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!

Have you ever felt invisible? March 19, 2013

Well, that is exactly how Fern feels within her constantly-on-the-go family in See You At Harry’s by Jo Knowles. At first the story captures you with the connection you instantly build with Fern, a middle-schooler who doesn’t feel like an important part in her family. Someone who tries to help her high school brother that is grappling with decisions about his sexuality and much bully

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ing at school; along with someone who tries to make her dad happy while running their restaurant, even if that means her having to be in some silly commercial. I looked at Fern as the glue in the family; though we all know that just because the glue is there to help “things” stay together, not everyone always knows about its presence.

I really liked this book because I felt it had many layers just waiting to be shed as the book progressed. As you learn more about the family, their dynamic and how the individual characters are feeling in their given situations- a traumatic incident occurs, one that I did NOT see coming in the slightest. Will Fern be able to help her family stick together? Or will she fall apart, thus leaving her family to do the same? This was a tear-jerking book that I just could not put down. It gives you a very realistic account of what happens when tragedy hits a family and how friends and family have to pull together to get through it.

A definite must-read to all my middle schoolers- boys and girls! It’s got a little bit for everyone- drama, tragedy, humor, romance, typical high-school problems, identity issues and family & relationships dynamics!

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