Recommended Reading

Recommended Pleasure Reading List 
Book Recommendations on Pinterest
Literary Awards
How to Find the Right Books for You

Pleasure Reading for Grades 6 Through 12

The Castilleja Library is pleased to offer a recommended reading list, specially selected by your librarians, to help sixth through twelfth graders find great books to read in their free time. This is our 2020 edition of the list. The new edition includes a range of genres as well as audiobooks available through our digital library. There should be something here for everyone! Click on the publication to view in fullscreen.

Book Recommendations on Pinterest

Espinosa Library has a Pinterest account with hundreds of book recommendations, all annotated and arranged by theme or subject. When you click on a book cover, you’ll see a quick synopsis and recommended grade level (from School Library Journal or another reputable review source). A sampling of just some of our themes: Movie MagicFor Fans of John GreenFor Fans of Rick Riordan, Graphic Novels, and Non-Fiction…Non-Boring.


NoveList is a database of books. You can search by keyword, author, title, or “appeal factors,” like narration style, genre, themes, and more. This amazing database then hooks you up with compiled professional book reviews, links to external reader review websites, “readalikes,” and more. Click here to access NoveList. (If you are off-campus, you will need to log in via ezproxy with your Castilleja ID and password.)

Student Reviews and Book Displays

Our students have written tons of book reviews and published them on the library website! We also create thematic book displays in the library and post about them online in honor of holidays and observances like Hispanic Heritage Month, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day. Take a look at all of our past reviews and recommendations here.

Literary Awards and Booklists

If you are interested in reading books selected by experts in the fields of children’s and young adult literature for their high literary quality, you might want to look at the archives for major national literary awards.

  • The Newbery Medal has, since 1922, been given annually to “the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.” Generally, two to four Honor books are also named.
  • The Printz Award is a newer award that is essentially the Newbery for YA literature. It is given annually to “the best book for teens, based entirely on its literary merit.” Honor books are also named.
  • The Morris Award honors and celebrates debut authors in YA literature. Up to five finalists are named annually, with one winner announced in January. The award goes to the book that “illuminate[s] the teen experience and enrich[es] the lives of its readers through its excellence.”
  • The Boston Globe-Horn Book Award is given to books in three categories for “high quality and creative excellence.” Up to two Honor books in each category can be named as well. The winners go on to headline a day-long symposium for editors, writers, and scholars of children’s and young adult literature.
  • The National Book Award for Young People’s Literature is selected by a committee of five, comprising authors, librarians, critics, and booksellers. A ten-book longlist is selected, and a five-book shortlist and single winner are announced later.
  • The Alex Award is given yearly by the Young Adult Library Services Association. It selects ten books written and published for adults that are of particular interest or appeal to teens.

Many of the organizations that sponsor these awards also sponsor others, including special ones for non-fiction, audiobooks, graphic novels, and books by or about minority groups or social justice issues. Clicking on the links will also allow you to search their websites for other prestigious awards.