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!

Who Did IT? November 12, 2017

Filed under: Mystery and Ghost Stories — oneilllibrary @ 3:41 pm

Five teens that seem to have all had a prank pulled on them. One teacher that never allows phones in his class, finds phones on all of the kids- phones they say aren’t even theirs! Still, a rule is a rule, so they all get detention after school.

It is an unlikely bunch – the school drug dealer, the class valedictorian (or almost), the rising baseball star who will probably sign an MLB deal right out of high school, and the homecoming queen. Plus Simon. Simon is the interesting one. He, after all, knows all the dirt in the school. He knows stuff that no one else knows, and what makes it all crazy is that it is true. Simon publishes it all on a app that everyone has, so everyone knows all the secrets they shouldn’t.

No one understands why they are there. Until one of them isn’t. Simon has an allergic reaction and is rushed to the hospital…where he later dies. It turns out, someone must have slipped him some peanut oil – which he was deathly allergic to – with leathal consequences. Everyone in the room suddenly becomes a suspect.

And it turns out everyone had a motive because Simon was about to post a damaging message to his app that concerned all of the detention students. The question becomes, who did it, how and why?

Bronwyn, Addy, Nate and Cooper all find themselves placed under suspicion by the police and by their fellow students. Could one of them really have hated Simon so much that they killed him for it? As their lives begin to unravel with all that is revealed, it begins to look like there is no way to escape Simon, even after his death.

One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus is a fast paced suspense book that will keep you hanging till the end. Make sure you have a nice long weekend to devote to this book, because once it gets going you won’t want to stop. Recommended for middle of the year 8th graders and up. Enjoy! I sure did!

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A Thousand Regrets October 23, 2017

Filed under: Historical Fiction — oneilllibrary @ 11:12 am

He was a newer kid in town, but even though he was different, it was different in a way everyone liked download. Everyone thought Christopher Goodman was a cool guy, because he was just so nice and helpful to everyone, all the time. Some of the teenagers knew him better than others, and some didn’t know him at all. Still, when he’s killed the night of the local festival, everyone takes a moment to think of what could have been.

Doc, Lenny, Squib, Hunger, Hazel and Mildred all have dealings with Christopher – some more than others. But when he dies, each of them can’t help but think – what if? Could they individually have stopped the murder from happening? Could they collectively have done something?

Who Killed Christopher Goodman  by Allan Wolf is based on an event that actually happened to the author when he was in high school. To this day he still wonders if anything he did or didn’t do could have prevented the murder of the boy from his town. It haunts him decades later and this book will leave the reader thinking of all the “what ifs” we have in our lives, monumental and infinitesimal.

Recommended for 8th grade and up due to mature content.

 

A Letter from the Past October 18, 2017

Filed under: Mystery and Ghost Stories,Romance — oneilllibrary @ 1:52 pm

downloadON the anniversary of her father’s death, Claire likes to look at her father’s journal. This time though, she discovers a letter that was hidden in the binding of the book. Because it is written in Japanese – a language she doesn’t speak or write, but her father did – she isn’t sure what says. So she recruits her brothers and their friends to crack the code with her. What she doesn’t expect is to unearth a family secret – one that could very well put her and her family in harms way.

Ink and Ashes by Valynne Maetani takes readers on a ride through some Japanese customs and superstitions, as well as makes us all realize we might not know everything about the people we live with…that we think we do.

Recommended for 7th grade and up readers who are looking for an interesting mystery with a little romance thrown in for good measure.

 

Sisters In Misery October 11, 2017

Filed under: Historical Fiction,Novels in Verse — oneilllibrary @ 3:56 pm

downloadFor decades, American Indian children were sent off to boarding schools that were supposed to educate them in the white man’s world. Often these children were sent by well intended parents who thought this was in the best interests of the children.

Mattie and Sarah are sent to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School after their mother dies. Some of their other siblings have already gone to other Indian schools, so this isn’t something new for the family. Mattie – the oldest of the two girls, and Sarah, both have reservations right away about their new school. The people in charge seem cold, distant and often just plain mean and cruel. However, Mattie quickly gains a friend and begins to like one of her teachers. Sarah struggles to do both. Yet it is the outspoken Mattie who finds herself a target of the head teacher.

Mattie is accused of stealing a pin from the head teacher, Mrs. Dwyer. Even though she says she didn’t, the other students begin to look at her as if she is guilty. Mattie feels that her only recourse is to run away from the school.

Sweetgrass Basket by Marlene Carvell looks at a troubling and often terrible time in our history. Readers will understand the longing and nostalgia both Mattie and Sarah feel for home, even as they try in vain to make the best of their situation.

Recommended for grades 6th and up.

 

Ghost children live here October 8, 2017

Filed under: Mystery and Ghost Stories — lpitrak @ 3:35 pm
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Coraline and her parents move into a giant mansion that has been separated into many different apartments,

 each containing a different family. There is only one apartment that is empty, and Coraline finds herself strangely curious to open the door to explore this place. The mice in the building pass along the message for her to NOT go through the door… but Coraline is home alone one day and cannot contain her urge to pass through. Beyond the door, Coraline finds an apartment that is much like the one she just left—it is layed out the same way, and there are even two parents known as Other Mother and Other Father. They are loving and pay attention to her, cook her amazing food, and show her tiny wonders such as dolls and books that come to life. Coraline is pretty thrilled when Other Mother invites her to stay permanently—until Other Mother tells her that in order to do so, Coraline will have to allow her to sew buttons over her eyes. Horrified by this, Coraline tries to run away, and discovers the trapped children who Other Mother turned into ghosts. Can Coraline free their souls, save her real parents from the wrath of Other Mother and Other Father, and make it out alive?

 

 

Can a monster hunter become a monster himself?

These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for more than forty years, the one who gave me his trust, the  one for whom I kept these secrets. The one who saved me… and the one who cursed me.

 

These words open this strange and terrifying book by Rick Yancey. They are taken from the journal of Will Henry, an orphan and apprentice with an unusual specialty—Will is apprencticed to Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, a man who has spent his life both studying and hunting horrifying different species of monsters that most humans aren’t even aware exist. When Will is approached by a strange grave robber who has stumbled upon


the remains of a young girl who died with the monster that was eating her still attached to her body, Will’s world is about to change forever. The dead monster is an Anthropophagus–a headless monster that feeds through a mouth in its chest. This one was a baby when it killed the girl; but there are more who are now full grown… and if the mostrumologists can’t kill them, nothing can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who will be Queen?

Filed under: Fantasy Books — lpitrak @ 2:41 pm
Tags: , , ,

On the island of Fennbirn, every generation three triplets are born. These three girls are separated from each other once they turn six years old, and from then on are trained according to their natural abilities. One girl always has been born as a Naturalist—she has the affinity to communicate with animals, trees, and flowers, and also to control them. A second girl always is born as an Elemental—she has the power to

wield the elements of water, fire, wind, and earth; Elementals can create a gentle rain as easily as an earthquake. Finally, the third triplet is born as Poisoner who is immune to poison in all forms—Poisoners are gifted healers, but also stealthy murderers. After years of training, when these sisters turn sixteen, they enter into a battle… they are given a year to use their talents and training to face one another as adversaries. The triplet who is still alive at the end of one year is crowned Queen. Every generation for as long as anyone living can remember, a Poisoner has sat on the throne. But now, Arsinoe, Katherine, and Mirabella are about to turn sixteen and begin the most terrifying year of their lives—all three are talented, ambitious, and deadly… so may the best sister win.