I have absolutely no expertise in childrens' literature, but I do know that the Newbery Awards are designed to call attention to valuable books for young readers. I've been impressed with the Newbery-Award-winning books I've read, and so I looked around just now to see if I could find you a list or two of such books categorized by grade level. Here is one useful site:
Here is another such site:
The links here may also be helpful:
You can probably find other such sites by searching google for "award-winning children's books by grade level"
I'm sure you'll get a variety of many great titles. Here are a few suggestions:
- ADVENTURE--Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island
- ADVENTURE--Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
- ADVENTURE--Theodore Taylor, The Cay
- ADVENTURE--Jack London, The Call of the Wild and White Fang
- SCI-FI--Lois Lowry, The Giver
- AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL--The Diary of Anne Frank
- Rodman Philbrick, Freak the Mighty
I have more experience with the older end of this spectrum, so my suggestions are probably more for 6th and 7th grade.
Number the Stars - Lois Lowry
Johnny Tremain - Esther Forbes
Stargirl - Jerry Spinelli
Harriet Tubman: Conductor ofn the Underground Railroad - Ann Petry
Some books that my own children read in junior high school are as follows:
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry - Mildred D. Taylor
The Outsiders - S. E. Hinton
Rascal - Sterling North
The House on Mango Street - Sandra Cisneros
I would support #3 in the recommendation for Roald Dahl. In British schools his fiction is used extensively and is great in so many ways. Another book not listed above for Grade 7 would be The Chrysalids, which I myself studied at this age.
Science Fiction - Grinny: Nicholas Fisk
Science Fiction - K-PAX: Gene Brewer
I would also have gone with Roald Dahl, including the autobiographical Boy in addition to his great fictional writing.
Anything by Roald Dahl is great. James and the Giant Peach is sci-fi/adventure. The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Glass Elevator, and the list goes on. All his books are fantastic!
What about 'Holes' by Louis Sachar and 'The Chocolat War' or 'I am the Cheese' (or another title) by Robert Cormier?