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!

Short Life of a Shorty August 2, 2017

Filed under: graphic novel,Realistic Fiction/ Contemporary Fiction — oneilllibrary @ 9:03 am

downloadThey called him Yummy because he loved sweets. He slept with a teddy bear and stole kids’ lunch money, broke into houses, cars and anything he could get his hands on. He was eleven years old when he killed a girl. He was elven years old when a 14 and 16 year old killed him.

His real name was Robert Sandifer and he lived in Chicago in the mid 1990s. It was there that he got an education in the darker side of life. What is a boy to do when his father is locked in jail and he has been taken away from his mother because of abuse. His grandmother loved him, but she had up to 20 other grandkids to look after as well. Often Yummy would take off for days and only return when he wanted some love and a safe place to sleep.

The Black Disciples – a gang in Chicago – liked to recruit young kids. They couldn’t be tried as adults and as such could do a lot of things without being locked up for the rest of their lives. The gang used this to their advantage and had the younger kids, or shortys, do a lot of their dirty work.

One afternoon, Yummy came across some rival gang members and pulled out his gun. But instead of shooting the gang members, he killed a 14 year old girl named Shavon Dean. Thus began a huge manhunt in the city of Chicago for an eleven year old boy.

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri is a powerful fictionalized graphic novel account of what went down in the hot summer of 1994. The reader is faced with the question, was Yummy the victimizer or the victim?

Highly recommended for grades 7th and up.

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I Heart You, You Haunt Me – A Review by 8th Grader Tyra J. December 15, 2016

Filed under: graphic novel,Mystery and Ghost Stories,Romance — bhomel @ 1:12 pm

Image result for I heart you you haunt me

In I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder, Ava was really sad because her boyfriend, Jackson, died. She blames herself for daring him to jump off a cliff. When she goes to school, Ava is very sorrowful that teachers don’t let her do as much of the work. Her mom sometimes ask her friends to come over and maybe bring gifts just to try to get her out of the house. Jackson comes back as a ghost and gets her attention by making her cold or blowing the windows wide open. Jackson tells her she doesn’t want her to be sad about that day. Then the days proceed though that she grows tired of Jackson not wanting her to leave the house. Until the day Jessa pleaded that she wanted Ava to go to the party but the party was where everything had happened.  When Jessa leaves Ava by herself, Ava spots Lyric and ask for his phone so she can go home. But he offers her a ride home. When Ava realized that she is miserable that’s when Jackson comes around. When she noticed that she was miserable, she made a change and started hanging out with her friends.

I would rate this book 10 out of 10. The author didn’t tell you what happened to the boyfriend until the very end but at the start she always brought it up but never told what happen. I like the way the author described how Ava felt when Jackson comes into her room.

 

Ms. Marvel – A Review by 8th Grader Mia B.

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.

 

Roller Girl – A Review by 7th Grader Grace S. December 14, 2016

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson is about a 12 year old girl named Astrid who became interested in roller derby. She became very interested that she decided to join the Rose Buds camp in summer. She asked her best friend Nicole if she would like to do it, but Nicole wanted to do ballet camp instead. So when Astrid’s mom tells her that Nicole’s mom would be picking her and Nicole up after the camp was done for the day, Astrid would walked home by herself.

Image result for roller girl book

Nicole decided that she would rather spend time with Rachel, who was mean to Astrid when they were in kindergarten. Rachel was also going to ballet camp as well. This gave Nicole a friend to have at her ballet camp because she knew that Astrid would never do anything with ballet. So both Nicole and Rachel started to hang out together after the camp. Now Nicole was best friends with Rachel instead of Astrid.

All has never been good between Astrid and Rachel and she can’t believe that Nicole would hang out with Rachel because she even knew that she was mean. Astrid was very mad when she saw this and decided that she would get back at Rachel when she was with Nicole so that she can see how mean Rachel really is.

I would rate this book 5 out of 5 stars because it is a really good read. If you like graphic novels, then this is a great book for you. Once I started reading this book I couldn’t put it down.