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!

Is there such a thing as Too Young? May 27, 2014

Filed under: Nonfiction Titles — oneilllibrary @ 10:17 am

I will admit it; I’m a survival junkie. When it comes to adventure stories, I like mine on the high seas or in high altitude. I love reading about these people and the things they do in real life, because I know I will NEVER do anything like that! So when I saw No Summit Out of Sight by Jordan Romero and Linda Le Blanc, I had to grab it. I wasn’t disappointed.

Years ago I read a book called Within Reach: My Everest Story by Mark Pfetzer which was about a young man who attempted to climb Mt. Everest. He imgreswas the youngest to ever attempt at that time at the age of 16.

No Summit Out of Sight chronicles the climbing life of Jordan Romero, who currently does hold the world record for being the youngest to climb Mt. Everest at the age of 13. However, what I didn’t know is that Everest was only one stop for him, on his bid to climb the Seven Summits. The Seven Summits are the highest mountains on each of the seven continents, including Antarctica.

What is amazing about this young man, is the fact he got this idea when he was only 9 years old, and where he got the idea from was very interesting. It shows how something that others walk by every day can change someone else’s life.

For anyone who is interested in high adventure and real life drama, this is a great book to pick up and enjoy, as I did!

Recommended for grades 6th and up.


Can You Ever Totally Disappear? May 21, 2014

Filed under: Realistic Fiction/ Contemporary Fiction — oneilllibrary @ 2:49 pm


imgresSam has basically checked out. He’s checked out of school, his family, and mostly, life. After being abandoned by his mother at his grandparents house, Sam keeps believing it will only be a temporary gig. However, as the days, then months, and finally years go by, he realizes she isn’t going to be back in his life anytime soon.

So rather than dealing with this, he shuts down. At his grandparents place, he copes by not engaging with them, much at all. At school, he has a list of rules that he lives by. Basically, if he does just enough that the teachers leave him alone he can pretty much just slide through there. Until one day a new student comes to school and gets seated in the back, right next to Sam. And not just in one of his classes, in all six.

Then, as Sam is trying to deal with the fact this tough looking Hispanic kid named Luis is right next to him all day long, he freaks out thinking Luis is going to beat him up. But after a few days, things seem to get into a pattern. Sam doesn’t talk to Luis, Luis doesn’t talk to Sam. However, one day in English, after they get an assignment, Luis breaks that. He tells Sam that the two of them are going to work on the project together. And that is the beginning and the end of many things.

Jumped In by Patrick Flores-Scott is a gritty look at a teen who has completely lost his way in the world and can’t see a way back. Sam has a choice. Does he want to actually begin living again, or continue on as someone who barely exists. The decision rests with him, regardless of how people around him try to help.

Recommended for grades 8 and up because of language.


The Good Braider May 17, 2014

Fourteen-year-old Viola lives in Juba, Sudan with her loving grandmother, strong-willed mother, and adoring littlethe good braider brother.  Although danger is constantly present in the form of land mines, armed soldiers, and starvation, Viola loves her family and community, and remembers the days when Juba was a lush paradise.  When she is raped by a soldier when walking home one evening, however, her family decides to make the treacherous journey from Sudan to Egypt to the United States.  Tragedy occurs along the way, and Viola finds herself torn between the luxuries found in America, and the high cost her family paid to get there.  Eventually, Viola discovers that she does not have to be defined by horrors in her past, and that she can live as a strong, proud Sudanese American woman.


Who will be THE ONE? May 8, 2014

Filed under: Romance,Science Fiction Books — lhorn1217 @ 5:53 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

The One (3rd book in The Selection series)

Kiera Cass


While this series has kept me on the edge of my seat, the much-anticipated third novel was probably the best yet. Now that we have really gotten to know the ins and outs of these characters and girls competing to win the prince’s heart, Kiera Cass focuses on the constant struggle between castes as well as the various rebels against the prince and his family overall.

Within the last book, we left the prince with just a handful of suitors left for him to choose from. As we continue to guess which girl who will ultimately end up with, we also get to know more about the responsibilities as a princess, as well as the struggles the individual girls face when some of their families become in danger due to the war going on around them. There are so many dynamic relationships, characters, conflicts, and events that you too won’t be able to put this book down!

It’s not too often that we see a series continually get better and better with each book and I’m so glad that Kiera Cass was able to do so!


7th Grade Guest Blogger – Sophia G.

The Girl Who Was Supposed To Die By April Henry

This book is a page turner. Have you ever dreamt of being kidnapped or about to be killed? Well in this book it actually happens to her. But the thing is, sheimgres doesn’t know who she is, where she came from, where she is, and why do three strange men want to kill her. And they wont stop in till they do. The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die is suspenseful and interesting. You never know what could happen next. I definitely recommend this book to boys and girls ages 13 and up.

Did she escape? Do they kill her? You have to read it to find out.