A Big List of Books: Diverse Books for Middle Schoolers

Hi everyone! I had the distinct pleasure to make a booklist for my library in the form of a flyer they could hand out at a local middle school fair. The request was for a list featuring books with diversity–racial, ethnic, gender, sexuality, and ability variety. Oh, and the books were to be as recent as possible, not more than a couple years old. This list was so fun to make, I just had to share it here too!

Especially since the fair was going to be right before summer, I wanted to make sure the list was fun, casual, and featured books of all types, as opposed to the sorts of (well-written, influential) books about the Difficult and Tragic Struggles of being non-white, disabled, and/or LGBTQIA+ that often make it onto assigned reading lists. It’s been organized by genre and by mood so everyone can more easily find something they like!

Please feel free to use, edit, or distribute this list however you’d like. You can download a PDF here, or email me if you want an editable version.

Note that while I do my best to make sure these books contain actually good representation, I have not read all of them and can’t comment on them personally. Also, this list is far from exhaustive–it only contains books we had available at our branch of the library… and which could fit on the flyer. Please feel free to comment with any more suggestions you might have!

Hope you enjoy!

–Wesley

Realistic Fiction

Upbeat & Fun

  • Barakah Beats / Maleeha Siddiqui
  • The Civil War of Amos Abernathy / Michael Leali
  • The Not-So-Uniform Life of Holly-Mei / Christina Matula
  • Tumble / Celia C. Perez

Emotional & Real

  • Dear Mothman / Robin Gow
  • Ellen Outside the Lines / A.J. Sass
  • The Science of Being Angry / Nicole Melleby
  • Forget Me Not / Ellie Terry
  • The One Who Loves You Most / medina

Tough Topics

  • Answers in the Pages / David Levithan
  • Holler of the Fireflies / David Barclay Moore
  • Not an Easy Win / Chrystal D. Giles
  • Red, White, and Whole / Rajani LaRocca

Historical Fiction

  • Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna / Alda P. Dobbs
  • A Million to One / Adiba Jaigirdar
  • Prairie Lotus / Linda Sue Park
  • The Secret Life of Kitty Granger / G.D. Falksen

Romantic & Cute

  • Almost Flying / Jake Maia Arlow
  • Harmony and Heartbreak / Claire Kann
  • Thanks a Lot, Universe / Chad Lucas

Speculative Fiction

Sci-Fi

  • Children of Stardust / Edudzi Adodo
  • The Good For Nothings / Danielle Banas
  • Dragon Pearl / Yoon Ha Lee

Fantasy

  • Black Bird, Blue Road / Sofiya Pasternack
  • Children of the Quicksands / Efua Traoré
  • The Marvellers / Dhonielle Clayton
  • Sir Callie and the Champions of Helston / Esme Symes-Smith

Modern Magic

  • Hamra and the Jungle of Memories / Hanna Alkaf
  • Kingston and the Magician’s Lost and Found / Rucker Moses
  • Moonflower / Callendar

Graphic Novels

Comics

  • Dakwäkãda Warriors / Cole Pauls
  • Freestyle / Gale Galligan
  • Magical Boy / The Kao

Manga

  • Ascendance of a Bookworm / Suzuka
  • A Chinese Fantasy: The Dragon King’s Daughter / Yen Samejima
  • My Androgynous Boyfriend / Tamekou