The 10 Best Middle School Romance Books to Read Right Now

Middle school is a time of significant change and growth. Students begin to navigate the complexities of relationships and develop a deeper understanding of themselves and others. One way to help young readers explore these themes is through well-written, engaging middle school romance books. In this article, we’ll discuss why middle school romance books are important for young readers and provide a list of the top 10 books, separated into categories for girls and boys.

The 10 Best Middle School Romance Books to Read Right Now

Why Middle School Romance Books Are Important for Young Readers

While middle school romance books may seem like light-hearted entertainment, they offer essential social and emotional benefits to young readers. These novels can help readers develop empathy, encourage a love for reading, and feature relatable characters and situations.

Developing Empathy and Understanding

One significant aspect of middle school romance books is the opportunity for readers to explore the emotional lives of the characters. Through well-crafted storytelling, readers can immerse themselves in the thoughts and feelings of the protagonists, helping them develop empathy for others. This enhanced understanding can have a positive impact on young readers, as they learn to navigate the complicated world of relationships and friendships in their own lives.

For example, in the book “The Truth About Forever” by Sarah Dessen, the protagonist Macy struggles with the death of her father and the pressure to be perfect. As she falls in love with a boy named Wes, she learns to open up about her emotions and accept imperfection. Young readers who may be dealing with similar struggles can learn from Macy’s journey and develop empathy for others who are going through tough times.

Encouraging a Love for Reading

Engaging stories with relatable characters can spark an enduring love for reading in young readers. Romance novels often include elements such as humor, friendship, and adventure, making them enjoyable reads that captivate students’ attention. This positive reading experience can foster a lifelong love for literature, and encourage students to explore other books and genres.

For instance, the “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” series by Jenny Han has become a beloved favorite among young readers. The charming romance between the protagonist Lara Jean and her crushes, as well as the strong bond between her and her sisters, has captivated readers and encouraged them to read more books in the genre. This love for reading can extend beyond just romance novels and inspire young readers to explore other genres and authors.

Relatable Characters and Situations

When reading novels with similar age characters and situations, middle school students can recognize their own experiences and emotions, fostering a deeper connection to the text. This connection allows them to better understand and relate to the characters, and perhaps gain insight into their own relationships and experiences. The best middle school romance books provide a safe space for students to explore these topics and feel understood.

For example, in the book “Dork Diaries” by Rachel Renee Russell, the protagonist Nikki Maxwell navigates the ups and downs of middle school life, including crushes and friendships. The relatable situations and humorous tone of the book make it a favorite among young readers, who can see themselves in Nikki’s shoes and feel less alone in their own struggles.

In conclusion, middle school romance books offer more than just entertainment. They provide young readers with valuable emotional and social benefits, encouraging empathy, a love for reading, and a deeper understanding of themselves and others.

Top 5 Middle School Romance Books for Girls

The following five titles cater to the interests of young female readers, delving into themes of love, friendship, and discovering oneself.

“From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess” by Meg Cabot

From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess: Meg Cabot; Read by Kathleen McInerney

Meg Cabot’s charming novel follows the life of Olivia Grace, who discovers she is a long-lost princess. As she navigates her newfound royal duties, Olivia also encounters friendship and romance. The book offers a delightful and engaging read for middle school girls.

Olivia Grace is a relatable protagonist for young girls, as she navigates the ups and downs of middle school life. Her journey of discovering her true identity and coming into her own as a princess is both heartwarming and inspiring. As Olivia develops new friendships and experiences first love, readers will be rooting for her every step of the way.

You can find this book here.

“Flipped” by Wendelin Van Draanen


Flipped” is a heartwarming story about two friends who experience the ups and downs of middle school romance. Through alternating perspectives, the book beautifully presents the challenges and joys of young love, making it a perfect read for young girls.

The novel is set in the 1960s, adding an extra layer of nostalgia and charm to the story. The main characters, Juli and Bryce, are both relatable and endearing, as they navigate the complexities of middle school life and their growing feelings for each other. “Flipped” is a timeless tale of first love that will leave readers feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

“Twelve” by Lauren Myracle

Twelve (The Winnie Years Book 3)

The third installment in the popular “Winnie” series, “Twelve” follows the titular character as she navigates the challenges and excitements of turning twelve. With well-developed characters and relatable situations, this captivating book will resonate with middle school girls.

Lauren Myracle expertly captures the experience of growing up, as Winnie grapples with changing friendships, family dynamics, and her own sense of identity. The novel is both heartwarming and bittersweet, as Winnie learns valuable lessons about growing up and letting go of the past.

“When You Reach Me” by Rebecca Stead

When You Reach Me: (Newbery Medal Winner)

A blend of mystery and romance, “When You Reach Me” tells the story of sixth-grader Miranda as she receives anonymous notes that seem to predict the future. As she works to solve the mystery, Miranda also develops new friendships and experiences first love.

The novel is set in 1970s New York City, adding a unique and atmospheric backdrop to the story. As Miranda navigates the complexities of middle school life, readers will be drawn in by the mystery and intrigue of the anonymous notes. The novel’s themes of friendship, loyalty, and love will resonate with readers of all ages.

“Drama” by Raina Telgemeier

Drama: A Graphic Novel

In “Drama,” readers follow the story of Callie, a middle school student who discovers her passion for theater. Through the excitement of the school play, Callie navigates friendships, crushes, and self-discovery, making it a highly relatable and entertaining read for middle school girls.

The graphic novel format adds an extra layer of fun and creativity to the story, as readers get to see Callie’s theatrical visions come to life on the page. The novel’s themes of self-expression and finding one’s passion will resonate with young readers, as they navigate their own middle school journeys.

Top 5 Middle School Romance Books for Boys

For young male readers, these five titles provide a glimpse into the world of middle school relationships, offering relatable situations and engaging storylines. However, the world of middle school romance is not just limited to books. It’s a time when boys start to notice girls and vice versa, and the dynamics of their relationships start to shift. Middle school is a time of growth and exploration, and these books can help boys navigate the complexities of first love.

“Wonder” by R. J. Palacio


Wonder” is a heartwarming story about Auggie, a young boy with facial differences who faces challenges as he enters a mainstream school. Readers will appreciate the friendship, courage, and love that bloom throughout the story, making it an ideal read for middle school boys. The book also touches upon the themes of bullying and acceptance, which are important topics for boys to understand and navigate during their middle school years.

“The Wednesday Wars” by Gary D. Schmidt

The Wednesday Wars: A Newbery Honor Award Winner

Set in the 1960s, “The Wednesday Wars” follows Holling Hoodhood, as he discovers the power of literature and the importance of friendship. Through his experiences, Holling also encounters first love, making this an engaging read for boys. The book also explores themes of family, war, and social justice, providing young readers with a well-rounded perspective on the world around them.

“Frindle” by Andrew Clements


In “Frindle,” readers are introduced to Nick Allen, a creative fifth-grader who invents a new word that takes the school by storm. Along with the clever wordplay, the story touches upon friendship and youthful romance, making it a fun addition to any middle school boy’s reading list. The book also highlights the power of language and the impact that one person can have on the world around them.

“The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (National Book Award Winner)

This semi-autobiographical novel portrays the life of Arnold Spirit Jr., a Native American boy who must balance his life on the reservation and his new life at an all-white school off the reservation. Alongside his journey of self-discovery, Arnold navigates friendships and first love, making it a relatable and engaging read for boys. The book also touches upon themes of identity, racism, and social inequality, providing young readers with a thought-provoking and eye-opening perspective.

You can find this book here.

“Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Paterson

Bridge to Terabithia

Set in rural Virginia, “Bridge to Terabithia” tells the story of Jesse Aarons, a young boy who seeks solace with his new friend, Leslie Burke, in the fantastical world they create. The novel explores the themes of friendship, loss, and young love, making it a timeless classic for young readers, especially boys. The book also touches upon the themes of imagination, creativity, and the power of friendship to help us through difficult times.


Are romances suitable for middle schoolers?

Some romances are appropriate for middle school-aged readers. These tend to be stories that are clean, free of sex scenes, and contain no relationships that promote abusive/manipulative behavior or power imbalances. Many authors write romances specifically tailored to this age group and they are often set in schools.

Are Colleen Hoover’s popular books appropriate for middle schoolers?

No, Colleen Hoover’s books are known for explicit content and also depict scenes of domestic violence which is not appropriate for children this age to read.

What are some good examples of middle school romance books?

The Chance to Fly by Ali Stroker, Drama by Raina Telgemeier, and Crushing It by Joanne Levy are great choices.

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