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Need help finding romance

I need your help finding romance. No, I’m not looking for a date. (After two marriages/divorces I’m still in recovery mode) No, no, no. I’m looking for romance books for middle schoolers. 

These girls keep coming in looking for romance and I don’t know where to start. I have a few of The Romantic Comedies from the Simon Pulse series and anticipate adding more like Scary Beautiful from Niki Burnham. I like the concepts behind some of The Romantic Comedies because they shake up your expectations and reality. But what if I like that series and it’s not romantic enough for my students?

Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, the Twilight series, Meg Cabot’s Princess books, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and a few other titles that vary in interest level come to my mind, but it looks like the library I walked into last year only owns about 15 romantic books to fulfill the romantic reading needs of over 500 girls grades 6,7, and 8.

I have issues books like Drama High, Bluford High, and the Orca Soundings series. I have Lurene McDaniel titles like "Don’t Die My Love" (which I can’t resist overly dramatizing every time I say the title). It’s not enough.

I need help. I need middle school romance. My girls are developing a definition for the word "ROMANCE". What do you recommend? How do you balance romance with sexuality? When I was in middle school, I was reading all the Harlequin romances from my mom’s, my grandma’s, and the public library collection. I don’t recall those being available in the school library.

Where are my Romance Writers of America and Romancing the Blog suggestions? Please send me recommendations for middle schoolers and sophisticated 8th graders. While you’re at it, I could use some romances for adult women who have survived marriage and divorce and want to believe there is still romance in the world. Any suggestions?


  1. Maureen Hume says:

    Unfortunately I don’t have any MG romance suggestions for you, but I did want to thank your for the post. I’ve been tossing around the idea of writing some sort of YA fiction and strangely (because I loved Harlequin at that age) romance hadn’t entered my thoughts. Thanks again for the interesting food for thought.

  2. I have also had more requests for romance. I think the popularity of the Twilight series ignited a lot of it. It is a challenge balancing romance with sexual content because a lot of the titles they are asking for are really high school books. I have found or had a few recommended to me:
    Most Dessen books have content not for MS, but Along for the Ride has been highly recommended by other middle school media specialists.
    I just read a great book: Waiting for You by Colasanti, it’s got romance plus a whole lot more about families, mental health issues, great characters. Love it.
    The summer I turned pretty by Han was read by my aide and she liked it and said it was appropriate for middle school.
    The best bad luck I ever had by Levine is historical fiction more about race relations but has a sweet romance side to it too.
    The Skeleton Crek series by Carman isn’t really romance, it’s more mystery/horror, but there is the element of a high school couple being kept apart by their parents.
    The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins is a great romance plus adventure. Loved by boys too.

    Every Soul a Star by Wendy Maas- very middle school appropriate.

    Incantation by Hoffman is also historical fiction but with a story of true love at it’s center.
    These are the ones I can think of right now.