Middle School to Young Adult Books

Theme: Letter by Letter

A Voweller’s Bestiary - (ISBN: 978-0889843004)

by JonArno Lawson

In this unusual approach to poetry, the writer creates lipograms, short writings in which certain letters of the alphabet cannot be used. All ages will marvel at the way the writer uses combinations of vowels to communicate, despite the fact that some letters are missing from the words used. Try writing some of your own lipograms! What letters can you do without?

Multiple Choice - (ISBN: 978-0805060867)

by Janet Tashjian

Monica’s way to control her obsessive compulsive behavior is to draw a Scrabble letter tile (A, B, C, or D) to see which of the four choices she has already thought of she will partake in. Although she is seeing a counselor, she spends a lot of her time obsessing and she enjoys making anagrams to control her nervous behavior. Do you think this is a healthy way for Monica to manage her nervous feelings?

S is for Story: A Writer's Alphabet - (ISBN: 978-1585365111)

by Esther Hershenhorn

A perfect book for the budding writer, this does go through the alphabet, but also gives lots of extra information about the writing process. Funky illustrations add more interest. What techniques spoke to you as you paged through the book?

The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman - (ISBN: 9780142422045 )

by Meg Wolitzer

Nate, April, and Duncan meet at a Scrabble tournament. Duncan seems to have the advantage since he can “read” using just his fingers. As they encounter the competition, their stories unfold. Each is trying to deal with family expectations and the difficulties of life as young adults. Enjoy the words they create at the tournament. Does your community have a competitive Scrabble players group?

To Do: A Book of Alphabets and Birthdays - (ISBN: 978-0300170979)

by Gertrude Stein

In this whimsical approach to a birthday book, celebrated writer Gertrude Stein assigns names to each letter of the alphabet and then proceeds to tell a very creative story for each page. Her unusual points of view make this book truly unique among name books, alphabet books, and short story missiles.

My Life as an Alphabet - (ISBN: 978-1743310977 )

by Barry Jonsberg

Nonsense Botany and Nonsense Alphabets: Facsimile of the 1889 Edition - (ISBN: 978-0712350440)

by Edward Lear

The ABCs of Classic Hollywood - (ISBN: 0195322924)

by Robert Ray

The ABC’s of Kissing Boys - (ISBN: 978-0385735827)

by Tina Ferraro

The Ultimate Alphabet - (ISBN: 978-0805000764)

by Mike Wilks

Word Nerd - (ISBN: 9781402208515)

by Barbara Kipfer

Activities for this Theme

Complete a lesson in The Art of Illuminating Letters


Make an alphabet reading challenge in your school or among your friends. Start with a book that begins with the letter A and see who can get the farthest in a certain amount of time.


Make letters like those found in the Gutenberg Bible