Posted in Teaching Life

Itinerant Teacher Book Picks: Favorite Novels to Read with Students

Readers gotta read and listeners gotta listen! Let’s turn the pages!


This novel is a great middle school pick. It has multiple characters and the chapters are character specific. The chapters are not incredibly long, so it is realistic to read a chapter during part of a session.

Many of my students have enjoyed this as a read aloud. It stirs up great discussion. The language is clear and relatable for middle schoolers. It addresses bullying in a multifaceted approach. As a reader you can see inside the minds of the bullied and the bully.

Depending on what your goals are you can easily work on comprehension, vocabulary and expressive communication skills.

Hello Universe

I am currently reading this novel and we are loving it. This is another story where individual characters tell the story from their perspective. My student is enjoying the story, but finds the chapters told from the bullies perspective harder to listen to.

Bullying is such a conversation and issue within schools. It is great that there are authors writing relatable stories. And I think it is so helpful when students can generate conversation from a real and deep place.

This story is particularly great, in my opinion, because one of the characters is hard of hearing and wears hearing aids. The author has done a wonderful job writing chapters from a hard of hearing girl’s perspective…..and the best part is she is not the character being bullied. She has struggles, but she is confident and strong. I love this so much. I want my students to read about smart, confident kids like them!

When we finish this book I am hoping to complete a resource to support this book. Stay tuned!

Because of Mr. Terrupt

I have read this novel with students as our read aloud and as classwork. This is how I was first exposed to the series. The first book is great and it is awesome for fifth or sixth grade students.

This is yet another book told by each character. I just realized this is a commonality with the books I have listed so far. I think the chapter break ups, personalities and perspectives make these books easy to stop and start for an itinerant teacher.

In this story there is a bit of humor, struggle, heartbreak, and friendship issues. This book is very accessible and relatable to 10-12 year old kids. There is great vocabulary and questions for discussion you can pull from each chapter.

If you do not have time or the inclination to pull the vocabulary and questions, there are really great resources you can find on Teachers Pay Teachers. I bought a resource and it is very helpful.

My Life in Pink and Green Series

I bought this series a few years ago. I had a female middle school student who needed to work on listening and engage in discussion. She needed alot of academic support and was not strong in ELA. I choose this series because it has a great friendship storyline, there are problem solving skills, but the story is light and breezy. Some kids already have heavy lives, sometimes I want to be a bright spot in their day.

These three books were an enjoyable read for both of us. This novel is told from the main characters perspective. Switching from character to character can overwhelm some kids, so this series was perfect for a student that has processing difficulties or learning disabilities. The language was also simple and believable.

We were able to use this series to tackle IEP goals and basic middle school life. I try to select books that will fully support my students. They are way more than their IEP and I strive to fully support them.

The Secrect Language of Girls Series

I think all three of these books are great. I borrowed them out of a middle school library. My student selected the first book and wanted to finish the series.

I was very happy to find out a student I once had, as a consult, also read this series. Both students loved these books, even though they are very different people and learners. I think that says alot for an author if you can touch different types of readers.

  • Realistic
  • Easy to read
  • Easy to follow the plot
  • Addresses friendship and social issues
  • The characters grow and change over the 3 books

I loved how as a reader we followed these friends grow and mature, sometimes together and sometimes apart. That seems realistic and helpful as kids wade through the turbulent waters of middle school.

These are just some of the awesome books I like to use…I will be adding more in the future. I am fairly sure one of my schools will have a book fair again and I always love to look on Amazon. I also see a Barnes and Noble visit in my future. My mini me loves to read. Together we make a dangerous combination in a book store.

I know that libraries are a wonderful way to try new books out for free. I do this too, but if I love it and know I will read a novel multiple times-I purchase. This way I can sticky note it up, underline and highlight/tag pages.

Read, Research and Respond

If you enjoy reading with your students I hope you give one of these a try. Happy reading. Happy teaching.

Also, if you ever want to comment or share something I would love to hear from you. Also if you like this post and would be interested I being alerted to my next post you can always follow my blog.


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