The surprisingly heartwarming story of a classroom filled with misfits, paired with a teacher counting down the days to retirement, Gordon Korman’s hilarious middle grade novel The Unteachables is B&N’s children’s book of the month for January. We asked the author to share a reading list for “unteachable” kids, and he recommended some excellent must-reads for young readers—including a mix of beloved classics and brand new stories.
The Great Brain, by John D. Fitzgerald
Okay, it’s pretty old—but so am I! This series proves that you can be a genius and an Unteachable at the same time.
New Kid, by Jerry Craft
Required reading for anyone entering middle school. Also, Jerry Craft and I have been running into each other at book festivals for so long that we qualify as camp buddies at this point.
(Editor’s note: This title won the 2020 Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Author Award!)
Ms. Bixby’s Last Day, by John David Anderson
Just because you’re an Unteachable doesn’t mean you don’t have heart!
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, by Judy Blume
Believe it or not, I was a fourth-grader around when this came out. It was the first time I really saw myself in the characters of a book.
Smile, by Raina Telgemeier
Thanks to this book, I actually feel deprived because I never wore braces when I was a kid.
Wings of Fire, by Tui Sutherland
I have never attended a single children’s book festival, with any group of authors, where this series did not receive the loudest cheer of the day.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
I get it—it’s not a kids’ book. But a lot of kids read it. It’s weird. It’s hilarious. It’s out there. It’s worth it.
Stormbreaker, by Anthony Horowitz
You don’t have to be an Unteachable to believe that a kid can be a secret agent.
Paperback $7.40 | $9.25
Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney
Over the years, I’ve ready every book in the series three times—once with each of my kids. I found something new and different to love on each go-through. (Plus I was once a balloon-handler for the Greg Heffley balloon in the Macy’s parade, which was pretty awesome!)
The Unteachables is on B&N bookshelves now.