Books for 7th Graders to Read in English

Classic Literature

Classic Literature

When it comes to classic literature, there are countless books that 7th graders could read. However, the following titles are recommended particularly for this age group. First, there’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. This novel is set in the mid-1800s in a small town on the Mississippi River and tells the story of a young boy named Tom Sawyer who is always getting into mischief. He and his friend Huckleberry Finn witness a murder and become involved in a treasure hunt. Twain’s writing style is witty and engaging, making this book a fun and enjoyable read for 7th graders.

Another classic novel that 7th graders might enjoy is The Call of the Wild by Jack London. This book is about a dog named Buck who is stolen from his home in California and sold as a sled dog in Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush. The story follows Buck’s transformation from a domesticated pet to a wild animal as he adapts to the harsh, unforgiving environment of the North. London’s writing style is vivid and gripping, and the themes of survival, loyalty, and the natural world are sure to resonate with 7th graders.

For a more challenging but equally rewarding read, 7th graders might want to check out To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This classic novel explores themes of racism, injustice, and the loss of innocence through the eyes of a young girl named Scout Finch. Set in the 1930s in a small town in Alabama, the story revolves around the trial of a black man who is falsely accused of raping a white woman. Through Scout’s observations and experiences, Lee offers a powerful commentary on the social and political realities of the time. This book is sure to spark important conversations and critical thinking among 7th graders.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton is another classic novel that many 7th graders enjoy. The story is told from the perspective of a teenage boy named Ponyboy Curtis who is part of a gang of greasers from the wrong side of the tracks. When a fight between the greasers and the rival Socs leads to a tragedy, Ponyboy and his friends are forced to confront the harsh realities of their lives. Hinton’s writing is poignant and accessible, and the themes of identity, friendship, and the search for belonging are sure to resonate with 7th graders.

Finally, there’s The Giver by Lois Lowry, a dystopian novel that has been a favorite among young readers for decades. The story takes place in a future society where everything from jobs to spouses is chosen for you by the government. The main character, Jonas, is selected to be the Receiver of Memory, a job that requires him to receive all of the memories of the past, including the painful ones. Lowry’s writing is spare and evocative, and the themes of individualism, conformity, and the importance of memories are sure to spark important conversations among 7th graders.

Contemporary Fiction

Contemporary Fiction Books for 7th Graders

Contemporary fiction is a genre of literature that reflects the current state of society, people, and the world as they are happening right now. It’s a literary genre that is focused on telling stories that are relevant to people today. Writers of contemporary fiction explore a wide range of topics like family dynamics, politics, social issues, personal relationships, and race. Contemporary fiction is usually written in a modern, accessible language that is easy to read and understand, making it a perfect choice for seventh-graders. Here are some of the best contemporary fiction books for seventh-graders.

1. The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan book cover

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate is a heartwarming story about a silverback gorilla who lives in captivity in a shopping mall. Told from the perspective of Ivan, the novel is a touching exploration of animal rights, friendship, and compassion. The book highlights the power of empathy and the importance of treating animals with kindness and respect. This novel is perfect for seventh-graders who love animals and care about social justice issues.

2. Refugee

Refugee book cover

Refugee by Alan Gratz is a novel that follows the stories of three different children who are forced to flee their homes and become refugees. The story is set in different times in history, from Nazi Germany to modern-day Syria. The three narrators are all struggling to survive and find safety amidst the chaos of war and persecution. This book is an excellent choice for seventh-graders who enjoy stories about historical events and like to learn about current global issues such as war, displacement, and refugee crisis. It’s a gripping and emotional read that will keep students engaged and foster empathy for those who are less fortunate.

3. Ghost

Ghost book cover

Ghost by Jason Reynolds is a novel about a young boy named Castle who loves running. Castle is trying to escape his difficult past and make a new start in his life by joining a track team. The book explores themes of family, identity, friendship, and perseverance. The author uses a unique writing style that is both poetic and conversational, making it accessible and relatable to young readers. This novel is an excellent option for seventh-graders who are interested in sports, enjoy realistic fiction, and like to read books with diverse characters and voices.

4. Brown Girl Dreaming

Brown Girl Dreaming book cover

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson is a memoir told in verse that follows the author’s childhood growing up in the 1960s and 1970s. The book explores themes of family history, racial identity, and female empowerment. The author uses a unique writing style to tell her story, blending poetry and prose to create a lyrical and powerful narrative. The memoir is a poignant and emotional account of the author’s life and will resonate with seventh-graders who are interested in poetry, personal narratives, and social justice issues.

5. The Running Dream

The Running Dream book cover

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen is a novel about a high school student named Jessica who loses her leg in a tragic accident. The book explores themes of perseverance, friendship, and overcoming obstacles. The story follows Jessica as she navigates the challenges of her new life and discovers her passion for running. The book is a hopeful and empowering story that emphasizes the importance of determination and resilience in the face of adversity. The Running Dream is an excellent choice for seventh-graders who enjoy sports stories, like to learn about real-life challenges and triumphs, and appreciate well-crafted characters.

Non-fiction and Memoirs

Non-fiction and Memoirs

Non-fiction and memoirs offer a great way for students to explore the world beyond their imagination. Through reading non-fiction, they can gain knowledge on different concepts and ideas whereas, memoirs offer an insight into the lives of people from diverse backgrounds. Below are some of the 7th-grade recommended books in English for non-fiction and memoirs.

1. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank is a memoir based on a young girl’s experience during the Holocaust. Anne was a Jewish teenager who lived in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation. She kept a diary during her time in hiding, which was later published and became an inspiration for many. Her diary shows the complexity of adolescence, the fear of people during the Nazi regime, and hope for a better future. The book is perfect for 7th graders, as it shows the harsh reality of war and racism and the importance of fighting for equality.

2. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness is a memoir based on Susannah Cahalan’s experience with a rare autoimmune condition that caused her to go insane. The book narrates her journey from being a healthy person to an individual struggling to figure out what was happening to her. The book offers insights into how mental health can affect anyone at any time. It helps readers understand the importance of taking care of their mental health, which is often overlooked.

3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a non-fiction book based on the life of Henrietta Lacks, a woman who unknowingly became the source of HeLa cells, which have been used for numerous scientific advancements. This book offers a deep insight into the darker side of science and the unethical practices behind cell research. The book also highlights the importance of informed consent when it comes to medical procedures. Besides, it offers an important lesson on racial disparities and the need for an honest acknowledgment of past wrongs.

4. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

The Boys in the Boat is a non-fiction book based on the true story of nine American rowers and their journey to win a gold medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The book shows how teamwork, perseverance, and dedication can help individuals achieve their goals. It’s an inspiring story about ordinary people doing extraordinary things, which resonates with young readers.

5. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken is a true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who became a prisoner of war during WWII. The book offers insight into the horrors of war and how an individual can survive against all odds. The book also shows the importance of forgiveness and redemption, making it an inspiring read for young adults.

In conclusion, these books offer great recommendations that allow 7th-grade students to explore the world beyond their classroom. Non-fiction and memoirs provide an excellent platform for students to gain knowledge and understanding of different concepts, such as the importance of teamwork, resilience, mental health, and racial disparities. These books are perfect for any student who enjoys a good non-fiction read, and they are sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who reads them.

Graphic Novels

Graphic Novels

Graphic novels are a type of book that is essentially a comic book that tells a longer story. This format of storytelling is perfect for reluctant readers because of the combination of text and images. Here are some graphic novels that are perfect for 7th-grade students:

1. Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Smile is a graphic memoir about a girl named Raina who tripped and fell, breaking her two front teeth. She then has to face the challenges of middle school, friendship, and starting high school while simultaneously dealing with numerous dental appointments and surgeries.

2. El Deafo by Cece Bell

El Deafo by Cece Bell

El Deafo is a funny and touching graphic novel memoir about growing up deaf. It’s a story of perseverance, finding one’s voice, and making friends. Cece uses her superhero alter-ego, El Deafo to help her navigate the challenges of fitting in.

3. New Kid by Jerry Craft

New Kid by Jerry Craft

New Kid is a graphic novel about Jordan Banks, a seventh-grader who leaves his Washington Heights apartment every morning for his new school, an elite private school in Riverdale, NY. This book is an excellent take on themes of race, class, and fitting in.

4. They Called Us Enemy by George Takei

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei

They Called Us Enemy is a graphic novel memoir by Star Trek actor George Takei. It illustrates his experience of growing up in an internment camp in the United States during World War II and the injustices he faced because of his Japanese American ancestry. This book can open up a conversation about identity, politics, and social issues.

5. Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi

Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi

Amulet is very popular among middle-grade readers, and for a good reason. It’s a fantasy graphic novel series with gorgeous artwork. The story follows the journey of siblings Emily and Navin as they go on a quest to save their mother from an alternate dimension.

No matter which graphic novel you choose, there is something in this genre for everyone. These books are great for helping young people develop critical thinking skills, empathy, and storytelling abilities.

Genre-specific Recommendations

7th grade genres

When it comes to 7th grade English, there are a variety of genres that students will encounter. Here are some recommendations for each genre:

Science Fiction

science fiction book cover

Science fiction is a popular genre for middle grade readers. A recommended book in this genre is “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card. It’s a classic science fiction novel about a child genius who is recruited to save the world from an alien invasion. It’s a thrilling adventure that will keep kids engaged from beginning to end.


fantasy book cover

Another popular genre for middle grade readers is fantasy. “The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan is a great book in this genre. It’s about a boy who discovers he’s a demigod and goes on a quest to retrieve Zeus’ stolen lightning bolt. It’s a fun adventure with a relatable protagonist.


mystery book cover

“The Westing Game” by Ellen Raskin is a classic mystery novel that is still popular today. It’s about a group of people who are all heirs to the fortune of a deceased millionaire, and they must solve his puzzle in order to inherit the money. It’s a clever and well-written book that will keep readers guessing until the very end.

Historical Fiction

historical fiction book cover

“Number the Stars” by Lois Lowry is a powerful and emotional book about a young girl in Nazi-occupied Denmark during World War II. It’s a great way for students to learn about history while also getting invested in the characters and their struggles. It’s a must-read for any student studying this time period.

Realistic Fiction

realistic fiction book cover

“Wonder” by R.J. Palacio is a touching and heartwarming book about a boy with a facial deformity who goes to a mainstream school for the first time. It’s a great way for students to learn about empathy and acceptance, and it’s a book that will stick with them long after they’ve finished reading.

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