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!

Say Whaaaattt? September 13, 2021

Filed under: Realistic Fiction/ Contemporary Fiction — oneilllibrary @ 8:00 am

download-2Liliana is floored when she is called to the office of her high school at the beginning of her sophomore year and finds out she has been accepted into the METCO program. The only problem is that Liliana has no idea what the METCO program is. So she goes to talk to her guidance counselor, who, it just so happens is a graduate of the METCO program. Liliana is shocked to discover that her parents signed her up for this opportunity when she was young and her name has final come up. The METCO program takes kids from the urban areas of Boston and puts them into schools in the surrounding suburbs. The white surrounding suburbs. Liliana, a proud Latina, isn’t sure she wants this “opportunity.”

But things are messed up at home. Her father has gone missing. Although, it soon becomes apparent that her mom knows where her dad is, but doesn’t want to share that information with Liliana and her younger twin brothers. Her mom is STRESSED out, understandably so, but Liliana has no idea how to help out since she doesn’t know what is really going on.

On top of all of that, her oldest and best friend Jade is so consumed with her boyfriend she never seems to have time for Liliana anymore – even when Liliana needs someone to talk to about this new school she’s going to in Westburg. The other METCO students at Westburg certainly don’t go out of their way to be welcoming, so Liliana finds herself floating in a world that she doesn’t fit in at all. Or so she thinks at first.

Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer De Leon is a current and realistic look at how a person can be pulled in so many different directions and struggle to find themselves as the world keeps on spinning. This book does have some continuity issues – but overall is a good read and most readers won’t be bothered by those issues.

Recommended for grades 8 and up.


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