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!

Life in the Death Shop February 19, 2015

Filed under: Romance,Science Fiction Books — oneilllibrary @ 8:36 am
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Her life had been pretty predictable up to this point. Aria had her close group of friends, her mother, Luna, and well, the Realms. Life in the Realms made everything seem fine. Until her mother has to leave their pod and go to another settlement called Bliss to do her research, leaving Aria behind. Still, not the end of the world, until contact is lost to Bliss. In an effort to find out what has happened to her mother, Aria befriends the son of the Head of Security, Soren, thinking he must know something. However, things go very wrong when Soren decides to break into a part of their pod that hasn’t been used for years. He and some of the boys start a fire and then attack Aria and her friend Paisley. Out of the burning night a person appears, an outsider, who rescues Aria from Soren’s attack.

imgresPeregrine is stunned to see the waste in the pod and doesn’t understand the attack on the girl. He saves her life from the fire, and take the strange eye piece that she was wearing over her eye. He returns to his tribe and back into conflict with his older brother Vale. Quickly Peregrine knows he will have to leave again, since he can’t get along with his brother. However, people from Aria’s pod come and kidnap Peregrine’s little nephew and demand to have the eye piece from Aria back. Peregrine is able to escape, barely but he knows he must leave his tribe to try to find a way to get his nephew back.

Little does he know that his actions back at the pod have created problems for Aria leading to her expulsion from her society. Aria, forced outside of the comfort and familiar surroundings of the pod, finds herself dropped into the middle of the Death Shop, where rumor has it there are a million ways to die. Never having been outside of four walls before, she isn’t sure how she will survive. Peregrine comes across her not long after she has been thrown out and he sees her as a way to get his nephew back.

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi is a fast paced action story of what could happen in a future where the sky has turned on the earth, and what the humans are trying to do to live.

Great book for anyone looking for a futuristic earth – without zombies – and a nice romance too! Recommended for grades 8 and up.


Here Come the Sharks! February 10, 2015

So the vacation isn’t starting off the way he, Davey, is hoping or imagining it would. Even though they are in “paradise,” Davey is stuck in a room with his parents and younger, obnoxious brother and, well, the room is getting pretty funky. Soimgreswhy not just slip out with his book and get some reading in while the rest of the family sleeps on?

It sounds like a good idea, but even that early in the morning, there are people wandering around the resort. So Davey keeps going till have finds a little alcove with a beautiful beach. It has a no swimming sign posted, but the water is calm and shallow, and so warm that Davey puts his things under a bush and decides to wade in a bit. He doesn’t realize that the ocean has other plans for him and he gets taken out in a rip current before he even realizes what has happened to him.

Before long, he is floating in the ocean, with no land in sight, and no one knows where he is. Surrounded by Sharks by Michael Northrop is a heart pounding, fast paced book about missed opportunities, mistaken identity, and what happens when everything that can go wrong, does.

Recommended for grades 6th and up who like survival stories.


Reads Like a Rap Song February 9, 2015

Crossover: When an offensive player dribbles the ball from one side of his body to the other, as if he is going to move in that direction, then switches the ball back to the other side of his body to catch the defensive player off balance (


The Crossover by Kwame Alexander definitely catches a few characters off guard and takes them for a spin. Josh Bell is a junior high basketball star. Basketball talent runs in his family – his twin brother, Jordan, is on the team and their father is a retired professional player. Josh faces several challenges in his game and family.

You don’t have to be a basketball pro to read this book – written in novel in verse, it’s a fast paced read about family and growing up to be the best person you can be.