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!

A Shiver Going Up Your Spine by 7th Grader Chase H. December 9, 2016

Filed under: Fantasy Books,Student Book Reviews — bhomel @ 10:47 am
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Grace watches the woods, scans the ground looking out at the wolves, she knows they are there. She remembers the blood and snow, with the wolves tearing at her pale skin. Grace soon meets her wolf, but not the way she expected. When she find out that her wolf is a werewolf she knows what she has gotten herself into as she falls in love with him. Grace puts her life at risk to keep Sam and the pack a secret, until she finds out that Isabell (Jack’s sister, Jack is dead as he was killed by the pack) knows that Jack is not dead. Grace tries to keep Sam away from outside, or else he will turn and twist into his lost wolf. How will Grace keep him from turning and keeping the pack a secret?

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Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater is an intense book, there are many adventures and more, if you like fantasy with werewolves and some romantic things combined into it. There is two more books that make it a story that you will never want it end. I recommend this book for people who have read the Twilight series.


Truly, Madly, Deadly Review by 7th Grader Ryan H.

Filed under: Mystery and Ghost Stories,Student Book Reviews — bhomel @ 10:42 am

Sawyer is a high schooler and she recently experienced the death of her boyfriend, she is having a tough time recovering. A few days after the death, she gets a note in her locker that says, “You’re Welcome.” Then Sawyer goes to a party and she is in the back when she hears a scream. She runs around the front and her best friend Chloe has a huge slash across her face. They check Chloe’s car and someone put something in her car that wouldn’t let her use the brakes, luckily she didn’t go into the car. She then gets in a huge fight with her “friend” Maggie. The next day, Chloe comes to her house and says,  “Come on, come with me you need to see this.” She takes her to Maggie’s house and finds out that Maggie committed suicide. Sawyer still doesn’t know who is writing her notes and it’s not Maggie because she is dead. Who is writing her these notes?

Truly Madly Deadly By Hannah Jayne was a really good book if you like mystery.  It is a very intense book and there is always something happening right from the beginning.  If I were to rate it I would give it a 4-5 stars.



Peas and Carrots December 8, 2016

Filed under: Realistic Fiction/ Contemporary Fiction — oneilllibrary @ 8:30 am

They appear to be complete opposites. Dess and Hope. And they pretty much are. Dess is constantly looking over her shoulder, worried that one of her mom’s old boyfriends,Eddie, who is locked up, might still find a way to get to her and her mom. Who is also locked up. But who is willing to testify against the “Felon” as Dess likes to call Eddie. Problem is this means that Dess’ mom has to be moved to a different prison. And if Dess wants to be closer to her mom, she has to move too. Into Hope’s family.

Turns out that Hope’s family has been raising Dess’ little brother Austin for a few years, ever since Dess called the police on the Felon for abusing her mom. But Austin doesn’t even recognize Dess, it has been so long, and Dess is in no mood to put up with any of the happiness that seems to radiate from Hope’s family. Hope, who just happens to be the same age as Dess, 9ksees pretty quickly that having Dess as an addition to the family is going to be really challenging. Especially when Dess starts to take over some of Hope’s friends and no one seems to get that Dess is well, pretty awful…at least to Hope she is.

Peas and Carrots by Tanita Davis is realistic look at what happens with older kids and fostering and how foster families and children in the foster system have to remake themselves in different families often.

Recommended for 6th grade and up, because this book should have a wide readership.


Am I Missing? A Book Review by 7th Grader Alejandro A. December 7, 2016

Filed under: Mystery and Ghost Stories,Student Book Reviews — bhomel @ 3:13 pm

After a girl, named Janie Johnson, is eating lunch one day, she sees that her friend has a milk carton with a picture of a missing child. She suddenly realizes that the child looks like her! She is confused as to how she was kidnapped from a shopping mall in New Jersey 12 years ago. And the reason she is confused is because she might think that her own parents kidnapped her and changed her name.

The Face on the Milk Carton by: Caroline B. Cooney  is a good read for people who like mysteries. This book is so mysterious because I wanted to know if Janie was really kidnapped and who her parents really are and how was she kidnapped 12 years ago from a Shopping mall in New Jersey.

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A Sweet Read December 5, 2016

Filed under: Realistic Fiction/ Contemporary Fiction,Romance — bhomel @ 1:32 pm
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Image result for love and gelato

In the book Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch, Lina’s entire life changes! Her mom’s dying request was for Lina to go to Italy and live with the mysterious Howard. During her seventeen years of her life, Lina has never met Howard and she presumes he’s her long lost father. A new country and a new dad are a lot to take in!

Once in Italy, Lina meets Ren – who happens to be half Italian and half American. Lina and Ren become friends quickly and he agrees to show her the sites of Italy. Lina is given an old diary written by her mother. As she starts reading the diary, she discovers secrets about her mom! Lina and Ren trace her mom’s adventures from when she lived in Italy a short time before Lina was born. The secrets lead Lina to finding out more about her father and it’s a huge surprise!

Along the way, Lina finds a love interest in Italy to make her trip even sweeter than gelato! (Get it?!) Love and Gelato is a good read for people who like to read stories that have lots of ups and downs in life and romance fans. Lina’s life is full of adventures and that kept me reading – I had to find out what was going to happen to Lina, Howard, and Ren. The ending was great and I was very happy. I would love to read a sequel!


Based on True Events November 30, 2016

On March 11, 2011, a catastrophic earthquake hit Japan. Minutes later, a wall of the Pacific Ocean came slamming into the coast of Japan from a massive tsunami.

Leza Lowitz, the author of Up From the Sea, noted, “15,889 people died, 6,152 were injured, and 2,601 people are still missing.” She was inspired to write this story because she was in Tokyo when this happened – she saw the devastation and death first hand.

Up from the Sea is a novel in verse. Kai, a fictional character, tells his story of survival and loss. At school, Kai thinks he’s part of just another routine earthquake drill Japan often has. This time the drill is real! After the earthquake, Kai seeks higher ground b2Q==.jpgecause a tsunami is coming. The tsunami destroys everything in Kai’s life – his home, his school, and his family. Kai’s story portrays the aftermath of the tsunami that hit Japan and how many people’s lives were changed.

If you like reading novels in verse, easy books, books about natural disasters, stories about survival, or just good stories – I recommend Up From the Sea by Leza Lowitz



Hijacked! November 29, 2016

Filed under: Historical Fiction — oneilllibrary @ 2:39 pm

She was having a hard enough time leaving her family and going back to boarding schoolimgres after Winter Break, without having to worry about all the news of hijacked planes. Not that it would happen to her, right? What were the chances after all?

Turns out, the chances were pretty good. Anna is fifteen years old and traveling back to England from Behrain where her father has been stationed as a soldier. When she gets on board the plane, nothing seems out of the ordinary. However, not long into the flight a hijacker with a gun emerges and it turns out there are three hijackers on the plane, with one of them strapped to a brief case filled with explosives. They are Palestinians who are trying to raise awareness of their situation in the Middle East. Of course Anna and the two boys sitting on either side of her know nothing about this and are just terrified.

The plane is diverted to a remote airstrip in the Jordan desert where two other hijacked planes are also sitting. There is a deadline. A Palestinian hijacker who is being held by the British must be released in four days time, or the plane with everyone on board will be blown up.

Anna goes through a range of emotions and finds herself at times struggling to comprehend that these might be the last days of her life.

Girl on a Plane by Miriam Moss is a fast paced, intense read and even more impactful when you read the author’s note and find out that the author was on a plane that was hijacked when she was fifteen.

Recommended for mature 6th graders and up.