Graphic Novel/Comics series
The Walking Dead
Are these appropriate for a middle school classroom? Probably not. But most of the kids who read them talk a lot about how they differ from the TV show. I keep them behind my desk because they are also expensive, and I can't afford to be constantly replacing them.
I'd never really heard of these before, being a very non-manga, non-anime person. But my students started asking for them, so I got a couple of used copies. They were published before my students were born, so I'm not sure where the sudden interest came from. Now I have the first 17 and a loyal contingent of readers that cheer each time I bring the next few in. There's a kid in the next class over who quietly comes in during class, checks out the Naruto section, and borrows what he hasn't read. I have no idea what his name is or anything, but I'm glad he knows I'm the Naruto source.
This series is popular with all kinds of kids. One of my least enthusiastic readers just set himself the challenge of reading all 8 (so far) in 4 weeks, and he finished today.
First semester I had a group of boys all reading these in a sort of round. After the first guy finished the first book, he got his friend to start it. By the time that kid was done, the next kid had gotten curious. They all read all six books, one after the other.
Berrybrook Middle School
I just love these big hearted book about kids who are diverse in a way that feels intentional yet authentic. My students seem to agree.
Raina Telgmeier's work is still popular, but not as wildly so as a few years ago. There are other series that one or two kids got into (Wings of Fire adaptations, Sunny Side Up, Nnewts), but the above are the ones that I couldn't keep on the shelves all year.
The Lunar Chronicles
In the past, I haven't had many fantasy readers in my classes, but now that we've mixed in kids who like reading with kids who need to work on their reading, I suddenly have a bunch of kids who will read my favorites. Their have been a few tense moments when the person reading book 2 is going faster than the person reading book 3, but the friendships seem to have survived.
I LOVE these books so much, and it's been a few years since I could get any kids to read them. So glad they started getting buzz again this year in my classroom!
In The After/In the End
These were a discovery of a colleague. She read the first one to her classes, and they all were clamoring for the sequel, and kids with other teachers started asking about the first book, so now I have a couple copies of each, which get steady circulation.
A perennial favorite. Kids read the first book in either language arts or Spanish classes, and then want to keep going.
Five Nights at Freddy's
I haven't read any of these, but I suspect they're trash. Oh well. Kids love them.
Laura Jean series
Yes, this is owing to the Netflix adaptation. Some of the readers have gone on to read Jenny Han's other series as well.