Books to Help Your Kid Survive Middle School

Everything seems to change once you hit middle school. Friendships seem to get more complicated. Romantic feelings go beyond grade-school crushes. And ethical decisions as well as homework assignments get tougher. Books that deal with these new complexities have become so popular, they're almost an entire genre in themselves. Check out our list to find a range of stories, from laugh-out-loud funny to gritty coming-of-age, to help tweens and teens survive their middle school years. And for more great picks, check out our list of the Best Book-Report Books for Middle Schoolers and the Best Book Series for Tweens.

Babymouse Tales from the Locker:  Lights, Camera, Middle School! Poster Image
BOOK

Babymouse Tales from the Locker: Lights, Camera, Middle School!

age 8+

Series moves to middle school, tackles fear with humor.

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Confessions of a So-Called Middle Child Poster Image
BOOK

Confessions of a So-Called Middle Child

age 8+

Charming, realistic take on middle school popularity race.

By: Maria T. Lennon (2013)
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Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal Poster Image
BOOK

Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal

age 8+

Greg is meaner to gullible BFF Rowley in Wimpy Kid spin-off.

By: Jeff Kinney (2019)
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Fuzzy Poster Image
BOOK

Fuzzy

age 8+

Satire of school surveillance hits the mark.

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Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom: Frazzled, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom: Frazzled, Book 1

age 8+

Girl conquers middle school worries in fun graphic novel.

By: Booki Vivat (2016)
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Gabby Garcia's Ultimate Playbook: Gabby Garcia, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Gabby Garcia's Ultimate Playbook: Gabby Garcia, Book 1

age 8+

Goal-focused Latina scores big hit in series opener.

By: Iva-Marie Palmer (2017)
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Jake the Fake Keeps It Real: Jake the Fake, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Jake the Fake Keeps It Real: Jake the Fake, Book 1

age 8+

Funny take on fitting in and self-discovery at art school.

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The Life and Times of Benny Alvarez Poster Image
BOOK

The Life and Times of Benny Alvarez

age 8+

Rich, authentic characters are heart of thoughtful novel.

By: Peter Johnson (2014)
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The Next Great Paulie Fink Poster Image
BOOK

The Next Great Paulie Fink

age 8+

Funny, touching, thought-provoking middle school story.

By: Ali Benjamin (2019)
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Notorious Poster Image
BOOK

Notorious

age 8+

Wacky tale of middle schooler, '30s gangsters, murdered dog.

By: Gordon Korman (2020)
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Pottymouth and Stoopid Poster Image
BOOK

Pottymouth and Stoopid

age 8+

Underdogs overcome labels in sensitive, funny story.

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Project Middle School: Hope: Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Project Middle School: Hope: Book 1

age 8+

Relatable tale of girl finding her voice at new school.

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The Smartest Kid in the Universe, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

The Smartest Kid in the Universe, Book 1

age 8+

Lively middle-school adventure celebrates knowing stuff.

By: Chris Grabenstein (2020)
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The Terrible Two, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

The Terrible Two, Book 1

age 8+

Zany fun, great writing in smart prankster tale with heart.

By: Mac Barnett, Jory John (2015)
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Unbelievably Boring Bart Poster Image
BOOK

Unbelievably Boring Bart

age 8+

Fun story of the middle school trials of shy game designer.

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Unidentified Suburban Object Poster Image
BOOK

Unidentified Suburban Object

age 8+

Quirky take on identity is surprising and funny.

By: Mike Jung (2017)
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The Unteachables Poster Image
BOOK

The Unteachables

age 8+

Triumph, life lessons fill hysterical middle school romp.

By: Gordon Korman (2019)
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Archimancy: Shadow School, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Archimancy: Shadow School, Book 1

age 9+

Heart, suspense abound in spooky middle school ghost story.

By: J.A. White (2019)
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Blackbird Fly Poster Image
BOOK

Blackbird Fly

age 9+

Super relatable heroine, lots of middle school drama.

By: Erin Entrada Kelly (2015)
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The Crossover Poster Image
BOOK

The Crossover

age 9+

Soaring, poignant, novel in verse hits all the right spots.

By: Kwame Alexander (2014)
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