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!

Spirits Attracted to Art? April 11, 2017

Sierra is an artist, and looking forward to a summer break of painting and parties in her New York City neighborhood. Sierra doesn’t paint on canvas or paper though; she creates fantastic, huge murals on the walls of the city. Her latest creation is a five-story fire breathing dragon that towers over the local junk lot, as well as the new luxury condo development. But, right as Sierra is about to kick summer break off with a huge party with all her classmates, strange things begin to happen. Her grandfather Lazaro, a very recent stroke victim, begins speaking again… but just very short fragments, saying he is sorry and mentioning a woman named Lucera. Then, her grandfather’s friends come to visit her, urging her to finish her dragon mural quickly, but won’t say what the rush is. Then, other neighborhood murals, once so brightly colored and vibrant, seem to wash out and fade overnight. Finally, a zombie-like creature chases Sierra and her crush through the neighborhood asking for Lucera– the same name her grandfather mentioned. What is going on in Brooklyn? Is it possible that rumors of spirits who have died there– some innocent and some intent on evil– have stayed around? And is it further possible that they are drawn to art, murals, music, and stories, that are connected to the city? And if all of these things are possible, what do they have to do with a highschool girl who just wants a fun summer?

 

Torn Between Angels and Monsters January 6, 2017

Filed under: Fantasy Books — lpitrak @ 2:45 pm
Tags: , , ,

In this amazing fantasy novel, there are two parallel universes– the one our Earth is a part of, and then the one that holds the planet of Eretz, where the monsters live. Karou appears to be a normal high school art student, but in reality, she works for a chimera named Brimstone, in a workshop that is a portal between the two worlds. As long as she daughter-of-smoke-and-bone.jpgcan remember, Brimstone has sent Karou to collect teeth– sometimes from animals and sometimes from humans. These teeth are often given willingly, and sometimes she knows they have been procured by grave robbery, museum theft, or acts even more sinister. Karou never questions what Brimstone does with these teeth, until the day she tries to enter the portal to his shop and finds the door permanently locked, with a scorched black handprint on the front. Now, she is on the run to find her monster friends, battle an army of murderous avenging angels, and discover what the connection between teeth and wish magic really is. This first in an amazing trilogy will keep you up reading all night long!

 

 

Keys to the Kingdom January 5, 2017

Filed under: Fantasy Books — lpitrak @ 4:39 pm
Tags: , ,

Arthur Penhaligon has terrible, dangerous asthma. He has to keep an inhaler with him at garth-nixall times, and has been warned to not engage in physical that will make him breathe too hard. However, on his first day at a new school, the gym teacher yells at him for not keeping up with the rest of the class during a run. He tries, and collapses when his throat begins to close! Arthur is sure he is going to die and experiences a dream or hallucination in which an old, stooped man is pushing a young, handsome man in a wheelchair. The handsome man hangs Arthur a key fashioned to look like the minute hand on an antique clock, and tells him it will help him breathe. When Arthur comes to after this strange dream, he is still clutching the key, a mysterious locked book, and is now able to control his breathing. Weirder things begin to happen… a plague seems to be spreading, and Arthur is being hunted by men with the faces of dogs and blood-covered wings who want the key he was given back. They have been sent by the dark Mister Monday who still has the Hour Hand key and needs the Minute Hand key back in order to keep ruling a mysterious old house that might contain a universe within itself… Can Arthur, along with his two best friends, steal the other key from Mister Monday and save the universe? This exciting book for fans of Harry Potter will keep you guessing until the very end!

 

Ms. Marvel – A Review by 8th Grader Mia B. December 15, 2016

Filed under: Fantasy Books,graphic novel — bhomel @ 1:06 pm

Cover artIn Ms. Marvel  by G. Willow Wilson and and Adrian Alohona, Kamala Khan is a teenage girl from Jersey City, New Jersey who has unique powers. Kamala is finding out that it’s harder to be a superhero and teenager at the same time. While balancing school and her power, she wants to have her dream life. That involves being a famous superhero and meeting someone that will understand her. She meets Kamran, someone that she thinks that she can trust, until he kidnaps her. She faces a situation where if she doesn’t join Lineage (the bad guy), her family will be in harm’s way.
I rate this book 4 out of 5  because as much as I like it it didn’t catch my attention that well. If you like superheroes and action, then I recommend you read Ms. Marvel.

 

A Shiver Going Up Your Spine by 7th Grader Chase H. December 9, 2016

Filed under: Fantasy Books,Student Book Reviews — bhomel @ 10:47 am
Tags: , ,

Grace watches the woods, scans the ground looking out at the wolves, she knows they are there. She remembers the blood and snow, with the wolves tearing at her pale skiImage result for shivern. Grace soon meets her wolf, but not the way she expected. When she find out that her wolf is a werewolf she knows what she has gotten herself into as she falls in love with him. Grace puts her life at risk to keep Sam and the pack a secret, until she finds out that Isabell (Jack’s sister, Jack is dead as he was killed by the pack) knows that Jack is not dead. Grace tries to keep Sam away from outside, or else he will turn and twist into his lost wolf. How will Grace keep him from turning and keeping the pack a secret?

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater is an intense book, there are many adventures and more, if you like fantasy with werewolves and some romantic things combined into it. There is two more books that make it a story that you will never want it end. I recommend this book for people who have read the Twilight series.

 

As She Was Drowning…She Heard A Voice November 11, 2016

Filed under: Fantasy Books,Romance — oneilllibrary @ 9:18 am

Eighty years ago, Kahlen was traveling with her family on a plush steam liner on the ocean, when her ship began to sink. Not only that, but people were pulled by an unseen force into the water, happily! However, Kahlen, who heard the “call” to come to the Ocean, also began to fight the pull and begged to live. A beautiful woman heard her cries and asked her if she would be willing to serve the Ocean for 100 years in exchange for her life. She agreed.

What Kahlen didn’t realize was she was committing herself to the Ocean to be a killer for Her. The Ocean feeds off thimgrese deaths of humans, and if enough don’t die each year to sustain Her, her Sirens must call people to their deaths. Kahlen becomes Her most beloved siren. Kahlen loves the Ocean but at the same time despises what she is called to do – kill people. As the end of her sentence approaches, Kahlen finds herself spiraling into a depression she can’t seem to shake. And that is when she meets Akinli – a boy at a college she and the other sirens are living near.  While Kahlen can’t speak to anyone other than the sirens, Akinli doesn’t seem to mind and proceeds to charm Kahlen with his sweet spirit. She even agrees to go on a date with him. However, on the date, she realizes she feels too strongly for him, and knows there can be no future. Forcing herself to leave him is the hardest and most painful thing Kahlen has ever had to do. Until she is asked to take down an entire cruise ship by Her.

The Siren by Kiera Cass is a stand alone novel (which I thank her for!) and has a sweet romance that many will enjoy plus lots of lore about sirens – or at least the ones that Cass has created.

Recommended for 7th grade and up.

 

Vampires- Glamorous, Cruel, or Both? October 4, 2016

Filed under: Fantasy Books — lpitrak @ 10:24 am
Tags: , , ,

Tana lives in an ordinary town, exceptional only for its proximately to a Coldtown.  Coldtowns are walled off sealed cities, in which people who have been bitten by vampires are sent to live.  Once being turned into a vampire, a person becomes more beautiful, more powerful, and immortal… So it is no surprise that Coldtowns are actually seen as glamorous places, where champagne is always flowing, playing music and dancing in the streets is common, and the parties never end.  Life inside of Coldtowns is so mystifying that savvy journalists set up live televised feeds, so that normal mortals can have 24/7 access viewing to these cities where the fun lasts forever.  But Tana knows, because she witnessed her own mother undergo the transformation into a vampire, that there is extreme brutality, cruelty, and boredom at the heart of these vamthe_coldest_girl_in_coldtown_coverpire civilizations.  One night, after a party where most of her highschool class is in attendance, Tana wakes up in a pool of blood and sees her classmates slaughtered around her.  She is the only one still alive, besides her ex-boyfriend who is now one of her best friends, and a mysterious, dark stranger… both of whom seem to have been bitten.  Tana knows she has to get them to a Coldtown before they turn and become a danger to themselves, to her, and to the rest of her town…. But getting them there means traveling into the heart of a vampire Coldtown as a mortal girl. This awesome book brings a huge twist to vampire legend and mythology, and is dark, creepy, and funny in all the right ways!  Perfect for reading before Halloween!!!