Best Books for Middle School Girls [Top 7 Picks for 2020]

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Jim Rohn famously said, “Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” If you want your daughter to be the type of girl who brings a book with them wherever they go, it is important that you set her up with interesting, appropriately leveled reading materials.

Out of this list, we thought The Last Kids on Earth is the best overall since it’s a fun graphic novel that lets children use their imagination.

Continue reading and discover great books for middle schoolers that young girls will surely love!

Our Top Picks
Best Overall
The Last Kids on Earth Series, 6-Book Set
Best Realistic Fiction
See You in the Cosmos
Budget Option
Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab: A Mystery with Electromagnets, Burglar Alarms, and Other Gadgets You Can Build Yourself
Name
The Last Kids on Earth
See You in the Cosmos
How Women Won the Vote
Features
A group of friends working together to survive a monster-infested zombie apocalypse.
A heartwarming story of a young boy who goes on a journey to live up to his scientific hero.
The blow-by-blow of how women won the right to vote in America through the nineteenth amendment.
Best Overall
Our Top Picks
The Last Kids on Earth Series, 6-Book Set
Name
The Last Kids on Earth
Features
A group of friends working together to survive a monster-infested zombie apocalypse.
Best Realistic Fiction
Our Top Picks
See You in the Cosmos
Name
See You in the Cosmos
Features
A heartwarming story of a young boy who goes on a journey to live up to his scientific hero.
Budget Option
Our Top Picks
Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab: A Mystery with Electromagnets, Burglar Alarms, and Other Gadgets You Can Build Yourself
Name
How Women Won the Vote
Features
The blow-by-blow of how women won the right to vote in America through the nineteenth amendment.

Related post: Best STEM Books for Kids of All Ages

Best Books for Middle School Girls

Best Overall – The Last Kids on Earth

Best Overall
Last Kids on Earth
A group of friends working together to survive a monster-infested zombie apocalypse.

The Last Kids on Earth is a graphic novel, which can often be a good choice for reluctant readers. The pictures can be used to support their imagination as they built up technical skills by reading the words on the page.

In The Last Kids on Earth, a group of friends works together to survive a monster-infested zombie apocalypse. Although the main character of this book is a boy, thirteen-year-old Jack Sullivan, a driving force behind the novel is his love interest, June Del Toro. 

This book is fast-paced and reads similar to a video game plot. If you are looking for a book to engage your gamer child or your reluctant reader, look no further than The Last Kids on Earth

Best Realistic Fiction – See You in the Cosmos

Sale
Best Realistic Fiction
See You in the Cosmos
A children’s version of Kerouac’s On the Road without any of the elements that would prevent you from giving your child a copy of a Kerouac novel.

In Jack Cheng’s debut, See You in the Cosmos, the narrator tells the story through transcripts of his own tape recordings. These recordings follow the journey of a Filipino-American boy who travels to New Mexico in an attempt to send a golden iPod into space, the way his hero Carl Sagan sent the Voyager Golden Records in 1977.

See You in the Cosmos has all of the charm of a children’s version of Kerouac’s On the Road without any of the elements that would prevent you from giving your child a copy of a Kerouac novel. 

This story is painstaking and gripping, with talk of messy family history. The narrator discusses his experiences with family trauma candidly while still creating a story-driven by science and adventure. 

Best Budget Option – Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab: A Mystery with Gadgets You Can Build Yourself

Sale
Best Budget Option
Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab
Throughout the books, Nick and Tesla engineer a variety of contraptions including burglar alarms, electromagnets, mobile tracking devices, and more.

A book about Nick and Tesla – precocious eleven-year-old twins who are science and engineering geniuses. Although this talent is lauded in the series, it often gets them into amusing scrapes that require them to apply their skills to get out of.

In Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab, readers will find more than just a good story. Throughout the books, Nick and Tesla engineer a variety of contraptions, including burglar alarms, electromagnets, mobile tracking devices, and more. Each of these projects is explained in the book, and the author even goes so far to include instructions and blueprints that allow the reader to carry on their work at home.

If you have an active child, who may need breaks to continue sporting the will to read on, a book like this will dazzle them. Read a few chapters together and then take a break to work on science. Continue in that pattern until, suddenly, you have a reader on your hands! 

Best Nonfiction Option – How Women Won the Vote: Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, and Their Big Idea

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Best Nonfiction Option
How Women Won the Vote
A good book if you're looking for a way to begin sharing the magic of history with your middle-school-aged girl.

In Newberry Honor medalist Susan Campbell Bartoletti’s newest book, How Women Won the Vote: Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, and Their Big Idea, the story of the little-known DC Women’s March of 1913 unfolds. 

This book is particularly captivating because it uses illustrations and timelines to deftly make the point that all means all, and remind readers that if all women are not fighting for the rights of all women, they truly have not covered any ground. Looking for a touchpoint through which to discuss tough current events with your daughter? This book would prove an excellent jumping-off point. 

Best Science Fiction – Skyward

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Best Science Fiction
Skyward
Looking for a true girl power option? Look no further than Skyward, by the utterly talented Brandon Sanderson.

The first in a series of four books, Sanderson’s Skyward is a breathtaking novel in which Spensa, a seventeen-year-old girl living on a shipwrecked planet, dreams of becoming a fighter pilot to protect her friends and family from invading alien forces. 

In this story, Spensa fights hard to prove her worth. Beyond this, she begins building and programming her own space shuttle to outfly the competition. This book is laced with a high amount of “can do” attitude toward young women, and is perfect for the day your daughter first comes home with the idea that she isn’t a “science person.” We can all be science people if only we are willing to put the work in, and this book proves just that! 

Best for Experiments – Awesome Science Experiments for Kids: 100+ Fun STEM/STEAM Projects and Why They Work 

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Best for Experiments
Awesome
An experiment book that goes beyond explaining how to do the experiment at hand, and shows users the science within the experiment works.

Sometimes, a novel just won’t cut it. That’s when you call in the book of science experiments. However, you don’t want a science experiment to turn into arts and crafts hour. What we love about this particular experiment book is that it goes beyond explaining how to do the experiment at hand, but it shows users why the science within the experiment works! Cool, right? 

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In Awesome Science Experiments for Kids: 100+ Fun STEM/STEAM Projects and Why They Work, budding scientists get to work through experiments like a fizzy rocket, a magnet-powered car, and a pencil sundial, all while learning the background science behind each experiment. 

With colorful photos and step-by-step instructions, this book will dazzle the most energetic child in your care. 

Best for the Future Adventurer – The Daring Book for Girls

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Best for the Future Adventurer
Daring Book for Girls
A fully updated manual about female scientists, how to complete the perfect science project, and how to land a double cartwheel.

In Andrea Buchanan’s Daring Book for Girls, your daughter will receive the perfect invitation to adventure. 

At nearly three hundred pages, this book is sure to include something for everyone! Some of our favorite sections include: math tricks, modern women leaders, how to paddle a canoe, how to be a spy, reading tide charts, and building the world’s greatest clubhouse. Your daughter will never be at a loss for something to do with this book in her possession! 

What to Consider When Buying a Book for a Middle School Girl

Middle school girl with books on table

Attention Span

When choosing a book for your child, it is critical to examine how long their attention span is. Selecting War and Peace for your active seven-year-old might not be the world’s greatest idea. Remember that the amount of text on the page should correlate to age. By middle school, your daughter should be reading short novels at a minimum. Set a strong page for them by introducing them to longer and longer novels as time goes on. 

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Subject Matter

There are two perspectives on this topic, and honestly, they are both quite valid. Some folks would argue that the best thing you can do for your child is to begin reading books on topics they know much about. In other words, you should look for books that align with their interests and hobbies. While this is a great tip for engaging a reluctant reader, you’ll want to do more than just choose books that match their unique interests.

Also, consider reading books about subjects your child knows little or nothing about. If they seem reluctant, set aside some time to work through the book together until they get comfortable. No child is ever too old for a good read-aloud! This will broaden their horizons and their comprehension.

Young girl in middle school reading a book

Reading Level

Certainly, it is important to help your child select a book that they can comprehend. There is nothing wrong with them having to stretch their brains a little bit while they are reading, but you definitely don’t want them running back and forth to a dictionary every other word. When selecting a book, ask your child to read the first few pages aloud. If they read at a good pace, with inflection, and just a couple of mistakes or less, this is an excellent independent reading book. If they read slowly, but accurately, consider reading it together. If they cannot read the book at all, do not discourage them, but know that they will need a lot of support to make it through such a book.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find age appropriate children’s books? 

This is a tough one! Because every family’s moral and ethical stances can differ, there is no black and white way to determine the ideal book for each age group. However, there are a variety of resources to help. One of our favorites is commonsensemedia.org. This website allows you to type in a book (or tv show, or movie, for that matter) and receive a crowdsourced age rating, along with reviews explaining what content assisted the book in receiving that rating. This will allow you to filter things through if you would prefer your child not to learn about it, and leave subject matter that feels comfortable and appropriate to you.

What should I look for in a children’s book? 

There are a variety of questions that you can use to guide your search for the right children’s book. First of all, you should ask yourself on a simple level if the book will appeal to your child. Next, you should ask if the illustrations are well done, and if the story is well-written. Will it be fun to look at? Finally, ask yourself what the theme of the book is. Is this a lesson that you consider worth learning for your children? If the answer to this question is yes, the book you are holding has met one of the major hallmarks of an enduring, classic piece of children’s literature. 

Young girls reading books outdoors

Is there a simple rule for determining whether a book is the right level for my child?

Yes! Educators use a rule called the five finger rule to help children find books that they can read at their just-right level. Once your child has pulled a book from the shelf that they believe they will enjoy, ask them to read the first and second pages of the book. As they read, have them hold up a finger for each word whose definition they are unsure of or do not know completely. If by the end of the second page, your child is holding up less than five fingers, the book gets the green light. If your child is holding up five or more fingers, you can opt to read the book together or save it for a later time and choose something more appropriate in the immediate present. 

Kaitlin Anselmo

Last update on 2020-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API