Somewhere along the way into adulthood, I was taught or began to assume that older kid and adults were not to read literature written toward a younger population. I was either too busy with school assignments or other responsibilities to feast upon such lavish art. If I could go back in time, this is one of the few factors of my life that I would change – I would give myself time and permission to read certain young adult fiction – and enjoy it. Knowing there was great beauty that I missed out on, I am eager to make my own kids a fantastic list of good reading material so they don’t miss out on it as well. I am reading most of these prior to my kids reading them or listening along as they read.

A few good classics:

  • I am David by Anne Holm. I read this under the title of North to Freedom. It was renamed and turned into a film. This is a story about a boy that grew up in a prison camp in eastern Europe and his once in a chance lifetime for escape, then his journey to find a family.
  • Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. This is the classic title you likely already know about. Treasures like this always leave me in awe of the imaginations of such authors.
  • Autumn Street by Lois Lowry. Any book by Lois Lowry is good, actually. This particular one is set in the World War II time period and is about a family and how life changes forever after a tragedy one snowy day.
  • Role of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor is about a girl named Cassie in the height of the Depression in Mississippi.
  • Little Women by L.M. Alcott.

And a few good modern books to spend your time with:

  • 11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass (and her subsequent novels). One of my daughters had read this and pleaded for us to listen to it in the car. After the first two chapters, the rest of us were hooked. Sometimes we would just sit in the car in the driveway, wanting to hear more of the story before we went it.
  • Red Blazer Girls Series by Michael D. Beil- I haven’t read these books, but this comes highly recommended by my favorite librarian. RBG is a new take on the girl detective type books and, according to the author’s Facebook page, will be turning into a movie soon!
  • You Have a Brain: A Teen’s Guide to T.H.I.N.K.-B.I.G by Dr. Ben Carson, MD. For the kid that needs a break from fiction and perhaps a little motivation to engage the mind a little, this book would be a good read. Eight important parts of thinking big and stories that explain it all further are the bones of this book. You can hear a sample through Audible before you buy.

So, were you a veracious reader as a middle schooler? What were you’re favorite books or ones people should avoid?