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Recommended 7th Grade Reading List

Looking for a 7th Grade Reading List to supplement your child’s curriculum?

Whether you are looking for recommendations for suggested reading books or are just looking to add to your home library, here are some great choices for seventh-grade students.

We included a list of inspirational biographies, novels and classic short stories that you may even remember reading when you were this age.

Read to Nurture Creativity!

7th grade is when a lot of creative students really find their niche. An extensive background in a variety of reading topics is the most important material to serve as a foundational soil for a creative mind. That’s why in the 7th grade we strongly encourage introducing your student to elements of science fiction and fantasy.

Although younger students are occasionally resistant to less grounded modes of narrative, we find that by the 7th grade, students are more adept at separating fantasy and reality. They’re more willing to accept and explore the possibilities of imagined universes. Our selection includes books like Ender’s Game, The Hobbit, and Stardust. All of these books use fictional conceits to discuss real world events and issues in a more creative way. For many students who end up in creative careers, their interest in creative endeavors begins with a love of fiction.

Even if your student is not looking for a career in the arts, the ability to think creatively is a core component for being able to think critically. Creative thinkers are able to find solutions that are outside of the box. They’re able to think laterally. They’re able to come up with ideas that don’t fit into the current paradigm of how things are being done.

Creative minds are minds that drive every industry in the world. Henry Ford never wrote any novels, but he did come up with a very inventive ways to optimize the automobile industry. This is why it’s so important to teach all students–regardless of their interests–the ability to think creatively.

The ability to think creatively is grounded in the idea of “what if.” The realist looks at the world and says “This is how things are,” but the creative mind looks at the world and is able to say “what if it were different?”

We see a straightforward use for this in fantasy and science fiction, but what is not immediately evident is that this same skill, when exercised and strengthened, can benefit students in a variety of contexts.

What everyone in every business all over the world wants is someone with the ability to solve their problems. A successful employee is a good problem solver. A successful leader is a good problem solver. A successful engineer, architect, or doctor… All of them are good problem solvers.

Problem-solving skills are grounded in this ability to imagine alternative possibilities than what currently exists. The foundation for being able to come up with hypothetical situations is grounded in the reading and discussing of creative materials.

Read to Become a Better Thinker!

In seventh grade, we begin showing students works of fiction that deal in similar subjects from different points of view. We can encourage students to compare and contrast these works to identify nuances and differences of opinion and thought.

What’s fascinating to see is how students will read one book and agree with it wholly, and then read the second book and also agree with it wholly… even though it espouses a completely different point of view!

In psychology, this state of believing two contradictory viewpoints simultaneously is known as “cognitive dissonance.” The ability to construct a valid worldview and engage other human beings consistently as a thoughtful person is contingent upon eliminating cognitive dissonance. The way to eliminate cognitive dissonance is to articulate the pros and cons of opinions that are not one’s own.

This is why it’s important to read books that address the same topic from different angles. Students become able to articulate the differences between two authors’ perspectives on the same subject. This frees them to come to a more educated and firm understanding of what they believe about a topic. This is the core what makes a critical thinker.

Going forward into high school and later college, students need to be sure of what they believe and be able to articulate it clearly to other people. They will need to be able to compare different ideas that they do not necessarily hold, and they need to be able to argue for the validity of different points of view. 7th grade is the perfect opportunity to begin this process!

Read to Develop Empathy!

Reading also help students develop empathy. In everyday life, we don’t have the opportunity to be another person. However, with the magic the fiction, we can temporarily put ourselves in the shoes of another human being. Through the conceit of fiction, we can live different lives and experience different things that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to.

Because of this, fiction is one of the greatest tools that can be used to develop empathy.  People who consume a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction tend to be defter at identifying the needs and emotions of other people. This makes them effective in all aspects of life. An ability to feel what another person is feeling is essential to having successful relationships whether they be familial, romantic, or professional.

Read to Become a Better Communicator!

Reading widely and then writing about what one has read also helps students become more articulate. With this ability, they will be able to more clearly express their ideas. It’s always a good idea to pair reading exercises with writing exercises for this purpose, as students will have the chance to break down what tools an author uses to create successful communication.

From there, the student can employ the same rhetorical techniques they have been describing to improve their own communication.

Click on the story link for a complete description and reviews from Amazon if you want to learn more.

If you have never read these great books, you will want to read along too!

Historical Fiction

Seeds of America by Anderson

Around The World In 100 Days by Blackwood

Jefferson’s Sons by Bradley

March Toward the Thunder by Bruchac

The Firefly Letters by Engle

Incantation by Hoffmann

Hero on a Bicycle by Hughes

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Kelly The Green Glass Sea by Klages

Inside Out and Back Again by Lai

Kampung Boy by Lat

Gold Dust by Lynch

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Philbrick

Bird in A Box by Pinkney

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Schmidt

Keeping Corner by Sheth

One Came Home by Timberlake

Climbing the Stairs by Venkatraman

One Crazy Summer by Williams-Garcia

Science Fiction/ Fantasy

Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Yee

Dragon’s Castle by Bruchac

Ender’s Game by Card

Artemis Fowl by Colfer

Gregor the Overlander by Collins

So You Want To Be a Wizard by Duane

Stardust by Gaiman

Book of a Thousand Days by Hale

Dragonsong by McCaffrey

The Blue Sword by McKinley

47 by Mosley

Mister Monday by Nix

Wild Magic by Pierce

The Golden Compass by Pullman

Uglies by Westerfield

City of Fire by Yep


Other Recommendations

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The defenders; Osceola, Tecumseh, Cochise (Firebird books) by Ann McGovern

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Dover Thrift Editions) by Mark Twain

Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry

Eight Cousins (Dover Children’s Evergreen Classics) by Louisa May Alcott

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Click here to see more recommendations for other grade levels…