Awesome Books for Middle Schoolers 2015

Each year, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) celebrates Teen Read Week. This popular, annual initiative, established by the Young Adult Library Services Association and the American Library Association, encourages middle school students to read for the fun of it!

The 2015 Teen Read Week booklist includes diverse books in a variety of formats and genres selected by CLP Teen Specialists. These books are great for middle schoolers.

The Crossover

Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.

Night Gardener

Irish orphans Molly, fourteen, and Kip, ten, travel to England to work as servants in a crumbling manor house where nothing is quite what it seems to be, and soon the siblings are confronted by a mysterious stranger and secrets of the cursed house.

Adventure Time Crafts: Flippin' Adorable Stuff to Make from the Land of Ooo

With Jake the dog and Finn the human, the crafts will never end! Learn how to stitch, paint, sculpt, and crochet more than 23 projects featuring your favorite Adventure Time characters. You’ll find designs by fans just like you for plush toys, chic jewelry, crafty home decor, and stylish fashions straight from the Candy Kingdom.

Taking Flight From War Orphan to Star Ballerina

Michaela DePrince lived the first few years of her life in war-torn Sierra Leone until she was adopted by an American Family. Now seventeen, she is one of the premiere ballerinas in the United States.

In Real Life

Immersing herself in an online role-playing game where she enjoys fantasy heroics, Anda confronts a difficult choice when she befriends a gold farmer — a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game works illegally to collect valuable objects and sell them to other players for real money, which is strictly against the rules of the game. You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby. 

Build Your Own Website: A Comic Guide to HTML, CSS, and WordPress

Build Your Own Website is a fun, illustrated introduction to the basics of creating a website. Join Kim and her little dog Tofu as she learns HTML, the language of web pages, and CSS, the language used to style web pages, from the Web Guru and Glinda, the Good Witch of CSS.

Bass Reeves: Tales of the Talented Tenth

Tales of the Talented Tenth, Volume One tells the story of Bass Reeves, an escaped slave who became one of the most successful lawman of the old west. Volume I chronicles his life from winning shooting matches in early childhood to traveling with his master, living with Native Americans in Indian Territory, and finally becoming a U.S. Marshal.


A group of kids discovers they were cloned from the DNA of some of the greatest criminal masterminds in history for a sociological experiment.

A Wrinkle In Time: The Graphic Novel

A graphic novel adaptation of the classic tale in which Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg’s father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.

Batman/Superman. Vol. 1, Cross World

Batman and Superman, both young and untested, meet for the first time in this mind-bending adventure.  Thrown through parallel universes, these two new heroes must learn to overcome their inexperience and distrust of one another – with a little help from their future selves and Wonder Woman – if they are to be ready to face the arrival of the powerful Darkseid.

Gandhi: My Life is My Message

Story about Mahatma Gandhi’s entire life and contains little-known anecdotes from his childhood right through to the moment of his assassination. Told for the first time in graphic novel format.

Speaking Out: Queer Youth in Focus

A photographic essay that explores a wide spectrum of experiences told from the perspective of a diverse group of young people, ages 14-24, identifying as queer (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning). These portraits are without judgment or stereotype by eliminating environmental influence with a stark white backdrop. This backdrop acts as a blank canvas, where each subject’s personal thoughts are handwritten onto the final photographic print. With more than 65 portraits photographed over a period of 10 years, the book provides rare insight into the passions, confusions, prejudices, and sorrows felt by queer youth.

This Side of Home

Changes are converging in Maya Younger’s life: graduation, a lack of closeness with her best friend and twin Nikki, and the gentrification of their Portland neighborhood. Maya struggles to hold on to her sense of home, self, and heritage. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.

The Shadow Hero

In the comics boom of the 1940s, a legend was born: the Green Turtle. He solved crimes and fought injustice just like the other comics characters. But this mysterious masked crusader was hiding something more than your run-of-the-mill secret identity… The Green Turtle was the first Asian American super hero.