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!

The Librarian is a Demon…No Really He IS! March 31, 2015

Filed under: Fantasy Books,Romance — oneilllibrary @ 2:35 pm
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So, Cyn -short for Cynthia- realizes that not much can penetrate her laser focus when Ryan is around ¬†(the guy she’s been majorly crushing on forEVER but doesn’t know she exists), but still, something is up when her normally unflappable, positive and totally supportive best friend. ¬†Annie suddenly seems really taken with the new school librarian. Not as in, oh, he recommends such great books to me, but as in so taken that it is creepy and inappropriate.

imgresCyn decides she needs to check things out since Annie can’t stop gushing about Mr. Gabriel. When Cyn meets him, she agrees with Annie that, yes, he is quite attractive, but there is something that is a bit, well, OFF, about him that Cyn just can’t put her finger on. However, Annie will hear nothing against her new guy (again – ick) and proceeds to begin to shut Cyn out of her life. Cyn realizes that Mr. Gabriel is doing something to the students at her school. He touches them and they get kind of foggy looking and out of it. Cyn sees Ryan (AKA – love of her life) talking to one of his zombie/ foggy friends and she mentions that she thinks there is something strange going on with Mr. Gabriel. Of course she knows this sounds totally crazy, until she is proven right.

Turns out …he’s a demon, and he wants her best friend to become his demon bride. Double ick! So it is up to Cyn to try to save not only Annie, but Ryan and…wait for it – her entire school – from Mr. Gabriel and his evil ways. The Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen will not disappoint. You will laugh out loud with this book, and be rooting for Cyn every step of the way, through murders and soul sucking and well, waiting for her first kiss from Ryan…which, let’s face it is right up there with saving her friend Annie from becoming a Demon’s bride!

Run out and get this book RIGHT NOW! It is a great read. It is funny, and scary and just plain downright WONDERFUL. Recommended for 8th grade and up.


Dreams Do Come True March 30, 2015

Filed under: Nonfiction Titles,Novels in Verse — oneilllibrary @ 5:45 pm

For a little brown girl, born into a world of continuing turmoil of change, Jacqueline Woodson had no idea how much her life might parallel the world around her, and the struggles her nation was undergoing. For Woodson was born in the early 1960s in the Unites States. She was a girl born to a northern father and an southern mother, at a time when the South was still very entrenched in their Jim Crow world. After the marriage fails between her parents, Jackie, as her family called her, along with her mother and two siblings, moved to the South and lived with her mother’s parents for several important years.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson is a novel in verse biography of Woodson’s early years and howimgres she tried to resolve her love of the South, with some of the harsh realities of her younger years. She also moved to NYC when she was still fairly young, and the differences between the two climates and cultures made her feel split often.

This book will be slow for some readers, and is what I would call a quiet book. This book is recommended for thoughtful and mature readers, as some inferences will be needed to fully appreciate this story. For grades 7 and up.


Walking the Line… In War March 2, 2015

Ashe is used to living in a war zone. After all, his parents are only together because of him. His dad was on his way to getting a job with the NFL after college, but he had to drop out after Ashe’s mom got pregnant. While it is clear both his parents love him to death, they don’t share the same affection for each other. Most of his life has been spent in a cold war situation.

With the real war in Vietnam heating up, Ashe realizes just how far apart his parents have become. His dad is imgrescompletely supportive of the war while his mom begins to attend rallies to end the war. In the middle of this, a new girl begins to attend his school and he quickly becomes entranced with her. Her brother is off already fighting in the war in Vietnam.

Things really begin to fall apart when Ashe’s mom does something his father just can’t, or won’t, forgive. Ashe is being asked to choose between two people he loves dearly, but who are pulling him in opposite directions.

Death Coming Up the Hill by Chris Crowe is written as a novel in verse and is a fast and engaging read. Seeing Ashe struggle between knowing what his mother did was wrong, but understanding why she did it as well as seeing how his father can feel. It also gives the reader a view into a very tumultuous year in our history – 1968.

Recommended for 8th graders because of the subject matter.