Read Proud: Middle Grade Fiction for Children and Teens

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Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh engages all of our communities in literacy and learning. Check out the titles in this list and ask your local librarian for more.

Ashes to Asheville

Twelve-year-old Fella is swept away on a wild road trip by her older sister Zany to fulfill their late mother’s dying wish.

The Boy in the Dress

Dennis’ life is boring and lonely. His mother left two years ago, his truck driver father is depressed, his brother is a bully and, worst of all, “no hugging” is one of their household rules. But one thing Dennis does have is soccer—he’s the leading scorer on his team. Oh, and did we mention his secret passion for fashion?

Drama

Callie rides an emotional roller coaster while serving on the stage crew for a middle school production of Moon over Mississippi.

Drum Roll, Please

Melly only joined the school band because her best friend, Olivia, begged her to. But to her surprise, quiet Melly loves playing the drums. It’s the only time in her life she doesn’t feel like a mouse.Now she and Olivia are about to spend the next two weeks at Camp Rockaway, jamming under the stars in the Michigan woods. But this summer brings big changes for Melly: her parents split up, her best friend ditches her, and Melly finds herself falling for a girl at camp named Adeline. To top it off, Melly’s not sure she has what it takes to be a real rock n’ roll drummer. Will she be able to make music from all the noise in her heart?

Hurricane Child

Caroline Murphy is a Hurricane Child. Being born during a hurricane is unlucky, and twelve-year-old Caroline has had her share of bad luck lately. She’s hated and bullied by everyone in her small school on St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, a spirit only she can see won’t stop following her, and — worst of all — Caroline’s mother left home one day and never came back. But when a new student named Kalinda arrives, Caroline’s luck begins to turn around. Kalinda, a solemn girl from Barbados with a special smile for everyone, becomes Caroline’s first and only friend — and the person for whom Caroline has begun to develop a crush. Now, Caroline must find the strength to confront her feelings for Kalinda, brave the spirit stalking her through the islands, and face the reason her mother abandoned her. Together, Caroline and Kalinda must set out in a hurricane to find Caroline’s missing mother — before Caroline loses her forever.

Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World

Twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen’s house is destroyed in a tornado, and in the aftermath of the storm, she begins to develop feelings for another girl at school.

Lily and Dunkin

Lily Jo McGrother, born Timothy McGrother, is a girl–but being a girl is not so easy when you look like a boy. Norbert Dorfman, nicknamed Dunkin Dorfman, is bipolar and has just moved from the town he’s called home for the past thirteen years; this would be hard enough, but the fact that he is also hiding from a painful secret makes it even worse. One summer morning, Lily Jo McGrother meets Dunkin Dorfman, and their lives forever change.

Nate Expectations

When E.T.: The Musical closes, Nate reluctantly returns home to begin high school and, with his best friend, Libby, makes a project of turning Dickens’ Great Expectations into a musical.

One True Way

Welcome to Daniel Boone Middle School in the 1970s, where teachers and coaches must hide who they are, and girls who like girls are forced to question their own choices. Presented in the voice of a premier storyteller, One True Way sheds exquisite light on what it means to be different, while at the same time being wholly true to oneself. Through the lives and influences of two girls, readers come to see that love is love is love. Set against the backdrop of history and politics that surrounded gay rights in the 1970s South, this novel is a thoughtful, eye-opening look at tolerance, acceptance, and change, and will widen the hearts of all readers.

The Truth about Twinkie Pie

When twelve-year-old GiGi and her big sister DiDi move to Long Island from South Carolina for GiGi to attend a fancy new private school, GiGi has a new recipe for success and makes new friends, but then discovers a family secret that turns her life upside-down.

Unicorn Power!

Welcome to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types.