As a parent, trying to find suitable books for young readers can be a real chore. A quick Google search for “middle school book list” will turn up a mind-boggling 127 million results. Trying again, “fantasy books for middle school” still turns up 17.4 million results. Narrowing it down to “best books for 7th grade” turns up 5.6 million possibilities. Even very specific searches like “fantasy books for 7th graders” provides a daunting 26,400 search results.
See the problem?
One of the most popular questions readers of all ages have is, “What are the most popular young adult books of all time?” We’ve pored over lists and listicles to find the best-selling books of all time, then pulled out the books generally enjoyed by kids.
Remember: these are just the best selling books of all time. If you’re a parent looking for the best fantasy books for 7th graders, only you can decide if these books are appropriate for your kids.
The Most Popular Young Adult Books of All Time…
The top 10 best selling books of all time actually include a number of great young adult and fantasy books for 7th graders:
- 2. “The Lord of the Rings,” (published as a series) J.R.R. Tolkien; 1954-1955; 150 million
- 3. “The Hobbit,” J.R.R. Tolkien; 1937; 140.6 million
- 4. “The Little Prince,” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry; 1943; 140 million
- 5. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” J.K. Rowling; 1997; 107 million
- 9. “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe'” C. S. Lewis; 1950; 85 million
J.K. Rowling takes up quite a bit of real estate on these lists. The number 12 best selling book of all time is “The Half Blood Prince,” at 65 million copies, while the other five books in the series take up spots 15-19.
Whether you’re looking for fantasy books for 7th graders or the best books for middle school students, there’s something for everyone here. There are fantasy books for middle school students, science fiction novels, classic American novels (“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”), and non fiction books (“The Diary of Anne Frank”). Some of these are books parents love (“Anne of Green Gables”), while others might rightfully give parents pause (“The Hunger Games”).
Here are some of the other young adult books that have earned their place on the all-time best seller lists:
- “Anne of Green Gables,” Lucy Maud Montgomery; 1908; 50 million
- “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Harper Lee; 1960; 30 million
- “The Diary of a Young Girl,” Anne Frank; 1947; 30 million
- “The Hunger Games,” Suzanne Collins; 2008; 23 million
- “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” 1979; Douglas Adams; 14 million
- “The Outsiders,” S.E. Hinton; 1967; 13 million
- “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” Roald Dahl; 1964; 13 million
On the list of best selling series, you have to look 24 spots down to find the controversial “Twilight” series, followed by the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” by Jeff Kinney.
In 1999, kids ages two to seven read for 45 minutes a day on average. Sadly, that number had dropped to just 30 minutes by 2013. Despite this, it’s never been easier to find books. Not only have 40.2% of teens bought a book online, but three out of four have read a book recommended by an adult role model.
If you want to foster a love of reading in your family, try recommending some of these time-tested classics!