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!

Thirteen and a half years of memories– wiped out in one instant! June 4, 2017

Chase Ambrose wakes up in a hospital bed, with no recollection of who he is, why he is there, or what happened in his life leading up to this point. He is told that he fell off of his roof and the resulting injury to his head caused amnesia. Thirteen and a half years of life– wiped out in one instant! While he doesn’t remember

anything about his life, Chase thinks he has a pretty good idea of who he is from pictures he finds on his phone– he’s a football star, a popular student with lots of friends, and a brother. However, as he begins to pick up on other people’s reactions to him (his four-year-old half sister is terrified of him; students at school cower in fear when he walks down the hallway; a girl dumps a whole bowl of frozen yogurt over his head), he realizes that he might have been a bully. “New Chase” doesn’t feel like a bully though. He truly enjoys his (court ordered) community service at the senior center, hanging out with the video club, and creating a relationship with his arch-enemy Shoshanna. Now Chase is torn– can he go back to his old life now that he has seen the person he could be? Even though this book’s topic is serious, it is executed in Korman’s signature hilarious style. Crazy stunts meant to turn viral on YouTube, pranks, a cranky Korean War veteran, and more will keep middle school students laughing until the happy ending.

 

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Sloan has been bra-napped! May 24, 2017

In this light and funny novel, sixth-grade Becca Birnbaum thinks her life is over when a wild volleyball serve breaks the arm of the coolest, most popular eighth-grade girl. Sloan “Selfie” St. Clair has a huge group of friends, a walk-in closet of designer clothes, a country club membership, and a vacation home in Switzerland. Rumors are that getting on her bad side is social suicide. But, as Becca is soon to find out, Selfie is friendly, kind, and fun– and sometimes more than a little irresponsible. When Becca and Sloan are caught in a hilarious mix-up involving the principal’s missing bra, they have to work as a team to stop the school year’s biggest prank. Complementary illustrations in the style of hand-drawn doodles add a laugh-out-loud component to this endearingly off-the-wall beach read.

 

 

Not Much of a Secret February 14, 2017

Filed under: Humor,Realistic Fiction/ Contemporary Fiction — oneilllibrary @ 1:56 pm

Could life be any worse? Lincoln doesn’t think so. I mean, how many kids have to go to imgrestheir parents work after school? And how much worse that his mom works in a crazy home, or AKA – old folks home – or AKA a nursing home for dementia patients? Plus, Lincoln is having to deal with moving to a new school and a new apartment and having to deal with the school bus, which all pose their own problems.

Even though Lincoln has a lot to deal with, he moves through life with a journal in his backpack and lots of stories in his head. If he can only stay out of the way of Troy (who makes his life a misery on the bus) and Kandy Kain (seriously that is her name – a girl who won’t leave him alone at school) and various residents at Brookside Manor (one who periodically likes to take off her clothes!) he might be able to make it through the first months at school.

The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones by Wendelin Van Draanen is a fabulous and funny look at a guy growing up and trying to find his way while staying true to himself. Lincoln begins to realize that while he’s an expert at turning in, he’s missing a lot by not looking outside of himself.

Recommended for 6th grade and up if you are looking for a fun and enjoyable book! Don’t let the boring book cover keep you from picking up this title!

 

Sunny Side Up – A Review by 7th Grader Isabella G. December 13, 2016

Sunny Lewin has to go to Florida over the summer to live with her grandpa. She thinks she’ll have the time of her life, because Florida is the home of Disney World. But her grandpa doesn’t live in a amusement park, he lives in Pine Palms with other old people. Sunny thinks this will be the worst summer ever, but along the way she meets Buzz who is addicted to comic books. Sunny and Buzz go on lots of adventures like facing golf-ball-eating alligators, saving runaway cats, and finding disappearing neighbors. But only one question remains. Why is Sunny down in Florida in the first place? The answer lies in a family secret that won’t be secret to Sunny much longer.

Image result for sunny side up book

I like Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm because it’s fun and exciting. At first the title made me think that it would be about some family trip. This book is a twist on the average summer vacation. You should read this if you like funny but at the same time serious, and adventurous books that also doesn’t take very long to read. I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars because it made me keep reading and was fun to read.

 

The Last Place on Earth August 18, 2016

Have you ever thought about what you would do if there was a plague in the United States?  Would you run?  Try to escape it?  Just give in?

Daisy and Henry are best friends.  They do everything together and hang out ever51SOWRv9jWL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_y day.  Then one day Henry is gone- just gone.  Daisy goes to Henry’s house to investigate and no one is there, but she finds a note that says, “Save me.”  Daisy convinces her brother to help her follow the clues on a rescue mission into the mountains where everything gets even crazier.  Daisy unknowingly falls into Henry’s biggest secret- a fallout shelter.  Daisy always knew Henry’s family liked camping on weekends, but it turns out they are full out survivalists who have prepared for the end of the world.    People have started getting sick at home and Henry’s mom has decided that THIS is the big one, so they have gone off the grid.

The Last Place on Earth by Carol Snow is a fun novel that takes a different take on the end of the world theme.  Daisy is a sarcastic story teller who the reader really connects with as she describes this alternate life style.  There are a lot of interesting characters, a little bit of romance, and just enough twists and turns to keep the story moving.

 

When a Boy Becomes a Girl….and Vice Versa!!!! November 10, 2015

Filed under: Fantasy Books,Humor — oneilllibrary @ 10:28 am

imgresBoth Ellie and Jack were having one of the worst first days of school ever. Ellie has had it confirmed that her once best friend now has a new one and loves to make fun of Ellie and Jack has gotten into a fight. Both end up in the nurse’s office. Ellie because she can’t stop crying and Jack, because, well, his nose is bleeding all over the place.

What they don’t know is that they both wish they were the opposite sex at the same time. They both think it would be so much easier. What they also don’t know is that their new school nurse, isn’t a typical school nurse. So she is able to make their wishes come true!

Be careful what you wish for comes back to bite both Jack and Ellie! Because now, Ellie is Jack and Jack is Ellie. And it is Friday and the nurse seems to have disappeared. So Ellie and Jack have to get through an entire weekend as each other without anyone else knowing what is going on. Can they do it? Will there be any long term effects? And what happens if they can’t switch back?

The Swap by Megan Shull is a great book and readers will gobble it up. A totally enjoyable read.

Recommended for 7th grade and up.

 

It All Started on an Airplane October 28, 2015

Filed under: Humor,Realistic Fiction/ Contemporary Fiction — oneilllibrary @ 2:02 pm

imgres-1One real reason that Wyatt Palmer was looking forward to his 8th grade field trip to Washington, D.C.? Yeah, nothing to do with Washington or the sights. It has everything to do with the girl of his dreams, Suzana. Pretty much what he was looking forward to was just hanging in her semi space, since, well, she had a boyfriend and well, Wyatt certainly couldn’t consider himself part of the “in” crowd at Culver Middle School.

Still, it could have been a good trip, except for the fact that his friend, Matt, was kind of paranoid about these two men that sat behind them on the plane. He kept insisting that they were going to blow up the airplane once they got over Washington, D.C., which didn’t turn out so well when he actually grabbed the backpack of one of the guys and then a Federal Air Marshall comes up and starts asking who said there was a bomb, and, well, as you can imagine when they didn’t find a bomb, that made things kind of uncomfortable for Matt and Wyatt.

Anyway, Wyatt thought things could start to go smoothly AFTER they got off the plane, but that was BEFORE he found out that Matt had taken something from the backpack of the guy before giving it back. So, yeah, the guys start tracking them to get the thing back. The trip pretty much goes off the rails after that point.

The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry keeps readers laughing from almost the first page till the last. Wyatt as the love sick, trying to do everything right, 8th grader is a great character as well as all the others around him. Really fun book.

Highly recommended for anyone 6th grade and up looking for a really fun, and entertaining read.