Five Books to Read Before You Leave Middle School

These books have cultural significance

A scene from

A scene from “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Grace Norris, Contributor

The Percy Jackson series 

     Percy Jackson is about 12-year-old Percy Jackson. Percy struggles with ADHD and dyslexia, which causes him to be kicked out of school year after year. The Percy Jackson series incorporates Greek and Roman mythology into modern life. 


The Hunger Games 

    The Hunger Games is set in the dystopian future that is under the authoritarian rule of President Snow and the other “presidents” before him. Over 75 years ago, the 13 districts tried  an uprising against the Capital. The war went on for three years before the Capital won. The result was that district 13 was decimated. Now, every year, one girl and one boy from each district are chosen to participate in the hunger games and fight to the death for the Capital’s entertainment. 


To Kill a Mockingbird 

    The story is set in Maycomb, Alabama and told from the point of view of 6-year-old Scout Finch during the Great Depression. Scout and her brother Jem keep finding presents left for them in the knothole of her neighbor’s tree. During the next summer her father Atticus defends a black man going on trial for supposedly committing a crime against a white woman.  Because of this the other kids start bulling Scout and Jem. The book takes on racial issues. 


Harry Potter 

     Harry Potter is about the aforementioned boy learning how to deal with a new world that’s been hidden from him his whole life (where his parents being killed got him famous). Destined to be the hero of the wizard world, Harry starts his journey into the world while balancing saving the wizarding world. 


Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie 

    The story is about 13-year-old Steven Alper who gets diagnosed with leukemia after going to the emergency room for a nose bleed. Other than dealing with just leukemia, he has to deal with his dad withdrawing emotionally, then his mother getting sick, forcing him and his dad back together. He meets a girl with leukemia and teaches her to play the drums while she offers him emotional support.