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!

The Lesser of Two Evils March 24, 2013

When none of the options looks good, what do you do? Calvin in Nowhere to Run by Claire J. Griffin is a runner, or actually he is a sprinter. He is starting his senior year of high imgresschool in Washington, D.C. and is looking forward to winning the 100 meter dash in the District Championship. What he doesn’t count on is getting caught up in the life of his best friend Deej whose cousin who happens to be running a lot of shady deals.

Struggling to stay in school when most of his classmates don’t seem to care about showing up, and a lot of the teachers appear to only be passing the time, Calvin has a goal, and that goal is to make it to spring and go as fast as he ever has before. His friend Deej plans to be there every step of the way, and even helps to coach Calvin. Yet, just when things seem to be falling into place for Calvin, who begins dating a girl with the nickname of Junior and feels he is in love for the first time, Deej becomes distant. One night Deej asks Calvin to do something Calvin knows might jeopardize everything he has worked so hard for both with his running and in his personal life. But how do you say no to your best friend?

Nowhere to Run gives you a sense of the conflict we all face growing up. How do we make those hard decisions on our own, and even more difficult, how do we live with them once we’ve made them.

Recommended for grades 7 and up.


4 Responses to “The Lesser of Two Evils”

  1. Thanks for this recommendation! For those teachers and librarians who are interested – please visit my website: – for a useful Discussion Guide and other information about the book.
    Claire J. Griffin

  2. I really enjoyed this book, and the ending is great for generating discussion.

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