Wholesome Books List – Middle School
In previous posts, we brought you lists of wholesome books for Early Elementary and Elementary lists. This time we’re heading to focus on our middle school students!
(For a printable version of the following list, please click the image at the bottom of this post.)
- Dear Mr. Henshaw – This novel deals with sensitive topics such as divorce and bullying through the eyes of the main character (a sixth-grade boy) who writes to his favorite author – Boyd Henshaw – about his troubles. But what happens when Mr. Henshaw actually responds to the young boy? An incredible friendship is formed, which was completely unexpected. This book is perfect for children who must also deal with these sensitive issues.
- The Summer of the Swans – It is said that sometimes you don’t know how much you love something until you no longer have it. For Sarah, she longed to find a way to somehow “fly” away from her younger brother, Charlie, and everything he brought to the family. She loved him, but she grew tired of him needing so much attention. Then one day, Charlie decides to take a flight on his own. Would Sarah know what to do to rescue him? Will she do it?
- The Bronze Bow – This is the story of Daniel bar Jamin, an angry young man bent on avenging his father’s death. Daniel’s hatred for the Romans only subsides when he starts hearing the stories of a traveling carpenter named Jesus of Nazareth. It is through these stories that he learns the only thing stronger than hate is love.
- The Hiding Place – Corrie ten Boom and her family were leaders in the Dutch underground and they hid Jews in their home in a specially built room. For doing so, Corrie’s entire family (minus her) wound up in a concentration camp. This is their story.
- Miracles on Maple Hill – When Marly and her family move into a farmhouse, they experience many new adventures. In their new, small town, they experience the country lifestyle, recover from unhappiness, and form a much stronger bond as a family.
- Joni: An Unforgettable Story – This is the award-winning story of a young woman who overcame devastating odds to touch the lives of many in the world. In one split second, her life was changed forever. Moved from being an active woman to a wheelchair-bound individual, this story recounts her struggle to accept her disability and new position in life.
- Hitty, Her First Hundred Years – Hitty (short for Mehitable) is a special doll like no other and was made specifically for Phoebe Preble. As a little girl, Phoebe was very proud of Hitty and took her everywhere. This story chronicles Hitty’s journey as a well-loved doll, both with Phoebe and beyond.
- Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman – Born into slavery, Harriet Tubman wasn’t unfamiliar with hard work and even hunger. For most of her life as a slave, escape seemed impossible. Yet, that’s exactly what she did by way of the Underground Railroad. As a free person, she never forgot her people, however. She went back and helped many more escape the same way, and this story tells that precious tale.
- The Story of the Trapp Family Singers – Baroness Maria Augusta Trapp had part of her story told in the ever-loved movie The Sound of Music which tells the story of the baron her journey with the Trapp children. What the movie doesn’t tell, though, is Maria’s real-life story. Enjoy her beautiful tale as your children immerse themselves in learning about her life.
- Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Airlift’s “Chocolate Pilot” – Post World War II, the U.S. and Britain airlifted food and supplies into war-torn Russia-blockaded West Berlin. Lieutenant Gail S. Halvorsen knew that the children of West Berlin were suffering as well. So, he began dropping treats such as chocolate and gum by parachute! Get to know the Chocolate Pilot in this riveting novel!
- Mrs. Mike – Set in the Canadian wilderness, Mrs. Mike tells the tale of Sergeant Mike Flannigan and his love for Katherine Mary O’Fallon. Readers will come away from this story with a definite understanding of the landscape of the Great North…as well as a model for healthy adult relationships.
- The Count of Monte Cristo – Sentenced to prison for a crime he never committed, Edmond Dantes ends up in the fortress of If. There, he learns of a wonderful treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and sets out to escape and, eventually, uncover it.
- Calico Bush – Thirteen-year-old Marguerite Ledoux must become a servant. She gives her word to provide her services to the Sargent family for six long years. As it turns out, however, it’s much harder to stick to this commitment than she’d imagined. She struggles through the harsh winter of 1743 in Maine. The worst part of her journey? Knowing that her own family is lost. Will she come out of this unscathed?
- The Best Short Stories of O. Henry – The 38 stories in this collection were chosen from O. Henry’s 600+ short stories. This selection represents O. Henry’s life, accomplishments, and relatable stories. Your children will cherish the stories and characters they meet in these carefully selected short stories for years to come!
- Out of the Silent Planet – This is the first in a sci-fi trilogy by C.S. Lewis. Dr. Ransom is abducted and taken by spaceship to Malacandra (Mars). Unfortunately, his captors want to offer him as a “ransom” sacrifice to the planets inhabitants. Will Dr. Ransom escape or become a pawn in a game of survival?
- Know What You Believe: Connecting Faith and Truth – Regardless of your faith, it’s important to know what you believe and why you believe it. The same goes for students, particularly those who may be questioned by peers on a daily basis. In this Christian-based read, students will come face to face with questions such as, “What does the Bible teach about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit?” and “What do angels, Satan, and demons have to do with reality?” Great read for the Christian homeschooling family!
- The Story of a Bad Boy – Thomas Bailey Aldrich (Tom Bailey for short) published The Story of a Bad Boy during a time when children’s novels presented children “made of sugar and spice” and “puppy dog tails.” Challenging the status quo, Bailey decided to develop a story based on his own childhood — and he admits he was quite the naughty boy! Boys and girls alike will relate to Bailey in this enchanting tale of a young boy’s coming of age.
- God’s Smuggler – As a young boy, Andrew dreamed of being an undercover spy hiding behind enemy lines. As a grown man, however, he found himself undercover for God. This heartwarming tale of a young boy children will follow through adulthood provides Christian children–especially boys–with a faith-based adventure novel. Join Andrew as he treks dangerous paths in an effort to transport Bibles and spread God’s Word.
- The House of Sixty Fathers – Tien Pao and his pet piglet travel downriver on their way looking for familiar Japanese territory. Along the way, he meets an American aviator and is set free of his journey by guerillas, but will Tien Pao remain free or be returned? See what this squadron of 60 is able to do for a young Japanese boy.
- The Baronet’s Song – In spite of an inability to speak, a young orphan boy is able to use his life to communicate truths to those with whom he comes in contact.
- Pride and Prejudice – Since its success in 1813, Pride and Prejudice has remained one of the most popular novels in English. Jane Austen herself was so fond of it that she referred to it as her “darling child” and its heroine, Elizabeth Bennet as “delightful creature.” With its sharp-wit humor and dramatic storyline, it’s easy to see why adults and teens alike fall in love with Pride and Prejudice over and over.
- To Kill a Mockingbird – This timeless treasure tells the tale was an instant success and became a best-seller! In addition, it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and an Academy Award-winning film. Explore the roots of natural human behavior when you explore To Kill a Mockingbird.
- Tale of Two Cities – Upon his release from prison, Doctor Manette becomes reunited with his daughter. He decides to make a schedule to see which one meshes well with Lucie Manette. Will the two men prove which one is worthy?
- Emma – From matchmaker to group leader, Jane Austen’s Emma becomes one of the most loved – ever! But, why does her latest matchmaker endeavor have devastating results? Fall in love with Emma and find out when your children read Emma.
- Born Again – Charles W. Colson pleaded guilty to Watergate-related charges in 1974. As a result, he spent seven months in prison. During that time, he wrote Born Again to help him figure out the reasoning behind his involvement in the Watergate scandal. Get to know more about his involvement and interactions with others in Born Again.
- In His Steps – No doubt, you and your students have heard the phrase “What Would Jesus Do?” Do your students know where the phrase originated? It originated from In His Steps by Charles Sheldon. In it, a small-town minister tells the tale of four known figures who purpose not to take any actions or make decisions without first considering what Jesus would have them do.
- Cheaper by the Dozen – Meet the Gilbreth clan! What happens when 2 parents and 12 kids come together under one roof? Chaotic love, of course! This heartwarming–yet humorous–tale won’t leave your kids’ memories anytime soon!
- Belles on Their Toes – Did your students fall in love with Cheaper by the Dozen? If so, grab the sequel for them! Belles on Their Toes continues the adventures your students began following in another tale of uplifting fun!
- The Robe – A Roman soldier who won Christ’s robe as a prize for gambling. From there, he sets out to find out the truth about that very special robe. This quest takes him on an incredible journey that gets to the heart of Christianity and will challenge your students to a similar journey.
- Gulliver’s Travels – A shipwrecked castaway wakes to find himself on an island inhabited by people who quarrel over the “smallest” things – such as themselves!