Nifty 50 Reading Challenge

The Nifty 50 is a list of 50 books we recommend every child read between the 5th and the 8th grade. Many of them are award-winning books while some are beloved classics. Some have important lessons to teach and some are just for fun. We’ve included both contemporary and older fiction on here and have tried to include a wide range of experiences and backgrounds. Some of the books may seem too young for 8th graders while others may be too mature for 5th graders, but the list is designed to grow with your child and serve as a recommendation over the four years of middle school.

To participate, please sign up at the Circulation Desk. All book must be checked out from Alliance Public Library to qualify.

  1. A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
  2. A Giraffe and a Half by Shel Silverstein
  3. A Wind in the Door by Madeline “/Engle
  4. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol
  5. American Poetry edited by John Hollander
  6. Big Star Otto by Bill Slavin and Esperanca Melo
  7. Blubber by Judy Blume
  8. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Peterson
  9. Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
  10. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  11. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  12. City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
  13. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  14. Extra Credit by Andrew Clements
  15. Fortunately, The Milk by Neil Gaiman
  16. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
  17. In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Lord
  18. Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
  19. Johnny Tremaine by Esther Forbes
  20. Junebug by Alice Mead
  21. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  22. MC Higgins the Great by Virginia Hamilton
  23. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s Magic by Betty MacDonald
  24. Night of the Twisters by Ivy Ruckman
  25. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
  26. Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
  27. Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez
  28. Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
  29. Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
  30. Sing Down the Moon by Scott O’Dell
  31. Smile by Raina Telgemeier
  32. Stick Dog by Tom Watson
  33. Strawberry Girl by Lois Lensky
  34. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
  35. The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
  36. A Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
  37. The Great Brain by John Dennis Fitzgerald
  38. The House Without a Christmas Tree by Gail Rock
  39. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
  40. The Island by Gary Paulsen
  41. The Phantom Toll Booth by Norton Juster
  42. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  43. The Sixth Grade Nickname Game by Gordon Korman
  44. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
  45. The Wish Giver: Three Tales of Coven Tree by Bill Brittain
  46. Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  47. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
  48. Where the Lilies Bloom by Vera Cleaver
  49. Who Was that Masked Man Anyway? by Avi
  50. Wonder by R.J. Palacio

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