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Good YA books for middle schoolers?

Good YA books for middle schoolers?

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Maybe this is just an English teacher question, but I hope not. I'd love to put together a Top 10 list of YA books that are most likely to get kids reading -- maybe a boys list and a girls list, with full crossover rights (smile) and share it at the middle school website I have fun with in my spare time. Anybody want to play? If you offer a book, please give me at least 50 words on why you think it deserves a high ranking. And feel free to offer more than one. I know you will anyway! PS: I've actually been reading some YA books recently to get myself more up to date. Just finished The Lightning Thief, the first in the Olympians series by Rick Riordan (who was teaching eighth grade just a few short years ago!). How does that play in MS? Characters too young? How about the Adam Canfield series by Michael Winerip (also a NYT columnist) about a crusading middle school reporter?

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