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!

Her Mind Erased January 27, 2016

Filed under: Romance,Science Fiction Books — oneilllibrary @ 11:09 am

This was Sarah’s chance. A chance to start fresh with no bad memories of her past. At imgresleast that is what the doctors tell her. She doesn’t remember, good or bad memories. She doesn’t even know if Sarah is her real name or not. All she remembers is this hospital in the middle of no where with only a few patients. Patients like her, who are there because they have had something so traumatic happen to them that they all want it out of their minds, forever.

As Sarah is going in for her last treatment, the power goes out in the building. While the power is down in the operating room, someone sneaks in and puts a small plastic bag in Sarah’s hand. Once the power has been restored, the doctors decide to hold off on the rest of the operation. When Sarah is returned to her room, she finds out that a major snow storm is about to hit the area and most of the staff have cleared out.

Once Sarah is alone in her room, she is able to look at the small plastic bag. It contains three gel pills and a note. It is then, that Sarah realizes more is going on than she could ever imagine. And she is right. Because the blizzard is only the beginning of how chaotic things are about to become.

Tabula Rasa by Kristen Lippert-Martin is for readers who love Science Fiction, but are tired of the typical dystopian novels that have been coming out the last few years. It is a fast paced, action adventure with nice twists of Science thrown in for good measure. A really great read that you’ll have a hard time putting down.

Recommended for 8th grade and up.



They Came to Kill Him January 25, 2016

Filed under: Historical Fiction — oneilllibrary @ 11:18 am

John loved the idea of the open sea and lands to travel to. His father, however, didn’t like the imgresidea of John wanting to go to sea and be a captain. He wanted John to stay firmly in England, running the office part of the shipping company John’s father owned. In an attempt to convince John that sea life was a terrible life, his father has him accompany him on a sea voyage. Of course, rather than discouraging John from the sea, it only makes John love travel and being at sea even more.

On their return trip, they run into a terrible storm. Looking for a safe harbor, they spot lights on a cliff top, indicating that there is a safe place for ships in the storm to take cover. However, this proves to be terribly wrong and John’s ship cracks up on rocks near the shoreline.

John survives, only to witness something terrible. It turns out his father’s ship was unlucky to encounter a storm near this particular town in Cornwall. Because this community wants shipwrecks, so they can have all the goods that come with a shipwreck. But the catch is, they can only claim the goods…if all the people on board the boat have died. John is in danger since he survived the wreck.

The Wreckers by Iain Lawrence is the first book in a trilogy about John and his adventures set in the era when ships ruled the world.

Recommended for 6th grade and up.


It Happened Overnight…. January 13, 2016

Filed under: Historical Fiction — oneilllibrary @ 10:24 am

One day, her father and brother were with them; the next the family was separated by a wall. A wall with guards and dogs and machine guns and death. Gerta is a young girl when her father and middle brother leave East Berlin to go check out the work situation and the possibility of moving to the West. Everyone is worried about the growing tensions between the West and East, and Gerta’s father has already run into trouble with the Russian police for worker uprisings he participated in.

What no one knows is that during the night that her father and brother are gone, the Russians decide to make it impossible for any others to leave and go West. Overnight they create a wall, a physical wall that cuts the city of Berlin in half. At first the wall is more a line of barbed wire, but soon, it becomes more permanent with guard towers and high bricks and a strip of land beyond the wall cleared of everything that locals call the Death Zone. Because if you are caught there, you are dead.

Four years go by, with Gerta, her oldest brother Fritz and their mother, all existing on the East side of the wall, while her father and middle brother are on the West. Gerta hates the restrictions placed on her in the East, while their mother tries to make the best of it and hopes each day the wall will come down.

One day, on the way to school, Gerta looks across the wall and sees her brother on the West side. The next day, she sees her father too, for the first time in four years. Strangely, he seems to be trying to send her a message. She believes her father is trying to get her to dig a tunnel to safety. The only problem is, Gerta knows this is beyond dangerous and she isn’t sure if she can keep such a bigimgres secret from her mother, brother Fritz or the Russian police. She knows if she is caught, she faces almost certain death for herself, and possibly the rest of her family.

A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen gives readers a personal look at life behind the Wall, in East Berlin during the beginning of the Cold War. The sense of desperation and the loss of any feeling of control over your life comes through in this book.

Recommended for grades 6th and up.