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!

8th Grade Student Blogger – Teagan C. April 30, 2014

Filed under: Realistic Fiction/ Contemporary Fiction,Student Book Reviews — oneilllibrary @ 9:43 am

As small as an Elephant
By Jennifer Richard

imgresThis book was about a boy, a boy named Jack who went on a camping trip with his mom. Jack knew his mom was unpredictable, she was loving and fun, but also weird and confusing. But he never thought his mom was insane enough to leave him at a campground alone. He didn’t have a map, didn’t know at all where she would have gone, didn’t leave a note, and barely had enough money to buy food. Usually any other kid would just go and report that his mom was missing but he didn’t want to get caught; he wanted to figure it out himself. He set off on this great adventure. He ran from cops, picked up tin cans and got money for them, he had to survive on his own in a place unknown to him. He struggled so much on this journey, but he just needed to get home. Nothing but a small toy elephant to keep him company he set off on a long journey South which tested his wits and bravery. Jack knew he needed to find his mom and get home, but he knew it wouldn’t be easy.


8th Grade Student Blogger – Bella P. April 29, 2014

Filed under: Fantasy Books,Romance,Student Book Reviews — oneilllibrary @ 10:01 am

Title: The Boyfriend App
Author: Katie Sise
This is a romantic realistic fiction meets fantasy kind of book. A high school student and genius computer geek and hacker, Audrey enters a nation wide competition to compete for a scholarship. At first, her app consists of filling out a survey and finding a match in your area. This doesn’t work out so well. In her frustrations she finds out a big secret about a company who makes virtually everyone’s’ electronics. They have a ‘love’ gas that is released when someone buys music. Causing them to keep buying music. She uses this in her app and everyone is under crazy love spells. The company finds out and she’s in a lot of trouble. what will happen? Will she find her true love? Or has she known him all along?


Have you ever written a letter to an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend? April 26, 2014

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Beforeimgres

Jenny Han

Jenny Han certainly doesn’t disappoint in this realistic fiction story of three sisters and father, who continue to make their family dynamic after having lost their mother many years ago. As Margot, the oldest, gets ready to go across the world for college, that leaves Lara Jean to be the woman in charge. Despite starting off on a rocky foot, while attempting to take over her sister’s duties, Lara didn’t think it could get much worse. However, letters she addressed to her old boyfriends or simply boys she had crushes on in her past, got sent. To who? None other than each gentlemen she had addressed it to.

Can you imagine writing a letter to help get over a break-up and rid yourself of the negativity and heartbreak you were feeling, and having it sent to that very person years later? Well, that is exactly what happens with Lara Jean. As the story continues, we see her try to dig her way out of the mess that has been created, finding and forming new relationships, while also helping to find herself through it all!


7th Grade Student Blogger – Erica A. April 24, 2014

Filed under: Historical Fiction,Romance,Student Book Reviews — oneilllibrary @ 9:15 am

Pirates Captain’s Daughter by Eve Bunting

I definitely recommend this book! Even if I totally hate the cliff hanger ending. Anyways, this book is about a 12 year old girl who just had her imgres-1mother pass away. She also figures out that her father has been hiding who he really is this whole time. A pirate captain. So since he has to go back to his ship, Catherine decides (instead of going with her aunt) to come aboard his ship. Well, women aren’t allowed on the ship. So Catherine finds herself aboard “The Reprisal” pretending to be a musician boy. It’s all going well till she meets an attractive boy aboard the ship. Then things just go down hill from that. And like I said it’s a very good book except you never know if she dies or not which really annoys me. So if you’re like me and hate cliff-hangers stray away from this book!


8th Grade Student Blogger – Haley G.

Filed under: Humor,Realistic Fiction/ Contemporary Fiction,Student Book Reviews — oneilllibrary @ 8:23 am

It’s a Funny Kind of Story by Ned Vizzini

Craig’s best friend is Aaron. Aaron knows almost everything about Craig. They’ve known each other for what seems like forever. However, there are a few things that Craig has kept from Aaron. Craig seems to love Aaron’s girlfriend. He has liked her for a while. It kills him to see them together. But, there is something else that Aaron doesn’t know.. Craig is depressed. Often, he finds himself thinking about taking his life. He cannot keep his food dimgresown, and he has dreams about jumping off a bridge. One day, he finds himself thinking about suicide. Though, it’s different this time. He wants to do it. He has an urge to do it, to follow through with the thoughts he has. This scares him, so he calls a Suicide Help Line. The police come, and he is committed to a Mental Help Center. Will Craig be able to rid himself of the pain that has burdened him for so long? Or, will he remain to be captivated by pain?

Recommended for 8th grade and up.



Some Secrets You Can Live With…Others You Can’t April 17, 2014

Filed under: Historical Fiction,Romance — oneilllibrary @ 12:48 pm

imgresCharlotte is bored. Bored of the endless parties and visits she is expected to attend being the daughter of a Lord in the stuffy, rigid British society of the early 1900s. She feels like she’s missing out on life. Her mother seems to have no ambitions for Charlotte other than to be married off quickly, to the highest Lord who will offer for her.

One day at a garden party, where Charlotte is trying to avoid the man her mother seems to be forcing on her, Charlotte’s friend Fran spots a girl making her way around the edge of the party, heading toward the woods. Fran is incensed that a servant would have the tenacity to shirk her work load during a party no less, and decides to follow her to find out what she is up to. All Charlotte can think is how wonderful it would be to slink off herself. She and Fran confront the girl, with Fran doing most of the confronting, and shoo her back to the main manor house. But it gets Charlotte thinking about all the things she will miss when she is summarily married off in a year or two.

Janie is annoyed. If she wanted to sneak off for a moment to cool off from the stifling heat of the kitchen, it shouldn’t be such a big deal. Still, she loves her job, being close to her mother, the head Cook at the Manor, and doesn’t want to do anything to jeopardize her position. Even conversing with the handsome footman, Lawrence, could lead to problems, and a possible sacking if she isn’t careful. So when Lady Charlotte shows up in the kitchen, wanting to talk with Janie, she knows this can only lead to problems, and she’s right. Throw on top of that a visit from Charlotte’s long lost Aunt, and things really get interesting. Turns out there is a big secret the Manor has been hiding, for years.

Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore is a wonderful period piece which has a little of something for everyone. It is set during a time when servants and their masters were beginning to see a change in the once rock solid fabric of society in Britain. Being content to be a servant, or a member of the lower class wasn’t good enough anymore for many people. Having to hold to the suffocating restrictions of the upper class wasn’t much easier for many. Charlotte and Janie must navigate through this minefield if they are going to come out unscathed on the other side.

Recommended for grades 6th and up.


What Do You See When You Look Up? April 15, 2014

Filed under: Science Fiction Books — oneilllibrary @ 8:30 pm

Eden doesn’t star gaze much, well, really at all. She leaves all that up to her best friend Connor. They’ve been friends forever. Growing up in England on the coast her whole life, Eden has several close friends, but no one special, other than Connor.

One day though, close to the end of her final year of school, a new boy arrives at school. His name is Ryan. Right away, Eden finds herself fascinated imgresby this boy and by how strange he can be at times. For example, the first day in lunch, he doesn’t recognize pizza. Eden thinks this is very bizarre, since hello, who doesn’t know what pizza is? As she spends more time with Ryan, she falls more in like with him. However, after a visit to his house one afternoon, everything Eden thinks she knows about the world and even her best friend Connor, changes.

 After Eden by Helen Douglas is a romance with a nice twist. What would you give up for the person you love?

Recommended for grades 7 and up.