10 Newbery Books for a Middle School Book Club

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10 Newbery Books for a Middle School Book Club

Our book club has been together for almost 5 years and our kids continue to tell us it is one of their favorite school activities. At the beginning of each school year we select books based on the kids’ interests and abilities. For the past couple of years our reading selections have come from the Newbery Award book list.

Based on our experience, here are 10 books our children recommend for a Newbery inspired Middle School Book Club:

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo (2014) – Look out! A normal squirrel wouldn’t stand a chance against a vacuum cleaner. But, thanks to a quick thinking Flora, Ulysses the squirrel is not only saved, but he finds he has some very interesting “super powers”.

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool (2011) – When Abilene Tucker’s father sends her to spend the summer in the small town of Manifest, she spends her days following clues to discover secrets not only about the town’s past, but about her father’s past as well. Our children enjoyed the many real historical elements woven into this fictional story.

The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo (2004) – This sweet story is about Despereaux, a small mouse with large ears who lives in a castle and falls in love with the Princess. The kids loved the unique “Dear Reader” style the author used to tell this story.

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (Newbery Honor Book 2001) – After 10 year old Opal and her preacher father move to a quiet town in Florida, Opal finds a big, furry, poorly behaved dog IN the Winn-Dixie grocery store. Together they meet several colorful characters who help the lonely Opal feel at home. Can you tell our kids REALLY like Kate DiCamillo’s books!!

The Giver by Lois Lowry (1994) – When he turns 12 years old, Jonas is chosen to be the Receiver of Memories in his utopian community. This book gave our children a lot to think and talk about.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry (1990) – Set in Denmark in 1943, Annemarie and her family help their Jewish friends escape to freedom in Sweden. Since many of our children’s favorite subject is history, this is one of their all-time favorite book club selections.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien (1972) – Mrs. Frisby must move her family from to their safe summer home, but her youngest son is ill and she needs to figure out a way to delay their move and ensure their safety. Through a few interesting twists Mrs. Frisby works with a local group of unique rats to not only solve her problem, but also save the rats from harm as well.

A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Quintet) by Madeleine L’Engle (1963) – Meg and her brother Charles travel through time and space to find their scientist father.

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell (1961) – After jumping from a rescue ship, Karana survives by herself for 18 years on a Pacific Island. She learns to find food, make clothes and protect herself as she waits for another ship to find her.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater and Florence Atwater (Newbery Honor Book 1939) – How can Mr. Popper support his family and 12 new penguins? By taking their act on the road! This is also among our favorite book club selections as it offered many fun activities and additional learning opportunities for our book club meeting.

What is your family’s favorite Newbery Award Book?


About Susan Williams

As a veteran educator I am always looking for new ways to bring learning to life for my family. I enjoy traveling, sharing ideas with other moms, and helping my children explore the world around them. Our favorite subjects to study together are history, literature and geography. I blog about our educational adventures at Education Possible and I share literature related resources at World for Learning


  1. Ah, the middle school books! I love these. I write for this level and I enjoy the books that others write, too.

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