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Building Your Classroom Library: The Best Books for Grades 6-8

WeAreTeachers recently polled over 200 teachers about the best books in their classroom libraries, from their favorite read-alouds and fiction books to the top science, humor and poetry. Here’s what teachers of grades 6–8 chose:

The Best Books for Grades 6-8

Top Read-Aloud Books
  1. The Tale of Despereaux
    Written by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering
  2. No Talking
    Written by Andrew Clements, illustrated by Mark Elliott
  3. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
    Written by Judy Blume
Also recommended: Top Realistic Fiction
  1. The Outsiders
    Written by S.E. Hinton
  2. Wonder
    Written by R.J. Palacio
  3. Speak
    Written by Laurie Halse Anderson
  4. Number the Stars
    Written by Lois Lowry
Also recommended: Top Mystery Books
  1. The Westing Game
    Written by Ellen Raskin
  2. Chasing Vermeer
    Written by Blue Balliett, illustrated by Brett Helquist
  3. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
    Written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  4. Goosebumps: Welcome to Dead House (Series)
    Written by R.L. Stine
Also recommended: Top Fantasy and Science-Fiction Books
  1. Harry Potter (Series)
    Written by J.K. Rowling
  2. The Hunger Games (Series)
    Written by Suzanne Collins
  3. The Giver
    Written by Lois Lowry
  4. The Lightning Thief
    Written by Rick Riordan
Also recommended: Top Historical Fiction Books
  1. The Book Thief
    Written by Markus Zusak
  2. Chains
    Written by Laurie Halse Anderson
  3. Number the Stars
    Written by Lois Lowry
  4. The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963
    Written by Christopher Paul Curtis
Also recommended: Top Biographies
  1. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
    Written by Anne Frank
  2. Night
    Written by Elie Wiesel
  3. The Red Scarf Girl
    Written by Ji-li Jiang
  4. Soul Surfer
    Written by Bethany Hamliton and Rick Bundschuh
Also recommended: Top Science Books
  1. Sports Science for Young People
    Written by George Barr
  2. Human Body: A Book With Guts
    Written by Dan Green, illustrated by Simon Basher
  3. One-Minute Mysteries: 65 Short Mysteries You Solve With Science!
    Written by Eric Yoder and Natalie Yoder
Also recommended:
  1. Janice VanCleave’s A+ Science Fair Projects
    Written by Janice VanCleave
  2. How They Croaked
    Written by Georgia Bragg, illustrated by Kevin O’Malley
  3. The Periodic Table: Elements With Style
    Written by Adrian Dingle, illustrated by Simon Basher
Top History Books
  1. Chasing Lincoln’s Killer
    Written by James L. Swanson
  2. Night
    Written by Elie Wiesel
  3. Hana’s Suitcase
    Written by Karen Levine
Also recommended: Top Poetry Books
  1. Where the Sidewalk Ends
    Written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein
  2. Poetry Speaks: Who I Am
    Edited by Elise Paschen
  3. A Light in the Attic
    Written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein
  4. Poetry for Young People: The Seasons (Series)
    Edited by John N. Serio, illustrated by Robert Crockett
Also recommended: Top Humor Books
  1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Series)
    Written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney
  2. Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging
    Written by Louise Rennison
  3. Middle School, the Worst Years of My Life
    Written by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts, illustrated by Laura Park
Also recommended: Top Drama Books
  1. The Miracle Worker: A Play
    Written by William Gibson
  2. The Diary of Anne Frank
    Adapted by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird
    Adapted by Christopher Sergel
  4. Monster
    Written by Walter Dean Myers
Also recommended: Top Reference Books
  1. Guinness World Records 2014
    Edited by Guinness World Records
  2. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
    Edited by the Modern Language Association
  3. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Thesaurus
    Edited by Merriam-Webster
Also recommended:

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