Because middle and high schools are where many gifted programs go to die.
In the bulk of our nation's secondary schools, dedicated face to face gifted education comes to an end around 6th grade and is replaced by leveled courses that are often not intellectually stimulating for gifted students. This is a lost opportunity because middle school is when gifted students have the free time and the intellectual maturity to begin to tackle some of the most stimulating and mind-blowing concepts that have emerged from mankind. Most of the books deal with subjects that are overlooked by the traditional cookie-cutter school curriculum. You won't get these books in school, and they won't disappoint.
ABOUT THE CURATION PROCESS
This list is a labor of love done as a side project by a gifted director in a public school division. All books have been read (and often re-read) by him, most are regulars on "best book" lists, and all are mind-expanding. In order to make this list, the book must be "clean" enough for most parents to find acceptable, be mostly free of mainstream political bias, be worthy of a busy student's time, and be likely to advance their knowledge and/or critical thinking skills. If you are unsure where to start, pick the easy reads first - a fun book like The Hot Zone - and avoid the hard reads until you've built considerable intellectual stamina.
Although this site was created to augment gifted programming, these wonderful works were written for the general public and are not solely accessible to the gifted. This list is a great place for the intellectually curious adult to find their next great read.
Financial disclosure: This site links to books from Amazon in order to supplement the costs of hosting and maintaining the site. Clicking from this site helps solidify its long-term future.