Classical Childrens Books

7th Grade Reading List

The 7th grade reading list gives our top ten picks of classic literature for seventh graders.

See the bottom of the page for more book lists.

The Sign of The Beaver

By Elizabeth George Speare

Left alone to survive in the wilderness, thirteen year old Matt develops a tenative friendship with an Indian boy, Attean. With time, they overcome the cultural barriers to become close friends as Attean teaches Matt the skills to survive in the wilderness. As the winter snows approach, Matt needs to make an important decision.

Johnny Tremain

By Esther Forbes

Johnny, a silversmith apprentice in Boston, is injured and no longer able to do the work of a silversmith. His life is changed when he joins the Sons of Liberty. Historical figures, including Paul Revere, are part of the story.

Across Five Aprils

By Irene Hunt

Historical fiction, this is one of the most popular Civil War stories for children. The main character's family is divided between the Union and the Confederacy. Trouble occurs with their family and with the residents of the area. The effect of on-going struggle through the years of the Civil War demonstrates the far-reaching impact the national conflict had on individual families.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

By Mildred Taylor

Cassie Logan has only known love and acceptance; but now as she comes of age she finds rejection and humiliation in the community because she is black. Their farm land is their security; but as tensions simmer in their small town, that too is threatened. Even the land may need to be sacrified to prevent something worse.

Christmas Carol

By Charles Dickens

Yes, most people have seen Dicken's most famous work as a play of movie, but don't let that stop you from reading the original tale. The story itself is engaging, but this is also a fascinating example of how culture impacts literature and then literature impacts culture. (Where do these come from: humbug, Scrooge, and the idea of black hooded riders?)

Favorite Sherlock Holmes Detective Stories

By Arthur Conan Doyle

The most famous of detective stories, this fictitious character solved mysteries in England in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Written in first person, the narrator is Dr. Watson, the famous detective's right-hand-man. This is an ingenius way to demonstrate Sherlock Holme's outstanding logic, while simultaneously keeping details hidden from the reader until the right time. The six stories in this collection do not have some of the objectionable material in some stories to make them suitable for a younger, modern reader. The stories include: "The Red-Headed League," "A Scandal in Bohemia," "The Final Problem," "The Adventure of the Dancing Men," "Silver Blaze," "The Adventure of the Speckled Band," "The Engineer's Thumb," and "The Crooked Man." For the Kalaidos language arts program, all but "Scandal in Bohemia" are read.

The Trumpeter of Krakow

By Eric Kelly

Historical fiction filled with mystery and intrigue, The Trumpeter of Krakow is set in Krakow, Poland in 1462. Joseph is a fictitious fifteen year old who learns the true story of the trumpeter of Krakow who died two hundred years earlier. He also discovers his ancestors have been the caretakers of the legendary Tarnov Crystal (philospher's stone.) Now his family is in great danger from the Russian czar. This book gives students the opportunity to explore how authors may incorporate fiction, history, and legends in a single story.

Adam of the Road

By Elizabeth Janet Gray

Here is a tale set in England in the significant year of 1290. Adam is a traveling ministrel who encounters various adventures on his journey. Medieval life is reflected, as well as the significance of the signing of the Magna Charta and the beginning of the House of Commons to the common people. A great example of how historical fiction can reflect the mundane and the momentous.

The Hobbit

By J.R.R. Tolkien

Often considered a prequel to the triology, "The Lord of the Rings," this book includes many of the same characters. Tolkien created the fantasy world of Middle Earth for these stories as well as a far-reaching mythology. The Hobbit was the first written and is in a more light-hearted style than the later trilogy. It is the first adventure story of the most famous hobbit, Bilbo Baggins; the acclaimed wizard Gandalf; and 12 dwarves. Perhaps the most entertaining and amusing of the books on the 7th grade reading list.


By Brian Jacques

Redwall is the first in a series of books by Brian Jacques that met instant success. They were first published in the mid 1980's so they are relatively new to the classical scene. These books are not easily categorized with any group of literature. While they are fantasy (talking animals) there is no sorcery or magic. And while it is obvious that Redwall Abbey and its monks are patterned after a Roman Catholic monastery, there is no direct mention of God. The peace-loving creatures of Redwall are threatened by a legendary villian. This classic tale of good versus evil will keep adventure-lovers spellbound.

The Samurai's Tale

By Erik Christian Haugaard

Taro, the son of a defeated Japanese sumarai, is now a slave boy but yearns to become a sumarai in his new master's service. Surrounded by intrigue of warring factions in 16th century Japan, Tara must calculate every move.

Treasure Island

By Robert Louis Stevenson

This is the captain of all pirate stories. In fact, the popular notion of pirates is derived from the famous but fictitious Long John Silver who first sailed the high seas in the 1880's. The hero is Jim, a pre-teen boy, who sets off with adults from his British town to find the treasure of the deceased but dreaded Captain Flint. It is both exciting for young children and thought provoking for adults.

7th Grade Reading List Book Club

Earn a book club certificate if you read at least seven titles from our 7th Grade Reading List. See the details at 7th Grade Book Club and make sure you don't miss out on any of the great adventures.

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