Best Book Series for 7th Graders (12 Year Olds)

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Looking for a good book series for your 7th graders who are 12 years old? I’ve gathered a list of the most amazing middle-grade and YA books that will keep your kids hooked on reading.

These are not book series that start out great and lose quality by the 2nd or 3rd book — these are series that STAY great throughout the entire series. Trust me. That’s my pet peeve, too. 🙂

That being said, I realize that there are a lot more fantasy and sci-fi books than other genres so I will continue to add to this list as I find more exceptional books in other genres. I think part of the issue is coming of age, realistic books generally are one and done. Not a book series.

What do you think?

Go HERE to find all of my book recommendations for 12-year-olds.

Go HERE to see book series ideas for 6th graders.

Best Book Series for 7th Graders

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles)
by Marissa Meyer
This is a great series for teens who are transitioning from middle-grade to YA books. When Prince Kai asks Cinder, a human with cyborg parts, to fix something for him, she becomes entangled in a plot that puts her life at risk and the entire country’s fate is hanging in the balance. And, it turns out she’s not who she thinks she is. This is an AMAZING can’t-put-it-down series based on fairy tales like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Red Riding Hood! And, every book is just as good as the previous book. BOX SET 

by Tahereh Mafi
Magic and color are closely linked in her world. Only Alice has no color in her skin or hair. And her father has been missing for years making her even sadder. Alice and a boy named Oliver search for her father in a different magical land in order to hopefully rescue him. But the rules are wildly different and the inhabitants eat people for their magic. Even though Oliver and Alice start their quest at odds, the many challenges join them in a solid friendship. Furthermore is a uniquely creative plot that is so well written, you won’t want it to end.

The Crossover BOOKS for kids age 12
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Because this is written in verse, this is a fast read but packs a big punch. Basketball player and twin Josh narrates his life in quarters, just like the game he plays. He writes about missing his twin when his twin, Jordan, gets a girlfriend; about getting in trouble when he hits Jordan in the face with a basketball; and about watching his father as his heart fails. This is a coming-of-age, gripping story about a boy who is just trying to figure out life like most boys at age 12.

by Kenneth Oppel
Get ready for a wild ride of suspense, action, adventure, science fiction, and coolness!! Bloom tells the story of three kids who are not affected by the strange-looking plants that appear out of nowhere and take over land all over the world, covering houses and streets, swallowing animals and people but doing nothing to these kids. Scientists figure out that the plants are an alien invasion…and think these kids may be the only chance they have to stop them. To avoid spoilers, I’ll just tell you that it’s an AWESOME story…and ends on a crazy cliffhanger with more books in the series!

Ali Cross by James Patterson
If you want an enthralling adventure & mystery that you can’t put down, read this one next. It’s Christmas Eve and Ali’s friend Gabe is missing, his FBI-agent dad is falsely accused of murdering an old man, and someone broke into their house while they were at church and stole his dad’s service weapon. Ali knows he has to try to fix things, starting by finding his friend Gabe. Don’t miss book two, Like Father, Like Son.

good books for teens
The Prisoner of Cell 25 (Michael Vey #1) 
by Richard Paul Evans
If you like fast-paced adventure and science fiction, you’ll love this fantastic series about a boy with electrical powers and an evil group who wants to control him and others like him. It’s an addictive series for kids who enjoy action, suspense, and adventure. BOX SET

Maze Runner
The Maze Runner
 by James Dasher
What a wild ride! Middle school students especially 7th and 8th graders can’t put these books down. In this dystopian world, kids are either killed or must kill to survive. There are tons of plot twists which will keep your kids surprised and entertained. Boxed Set HERE.

Dorothy Must Die
by Danielle Paige
In this Wizard of Oz remix, Dorothy is evil and Amy Gunn, the other girl from Kansas, is recruited to help the freedom fighters to fix and free all of Oz. Great writing plus an unexpected plot make this hard to put down book series for 7th graders!

Best Books for 12-Year Olds (7th Graders)
Unwanteds  by Lissa McMann
In this society, you are sorted as Wanted, Necessary, and Unwanted. Alex is an Unwanted and is sent to die. But instead of death, Alex is rescued by a magician who has created a secret, magical haven for the Unwanteds where they live and train to use their magic skills. I love the creative magical characters in this world like Alex’s art teacher — an octagator! Here’s the problem — Alex is a twin. He pines for his twin, a Wanted and convinces himself that his twin also misses him. (He doesn’t.) Alex risks the safety of his new home to see his twin in the old world. And yes, the secret world is discovered, war breaks out, and more secrets are revealed.

The Nameless City best graphic novels for kids
The Nameless City
by Faith Erin Hicks with Jordie Bellaire
In an Asian-influenced series about an occupied city, we meet two kids from different clans and backgrounds who become unlikely friends. Kaidu is a Dao and new to the Nameless City where he’s studying to be a soldier. Rat is a street girl who teaches Kaidu how to survive in the city. Together they save the city’s leader from an assassination plot. The action and characters are compelling and complex, appropriate for middle schoolers in 7th grade. Next in this series is The Stone Heart.

good books for 11 year olds

by Jason Reynolds
Ghost accidentally gets on a track team and it’s life-changing. His coach becomes a mentor and father figure who pushes Ghost to take responsibility for his mistakes (stealing sneakers) and to start dealing with the ghosts of his past. Well-written and hopeful about growing up and growing into yourself. Next in the series is Patina which is an incredible story, too.

The Lord of the Rings
by J.R.R. Tolkien
Epic fantasy stories weave together a world of magical creatures where evil is threatening the land. The writing is complex, detailed, and intense but for kids who are motivated, it is doable if your kids are motivated. BOX SET

The Ruins of Gorlan: Ranger’s Apprentice
by John A. Flanagan
Will is apprenticed to become a Ranger, a job he’s unsure about. But as he develops a relationship with his master and learns what being a Ranger is all about (spying for the kingdom,) and comes to embrace his new life. When an old enemy of the kingdom sends out dangerous beasts to attack Will’s master, Will is instrumental in getting help and killing the creatures. Action, fantasy, adventure, friendship, excellent writing — this book has it all! Ranger’s Apprentice is a must-read, mesmerizing epic fantasy series for middle school readers. BOXED SET

good books for 12 year olds
The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts
by Avi
Action-packed from the first page, this is one historical fiction novel you don’t want to miss. Oliver wakes to find his house flooded and his father missing. After being thrown in the poorhouse for orphans, he manages to escape with stolen money only to be accosted by a highwayman. It’s one misfortune after another but Oliver is determined to find his father and sister in London. Somehow.

The London Eye Mystery good books for 12 year olds
The London Eye Mystery
 by Siobhan Dowd
This middle-grade novel is a puzzling mystery that only the boy named Ted who seems to be on the spectrum can solve. How did his cousin disappear from a closed pod on the London Eye? The enjoyable action and intrigue will keep your attention throughout — and you’ll wonder why you didn’t guess the ending before Ted figured it out.

Nevermoor The Trial of Morrigan Crow
by Jessica Townsend
Morrigan escapes her birthday’s death curse when she’s whisked away to another realm by a mysterious man named Jupiter North to compete in four trials to join the Wundrous Society. Morrigan is worried because she doesn’t have a magical “nack” like the hundreds of other kids. She befriends a mischievous boy named Hawthorne with the nack for flying dragons. In between the trials, they try to figure out if the elusive Mr. Jones is connected to the dangerous Wundersmith named Ezra Squall. I liked watching Morrigan’s growth in confidence and happiness throughout the story.

Edge of Extinction The Ark Plan good books for 12 year olds
Edge of Extinction The Ark Plan by Laura Martin
Cloned dinosaurs have taken over the world so Sky and her fellow humans live below ground in safety with Noah as their supreme ruler. Sky discovers that her missing (maybe traitor?) father left her a secret note with cryptic instructions on how to be found. She decides to leave the underground city in order to find her dad. Barely outside a day, she and her friend Shawn are rescued from hungry dinosaurs by a boy who lives in a treetop enclave. When his enclave is attacked by Noah’s soldiers looking for her, Sky realizes that everything she believed about Noah is wrong and is even more determined to find her father. LOVED it!

good books for 12-year olds
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Part historical (ancient Rome) and part fantasy, Elias and Laia live in a world that enslaves them both in different ways — Elias with fighting and Laia with serving and spying. This is an epic page-turning series with lots of mystery, action, and a hint of romance. It’s SO good that it’s one of the most popular YA books right now.

Dark Life good book series for 12 year olds
Dark Life by Kat Falls
When the oceans swallowed much of the earth, humans either moved into stacked cities or the ocean floor. Ty lives in the ocean but his way of life is threatened by murderous outlaws who steal and kill. He befriends a Topside girl named Gemma who is looking for her brother undersea. They learn that her brother is the leader of the outlaws, was a former medical experiment, and has Dark gifts just like Ty. This is action and intrigue from the get-go and your 7th graders will love every minute of it. (Next in the series is Rip Tide.)

good book series for 12 year olds 7th grade
(Seeds of America)
by Laurie Halse Anderson
Experience the Revolutionary War through the eyes of an African-American girl named Isabel and her friend, Cuzon. Whether enslaved, escaped, or enlisted, these two are determined survivors. The writing is amazing and the story is captivating. I love and highly recommend this historical fiction book series for students in middle school. Boxed Set Here. 

book series for middle school

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
I love this YA book series’ unique world and so will your 7th graders. Epics are super-powerful, evil god-like creatures who control the world’s cities. Because David’s father was killed by Chicago’s Epic named Steelheart, David wants revenge. He joins the rebel group, the Reckoners, to learn how to assassinate Steelheart– a next to impossible feat for a regular human like him. This is a page-turning, mesmerizing series. BOX SET

Above World
 by Jenn Reese
Modified humans live in tech-dependent, animal-morphed groups (mer people, snake people, centaur, bird people) in different climates and the groups have mostly remained separate from each other. The main character, Aluna, a Kampii (mer), leaves her clan in order to discover why her clan is dying. In Mirage, she and her unique group of friends try to convince the Equian colonies that the evil Karl Strand is trying to take over all of Above World. Ultimately, these books pack in both action and adventure with creative storytelling.

best book series for 7th grade
The Sisters Club by Megan McDonald
Meet the Sisters Club: twelve-year-old Alex, an aspiring actress and born drama queen; eight-year-old Joey, homework lover, and pioneer wannabe; and smack in the middle, ten-year-old Stevie, the glue that holds them together — through dinner disasters, disputes over stolen lucky sweaters, and Alex’s going gaga over her leading man. Great for 12-year-old girls.

series for 7th graders
House of the Scorpion
by Nancy Farmer
This Newbery winner grabs your 7th graders’ attention immediately with an unbelievable (but kind-of believable) story of a boy named Matt who is a clone of the leader of Opium, El Patrón. He realizes that he’s not the first El Patrón clone and learns of a sinister reason why he’s the only Patron clone still alive. Next in the series is: The Lord of Opium.

Jack Templar Monster Hunter
Jack Templar Monster Hunter: The Templar Chronicles: Book One
 by Jeff Guns
After Jack is attacked by monsters more than once, he learns he’s a Monster Hunter and fair game to be hunted. It’s not as scary as it sounds; it is more of an adventure with monsters which happens to include zombies. 

good books for 12 year olds
The Ghost Network: Activate
by I.I. Davidson
Jack and his friend are hackers who get taken to a top-secret tech school where dangerous secrets are hidden behind the STEM school facade. Not only are the kids in danger but there also seems to be a computer implanted inside their brains telling them what to do! The story intrigued me from the get-go and the pacing and suspense just keeps growing. Great for 7th graders who love STEM.

Mother Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick
This series kept my daughter reading all summer one year. The story begins when a group of middle school girls start a mother-daughter book club. Each book in the series focuses on one book (such as Little Women, Daddy Long Legs, and Pride and Prejudice) and the often dramatic relationships between the girls among themselves and their relationships with their mothers as well as the business of growing up. BOX SET

good chapter book series for 12 year olds
Wereworld  by Curtis Jobling
Drew is raised on a farm and knows little about the world around. He’s ill-prepared to live on the run, which he must do when he unexpectedly develops were/shifter powers. Fortunately, he meets the other WereLords including a WereBear Lord who fought with Drew’s father and is willing to help him. Kidnappings, revenge, murder, and a prophecy — this book series has all the elements 7th graders want in a fantasy adventure.

OUtlaws of Time Legend of Sam Miracle good books for 12 year olds
Outlaws of Time: The Legend of Sam Miracle by N.D. Wilson
By the same author as 100 Cupboards, this is a creative, thrilling, action-packed time-traveling adventure. Our hero, Sam Miracle, is a foster kid with two bad arms, who sees things that no one else can — things in a parallel world. Of course, he’s got enemies who wish to stop him. In fact, those enemies have killed him many times in past versions of the world. But with the help of a wise Native American healer, a Native American priest, the two personality-filled snakes that have become his arms (!), and his friend, Glory, maybe, just maybe, Sam can live and save the world.

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  1. Wow. So many great suggestions. My son is reading all the time and I expected that he would have read most of your suggestions but really he has only read the The Lord of The Rings books and the Maze Runner. I will show him your other ideas!

  2. Not much for girls, or those not into sci-fi fantasy. I have a 12 year old niece who’s a good reader, but doesn’t like this genre. I always give her books for birthday, Christmas, etc., but am at a loss. She’s also not fond of teen romance (thank God!). There just isn’t much out there for this “tween” age group that’s not fantasy or dystopian.

    (The Laurie Halse Anderson books are good ones, tho!)

    Some of her favorites were books like When You Reach Me, Orphan Island, Beyond the Bright Sea, Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy.

    1. Thanks for the comment — and I love that your niece is a reader! There are many good books like you wrote about that are not in a series. If she prefers realistic, try this list of recommendations: and scroll to the middle and end to find books for her age group. Also, includes a variety of excellent book choices but not necessarily books in a series. I’ll keep looking for more realistic books to add to this series round-up. 🙂

    2. The Ranger’s Apprentice series is for girls and boys. There are several strong female main characters that have just as much responsibility as the males. Also, are viewed as equals and treated as such with respect. No romance just good friendships.