When it comes to classic reads for middle-schoolers, several come to mind: The Secret Garden, The Borrowers, The Chronicles of Narnia. We asked Diane Garrett, the go-to source for all things literary, to pick a crop of new classics for the preteen set. Geared toward ages ten to twelve, “these books consistently turn up on school reading lists,” she says. In each case, the story lines are strong, the language is good, and the characters are engaging.” The topics are all over the map—moral dilemmas, coming-of-age stories, race exploration and dystopian fiction. There’s even good-old-fashioned magic. 8A Grigg St., 203-869-1515; dianesbooks.com
The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond
BY BRENDA WOODS
A powerful story about a young biracial girl finding her place in the world.
BY PRISCILLA CUMMINGS
Set on the Chesapeake Bay, and involving a kayaking accident, this story weaves a suspenseful tale of three teenagers caught in a web of deception that changes their lives forever.
BY EDITH PATTOU
The story of a young girl named Rose, an enormous white bear, a castle, and a mystery that helps her find her true purpose in life.
Because of Mr. Terupt
BY ROB BUYEA
A book about bullying that is told from seven different voices—the fifth-grade classmates whose actions one winter day change their lives and the life of beloved teacher Mr. Terupt.
Book one in the acclaimed Atherton Series trilogy, The House of Power
BY PATRICK CARMAN
One of the first dystopian novels in which kids triumph against adults.