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!

Hold On…Tight July 1, 2019

Filed under: Realistic Fiction/ Contemporary Fiction — oneilllibrary @ 8:14 am

Bryan worries about being “soft” about making his dad proud, and trying to navigate thedownload world of his neighborhood without losing his sense of self. Bryan lives in Brooklyn with his mom, dad and his older sister, Ava. Even though Bryan is surrounded by people all the time, he doesn’t have any real close friends. He enjoys hanging out with his mom – which makes his older sister call him a “momma’s boy.” Still, he’s okay with the way things are, but he also realizes that his parents would like him to have a few friends.

One day after school, while Bryan is hanging out at his mom’s job, a boy comes in that Bryan has seen around, but it appears he’ll be seeing a lot more of him when Bryan’s mom invites the boy, Mike, over to their house for dinner. He’s a bit put out, because everyone seems to like Mike more than him! But as he gets to talking with Mike, he sees they have a few things in common – like their love for comic books and discussing the superheroes in them. So when his mom is okay with him going over to Mike’s place, Bryan is excited. However, it quickly becomes obvious that Mike isn’t all politeness and nice when he begins to encourage Bryan to do things that Bryan isn’t comfortable with – until Bryan starts to realize he LIKES the new things! And that makes him feel even more conflicted.

Tight by Torrey Madonado is an honest look at growing up and figuring out for yourself what you think is right and wrong and how do you navigate new relationships with friends and still be yourself.

Recommended for grades 6th and up.


2 Responses to “Hold On…Tight”

  1. Joy Kirr Says:

    I loved, TIGHT! My lesson from it? I get to CHOOSE what I do – in so many instances – and those choices can lead to good consequences or not… (I, however, also hold white privilege, so I know I can choose way more than Bryan could. I simply loved when he chose to not hang with Mike for a bit, and noticed that it was his choice that made him happy.)

    • I hadn’t heard of the book until Christy Rush recommended it to me. I’m really glad she did. I think it was interesting when he did do some of those things he knew he shouldn’t and found himself liking them, but then still seeing that Mike wasn’t the best person to hang with, even though, some of those times were exhilarating. Nice quick book. I’m liking the faster books. I’m getting tired of the 400 pagers!

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