I second (or third) the suggestion of Hunger Games. I literally could not put it down.
Another (new) one they might like is Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carmen. It's a journal kept by a boy who's investigating scary events in his small town with his friend. His friend sends him links to videos she's made of what she finds out about the mystery. You can go online and see the videos--they add to the story. He breaks his arm on a trip out with his friend and they're forbidden to see each other.
Also, Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. I know it's been made into a movie, but I haven't seen it yet. There's also the sequels, Inkspell and Inkdeath. Both are good fantasies.
And The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. It might be a bit easy for seventh grade, but it's still a good story, and it sneaks in all sorts of information about Greek mythology. It's one my boys have liked.
This year's Newbery is really good: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.
Thanks, Rebecca, for your suggestions. There are so many wonderful books out there, aren't there? I have Cornelia Funke's books and the complete Lightning Thief series. By the time the kids come to me in seventh, they have read this series. Neil Gaiman's book is first on my list, I can't wait to check it out. I haven't heard about Patrick Carmen's book, so thanks for the rec!
My students love the "Lightning Thief" Series by Rick Riordan they are funny and filled with references to Greek Mythology. The protagonist is a middle school kid and each book takes place during the summer.
Anna Myers is a great historical fiction author. Some of her books include: SPY! (about Nathan Hale), Assasin (about Lincloln), The Keeping Room (Revolutionary War). I just had her come speak to my students and she was great! Her books are very well written.
Thank you for the suggestion. I have not heard of her, and I love historical fiction! I went book shopping yesterday, and I just couldn't wait to start The Graveyard Book which I cannot put down. I can see why it won the Newberry; it's so beautifully written.
I just finished it, read it in two days. A few of my students have already read it, and some couldn't wait for me to finish it before I add it to my library, so they went out and bought it. I loved it, and I can easily see how it can be made into a movie. I think I will add The Graveyard Book as a summer read along with The Wednesday Wars....they both address similar themes, and are beautiful stories.
I bought twenty new books over my spring break, and I'm reading them as fast as I can so I can add them to my library!