Recommended Book List: Upper Grades

Guest post by Rebecca Redinger, Redwood’s Librarian

The previous post, Recommended Book List: Middle Grades, was a list of reading materials suggested for students in middle grades, 3rd-8th. This final list in the series provides suggested books for the upper grades, 7th-12th. In most libraries and booksellers this age is called Young Adult, and is distinctly separate from the children’s section. While the reading levels on this upper grade list are not that different from those on the middle grade list, you will find that the subject matter is more mature. Depending on a student’s reading level and interests, some young adults have already begun reading books in the main adult collection. The books on this list, however, have been selected because many fall into a unique category we call high/low.

High/low refers to books that are high interest and low readability. These are books that often won’t overwhelm students reading below their grade level, but will provide engaging stories and content. This is a perfect solution for students with dyslexia, and great resource to keep in mind as your Redwood students grow in both age and reading ability.

Below you will find fiction and nonfiction books that fall into a wide range of subjects and formats. As we mentioned in the Middle Grade Book List, some of these topics can be heavier than others. Use these as opportunities to talk with the young adults in your life about what they are reading and how it relates to the world around them. As you laugh at witty dialogue, wonder at hard questions, cheer on the champions, and grieve the oppressed, look back at how far your child has advanced as a confident reader. We are so proud of you!

And finally, a note about the leveling: as before, the books are listed in order according to their Lexile numbers (the most common leveling used by library catalogs and online retailers). The Lexile numbers with HL denote High/Low books. The records also include their corresponding Fountas & Pinnell letters and the general subject categorization. As you dig deeper and discover your child’s favorite books and authors, refer to the Reading A-Z correlation chart to switch between leveling systems. Enjoy, and happy reading!

FICTION

Title, Author, Lexile Range, Fountas & Pinnell, Subject/Format

Drama
Raina Telgemeier
GN 320
F-G
Graphic Novel/Comics

Nimona
Noelle Stevenson
GN 350
F-G
Graphic Novel/Comics

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Benjamin Alire Sáenz 
HL 380
F-G
Realistic Fiction   

LumberJanes
Noelle Stevenson
GN 390-790
F-O
Graphic Novel/Comics

Miss Marvel Volume 1: No Normal
G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona
GN 420
F-G
Graphic Novel/Comics

Hey, Kiddo
Jarrett J. Krosoczka
HL 510
I-J
Graphic Novel/Comics

American Born Chinese
Gene Luen Yang
GN 530
J-L
Graphic Novel/Comics

Fight
Sherman Alexie
550
J-M
Fantasy

Salt to the Sea
Ruta Sepetys
HL 560
J-M
Historical Fiction

Crash
Jerry Spinelli
HL 560
J-M
Realistic Fiction - Sports

M.C. Higgins the Great
Virginia Hamilton
560
J-M
Historical Fiction

Fangirl
Rainbow Rowell
HL 570
J-M
Realistic Fiction

Eleanor & Park
Rainbow Rowell
HL 580
K-M
Realistic Fiction

The Hate U Give
Angie Thomas
HL 590
L-M
Realistic Fiction   

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian
Sherman Alexie
600
K-M
Realistic Fiction

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Ann Brashares
HL 600
K-M
Realistic Fiction

We Were Liars
E. Lockart
HL 600
K-M
Realistic Fiction

Lifeboat 12
Susan Hood
610
K-M
Historical Fiction

Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck
630
L-M
Classic Fiction

To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Jenny Han
630
L-M
Realistic Fiction

Mockingbird
Kathryn Erskine
630
L-M
Realistic Fiction

Harbor Me
Jacqueline Woodson
630
L-M
Realistic Fiction

Alex Rider series
Anthony Horowitz
630-780
L-M
Mystery

I am Alfonso Jones
Tony Medina, John Jennings, and Stacey Robinson
GN 640
L-M
Graphic Novel/Comics

Fake ID
Lamar Giles
HL 640
L-M
Realistic Fiction

The Sun is Also a Star
Nicola Yoon
HL 650
L-M
Realistic Fiction

House of the Scorpion
Nancy Farmer
660
L-N
Science Fiction

The Color Purple
Alice Walker
HL 670 
L-N
Classic Fiction

Children of Blood and Bone
Tomi Adeyemi
HL 670
L-N
Fantasy

The True Meaning of Smekday
Adam Rex
670
L-N
Science Fiction

An Ember in the Ashes series
Sabaa Tahir
HL 670-680
L-N
Fantasy

Twilight series
Stephanie Meyer
670-720
L-N
Fantasy  

City of Ember
Jeanne DuPrau
680
L-N
Fantasy/Science Fiction

Piecing Me Together
Renee Watson
680
L-N
Realistic Fiction   

Matched
Ally Condie
HL 680
L-N
Science Fiction

The Selection series
Kiera Cass
HL 680
L-N
Fantasy/Science Fiction

All the Broken Pieces
Ann E. Burg
HL 680
L-N
Historical Fiction

Speak
Laurie Halse Anderson
690
L-N
Realistic Fiction

American Street
Ibi Zoboi
HL 690
L-N
Fantasy/Magic Realism

Shadowshaper
Daniel José Older
HL 690
L-N
Fantasy

The Raven Cycle
Maggie Stiefvater
HL 690-760
L-N
Fantasy  

A Great and Terrible Beauty
Libba Bray
700
L-N
Fantasy

Fresh Ink
(various authors)
HL 700
L-N
Realistic Fiction   

The Night Diary
Veera Hiranandani
700
L-N
Historical Fiction

Divergent series
Veronica Roth
HL 700-830
L-Q
Fantasy/Science Fiction

Miles Morales
Jason Reynolds
HL 710
L-N
Science Fiction

Eragon
Christopher Paolini
710
L-N
Fantasy

Seedfolks
Paul Fleischman
710
L-N
Realistic Fiction

Long Way Down
Jason Reynolds
HL 720
L-N
Realistic Fiction - Poetry

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Stephen Chobosky
720
L-N
Realistic Fiction   

A Long Walk to Water
Linda Sue Park
720
L-N
Historical Fiction

Pick-Up Game: A Full Day of Full Court
(various authors)
720
L-N
Realistic Fiction

The Missing series
Margaret Peterson Haddix
720-750
L-N
Science Fiction

Graceling
Kristin Cashore
730
L-N
Fantasy

The Book Thief
Markus Zuzak
730
L-N
Historical Fiction

I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
Erika L. Sánchez
HL 730
L-N
Realistic Fiction

The Devil's Arithmetic
Jane Yolen
730
L-N
Historical Fiction

The Diviners 
Libba Bray
HL 730
L-N
Fantasy

A Monster Calls
Patrick Ness
730
L-N
Fantasy  

Auma's Long Run
Eucabeth A. Odhiambo
740
L-N
Realistic Fiction

Orbiting Jupiter
Gary D. Schmidt
740
L-N
Realistic Fiction

Kira-Kira
Cynthia Kadohata
740
L-N
Realistic Fiction

The Outsiders
S.E. Hinton
750
L-N
Classic Fiction

Peak
Roland Smith
760
L-N
Adventure

Some Kind of Courage
Dan Gemeinhart
760
L-N
Adventure - Historical

The Truth About Forever
Sarah Dessen
770
L-N
Realistic Fiction - Romance

Tuck Everlasting
Natalie Babbitt
770
L-N
Fantasy/Science Fiction

The Maze Runner
James Dashner
HL 770 
L-N
Science Fiction

All American Boys
Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
HL 770
L-N
Realistic Fiction

York: The Shadow Cipher
Laura Ruby
HL 780
M-N
Science Fiction

Ender's Game
Orson Scott Card
780
M-N
Science Fiction

Leviathan 
Scott Westerfeld
790
M-O
Fantasy/Science Fiction

The Green Glass Sea
Ellen Klages
790
M-O
Historical Fiction

Cinder
Marissa Meyer
790
M-O
Fantasy

Wolf Hollow
Lauren Wolk
800
M-P
Historical Fiction

The Poet X
Elizabeth Acevedo
HL 800
M-P
Realistic Fiction   

Refugee
Alan Gratz
800
M-P
Historical Fiction

Inside Out & Back Again
Thanhha Lai
800
M-P
Historical Fiction

A Night Divided
Jennifer Nielsen 
810
M-P
Historical Fiction

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Betty Smith
810
M-P
Classic Fiction

Monster
Walter Dean Myers
810
M-P
Realistic
Fiction   

Austin Family Chronicles
Madeleine L'Engle
810-1010
M-S
Realistic Fiction

The Graveyard Book
Neil Gaiman
820
M-Q
Fantasy  

All the Bright Places
Jennifer Niven
830
M-Q
Realistic Fiction - Romance

Wonderstruck
Brian Selznick
830
M-Q
Historical Fiction

Turtles All the Way Down
John Green
840
M-Q
Realistic Fiction   

Cloud and Wallfish
Anne Nesbet
850
M-R
Historical Fiction

Looking for Alaska
John Green
850
M-R
Realistic Fiction

Fault in Our Stars
John Green
850
M-R
Realistic Fiction

The House on Mango Street
Sandra Cisneros
870
N-S
Classic Fiction

To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee
870
N-S
Classic Fiction

Midnight Without a Moon
Linda Williams Jackson
870
N-R
Historical Fiction

All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr
880
N-S
Historical Fiction

Jacob Have I Loved
Katherine Paterson
880
N-S
Historical Fiction

Harry Potter series
J.K. Rowling
880-950
N-S
Fantasy

Our Only May Amelia
Jennifer L. Holm
900
N-T
Historical Fiction

Dead End in Norvelt
Jack Gantos
920
N-T
Historical Fiction

The Golden Compass
Phillip Pullman
930
N-X
Fantasy

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg
Rodman Philbrick
950
Q-T
Historical Fiction

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
John Boyne
1000
R-X
Historical Fiction

Hatchet
Gary Paulsen
1020
R-Y
Adventure

Code Name Verity
Elizabeth E. Wein
1020
R-X
Historical Fiction

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Mark Haddon
1090
Y
Mystery

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Pox Party
M.T. Anderson
1090
Y-Z
Historical Fiction

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen
1100
Z
Classic Fiction

NON-FICTION

Title, Author, Lexile Range, Fountas & Pinnell, Subject/Format

Persepolis series
Marjane Satrapi
GN 380-500
F-J
Biography

Shackleton
Nick Bertozzi
620
K-M
History - Biography

Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case 
Patricia Hruby Powell and Shadra Strickland
HL 720
L-N
History

March series
John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
GN 760-850
L-R
History

Turning Fifteen on the Road to Freedom
Lynda Blackmon Lowery
780
M-N
History

The Industrial Revolution
Lewis Hefland
GN 800  
Graphic Novel/Comic - History

They Changed The World: Edison, Tesla, Bell
Lewis Hefland
GN 820  
Graphic Novel/Comic - Science

I Am Malala (Young Readers Edition)
Malala Yousafzai
830
M-Q
Biography

Unbroken (Young Adult Adaptation)
Laura Hillenbrand
850
M-R
History

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Young Readers Edition
William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
860
N-R
Science - Biography

Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz 
Michael Bornstein and Debbie Bornstein Holinstat
890
N-S
History

Vincent and Theo  
900
N-T
Biographical

Code Talker
Joseph Bruchac
910
N-T
History  

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina And New Orleans
Don Brown
920
N-T
Geography

Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon
Steve Sheinkin
920
N-T
History - Military

Really, Really Big Questions About Space and Time 
Mark Brake and Nishant Choksi 
930  
Science

Flags of Our Fathers
James Bradley and Ron Powers
950
Q-T
History

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia
Candace Fleming
950
Q-T
History - Biography

True Stories
(various authors)
970
R-X
History - Biography

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club
Phillip Hoose
970
R-X
History - Biography

Women in Science
Rachel Ignotofsky  
990
Q-T
Science - Biography

The Glass Castle
Jeanette Walls
1010
R-W
Biography

When I Was Puerto Rican
Esmerelda Santiago
1020
S-W
Biography

Inventions in 30 Seconds
Mike Goldsmith
1020
S-W
Science/Technology

How to be a Math Genius
Mike Goldsmith
1020
S-W
Mathematics

Inventors, Makers, Barrier Breakers
Pendred Noyce
1030  
S-Y
Science/Technology

Farewell to Manzanar: A True Story of Japanese American Experience During and After the World War II Internment 
Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston
1040
T-X
History - Biography

Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults)
Bryan Stevenson
1040
T-X
Biography

This Land is Our Land
Linda Barrett Osborne
1080
U-X
History

1968: Today's Authors Explore a Year of Rebellion, Revolution, and Change
Marc Aronson
1100
Y-Z
History

The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth
Rachel Ignotofsky
1140
Z
Science/Technology

Kaitlin FerianteRedwood