2014 BEST MIDDLE-GRADE BOOKS

Here's the 2014 list of the best selling books for Middle-Graders (as reported by the New York Times). This list will grow as the weeks pass.

Updated September 2014

******All ratings from GoodReads (not updated monthly)
***** a new feature shows Weeks on NYTimes Best Seller List in blue
**** Note that in alphabetizing, we ignore 'the' in titles.
*** Bold = Are books on the Best Seller list this week
** Bold/RED = new books on the Best Seller list this week
*You can find the original NYT list here.


AN ALPHABETIZED SUMMARY LIST:
  1. A LONG WALK TO WATER Weeks - 32
  2. A WORLD WITHOUT PRINCES Week - 1
  3. The BOY ON THE WOODEN BOX  Weeks - 2
  4. CARE AND KEEPING OF YOU 1, The Weeks - 65
  5. CARE AND KEEPING OF YOU 2  Weeks -30
  6.  COUNTING BY 7's  Weeks - 5
  7. ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLO'S LIBRARY Weeks - 14
  8. EVER AFTER HIGH, THE UNFAIREST OF THEM ALL Weeks - 6
  9. FLORA AND ULYSSES  Weeks - 43
  10. FORTUNATELY, THE MILK Weeks - 17
  11. FRANK EINSTEIN AND THE ANTIMATTER MOTOR  Weeks - 3
  12. FROZEN Weeks - 39
  13. HUNTED Weeks - 6
  14. I EVEN FUNNIER Weeks - 8
  15. I FUNNY (a Patterson Middle-School book #3) Weeks -24
  16. JEDI ACADEMY (Jedi Academy #1) Weeks - 14
  17. JEDI ACADEMY, RETURN OF THE PADAWAN (Jedi Academy #2) Week -6
  18. JUST JAKE Week - 1
  19. LAST DAYS OF JESUS  Week - 6
  20. LEGO IDEAS BOOK Weeks -19
  21. LEGO, THE LEGO MOVIE Weeks - 11
  22. LEGO PLAY BOOK Weeks - 5
  23. The ONE AND ONLY IVAN Weeks - 82
  24. OUT OF MY MIND  Weeks - 47
  25. PERCY JACKSON'S GREEK GODS  Weeks - 3 
  26. RUSH REVERE AND THE BRAVE PILGRIMS Weeks - 33
  27. RUSH REVERE AND THE FIRST PATRIOTS Weeks - 21
  28. THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL  Weeks - 4  
  29. SKY RAIDERS  Weeks - 3  
  30. STAFF OF SERAPIS  Weeks - 9
  31. THE FINISHER Weeks - 11
  32. THE JULIAN CHAPTER Weeks - 4
  33. THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH  Week - 1  
  34. THREE TIMES LUCKY  Weeks - 6
  35. TIMMY FAILURE  Weeks - 15
  36. TIMMY FAILURE, NOW LOOK WHAT YOU'VE DONE  Weeks - 3
  37. TREASURE HUNTERS Weeks -11
  38. WONDER Weeks - 93
  39. The YEAR OF BILLY MILLER Week - 1


bookcover of A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story by Linda Sue Parker
A LONG WALK TO WATER
by Linda Sue Parker

 Flicker Tale Children's Book Award Nominee for Juvenile (2012)
**Starred Review** PublishersWeekly
**Starred Review** SchoolLibraryJournal

**Starred Review** ALA BookList

4.19 avg rating — 6,188 ratings

Two narratives flow in and out.  The first is a girl in Sudan (2008) and a boy in Sudan (1985). 

Nya fetches water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the "lost boys" of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way

Word Count: 21,221
Page Count: 128
Accelerated Reading level: 5.0 / points: 3.0
AR quiz: 140710
Lexile: 720L


bookcover of A WORLD WITHOUT PRINCES  (The School for Good and Evil #2) by Soman Chainani
A WORLD WITHOUT PRINCES
(The School for Good and Evil #2)
by Soman Chainani
Illustrated by Iacopo Bruno

4.20 avg rating — 1,285 ratings

Sophie and Agatha are back in the real world... for a while.  But not everything is resolved and they continue to think about the nature of good and bad, and about their relationship.  

Word Count: 96,331
Page Count: 400
Accelerated Reader: 5.7 / points: 15.0
AR quiz: 167295
Lexile: 890L 
--sample pages and reviews available


bookcover of BOY ON THE WOODEN BOX   How The Impossible Became Possible...On Schindler's List by Leon Leyson
BOY ON THE WOODEN BOX 
How The Impossible Became Possible...On Schindler's List
by Leon Leyson

4.44 avg rating — 846 ratings
This is the only memoir that has been written by someone saved by  Schindler.

Reading Information:
Word Count: 39,195
Page Count: 240
Accelerated Reader: 7.0 / points: 7.0
AR quiz: 160814
Lexile: 1000L


bookcover of  The Care and Keeping of You (Revised): The Body Book for Younger Girls (American Girl Library) by Valorie Schaefer,CARE AND KEEPING OF YOU 1  (revised)
The Body Book for Younger Girls
(American Girl Library)
by Valorie Schaefer
Josée Masse (Illustrations)

4.00 Stars from 1,315 GoodReaders

Page Count:  104
Lexile: 880L
no Accelerated Reading or Lexile info currently available


bookcover of  The Care and Keeping of You 2: The Body Book for Older Girls by Cara NattersonTHE CARE AND KEEPING OF YOU 2:  The Body Book for Older Girls
by Cara Natterson
Josée Masse (Illustrations) 

4.39 Stars from 205 GoodReaders

I personally purchased the first book for my daughter when she became a tween.  We read it together and I know she's read sections of it since as she's made her way to being a teenager.  Book one discussed bras, pimples and the introductory info on how girls bodies change.  I'm assuming this book will follow on this tract, covering the same information and more, but at an level more suitable for teens.

Page Count:  96
no reading info available


bookcover of COUNTING BY 7s  by Holly Goldberg Sloan
COUNTING BY 7s
by Holly Goldberg Sloan

**Starred Review** SchoolLibraryJournal
**Starred Review** ALA BookList
4.24 avg rating — 2,745 ratings

A brilliant girl must connect with more than numbers after her parents die in a car accident.  Interesting side characters. (My opinion, not for every middle grader.)

Word Count: 62,677
Page Count:  384
Accelerated Reader:  5.6 / points: 10.0
AR quiz: 160220
Lexile: 770L


bookcover of ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLO'S LIBRARY  by Chris Grabenstein
ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLO'S LIBRARY
by Chris Grabenstein

**Starred Review** ALA BookList 
**Starred Review** Kirkus

4.04 avg rating — 4,662 ratings

Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high.

Word Count: 47,493
Page Count:  304
Accelerated Reading level: 4.5 / points: 7.0
AR quiz: 159405
Lexile: 720L
--sample pages available


bookcover of THE UNFAIREST OF THEM ALL  (Ever After High #2)  by Shannon Hale
THE UNFAIREST OF THEM ALL
(Ever After High #2)
by Shannon Hale

4.34 avg rating — 112 ratings

Chaos still peculates through Storyland because Raven refused to sign the book. The rebels stand behind Raven and support her, while the royals back Apple White.  

Who will prevail?

Word Count: 54,356
Page Count:  336
Accelerated Reader: 5.1 / points: 8.0
AR quiz:165141
--free Preview Chapters


bookcover of FLORA AND ULYSSES  by  Kate DiCamillo
FLORA AND ULYSSES
by  Kate DiCamillo

K.G. Campbell (Illustrator)

**Starred Review** PublishersWeekly
**Starred Review** ALA BookList
**Starred Review** Kirkus
**Starred Review**SchoolLibraryJournal

3.93 avg rating — 2,177 ratings

Magical realism from award winning Kate.  This books involves, a squirrel, a vacuum cleaner, and a girl.

Word Count: 32,790
Page Count:  240
Accelerated Reader: 4.3 / points: 5.0
AR quiz: 160221
Lexile: 520L 


bookcover of FORTUNATELY, THE MILK  by Neil Gaiman
FORTUNATELY, THE MILK
by Neil Gaiman
illustrated by Skottie Young

4.09 avg rating — 6,606 ratings

It's all about the milk when 2 children wake up one morning to find there's no milk in the house.  Mom's away.  Dad goes out to get some, but returns with one whopper of a tale involving time travel and all sorts of crazy adventures.  

Word Count: 7,620
Page Count:  128
Accelerated Reader:  4.3 / points: 1.0
AR quiz: 160992
Lexile: 680L

bookcover of THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH  by Jennifer L. Holm
THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH
by Jennifer L. Holm

**Starred Review** PublishersWeekly
**Starred Review** ALA BookList

3.90 avg rating — 1,206 ratings

Ellie is 11 and her life is pretty normal until her mom brings how a teenage boy. What makes this REALLY odd is that it's her grandfather!  who has figured out how to reverse aging. 

Her grandfather's intense focus on science stirs a similar interest in Ellie and she learns about the work of Jonas Salk, Robert Oppenheimer, and Marie Curie.

No Accelerated Reader info currently available
Lexile: 550L


bookcover of FRANK EINSTEIN AND THE ANTIMATTER MOTOR   (Frank Einstein #1)  by Jon Scieszka
FRANK EINSTEIN AND THE ANTIMATTER MOTOR 
(Frank Einstein #1)
by Jon Scieszka
Brian Biggs (Illustrations)

3.83 avg rating — 113 ratings

The beginning of another boy-friendly series.  In this one geared for Middle-schoolers, a flash of electricity and Frank's genius bring Klink and Klank to life.  T. Edison steals the robots and Frank struggles to get them back.

Real science is worked into the story.

Word Count: 19,902
Page Count:  192
Accelerated Reader: 4.7 / points: 3.0
AR quiz: 168147




bookcover of FROZEN  by RH Disney FROZEN
(Frozen Junior Novelization)
by RH Disney

4.31 avg rating — 61 ratings

Book based on the Disney movie, which is loosely based on the story of the Snow Queen.

Page Count:  128
no reading info available


bookcover of HUNTED (Animal Spirits #2) by Maggie Stiefvater
HUNTED
(Animal Spirits #2)
by Maggie Stiefvater

4.05 avg rating — 60 ratings 

The first book in this series, WILD BORN, was by Brandon Mull.  The next book in the series will be by Garth Nix.

It's all about 4 young heroes and their spirit guides.

Word Count: 44,479
Page Count: 192
Accelerated Reader: 5.0 / points: 7.0
AR quiz: 163634
Lexile: 670L
--sample pages and reviews available


bookcover of I EVEN FUNNIER (a Middle School Book) by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein
I EVEN FUNNIER
(a Patterson Middle-School book)
by James Patterson & Chris Grabenstein
Laura Park (Illustrator)

4.10 avg rating — 79 ratings 

Jamies won the Planet's Funniest Kid Comic Contest!  Now he's off to compete in the national semi-finals.  Or would be....

Turns out that somethings are more important than his ambition.  Jamie finds that out when one of his friends gets into trouble, and a family member has a health scare.

Word Count: 36,842
Page Count: 368
Accelerated Reader: 4.4 / points: 5.0
AR quiz: 163049
Lexile: 710L
--read the first 13 chapters


bookcover of I FUNNY (a Middle School Book) by James Patterson and Chris GrabensteinI FUNNY
(a Patterson Middle-School book #3)
by James Patterson & Chris Grabenstein
Laura Park (Illustrator)

4.02 avg rating — 1,924 GoodReaders 

Though wheelchair-bound and bullied, Jamie doesn't let his life deter him from pursuing his goal: to become the world's greatest standup comedian.

(see the James Patterson reading info index)
excerpt from I FUNNY  (a Patterson Middle-School book #3)

Reading Information:
Word Count: 27,357
Page Count: 320
Accelerated Reading level: 3.9 / points: 4.0
AR quiz: 155432
Lexile: 610L


bookcover of JEDI ACADEMY (Jedi Academy #1)  by Jeffrey Brown
JEDI ACADEMY 
(Jedi Academy #1)
(Scholastic) 
by Jeffrey Brown

4.02 avg rating — 640 ratings

Roan's dad and brother are pilots.  And he longs to be one too, and so he applied to the Pilot Academy, only to mysteriously be denied entrance.

Instead he receives an equally mysterious invitation to something called 'the Jedi Academy'.  With no where else to go, he attends and becomes a student of Master Yoda. 
Word Count: 12,972
Page Count:  160
Accelerated Reader:  3.8 / points: 2.0
AR quiz: 161023
Lexile: GN650L 


bookcover of RETURN OF THE PADAWAN  (Jedi Academy #2)  by Jeffrey Brown
JEDI ACADEMY, RETURN OF THE PADAWAN
(Jedi Academy #2)
(Scholastic)
by Jeffrey Brown

4.02 avg rating — 226 ratings

This Hi-Lo series is certainly guy-friendly.  And in this book Roan Novachez' adventures in 'middle school' continue with flight classes, bad food, and bullies.

Artwork is black and white.

Word Count: 14,153
Page Count:176
Accelerated Reader: 4.2 / points: 2.0
AR quiz: 168339
Lexile: GN670L
--sample pages available


bookcover of THE LAST DAYS OF JESUS by Bill O'Reilly
THE LAST DAYS OF JESUS
by Bill O'Reilly
Illustrated by William Low

A version of "Killing Jesus" that is meant for younger readers.  As to be expected there is some controversy based on which translation of the Bible is used.  At least one reviewer was put off by the author's claim that Jesus died when he was 36.  Other controversy about Mary Magdalene.

Word Count: 42,183
Page Count: 360
Accelerated Reader: 7.7 / points: 7.0
AR quiz: 165846
Lexile: 1050L
--sample pages available


JUST JAKE
(Just Jake #1)
by Jake Marcionette
illustrated by Victor Rivas Villa

Written by a real kid!  Jake Marcionette is 12 years old so keep that in mind while you're reading.  (Kids might really enjoy this aspect)

The story is about moving from Florida to Maryland and starting over in a new school. 

Word Count: 19,374
Page Count: 160
Accelerated Reader: 4.9 / points: 3.0
AR quiz: 164817
Lexile: 820L


bookcover of The Legos Idea Book
THE LEGO IDEAS BOOK
by Daniel Lipkowitz

4.40 avg rating — 282 ratings

Tips and tricks for taking your construction up a notch.

200 pages
Lexile: IG990L 


LEGO PLAY BOOK
by Daniel Lipkowitz, Gregory Farshtey

4.27 avg rating — 22 ratings

Ideas to Bring Your Bricks to Life!

200 pages
Lexile: 1040L 


bookcover of LEGO, THE LEGO MOVIE   by Kate Howard and Scholastic
LEGO, THE LEGO MOVIE
 by Kate Howard

 4.83 avg rating — 6 ratings

A fun movie tie-in.

Reading Level Info: unknown
144 pages



bookcover of THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN, by Katherine ApplegateONE AND ONLY IVAN
by Katherine A. Applegate
Patricia Castelao (Illustrations)

**Starred Review** PublishersWeekly
**Starred Review** ALA BookList
**Starred Review** Kirkus
Texas Bluebonnet Award, 2013-14 Master List

4.24 avg rating — 22,514 ratings

Based on a true story, book tells of Ivan, a captive gorilla who uses art to bridge the gap between his cage and the outside world.

excerpt from ONE AND ONLY IVAN by Katherine A. Applegate

Word Count: 26,263
Page Count:  301
Accelerated Reading level: 3.6 / points: 4.0
AR quiz: 150437
Lexile: 570L 


bookcover of Out of My Mind by Sharon DraperOUT OF MY MIND
by Sharon M. Draper

**Starred Review** School Library Journal 
**Starred Review** ALA BookList
**Starred Review** Kirkus

4.35 avg rating — 23,391 ratings

A brilliant girl with cerebral palsy longs for a way to speak.

Word Count: 56,872
Page Count: 320
Accelerated Reading level: 4.3 / points: 8.0
AR quiz: 136421
Lexile: 700L


bookcover of PERCY JACKSON'S GREEK GODS  by Rick Riordan
PERCY JACKSON'S GREEK GODS
by Rick Riordan
John Rocco (Illustrator)

4.65 avg rating — 1,700 ratings

Greek Myths retold by Percy Jackson in his own witty and sarcastic style. 

No Accelerated Reader info currently available
 Lexile: 790L


RUSH REVERE AND THE BRAVE PILGRIMS
(book #1)
by Rush Limbaugh

3.94 avg rating — 664 ratings

Rush rides his magical horse back in time to watch the pilgrims.

Word Count: 43,169
Page Count: 224
Accelerated Reader: 5.4 / points: 7.0
AR quiz: 163160
Lexile: 740L


bookcover of RUSH REVERE AND THE FIRST PATRIOTS  (book #2)  by Rush Limbaugh
RUSH REVERE AND THE FIRST PATRIOTS
(book #2)
by Rush Limbaugh

4.28 avg rating — 54 ratings 

Rushes magic horse takes him back to Boston and the famous tea party.

Page Count: 256
no reading information available 


bookcover of SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL  (The School for Good and Evil #1)  by Soman Chainani
THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL   
(The School for Good and Evil #1)
by Soman Chainani

3.93 avg rating — 8,502 ratings

Sophie and Agatha find out where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil.  A school were regular kids are are trained to be heroes... or villains.

Word Count: 105,365
Page Count:  488
Accelerated Reader: 5.2 / points: 16.0
AR quiz: 161269
Lexile: 830L
--sample pages available


SKY RAIDERS
(Five Kingdoms book #1)
by Brandon Mull 

 4.18 avg rating — 237 ratings

On Halloween, a sixth grader and his friends are transported to a strange land called the Outskirts.

Word Count: 99,619
Page Count: 432
Accelerated Reader: 4.4 / points: 14.0
AR quiz: 165276
Lexile: 610L



bookcover of THE STAFF OF SERAPIS  (Percy Jackson & Kane Chronicles Crossover #2)  by Rick Riordan
THE STAFF OF SERAPIS
(Percy Jackson and Kane Chronicles Crossover #2)

by Rick Riordan

4.44 avg rating — 1,091 ratings

Book 1 in this series was THE SON OF SOBEK.  This piece, however, is a short story which has Annabeth Chase meeting up with Sadie Kane!

Page Count: 59
no reading information available 




bookcover of THE FINISHER  (Scholastic)  by David Baldacci
THE FINISHER
(Scholastic)
by David Baldacci

**Starred Review** ALA Booklist
3.67 avg rating — 212 ratings

The Finisher is a fantasy-paranormal hybrid. In the story 14-year-old Vega Jane lives and works in Wormwood. She and the other villagers have grown up being told that the surrounding forest is dangerous and full of monsters.  The tales about the Quag (forest) are all called into question when Vega's mentor disappears, leaving behind a cryptic message.

Word Count: 129,312
Page Count: 512
Accelerated Reader: 5.2 / points: 20.0
AR quiz: 164930
Lexile: 710L


THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH

 Lexile: 550L


 THE JULIAN CHAPTER - a Wonder Story
(Wonder 1.4)
by R.J. Palacio

4.34 avg rating — 902 ratings

In WONDER, Julian was Auggie's bully.  In this story Palacio explores why Julian was so terrible to Auggie and if there is a chance for his redemption.

Page Count: 84
no reading information available 


bookcover of THREE TIMES LUCKY by Sheila TurnageTHREE TIMES LUCKY
by Sheila Turnage

**Newbery Honor Book**
**Starred Review** PublishersWeekly
**Starred Review** Kirkus
**Starred Review** SchoolLibraryJournal
**Starred Review** ALA Booklist

4.01 avg rating — 4,965 ratings

Miss Moses LoBeau (Mo) lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC.  When she was a baby she was found on the shore after a hurricane, and she's been stormy ever since. 

She's found a home with the Colonel and Miss Lana.  And while she hopes one day to find her 'upstream mom', she's more than loyal to them.   So when a police detective comes to town investigating a murder, she can't help but get involved.

Word Count: 62,217
Page Count:  256
Accelerated Reading level: 3.9 / points: 9.0
AR quiz: 151057
Lexile: 560L


bookcover of TIMMY FAILURE  by Stephan Pastis TIMMY FAILURE: Mistakes Were Made
(Timmy Failure #1)
by Stephan Pastis

3.63 avg rating — 1,023 GoodReaders

Timmy Failure is 11 years old.  And he's the founder of the "best" detective agency in town, named Total Failure, Inc.

Word Count: 22,433
Page Count:  294
Accelerated Reading level: 3.8 / points: 3.0
AR quiz: 156819

excerpt from TIMMY FAILURE: Mistakes Were Made  by Stephan Pastis


bookcover of TIMMY FAILURE, NOW LOOK WHAT YOU'VE DONE (Timmy Failure #2)  by Stephan Pastis
TIMMY FAILURE, NOW LOOK WHAT YOU'VE DONE
(Timmy Failure #2)
by Stephan Pastis

4.00 avg rating — 26 ratings

Excitement abounds when it's announced that there's a contest to retrieve the school's missing globe, and that the prize is $500!

Timothy sets off to when it, only to be stifled by wrong doing --which, of course, he must correct.

Word Count: 20,828
Page Count: 288
Accelerated Reader: 3.8 / points: 3.0
AR quiz: 164047
Lexile: 470L



bookcover of TREASURE HUNTERS   by Others and James Patterson
TREASURE HUNTERS
(Treasure Hunters #1)
by Others and James Patterson

 3.75 avg rating — 269 ratings

This boy-friendly book is all about treasure hunting.  The twins following their hunting parents around the world.  But when they disappear, the kids have to take up the search.

Word Count: 43,435
Page Count:  480
Accelerated Reader:  4.6 / points: 6.0
AR quiz: 160886
Lexile: 750L


bookcover of WONDER by R. J. PalacioWONDER
by R.J. Palacio

**Starred Review** PublishersWeekly
**Starred Review** Kirkus
**Starred Review** SchoolLibraryJournal
**Starred Review** ALA Booklist

4.40 avg rating — 70,788 ratings

Auggie Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now, when he will enter the 5th grade.

Word Count: 73053
Page Count: 320
Accelerated Reading level: 4.8 / points: 11.0
AR quiz: 149900
Lexile: 790L 


bookcover of the **2014 Newbery Honor Book** THE YEAR OF BILLY MILLER by Kevin Henkes
The YEAR OF BILLY MILLER
 by Kevin Henkes 

**2014 Newbery Honor book**
3.84 avg rating — 1,120 ratings  

Sort of a diary of a Wimpy Kid for younger readers.

Word Count: 21,882
Page Count: 240
Accelerated Reader:  4.2 / points: 3.0
AR quiz: 161077
Lexile: 620L

See our other Must Read book lists!

updated September 2014

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