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!

When Too Much, is Too Much November 30, 2015

Filed under: Novels in Verse,Realistic Fiction/ Contemporary Fiction — oneilllibrary @ 3:10 pm

Daisy is the good girl. The fabulous trumpet player, the wonderful daughter, the dutiful sister. Or she has been. But something is changing and growing in the Meehan family, and his name is Steven. Steven is at the beginning and the ending of everything that happens in their household. Why? Because Steven is severely autistic and while it was hard when he was younger, it has become nearly impossible to have a semi normal existence with him now that he’s grown into a large thirteen year old boy. A boy who doesn’t understand that he can now hurt people when he gets upset. A boy that it is hard to talk to, and a boy who everyone loves dearly. Daisy, included.

So Daisy begins to lose it – after all the years of being perfect – and starts to slide somewhere she isn’t sure where she’ll end up. Only that she knows she can’t continue on as she has. Maybe Dave, a friend from years ago, but someone who has been classified by the town as a loser, has the answerimgres.

The question is, is he willing to share what he knows?

The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe is an honest look at a family in crisis, trying to survive as best they can, while keeping what is best for everyone in mind.

Highly recommended. Good for mature 7th graders and up.


War In Pictures November 19, 2015

Filed under: Nonfiction Titles — oneilllibrary @ 5:36 pm

The Civil War in the United States was one of the first wars to be captured withimgres photography. Up until then, images were in paintings or drawings often years after the events or battles themselves had taken place. With the invention of the camera, everything changed. The book Photo By Brady: A Picture of the Civil War by Jennifer Armstrong shows how important this work was at the time.

Two men were primarily responsible for the photographic documentation of the Civil War. The one most widely known is Mathew B. Brady who was a well known photographer of the day and had become known for doing portrait work. He was trying to make photography into an art form to give it legitimacy. The second person was Alexander Gardner who became a business partner with Brady for a time. During the Civil War they ended up splitting away from each other and Gardner created his own studio.

Both men were instrumental in giving the public at the time and all the generations afterwards a true glimpse into the horrors of the Civil War.

Recommended for grades 7th and up.



When a Boy Becomes a Girl….and Vice Versa!!!! November 10, 2015

Filed under: Fantasy Books,Humor — oneilllibrary @ 10:28 am

imgresBoth Ellie and Jack were having one of the worst first days of school ever. Ellie has had it confirmed that her once best friend now has a new one and loves to make fun of Ellie and Jack has gotten into a fight. Both end up in the nurse’s office. Ellie because she can’t stop crying and Jack, because, well, his nose is bleeding all over the place.

What they don’t know is that they both wish they were the opposite sex at the same time. They both think it would be so much easier. What they also don’t know is that their new school nurse, isn’t a typical school nurse. So she is able to make their wishes come true!

Be careful what you wish for comes back to bite both Jack and Ellie! Because now, Ellie is Jack and Jack is Ellie. And it is Friday and the nurse seems to have disappeared.┬áSo Ellie and Jack have to get through an entire weekend as each other without anyone else knowing what is going on. Can they do it? Will there be any long term effects? And what happens if they can’t switch back?

The Swap by Megan Shull is a great book and readers will gobble it up. A totally enjoyable read.

Recommended for 7th grade and up.