Books in the Middle: Reading for Middle School

Our focus is on books middle school students might like to read and topics pertaining to books for these students, and we are giving recommendations. Teachers, librarians and middle school students are the contributors to this blog. Enjoy!

Is there such a thing as Too Young? May 27, 2014

Filed under: Nonfiction Titles — oneilllibrary @ 10:17 am

I will admit it; I’m a survival junkie. When it comes to adventure stories, I like mine on the high seas or in high altitude. I love reading about these people and the things they do in real life, because I know I will NEVER do anything like that! So when I saw No Summit Out of Sight by Jordan Romero and Linda Le Blanc, I had to grab it. I wasn’t disappointed.

Years ago I read a book called Within Reach: My Everest Story by Mark Pfetzer which was about a young man who attempted to climb Mt. Everest. He imgreswas the youngest to ever attempt at that time at the age of 16.

No Summit Out of Sight chronicles the climbing life of Jordan Romero, who currently does hold the world record for being the youngest to climb Mt. Everest at the age of 13. However, what I didn’t know is that Everest was only one stop for him, on his bid to climb the Seven Summits. The Seven Summits are the highest mountains on each of the seven continents, including Antarctica.

What is amazing about this young man, is the fact he got this idea when he was only 9 years old, and where he got the idea from was very interesting. It shows how something that others walk by every day can change someone else’s life.

For anyone who is interested in high adventure and real life drama, this is a great book to pick up and enjoy, as I did!

Recommended for grades 6th and up.


The Dead and Dying…Everywhere February 9, 2014

Filed under: Nonfiction Titles — oneilllibrary @ 9:13 pm
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I’d heard about this girl, Tillie Pierce for several years. When reading some excerpts from other Civil War books, her name would come up periodically and especially when I was reading about the Battle of Gettysburg. So I was very excited to see there is a whole book written about this brave girl who witnessed one of the most pivotal battles of the whole Civil War.

Tillie Pierce: Teen Eyewitness to the Battle of Gettysburg by Tanya Anderson does a wonderful job of giving the reader lots of background on how the town of Gettysburg was founded, who the main citizens were, and how Tillie came to be in the thick of the battlefield, filled with the dead and dying men and horses.

searchTillie’s family thought she would be safer outside of town, at the farm of a neighbor’s parents, away from where they thought the fighting would happen. Instead, Tillie and the neighbor’s family found their farm in the midst of horrific shelling and bullets whizzing close by. At one point, Tillie and the others found themselves running through a field as shells exploded around them!

What Tillie probably remembered the most, and what the read will too, was the aftermath of the battle. The shear amount of dead was almost beyond comprehension. Tillie, as a young girl, struggled to help the sick as best she could, and her vivid descriptions of seeing amputated limbs stacked next to a fence will resonate with readers long after the story is finished.

Recommended for 7th grade and up, and especially for any students interested in the Civil War.


Imagine Growing up in the Woods…Alone January 30, 2014

Filed under: Nonfiction Titles — oneilllibrary @ 7:02 pm
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imgresWhat would it be like to be completely by yourself. Surviving by your wits alone, in the cold, rain, snow, heat? No one to talk to, no one to help you? For one boy in the late 1700s, this was his reality. In a small village in France, in 1798, a boy was captured, a wild boy. He appeared to be around the age of 9 or 10, and he seemed totally wild. He wouldn’t speak, sniffed everything that he wanted to eat, and bit at people that were trying to keep him. Quickly, he escaped and ran back into the woods.

This was repeated several times till, finally, he was caught and taken away from the woods he loved. Over the next thirty years, he would spend most of his time in Paris, under the care of a doctor named Itard who thought it was possible to teach him to speak. Could a boy who ran free for years ever be civilized? Did that make the boy less human?

Wild Boy by Mary Losure is the fascinating true story of a boy found roaming in the woods, completely alone, surviving in the wild, and how his life is changed forever after coming into contact with…humans.

Recommended for grades 6 and up.


Student Blogger Kelly P. Reviews SURVIVORS November 24, 2013

Survivors by Allan Zullo and Mara Bovsum is a nonfiction book. This book has many different true stories of children in the Holocaust and the gruesome times they went through. One  story in particular stuck out to me where a Jewish family living in a town full of Jews knew that eventually they were going to get caught by the Nazis. They left their house and the family went farm to farm, hiding in haystacks. Then one day while this family was in hiding, they recognized a man and he was willing to take the family into his house to care for them, but what this family didn’t know though is that they were going to live in the man’s crawlspace. The Engelbergs, the family, hated living in there and didn’t  know if they could survive that dreadful time.

I enjoyed this this book because all the stories were so engaging and I wanted to keep reading. It is a shorter book, only 196 pages, but the content was sometimes confusing to me because of the many German words in it. I think this book is good for young teens. If you liked Chasing Lincoln’s Killer, you’ll like Survivors even better.


Student Blogger Steven S. Reviews 100 MOST DISGUSTING THINGS ON THE PLANET

imgres-8The book 100 Most Disgusting Things on The Planet is an informative book because it has all facts in the book.  The author of the book is Anna Claybourne. This book is all about different revolting habits to nauseating foods. Each  entry includes, a yuck-rating and all the disgusting details you need to prepare yourself for the real-life scenario.
Are you prepared for the worst, or ready to face the most disgusting things you would ever encounter? If not, I advise you to stop reading. This book is a fast, quick read, plus if you need a Halloween book that’s nasty, this book is good for you. I recommend this book to all the people that love nasty reads.


Student Blogger Megan G. Reviews MORE BADDER GRAMMAR

imgres-7More Badder Grammar by Sharon Eliza Nichols  is about how even professional companies and schools make mistakes on their billboards or even school signs. For example, say that there is a website for Verizon and you look even closer to the websites main page. You notice that they even spell the name of their own company wrong.

I liked this text because you find out that no company or business is perfect or better than the leading competitor. I would recommend this to teachers and businesses because I think they would enjoy learning about mistakes that they or anyone else made. I am positive that if you liked More Badder Grammar, than you would also like I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar.


Student Blogger Cameron C. Reviews THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN SHOT

BEA2_presidentOn the morning of November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was readying himself for a motorcade that would change the United States. As he was rounding a street corner, little did he know there was a sniper 10 stories above the motorcade that was also readying himself. Just after his limousine turned the corner, there was a loud boom and the President of the United States of America was unconscious!

I like The President Has Been Shot by James L. Swanson because I enjoy reading about the history of the United States and past presidents. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys learning about the past presidents and the history of the United States. If you enjoyed Catching Lincoln’s Killer, then you will love this book.


Student Blogger Jessica P. Reviews KILLER LIPSTICK

Filed under: Nonfiction Titles,Student Book Reviews — lhorn1217 @ 2:19 pm
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Killer Lipstick And Other Spy GadgetsKiller Lipstick by Don Rauf is a great nonfiction book. Entailed is all the super cool gadgets that spies used from nowadays and from the past. It also explains certain historical events like overthrowing Fidel Castro and what spy gadgets were used to do so and how they were used. Also, the end of the book has an interview with two retired CIA workers which gives you an idea of how to get involved in working with the CIA.

I liked Killer Lipstick because it was a short read that was interesting throughout the whole book. I definitely would recommend this book to teens who like quick reads that give very interesting but informative information. If you like James Bond movies and like all the gadgets and gizmos they use, then this is definitely a good book for you


Student Blogger Madison P. Reviews THAT’S GROSS

Filed under: Humor,Nonfiction Titles,Student Book Reviews — lhorn1217 @ 2:15 pm
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That’s Gross by Crispin Boyer is about lots of icky things that people would not naturally do on a daily basis. It can go right from eating insects to having parasites in your hair. If you like weird things, you would definitely enjoy this book.


I liked this book because there is a ton of humor and excitement in it. I would recommend this to anyone my age or grade which is 12 or 13 years and between that number range and either 7th or 8th grade or lower. If you like the world record books you will definitely love this book.


Student Blogger Samantha H. Reviews THE YEAR WE DISAPPEARED

Life in Falmouth, Massachusetts was perfect for the Busby family. In a town where everybody knows everybody, within a day everyone can be caught up on the latest gossip. The Busby’s were an average family, until their father was targeted and almost killed. Almost overnight their life changed forever, all with one shot. The only thing left they could do was disappear.

I liked The Year We Disappeared by Cylin Busby & John Busby a lot. There were two different authors, and every chapter had a different point of view, making the book easier and faster to read. I would recommend this book to anyone that likes nonfiction books that tell a story of someone’s life or a mystery type of book. If you liked Warriors Don’t Cry , then you would like The Year We Disappeared



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