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!

Does Growing Up Have to Mean Saying Goodbye? August 26, 2015

Filed under: Realistic Fiction/ Contemporary Fiction — lpitrak @ 4:27 pm

Goodbye Stranger

This newest book by Rebecca Stead (who won the Newbery award for When You Reach Me) is an amazing exploration of friendship and finding yourself. Bridge, Em, and Tab have been best friends since fourth grade, and while they are very different… (Bridge is a free spirit who hates clubs and wears cat ears to feel like herself, Em is an outgoing soccer star, and Tab is studious and committed to social justice)… they have always supported each other.  They made a rule in fourth grade to never fight, but now that they are in seventh grade and facing social pressures and figuring out their place in a larger world, they realize it might not be possible to never disagree with each other.  Will going down separate paths break up their “set”, or will it bring an even deeper friendship  and understanding?  Readers will fall in love with Bridge, Em, and Tab, as well as with their quirky families, and recognize their own struggles throughout this beautiful novel.

 

The Story Contiunes… August 10, 2015

Filed under: Fantasy Books,Romance — bhomel @ 9:40 pm
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Series Spoiler Alert Ahead!

If you haven’t read the first 3 books of The Selection Series, stop reading this and go check them out now!

Kiera Cass’ book covers are amazing! The cover of The Heir adorns a new girl – Princess Eadlyn.

Daughter to Prince Maxon and the first born of his family, Princess Eadlyn is the heir to the throne. Times have changed in Illéa. It’s 20 years after Prince Maxon chose “The One” during “The Selection.”

The caste system is gone but that hasn’t created peace in the country. Prince Maxon and Queen America decide one way to bring Illéa together is to bring back The Selection after all this time. They decide Princess Eadlyn needs to find the perfect match to wed and help run the county when it’s her time to take the crown.

Much like her mother, Princess Eadlyn doesn’t want to be a part of The Selection. In fact, she doesn’t even see herself ever getting married. Princess Eadlyn enters The Selection tough as nails and refuses to let her guard down for anyone. Although this is a very different story, it is a must read if you’ve read the other books in the series!

Straight from Kiera Cass’ mouth: there will be ONE MORE book in The Selection series and that’s it!

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That’s me meeting Kiera Cass and getting my book signed!

 

Not Everything Comes Up Roses

Filed under: Science Fiction Books — oneilllibrary @ 2:48 pm

Things were certainly looking up for Katie her senior year at the private boarding school, Whitney. Her boyfriend is gorgeous, sweet, and a star hockey player for the school. She has a wonderful best friend, Tessa, who has been with her since she first started at Whitney as a scared little freshman still trying to get over the loss of her father. Katie’s mother wasn’t really much help after her father died and finally decided that Katie going to Whitney would be good for both of them.

imgresIt is clear from the start that Katie’s friend, Tessa, doesn’t think that Mark is good enough for her and is just using her. For what, Katie can’t figure out. She is a nobody compared to Mark. Still, she has been close to Tessa for years now, and counts on her, so she tries not to make too many waves between the two of them.

The only things marring her happiness are the creepy nightmares that started a few months ago, where she keeps hearing her name in an erie tone, and also keeps smelling and seeing roses. It doesn’t make any sense to her.

Then one night and one party change everything. Mark is photographed looking to all the world like he’s cheating on Katie,with a girl who has a rose tattoo on her hand. While Katie struggles to decide if Mark is innocent and just the victim of a set up, she has a box delivered to her. A box that contains the hand of the girl in the picture. A hand the clearly came off after she was dead.

Very Bad Things by Susan McBride will have you wondering who is the innocent party and who might have more secrets than they are telling, or ever plan to tell.

Recommended for 8th grade and up.

 

Slavery….Alive and Well August 6, 2015

Filed under: Nonfiction Titles — oneilllibrary @ 1:24 pm
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Unfortunately, slavery is not a problem from the past, but very much something  that concerns nations around the world,imgres including the United States, today. This isn’t slavery that is sanctioned by the state or by governments, but rather done illegally by either deceiving people, or outright kidnapping them. Most of the time, people are transported to another country, one where they don’t speak the language or even understand the customs. This is intentional, because if a kidnapped victim were to escape, who could they turn to? Some are afraid that the country they have been brought into will send them back since they are there illegally.

The horrors of being a slave today are often overlooked because so many people think that slavery is over. Little do they know, that the person in the back of the restaurant might be a slave. Up for Sale: Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery by Alison Marie Behnke gives the reader much to think about.

Recommended for 8th grade and up.

 

It Was Just a Prank…. July 29, 2015

Lara thought she was adjusting to high school pretty well. Sure, ninth grade had been hard, considering her once best friend and neighbor, Bree, seemed to totally brush her off when school started. But she’d survived and found a few close new friends. And she’s just made it onto the cheerleading team too! So when a cute boy named Christian friends her on Facebook, even though he doesn’t go to her school, she gets excited. After all, Bree and some of her other friends from her high school are friends with him.

imgresQuickly, Lara and Christian begin an online romance which looks like it is building up to Christian asking Lara to a dance at his school. Lara is so excited, especially after struggling with feelings of self worth in middle school. However, not long before his school’s dance, Christian attacks Lara on Facebook and others begin to chime in. Lara has no idea why he’s doing this to her, and all her previous feelings of not being good enough come to the front. Specifically when Christian says the world would be a better place without her.

Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman takes on the current look at cyber bullying and how something starts out as one thing and begins to snowball into more and more, all the while the perpetrators seem to have no idea of the possible consequences.

Recommended for students in grades 7 and up.

 

Are Zombies Real????? July 17, 2015

Filed under: Nonfiction Titles — oneilllibrary @ 3:54 pm
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Lots of books, movies and TV shows are focusing on Zombies these days, and while we know they are fantasy, some people think that zombies really could come about. So is there any truth to that? Are there any “zombies” in nature right now?

Zombie Makers: True stories of Nature’s Undead by Rebecca Johnson takes this question very seriously. Could something “take over” an animal or insect and control them? Could something invade an animal or insect and change its nature? This book is chalk full of examples where either another insect, fungus or virus is able to alter the animal or insect it comes into contact with. imgres

Read how an ant becomes the perfect host for a fungus that eventually grows out the top of the dead ant’s head. Or how a worm takes over crickets and forces them to drown themselves. Or how a caterpillar becomes a zombie like bodyguard wasp protector and starves rather than let the little wasp cocoons be eaten, and then the caterpillar dies.

Yes, nature is already providing us with some examples of how animals and insects can be taken over but nothing so far shows how something can die and then come back to life. Those are still in the realm of fantasy, and let’s hope it stays there!

Recommended for grades 6th and up.

 

Would You WANT to be Someone Else? July 15, 2015

imgresFive freshmen are entering into Noble High School, and just trying to fit in to survive. Some of them have a plan, like Vanessa, who wants to win every award possible at school. She has her reasons for wanting to do well, and they have everything to do with her family. Of course she doesn’t realize that a boy could totally mess up her plans.  Sheridan wants to take the school by storm with her acting abilities and isn’t sure what she’ll do if she doesn’t get the lead in the fall play.  Duffy is all basketball, all the time and doesn’t realize that his next door neighbor, Lily is in love with him. Lily is so used to being homeschooled that life at a large public high school just might be too much for her, however any time she gets to spend with Duffy is a huge plus. Jagger just wants to have enough food for the next day and deal with the craziness that is his life. Yet, all converge to impact each others lives in ways they could never have predicted.

Pretenders by Lisi Harrison looks like it is the first book in possibly a series or a trilogy. The book only covers the first two months of school, and leaves the readers hanging for what will come later on in the school year, when everything appears to be unraveling at the end of this book.

Recommended for 8th grade and up.

 

 
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