The Books Kids Say They Can’t Wait to Read in 2016

by Kari Ness Riedel

Photo credit: Joshua Hodge Photography, Vetta/Getty Images

As a book blogger, I get lots of emails about upcoming books from new authors that I’ve put on my 2016 TBR (to be read) list. But, perhaps not surprisingly, when I asked third through sixth graders across the country what they were most excited to read in 2016, their list looked a bit different.

The kids’ picks focused mostly on the latest book in a series they love or books their friends have been raving about. Here are some of the most anticipated books that kids can’t wait to crack open in the new year.

  • Books Everyone Knows but I Still Haven’t Read

  • You may think everyone over the age of ten has read these insanely popular titles, but several students said that 2016 is the year they will finally move these books to their “Read it” pile.

  • Harry Potter Series

    by J.K. Rowling

    The well-known story of the boy wizard who heads to Hogwarts and takes on “he who must not be named.” The themes of friendship, bravery, and love coupled with spellbinding adventures can engross even the most reluctant reader.

  • Wonder

    by R.J. Palacio

    Available from:

    The brilliantly told story of a fifth grade boy, Auggie, with a facial deformity who attends a regular school for the first time in his life. It’s funny, sad, heartwarming, and declared to be “the best book ever” by many kids.

    Also available from:
  • The Maze Runner

    by James Dashner

    Available from:

    A dystopian adventure story set in a post-apocalyptic world where teens’ memories are wiped clean and they are put through horrible trials in the name of a higher good. An action-packed story that is best suited for older middle schoolers or mature readers.

    Also available from:
  • Books Recommended by Friends

  • Nothing can beat an “OMG, you have to read this” recommendation from a friend. Here are a few books that kids want to read based purely on the review of a trusted friend. If your kid is stuck on what to read, find out what their friends are loving.

  • Fish in a Tree

    by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

    Available from:

    The emotional story of Ally, a sixth grader who can’t read but has successfully hidden her secret from teachers, friends, and family. That is, until she meets her new teacher, Mr. Daniels. Funny and relatable characters build empathy and remind readers of the importance of breaking free of labels.

    Also available from:
  • The Doll People

    by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin

    What happens to your dolls when you go to sleep? This unique take on the “toys come alive” concept centers on Annabelle, a 100-year-old china doll, and Tiffany, a plastic Fun-craft doll. An engaging mystery wrapped in a sweet friendship story with excellent illustrations.

  • The Meaning of Maggie

    by Megan Jean Sovern

    Eleven-year-old Maggie writes her own memoir chronicling the typical ups and down of middle school life and the serious challenges she faces when she realizes her dad has an incurable neurological disease. This warm and sad story tackles tough issues that are familiar to many families, including the author.