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. If you would like to listen to booktalks of some of these books, please check out this site and enjoy!

Ms. Spring’s Review of The Detour by S.A. Bodeen January 25, 2018

The DetourWhen I first picked up The Detour, by S.A. Bodeen, I was skeptical. The cover shows a bunker-like scene: concrete walls and ceiling, curtains and rod framing a cement wall, empty plate and half full glass on the floor. (Can you tell I’m a positive person? “Glass half full” rather than “Glass half empty”?) I do try to give most things the benefit of the doubt, and I’m glad I did in this instance. The tagline of “She’s Rich. She’s Famous. And She’s Trapped,” hits it dead center. The main character leaves a lot to be desired in personality when you start the book. Livvy displays a self-centered, unappealing monologue of thoughts – all about how her predicament is not her fault.

Throughout the story, layers of her inward-facing shell soften to reveal how she has come to this point. The unfortunate circumstances she faces – being a captive of a vindictive former writer – show the reader and the character that nothing is ever as it seems on the surface. Not only does poignant and descriptive language invite the reader to continue to turn pages, but a few plot twists, as well. In the end, there are lessons to be acknowledged regarding our own paths and how we influence others. I highly recommend diving into this book. Be sure to allow a couple hours’ freedom to spend with Livvy in the padlocked, basement room.


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