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!

A-“Head” of Technology February 24, 2016

Filed under: Science Fiction Books — bhomel @ 3:02 pm

imgresIn my own genre classification system, Noggin is part science fiction and part realistic fiction. It’s a book that made me both laugh and cry.

Non-spoiler alert: Travis, the main character, dies. But this is nothing compared to what happens during the rest of the book…Travis comes back to life!

Travis had terminal cancer and was dying – his brain was healthy but his body was sick. Scientists were working on a cryogenics program. Travis signed up to have his head cut off and frozen in hopes that in the future it can be reattached to a healthy body.

Science doesn’t let Travis down. Travis “wakes up” five years after his death. For him, it only seems like he was only asleep for a few days but everyone around him has mourned his death. Time continued on. His friend and girlfriend are five years older than him and his parents have been through a lot. Needless to say, Travis is having a hard time keeping a clear head among all the changes.

Noggin is written by John Corey Whaley. Recommended for 8th grade and up.


It’s the End of the World

Filed under: Romance,Science Fiction Books — oneilllibrary @ 1:22 pm

Emerson and Vince have been on the streets together for over a year. Vince has been on his own for longer. Together they are struggling but their lives are about to change, as in end. Because a large astroid is heading right for North America and is due to hit in the Northwest in the next 24 hours. So what are two homeless teens to do? imgres

They have to decide what they want to do with the time they have left. A chance encounter with a stranger changes their trajectory, and they begin to help individuals with sort of last requests before everyone dies. They meet a girl whose never been kissed, a young guy who wants to be rock star and a woman who put off a trip to Paris a little too long.

All We Have Is Now  by Lisa Schroeder makes the reader ponder what they would do faced with the same options as Emerson and Vince. Would you want to reconnect with people you’d lost touch with in your life, be by yourself, do something you always wanted to?

As the time ticks down, Emerson and Vince both have to make last minute decisions for themselves, and they might not be what the other has in mind.

Recommended for 8th grade and up.




Did She Take the Axe? February 21, 2016

Filed under: Historical Fiction — oneilllibrary @ 6:16 pm

imgresSo much mythology surrounds Lizzie Borden and whether she took an axe and killed her step-mother and father, or if she really was innocent as she was found at her trial. Hard to know when there was so little evidence presented, and not many suspects.

But could there have been someone else who knew more about the Borden household than the police uncovered? There was a house servant, named Bridget Sullivan, who was the only other person in and around the house the morning of the murders.

Sweet Madness by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie takes the perspective of Bridget and what it must have been like, living under the smothering, hostile environment of that house in the hot oppressive summer of 1892. Could Lizzie really have done it? Or was there someone else, or something else going on in the family other than Lizzie and her sister Emma’s obvious dislike for their parents.

Anyone who has ever heard the horrific rhyme concerning this murder will be drawn quickly into this book, and might just come away with a new idea about what might have happened all those years ago.

The one complaint about this book is there is no author’s note to help separate what is known from what the authors’ imagined with the Lizzie Borden case. However, it will just make the reader want to do their own research on one of the most brutal and compelling murder cases in American history.

Recommended for 8th grade and up.


Sent from Home February 11, 2016

Filed under: Fantasy Books,Romance — oneilllibrary @ 2:38 pm

She is desperate for her parents to turn the carriage around and tell her they are only trying to scare her. Scare her into stopping her experiments, which tend to set things on fire! But Georgiana’s parents don’t stop the carriage. They take her to Stranje House, where she and her parents meet Miss Stranje who runs a school for unruly girls. Girls their families have given up on.

imgresMuch to Georgiana’s horror, her parents leave her in this awful place with real threats of torture around every corner. However, as Georgiana quickly learns, appearances can be very deceptive, in Stranje House as well as beyond.

A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin is clearly the first in a series of books about girls who have special talents and some may even have mystical powers. This is all set to the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, and also has some alternative history thrown in to spice things up. The reader meets a whole cast of young ladies who have been spurned by their friends and families, only to find that while they might not have fit in anywhere else, they do fit together.

Each girl looks like they will have their own romance and Georgiana is no exception.

Recommended for 7th grade and up.