The Books They Loved Most

At the end of every school year, I ask my 7th graders to make a Top Ten books list — their favorite books of the school year, ranked in order. I use these to make a Team Favorites list that the kids use as a starting place for their own summer reading plans.  Many kids listed series rather than individual titles, so series are listed separately here. Planned series for which only one title is out now are listed on the stand-alone books list.  As for our ranking system, a book gets five points for each #1 ranking, three for a #2 rank, two for a #3,  and one point for an appearance in the top ten. All of the books listed below appeared on multiple top ten lists.

And do note…these are favorite books the student read this year; many also have favorites, especially in the MG genre, that don’t appear on this list because most kids have already read them by the time they get to me.

Ready? Here’s the list, starting with stand-alone titles.(All links are to IndieBound. Please support local booksellers when you can!)


Favorite Books

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Nothing by Janne Teller

Girl, Stolen by April Henry

Cracker: The Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata

Raider’s Night by Robert Lipsyte

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall by Wendy Mass

Matched by Ally Condie

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson

Perfect by Natasha Friend

Warp Speed by Lisa Yee

Bitter End by Jennifer Brown

Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

Alabama Moon by Watt Key

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Million Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica

Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Mermaid’s Mirror by L.K. Madigan

Rules by Cynthia Lord

Impossible by Nancy Werlin

I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet by Erin Dionne

Where the Truth Lies by Jessica Warman

How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O’Connor

Last Shot by John Feinstein

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Break by Hannah Moskowitz

The Enemy by Charles Higson

What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones

White Cat by Holly Black

Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin

Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen

Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

The First Part Last by Angela Johnson

Tentacles by Roland Smith

Peak by Roland Smith

Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf by Jennifer L. Holm

Travel Team by Mike Lupica

The Summer of Moonlight Secrets by Danette Haworth

Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord

The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork

Trapped by Michael Northrop

The Candymakers by Wendy Mass


Favorite Series

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Maze Runner/Scorch Trials by James Dashner

A Child Called It,The Lost Boy, etc. by Dave Pelzer

Baseball Great by Tim Green

Need, Captivate, Entice by Carrie Jones

Life As We Knew It, Dead & the Gone, This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Twilight, New Moon, etc. by Stephenie Meyer

Chronicles of Vladimir Todd (8th Grade Bites, etc.) by Heather Brewer

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

Football Genius by Tim Green

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

The Clique by Lisi Harrison

Dork Diaries by Rachel Russell

Percy Jackson & the Olympians by Rick Riordan

Shiver, Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Shadow Children (Among the Hidden, etc.) by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Gallagher Girls (Cross My Heart & Hope to Spy, etc.) by Ally Carter

Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce


That’s our list… Now it’s your turn. What were your Top Ten Books of the 2010-2011 school year?  We’d love to see your lists in the comments!

10 Replies on “The Books They Loved Most

  1. Hi Kate,
    Lisa was always overjoyed by feedback from teen readers,and to be on a list with these fine authors would make her very proud, indeed.

    Sincerely, Neil Wolfson
    Portland, Oregon

    1. Thanks, Neil~ I’ve been thinking about you and your son so much.

      I smile every time I see MERMAID’S MIRROR or FLASH BURNOUT in a kid’s hands (which is often) – and I always take a minute to tell them about her, too. I think they hold the book a little closer, knowing what a special person she was.

  2. From our 4th Grade Classroom in Battle Creek, MI (no particular order)
    1. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
    2. Amulet Series
    3. Number the Stars
    4. Mr. Popper’s Penguins
    5. The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z
    6. Fig Pudding
    7. Big Nate
    8. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
    9. Hatchet
    10. Smile

  3. I love this list. I’m going to share it with my grade 7’s and then we will make our own next week. We still have 2 weeks left of school- so this will be great to think over. We are reading Divergent right now and I think that will make the top list for sure!

  4. Great idea! Thank you for sharing. I tried it with my kids. It fit perfect on Author Celebration Day – a day that the kids shared their own short stories. Here is Room 103’s favorites:

    • Mockingbird, by Kathryn Erskine
    • Flipped, by Wendelin Van Draanen
    • The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z., by Kate Messner 🙂
    • Weasel, by Cynthia DeFelice
    • Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps, by Andrea Warren
    • The Green Glass Sea, by Ellen Klages
    • Touch Blue, by Cynthia Lord
    • Stranded, by Ben Mikaelsen
    • Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly
    • So B. It, by Sarah Weeks

    Honorable Mention:
    • Heartbeat, by Sharon Creech
    • Shooting Kabul, by N.H. Senzai
    • A Long Way from Chicago, by Richard Peck
    • Under the Same Sky, by Cynthia DeFelice

    • Warriors, by Erin Hunter
    • Adventurers Wanted, by Mark Forman
    • Eragon, by Christopher Paolini

    *I really enjoyed Shooting Kabul, by N.H. Senzai – I passed it on to many students!