Middle School to High School Reading List for a Strong Reader


I compiled a middle school to high school reading list for my strong reader.  We started this list in 6th grade and are in the middle of 7th grade right now.  Most of the books on the list would be considered classics, but many contemporary novels are included as well.

I like to read a synopsis of a book to determine if it is a good fit for my kid before assigning it and Wikipedia usually does a pretty good job with that.  So for each book on this list you will find a link to the synopsis on Wikipedia (if available) as well as a link to Amazon.  Many times Amazon will let you look inside a book to get an idea about the writing style of the author.

My son is using Classical Writing curriculum and Excellence in Literature as a literature guide so I used those two resources heavily to determine what books to pick.  I also perused various reading lists and recommendations to put together a well-read book list.  My son is a very strong reader and he should not have any difficulty with reading and understanding these books.  He also has a high interest in going into the STEM field so I want to make sure his education in the humanities is strong since he will not take many of those classes in college.  I don’t know if we will finish each list or if every book here is one that he will finish.  We will adjust as we go, but this is the list that we will use to choose the next book.

When my other kids get to middle school I will adapt this list as necessary to their reading skills by having them start the list later or not read all the of the books on the list, if necessary.

Prior to middle school my son spend about 2 years going through much of this literature list.  Some of the books, poems, or short stories there are repeated on this list because we skipped them or because I thought they could use a second perusal.

Middle School

6th Grade

7th Grade

8th Grade

High School

9th Grade

10th Grade

11th Grade

12th Grade


  1. Sophie G Diall DuPuis

    What about comprehension questions and other types of assignments based on these books?

  2. John Steinbeck is missing from your list. 🙂
    I would also recommend adding Brave New World (Aldous Huxley) in conjunction with 1984. I read both of those in 7th grade, and did Animal Farm in 5th.

  3. Pingback: Bits and Clips for January 2015 | Polly Castor

  4. I read (and loved) Call of the Wild as a 5th grader and found it easy to read, though I was considered to be at a high reading level. So as long as your child is a strong reader, they should be able to read that one sooner rather than later.

    • Eclectic Homeschooling

      Yes, I had a couple people comment about that one. It could definitely be done sooner. We just somehow missed that one earlier. I threw it in the mix because of that.

      However, I didn’t organize the list according to reading levels. I attempted to balance out different types of books to give him a varied reading experience every school year – even if some of them would be an easier read. Because this child is a strong reader and started middle school able to read the entire list of books without much difficulty, I went the route of giving him variety.

  5. This is a great list! I will use many of these for my own daughter. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂 Have you considered adding in any mysteries like Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie?

    • Eclectic Homeschooling

      Thanks for the suggestions! I do have one Conan Doyle book on there. If he likes it, I’ll add to the list or substitute some of the other books.

  6. I love book lists. This one is fantastic. We aren’t at this level yet but you have included some wonderful books here. I may need to reread a few 🙂
    Cait Fitz @ My Little Poppies recently posted…Library Day StillnessMy Profile

    • Eclectic Homeschooling

      Thanks! I haven’t read many of these and I was an English minor in college :p I’ve read some and my husband recommended some that he read. I will be reading a selection of them when my kid does so we can discuss them together.

  7. Very nice list. I have a strong reader, too, but I think some but not all of these books would be for him, plus he probably would not read this many off of a list in one year. I give him the flexibility of choosing some “just for fun” books so I would say 6 “list or school” literature selections a year is fine for him.

    I do want to note that I read Brave New World in the 9th grade and loved it, if you would want to consider moving that up from 12th grade, it is definitely fine for 9th.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge