Read Aloud Round-Up: The 10 Books I Suggest Most for Middle School Read Alouds

It is perhaps one of the most gratifying parts of my job: when a teacher comes into the library, practically jumping up and down because their read aloud is going so well- and I was the one to suggest the book they are reading.

I have a few qualifications for a good read aloud.

First, it can’t be very long.  I have ADD.  And I’m a fast reader.  If a book runs too long, I will abandon it half way through and leave the kids hanging.  That’s not good.

Second, it needs to be suspenseful.  Every chapter should offer some action or important information.

Third, it can’t have too much detail.  That gets real boring real fast.  I understand that detail is great when you are reading to yourself, but for a read aloud? No.

These are the tried-and-true titles.  The ones that multiple teachers have used multiple times and have always found them to work.

1. The Compound by S.A. Bodeen


2. Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann


3. Juvie Three by Gordon Korman


4. Mrs. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs


5. How They Croaked by Georgia Bragg and Kevin O’Malley


6. The Shadow Club by Neal Shusterman


7. Full Tilt by Neal Shusterman


8. Read All About It by Jim Trelease (this one was especially good for my Read-Aloud ADD)


9. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (some classics never get old)


10. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

when-you-reach-meIf you decide to do any of these, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.  As a matter of fact, I think you’ll love them!




12 thoughts on “Read Aloud Round-Up: The 10 Books I Suggest Most for Middle School Read Alouds

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  2. Maschielle

    As a new 8th grade ELA mild/moderate special education in a high poverty area I am excited to work on this list with my kiddos!!!! I’ve spent the last 24 years as an elementary teacher, so I really needed this list.



  3. Peggy

    I just finished The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart. It was his first novel. It’s about a kid with cancer that runs away. I LOVE this book and my gifted 5th graders loved it. Hard to read some parts without crying.


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  5. Beverly

    This is a great list of reads! I teach 6th grade ELA… Are these appropriate titles for that age, or meant for older middle school?
    Thanks for the recommendations!!


  6. Jo

    Thank you for sharing! The Outsiders is one of my favorite oldies! Loved The Book Thief as well… But also found it too long for a read aloud and sadly abandoned it. It did hook some readers to finish it on their own though. Looking forward to all of your suggestions!



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