The Ultimate Summer Reading List for Your 8-12 Year Old

Answer the age old question from your tween this summer of…“Mooooom and Daaaaad, I’m bored!!!” Summer is the perfect time to get them into reading because they can pick and choose exactly what they want to read unlike the school year. Getting cozy with a great book at the beach, in their room or outside in the sun is a wonderful way to pass the time this summer. So, we’ve pulled together some great middle grade reading options for your 8-12 year old with options for pretty much anything they may be interested in. Enjoy!

For Those Into Mystery

 When you Reach Me spins a tale of sixth grade Miranda navigating her way through New York City and all that comes with it! Your child will become engrossed with this story of growing up from a unique perspective. 

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To Open Their Eyes to The World Around Them

Amal Unbound tells the story of a young Pakistani girl who has big dreams about her education and the future while overcoming indentured servitude. It will certainly open your child's eyes to different cultures and perhaps they'll understand themselves more after reading it. 

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For Those Into Science

In The Science of Breakable Things , a girl uses scientific methods to help her mother out of depression in an uplifting, coming of age story.  For any child who looks at problems with a scientific perspective, they'll fly through this book. 

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For Those Into Fairy Tales

If your child loves a unique spin on old fairy tales, they'll love Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves as an alternative story to the traditional Snow White. Especially if your child is a bit "grumpy" about reading this summer - this book will be sure to get them on the right path! 

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For a Vacation/Beach Read

If your child is looking for a fun, relaxing beach read, they'll love this story of a vacation that didn't quite turn out the way Sunny expected in Sunny Side Up. After reading this book, your child is sure to be grateful for their own vacation! 

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For Those That Like History

Set in 1812, Salt tells the story about two twelve year olds growing up during war in the Indiana Territory. This book will give them a sense of growing up in history and how the United States has changed over the past hundred or so years.  

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For Those That Like Graphic Novels

Anyone into graphic novels will love the story of friendship and surviving junior high in Roller Girl. It's a great read that your child will fly through and spur on his or her love of reading. 

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For Those That Like Harry Potter

Arlo Finch and the Valley of Fire is the first in a new series that tackles mystery, adventure and fantasy all in one book. Bonus: Parents can also listen to the Launch podcast to get the full background on how the book was written and published! 

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For Those Into Star Wars

If your child has watched every movie two or ten times, they'll love this series with The Strange Case of Oragami Yoda weaving in Star Wars with growing up in middle school. It's a great series that makes reading fun for any Star Wars fan. 

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For Those Into Sports and Running

Not actually about spooky ghosts, Ghost tells the story about overcoming obstacles and teamwork on a middle school track team. If your child is looking to join a new sports team or enjoys sports regularly, they'll really get into this book. 

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For Those Into Science Fiction

Anyone interested in life on other planets will love the story of The Fellowship for Alien Detection of two middle schoolers saving the world from an alien attack. Because of course why wouldn't two middle schoolers save the world from aliens?! 

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For Music Lovers

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground tells the story of a young boy who loses his grandfather and his previous life changes dramatically. From there, he finds himself and who he really is through his journey with music.

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For Those Into Robots

Merging technology and nature, The Wild Robot spins an engaging tale that all middle schoolers will love about a robot finding his place in life. It's a heartwarming story that any robot lover will enjoy. 

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For Those Into Ninjas and Superheros

Get your kids head out of TV with this super engaging, active story about The Super Life of Ben Braver as he saves his school. For any child who dreams of being a superhero ninja, they'll get a "kick" out of this one! 

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For Those Into Dance

If your child is into ballet or dance, they'll love Ballet Shoes, about three orphans weaving in friendship, ballet and their dreams. For any child who dreams of dance, they'll fly through this book in no time. 

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For Those Into Minecraft

Get  your kids head out of video games and into this hilarious series starting with Diary of a Minecraft Zombie that they are bound to love for any child 8+. They'll be so engrossed in this novel and go from book to book that they'll forget all about video games (well, probably not, but one can hope!). 

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What else would you add to this list?

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Written by Phase2Parenting

PLEASE NOTE: The writers of this article are not medical professionals. The information in this column is not intended and should not be construed as providing medical or psychological advice, but rather to offer readers information and provide a perspective to better understand the lives of themselves and their children. Articles on this website may be opinion based. The articles are not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist, psychotherapist or other licensed medical professional. If you do have health or safety concerns, please get in touch with a healthcare professional.