Celebrate National Library Week With NEIA!

The Latest Book Recommendations for Middle School and Upper School

PIN Points

  • Recognize your local library and celebrate National Library Week.

  • Libraries play a key role in connecting our communities and keeping us informed.

  • Enjoy the latest top 5 book recommendations for middle and high school students.

Libraries play such an important role in keeping our communities connected — whether through printed books and periodicals, or online with access to reference materials, audiobooks, and so much more. I manage a range of materials at NEIA to ensure our students, teachers, and staff have access to the latest information. I also teach engaging computer science courses to our middle school students. Enjoy the latest book recommendations for Middle School and Upper School as we close out National Library Week!

Middle School 

Refugee by Alan Gratz

Refugee tells the stories of Josef, a Jewish boy in 1930s Germany; Isabel, a Cuban girl in 1994; and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy in 2015. All three characters find themselves refugees fleeing persecution in volatile situations and trying to find safety in new countries.

Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds

Ten short stories about what middle schoolers do after school. At times hilarious and at times sad, the personalities of all the characters vibrantly jump off the page.

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

When her hometown in Syria is rocked by war, Jude and her mother leave to live with family in Ohio. A novel in verse, this story poignantly portrays what it’s like to be a refugee starting over in a new country.

From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks

Zoe has never met her father. On her twelfth birthday, a letter arrives telling Zoe about her father’s life in prison and his innocence for the crimes he’s accused of committing. Zoe begins investigating and working to get her father out of prison. Is her father really innocent? Will Zoe succeed in her investigation?

City Spies by James Ponti

Sara is a hacker who finds herself facing juvenile detention until Mother, a British spy, recruits her to a secret MI6 agency for youths. Sara suddenly finds herself at a secret base in Scotland training for spy missions and using her hacker skills to track bad guys. A fast-paced adventure with an international cast of characters.

Upper School 

The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan

Ruskhsana’s parents are conservative Muslims who don’t understand her relationship with her girlfriend, Ariana. When they find out about the relationship, they take her to the family home in Bangladesh and try to arrange a marriage for her. Both heartbreaking and hopeful, this story portrays what it is like to live between two cultures and fight for acceptance from those you love.

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

Bayview High School. Five students enter detention. One of them is dead by the end. Who killed Simon and are they after anyone else? This thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat as you get swept up in the drama of Bayview High.

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

Jay is Filipino-American, living in Detroit, and enjoying his senior year of high school. When he finds out that his cousin, Jun, was killed in the Philippines as part of the war on drugs, he decides to visit family there and find answers about Jun’s death. Finding out so much more about Jun than he expected, Jay struggles to reconcile the truth with family expectations.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Camino and Yahaira are sisters who have never met. They’ve never met because they don’t know the other exists. When a flight crashes between New York and the Dominican Republic, Camino and Yahaira’s lives are changed forever with the loss of their father and the discovery of each other.

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Daunis Fontaine lives in Sault Ste. Marie where she is trying to fit in with her Ojibwe culture. After a series of meth addictions and the death of her best friend Lily, she agrees to go undercover with the FBI to find out who is dealing meth and who killed Lily. A crime thriller with twists and turns that will keep you turning the pages, Firekeeper’s Daughter explores Native culture and community and what it means to expose secrets of the people you love.


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