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For middle school teachers, it can be difficult to find books to add to a classroom library. Some books are too mature for grades 6, 7, and 8, while others seem too babyish. This post features eight books that are perfect for middle grades.

8 Diverse Books for Middle School

All of these books feature characters dealing with multicultural issues or disabilities. All of the settings are in the United States, although some stories are set in other time periods. For teachers looking to expand their range of books, here are eight new books featuring a diverse set of characters. 
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle is a classic novel that really stands the test of time. I recently read this science fiction/fantasy book again and enjoyed it as much as I did when I read it as a kid. Although younger students may be able to read A Wrinkle in Time, I feel it is better suited to 5th, 6th, or 7th grade because readers can really dig deep into text structure and characterization. In addition, teachers and students could compare the book with the movie, discussing how (and why) they differ from each other.

A Wrinkle in Time is a classic story that is as loved today as it was in the past. This scifi fantasy book is a wonderful novel to use to teach characterization and text structure in middle school language arts classes (grades 5, 6, & 7.) Learn more about how to teach the novel in the blog post, as well as download free activities for chapter one.

There are so many great books for upper elementary students, but many teachers are purposefully searching for books featuring multicultural and diverse characters. There are many wonderful books for grades 3, 4, and 5, but many of these diverse stories take place in historical settings. Recently, there have been a lot of stories published with characters in more modern situations. It is important for classroom libraries to include some of these stories, so all students can picture themselves in the books they read.

8 Diverse Books for Upper Elementary Students

Keep reading to learn about eight books featuring diverse characters in modern settings.

If you liked Fish in a Tree or Wonder, run and get a copy of Save Me A Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan. Save Me A Seat integrates cultural informational with themes of acceptance and friendship.  The story will resonate with both popular students and those who are on the fringe. Honestly, this book has so many excellent qualities, both students and teachers will love it!

Save Me A Seat is a terrific book for grades 3, 4, and 5. Told from two boys' points of view, this story makes students think about how easy it is to misunderstand a situation. The story is broken into five daily sections, and a lot of things change for both characters in that time. Great book to read during a unit on culture or anti-bullying. Learn more about how to teach this book on the blog.


Are you trying to integrate more writing into your social studies classroom? There are many simple ways teachers can integrate writing activities into their social studies lessons. Many teachers are already using a few of these, but this post may give you some new ideas!

10 Simple Ways to Integrate Writing in Social Studies

One way teachers can find the time to include more writing is to replace an exam with a writing project. On Bloom's Taxonomy, Knowledge and Comprehension are the lowest order thinking skills. While exams can include higher order thinking skills (HOTS), a writing project can easily require students to use those skills, including Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation.

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