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!

She Must Kill Him To Save Everyone November 19, 2014

She was raised to be the hope for her kingdom and the revenge of her mother. All that was required would be her death. Nyx has knows since she was nine her life was not her own. Her kingdom of Arcadia has been cursed for over nine hundred years and it is up to her to be the one to break that curse. To do so, she only has to marry a monster and then find a way to kill him.

imgresOnce Nyx meets her demon lord husband, she is surprised by the contradictions in him. Ignifex, as he asks her to call him, can look so human, it disturbs Nyx. But then she meets, Shade, who is the shadow of Ignifex and seems to want to help Nyx in her quest to destroy the demon lord. If only Nyx can find what she needs to trace her sigils to break the curse. However, the house of the demon lord changes daily, with locked rooms and keys she needs to get in order to carry out her duty.

As time goes on, Nyx begins to realize that Ignifex might not be the monster she always thought. But what difference will that make, since her kingdom is still cursed and she is still the only one who can save everyone?

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge is for anyone who loves the story of Beauty and the Beast, Blue Beard and mythology since this book has it all.

Recommended for 8th grade and up.


Can Anyone Ever Really…Disappear? November 12, 2014

In the latest rendition of herself, Meg (as she is called now) finds herself losing hope. Hope that her family will ever get out of this vicious cycle they seem to have found themselves in. They are caught up in the Witness Protection Program, and Meg isn’t sure why or how they ended up here, only that her father must have done something to cause them to lose everything.

After having moved six previous times, Meg decides she’s going to come up with a Plan. That “Plan” will include figuring out exactly why her family is running and what she can do to make it all stop. The “Plan” also involves NOT getting involved or close with anyone in their new town. Meg has suffered over the last 8 months with all these moves, making new friends only to have to disappear in the middle of the night. So she is done with that. Her younger sister, Mary, seems to be becoming only a shell of her former self, and her mom can’t stop drinking long enough to be a mom to them again.

With all this on her mind, she doesn’t quite know how to react when Ethan, a cute local boy, seems to want to beimgres friends, and maybe more, with her. Trying to remember the “Plan” is hard because she is drawn to Ethan. When he starts to ask questions that hit a little too close to home though, she can’t decide if she can trust him with her secrets or if it will risk his life if he knows too much. Because it turns out this placement is different than all the others. Meg is starting to remember why her family is in the program. And it scares her to death.

The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston is a book you need to be ready to read all day long, it is that gripping and good.

Recommended for mature 7th graders and up.


No One is Perfect November 4, 2014

What makes someone successful? Is it what they do right? Or what they actually do wrong? How They Choked by Georgia Bragg looks at 15 people in history we often think of in terms of their successes. But what about their failures? Maybe those failures weren’t very public and maybe, as in the case of Amelia Earhart, they were.

What is great about this book, is the irreverent way Bragg approaches each of her subjects. As she says at the beginning of herimgres book, no one is perfect, and the sooner we all learn that, that happier we will be.

The chapter on Thomas Edison showed how someone could be success during their life, but a not nice person to those around them, or as in the case of Vincent Van Gogh – no one liked him. Not his family, or people around him. Ever. He had to pay people to pretend to be his family and it got to the point where people wouldn’t even pose for him because they disliked being around him so much.

Recommended for grades 6th and up for anyone who wants to be surprised, shocked and down right disgusted at times.