more of an independent reading choice, but you're right, I need to read it first. It has great reviews.

On another note, does anyone do any classics for a class novel appropriate for seventh grade? I'm thinking of adding another class title to my curriculum, and since I feel the kids do not read enough of those I am leaning towards doing one. I'm just not sure which one would be best suited for this grade level.

Thanks for all the suggestions!
I'm reading Hunger Games aloud to my class of gifted 6th graders. Many of them are transistioning to Young Adult and so far they love it. I like Ender's Game too--it's almost a classic!
I love reading and read as much as I can!

You might check out The City of Ember by Jeanne duPrau, any and all of the Shadow Children series by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Among the Hidden, Among the Betrayed, etc.). Especially powerful is Speak by Lauri Halse Anderson. It does involve a girl being raped, so it will depend on your student population.

Best wishes!
Clair
Yes, I know all of those books, they are wonderful, a little on the easy side for my kids though. As far as Speak goes, the subject matter might be a tough pill for some of the parents, but I like all of her books. Thanks!
How about Mortal Engines Chronicles. I'm always looking for stuff my kids haven't already read. duPrau and Haddix too young for your kids.
Have them, by Philip Reeve!

I'm always building my library, and it's getting quite extensive, but it's always a work in progress as I'm constantly taking books out and replacing......re-shuffling of sorts. I guess I'm looking for a summer read that will complement The Wednesday Wars which I absolutely LOVE. I like to give the kids some choices in addition to The WW which is a must read for them.

Thanks again!
I decided several years ago that I needed a class library that would contain books for gifted readers, many of my 5th and 6th graders were outgrowing the elementary school libraries and the libraries weren't getting the 'newest' books in a series (since they put in their orders once a year). So every year we have an 'adopt a book'--I make a list of books we want/need and send the list to parents. I get the book titles from reading reviews and taking suggestions from kids. I told them to be on the lookout for these books both used and new. Now we have all the current series and plenty of new stuff for kids to check out. We also have an extensive collection of kids classics.

I actually feel I've been instrumental in getting some of my non-pleasure readers (usually the math/science boys) to read by touting certain books. It's been fun to watch them grow. I don't know if school librarians, who may see 500 kids a week, are the best at finding the perfect book for each kid. I'd be glad to send you our booklist, our para is adding age level to each book.

Do you read The Cybils blog?
Nancy, I totally understand where you are coming from. I am building my classroom library out of a desire to introduce my seventh graders to "great" fiction, and not just "good" fiction.....our school library has a terrible section, actually there really isn't one, for middle school kids, and my eighth grade counterpart and I have taken it upon ourselves to have collections of great books that offer all levels of readers many choices. I will even bring in books from my personal library at home for some readers, like A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, for example, or some adult lit that I think will be appropriate for someone. I prefer for the students to choose from my library, but if they have a book from home they want to read, they need to show me first.

When we have a book fair, the teachers put books they want in boxes designated for them, and those parents can purchase them for us. We also just had our "Oldie Goldie" Book sale (used books) and I found a ton of great ones. You'd be surprised what titles people give up!

I am like you in that I read constantly, especially all the new books that come out each year, which is why I happen to be going shopping this week during our Spring break. I'm headed to Barnes and Noble tomorrow to see the books first hand, and then I'll purchase from Amazon. Sometimes a book looks right online, but when I actually see it, it's either too easy, or not right in some way. Sometimes B+N doesn't have the new stuff. I'm into a classics phase now, and while I have abridged versions (great for boys) I want some unabridged for the high readers.

No, I don't know what The Cybils blog is but I'll check it out. Thanks!
I meant to also mention that I look at the book reviews for guidance. If a book has gotten all starred reviews, Kirkus, Booklist, Publisher's Weekly, etc. then it's a winner in my opinion.

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