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!

A Murderer’s Daughter – A Victim’s Son August 31, 2013


imgresWhat happens when worlds collide? A son has seen his mother’s dead, murdered body, and now, ten year’s later, he watches through his window, as history seems to repeat itself. Finn, now 17, sees his stepmother shot and killed and watches his father wrestle with the killer, take the gun and kill that man. What Finn doesn’t know at the time is that this is the same man who went to prison ten years ago for killing his own mother. Why? Why has this man returned?

Lila is stunned, when days after her father is released from prison, police knock at their apartment and tell her, her father is dead. Killed after he murdered a woman – the second wife of the man whose wife he killed ten years before. That doesn’t make any sense to Lila as she begins to learn more about the father she knew only briefly out of prison before his death. Why would he talk about their future, her future, if he was planning to kill again?

As both Finn and Lila struggle with their own grief, each begins to question what really happened, both ten years ago and just a few days ago. Could there be more to the story than what the police believe? What will happen if Finn and Lila’s worlds collide? Who will survive?

Norah McClintock has created another suspenseful book with Guilty, looking at the complex nature of guilt, forgiveness, and betrayal.

Highly recommended for grades 7th and up.


A Magic Stone

Filed under: Fantasy Books,Romance — oneilllibrary @ 6:37 pm
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imgresWhat if your coming had been prophesied, and that you would be called upon to do something great and might lead to the ultimate sacrifice…your death? What kind of pressure would you feel? Elisa is just such a chosen one in the book The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson. However, she is a very reluctant chosen one. She is the second daughter of a king, and feels she is the last person who should have been chosen to have a Godstone, a jewel in her stomach, which foretells of her as one God is counting on to do something heroic.

Elisa is set to marry a king of a distant land, a land that may soon be at war. Elisa may be overweight and not value her own counsel, but she is well versed in the language of war, and has been studying since she was a small child. After her marriage, Elisa realizes her husband, while charming and handsome, is at heart, weak. Soon after her marriage she is captured and taken to a land she never thought to see. It is in this barren place she begins to realize her possible purpose and how she can fulfill her destiny.

Looking for an adventure with elements of fantasy and devotion? This is the book for you.

Recommended for students in 7th grade and up.


Love? As IF! August 16, 2013

imgresSo what do you do when you are surrounded by people who want to make a big deal out of your birthday, when it already IS a big deal? As in, it is Valentine’s Day. Who wouldn’t love to have Valentine’s Day as their birthday? Piper, that’s who. She is anti romance, and she has her mother’s two failed marriages to back her up.

What does romance get you but a big headache? After all, just ask Piper’s friend Claire, who seems to not realize her boyfriend, Stuart, is about to dump her. Jillian, Piper’s other best friend, is determined to get them all great dates for the BIG day this year. However, Piper is doing everything she can to fight against this plan. Yet as the day gets closer, and Jillian’s plan, however strange and bizarre, seems to actually be having results, Piper has to decide if romance and love are really so horrible, or if she and those she loves, might actually have a shot at it

Love? Maybe. by Heather Hepler is a sweet (pun intended) book about a girl growing up and having a hard time doing it. Certainly a great book to pick up and enjoy!

Recommended for 7th grade and up.


Would you want to be Immortal? August 1, 2013

Filed under: Science Fiction Books — oneilllibrary @ 12:35 pm
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Iimgresmagine never aging, never getting sick, never dying. Ever. Would you want that? What if you were the only one? Would you feel lonely, watching everyone you ever loved die?

Pia is perfect. At least that is what all her aunts and uncles at Little Cam say about her. From the day she was born, sixteen years before, all she’s ever heard is that she’s perfect. Perfect in that she can’t be killed, can’t get sick, and probably won’t really ever age much past her 20s. All her aunts and uncles and her mother and father are scientists, who have been continuing work that was begun in the early 1900s to create a race of immortal beings. Finally, with the birth of Pia, they have achieved the first immortal in the world.

But for Pia, while the compound she lives in called Little Cam is all she’s ever known, the arrival of a new scientist makes her long for what is beyond the electrified fences. After meeting a native boy in the jungle forest, she begins to long for more. Are the fences really to protect her, or to keep her in. As Pia gets closer to passing her final test, which will give her access to being on the team that works on the immoral race, she begins to wonder if creating another person like herself is really what she wants.

In Origin by Jessica Khoury, Pia has the opposite problem many of us do. She doesn’t fear death. However, like many of us, she worries about being alone. The journey she makes from a trusting teen to a questioning one and finally being able to make her own decisions is a story many will enjoy.

Recommended for 8th grade and up.