Looking for the best 7th grade books in a series for your 12-year-old middle school kids or students in 7th grade? Find the most amazing middle-grade and YA books that will keep your kids hooked on reading good books.
These are not book series that start great and lose quality by the 2nd or 3rd book — these are the best book series that STAY good throughout the entire series. Trust me. That’s my pet peeve, too. 🙂
That being said, I realize there are many more fantasy and sci-fi books than in other genres, so I will continue to add to this 7th grade reading 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. Book series are not as common for the upper middle school reading choices as they are for younger middle-grade choices.
What do you think? Which of these books would your seventh grader want to read first?
Go HERE to find all of my book recommendations for 12-year-olds.
Go HERE to see book series ideas for 6th graders.
Want a free printable pdf download of this book list? Get it here!
Best 7th Grade Books in a Series
Lockwood & Co The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
Dangerous ghosts and spirits appear everywhere in London, but only certain kids can see them and therefore, erradicate them. Teens Lucy, Anthony, and George badly need money for their ghost-hunting agency, Lockwood & Co., so they take a perilous job that may just be their last if the ghosts have their way. This mesmerizing series is also a now a Netflix show!
Cinder (Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer
This is a great 7th grade book series for 7th graders who are transitioning from middle grade books 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. Based on fairy tales like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Red Riding Hood, this is a well-written, excellent series. BOX SET
Rain Rising by Courtne Comrie
RAIN RISING is a multilayered story about mental health, racism, family, friendship, and self-love — with a main character that you’ll cheer on through her tricky and beautiful growing-up journey. Rain’s older brother Xander always has taken good care of her; he helps her on her saddest days, especially after their dad left and their mom is gone at work most of the time. But, when Xander gets brutally attacked, he’s a shell of himself and barely speaks…and Rain can barely cope. In an after-school group, she starts to make new friends, and slowly finds her way back to health through the group and therapy. I LOVE this book. (Sensitive readers: this story contains cutting.)
Furthermore 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 creative plot and a unique world!
Bloom 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.
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.
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 Add this series to your reading lists!
Escape from Atlantis by Kate O’Hearn
Don’t miss this wildly inventive, exciting, and thought-provoking adventure. Riley, her dad, her cousin, and her aunt are sailing in the Bermuda Triangle when they’re attacked by a leviathan. Riley and her unpleasant cousin, Alfie, wake up on an island with overly friendly, rule-centered people including half-animal people. They soon learn the sinister truth of the rule-centric community and are determined to escape. What a great book for 7th graders!
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 7th grade book series!
Unwanteds by Lissa McMann
FANTASY / DYSTOPIAN
Alex is labeled an Unwanted and sent to die. But instead of death, he’s rescued by a magician with a secret haven for the Unwanteds where they live and train with magic skills. Because Alex misses his twin brother, a Wanted, and he convinces himself that his twin also misses him. (Hint: he doesn’t.) Alex risks the safety of his new home to see his twin in the old world. And the secret world is discovered, war breaks out, and more secrets are revealed!!!
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.
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 7th grade book has it all! Ranger’s Apprentice is a must-read, mesmerizing epic fantasy series for middle school readers. BOXED SET
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 whose nack is flying dragons. Between the trials, they figure out if Mr. Jones is connected to the dangerous Wundersmith Ezra Squall.
Edge of Extinction The Ark Plan by Laura Martin
DYSTOPIAN / ADVENTURE
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 leaves the underground city to find her missing 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 believes about Noah is wrong and she is even more determined to find her father.
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
HISTORICAL / FANTASY
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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: 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.
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.
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: 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. Sam Miracle is a foster kid with two bad arms. He sees things that no one else can — things in a parallel world. With the help of a wise Native American healer, a Native American priest, the two personality-filled snakes that have become his arms, maybe, Sam can survive and save the world.
Barren Grounds: The Misewa Saga by David A. Robertson
FANTASY / INDIGENOUS CULTURE
Foster kids with Indigenous heritage, Morgan and Eli, discover a portal in the attic leading to a magical world of Cree language and mythology. It’s a world with talking animals who need their help. Ochek, the Fischer, asks the kids to help solve the starving community’s forever winter by finding the human man who stole all the birds and summer. Their dangerous quest triggers Morgan’s memories of her mother and a new perspective on who she is.
Winterhouse by Ben Guterson, illustrated by Chloe Bristol
Elizabeth, an orphan, is unexpectedly sent to a large, stately hotel with a kind, grandfatherly proprietor for Christmas vacation. There, she discovers a magical book, a sinister couple, a family mystery, and a new friend who loves puzzles as much as she does. The writing is mesmerizing, the mystery is fascinating, and the characters are enchanting.
The Van Gogh Deception by Deron Hicks
MYSTERY / ADVENTURE
One of the best edge-of-your-seat mystery books for middle grade. A boy with no memory is found at the National Gallery staring at a Degas sculpture. Strangely, this boy does know a great deal about art and artists. Soon we learn a team of professional bad guys is hunting him. The boy, Art, and his foster sister escape from several kidnapping attempts and begin to unravel who he is and what’s going on. Exceptional!
Pretty by Justin Sayre
REALISTIC / COMING OF AGE
Hiding her mom’s alcohol addiction affects everything, even Sophie’s schoolwork. When her mother leaves for a “trip,” her aunt moves in and gently helps Sophie learn about being a strong, beautiful, biracial woman. Sophie blossoms with the love and kindness of her aunt. Soon, Sophie must decide what she’ll do next — move with her aunt or stay with her mother who eventually returns home from rehab.
The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
Two girls are selected to attend the school for villains and school for heroes. Only all your stereotypes will be blown out of the water with which girl goes where. This book series for 12 year olds will make you think deeply about what makes someone good, friendship, and love. Boxed Set HERE.
Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly
If you like strong girl power books for teens, you’ll love this story of five mermaids who journey to find each other and the sea witches. An ancient evil is being unleashed and is not just trying to kill the girls but also planning on enslaving or killing their communities. Very entertaining.
Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen
HISTORICAL / FANTASY
Set in historical Rome we follow the life of a slave abandoned by his mother in the mines. After he accidentally discovers Julius Cesar’s magical amulet and its protector griffin, he’s in constant danger. It’s an exciting adventure with an unexpected revelation that will have you eager for the next book.
Beneath by Roland Smith
Pat’s parents are checked out and his brother is missing. Pat sneaks off to spend his Christmas vacation tracking his brother, Coop’s, last movements. His search leads him to an underground community but Coop isn’t there anymore, he’s gone deeper under the ground. And he is in terrible danger. One of the more popular books for 7th graders.
The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
This middle-grade book for 12-year-olds is a puzzling mystery that only the boy named Ted who seems to be on the spectrum (his brain is different but not explained) 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.
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BOOK SERIES LISTS