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. If you would like to listen to booktalks of some of these books, please check out this site and enjoy!

If You Aren’t Afraid of a Sad Book January 12, 2013

Filed under: Novels in Verse — bhomel @ 8:42 pm
Tags: , , ,

I tried to read I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder awhile back but for some reason, I just couldn’t get into it. I never finished it – but I recently came across her newer novel in verse, Far From You. Several people posted online that it was a great book. I decided to give this author another chance. I started reading Far from You before bed one night and it was so good, I ended up staying up way past my bedtime to finish this 355 page novel in verse. It sounds like a lot of pages but this story is told through very small poems on each page.

From the beginning, Alice’s life is pretty depressing. She’s about to become a big sister. She points out she’s only the big HALF-sister because she’s not happy about her step mom having a new baby. As a matter of fact, she’s not happy at all about even having a step mom. Alice’s mom passed away from cancer and Alice is still hanging on to her grief. She writes songs about her mom to help cope with it. Meanwhile, her dad has moved on to a new wife and baby – which all seemed to leave Alice behind and left out. I really felt bad for Alice as I was reading this. I think the author, Lisa Schroeder, did a great job really making you feel how lonely Alice’s life was as you read on. Part of the reason I couldn’t put the book down was because I felt so bad for Alice and wanted to find out what was going to happen to the poor girl.

Just when you think things can’t get any worse for her, she ends up in a fight with her best friend and then has to go with her family to visit her step mom’s parents for Christmas. There’s one huge challenge Alice faces before she finally gets a break. Someone seems to be on her side helping her out like a guardian angel.

What I like about this book so much is that Lisa Schroeder packs a lot of description in such small amounts of words. This is a big story packed into small poems. I recommend this book for 8th graders and up.


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