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!

Beauty and The Beast & Other Stories Book Review By 8th Grader Maddie May 9, 2018


Beauty & the Beast and Other Stories by Sarah Hines Stephens has three different stories about the same problem. In each of the stories, the princes have spells set upon them that they have to break to be human again.

Beauty as a child was very simply impressed by the littlest things. Her sisters, on the other hand, wanted everything handed to them. The merchant lost his money and the family was forced to move out of their mansion and into a little cabin. The merchant traveled out one night and didn’t make it home and was sure he would freeze before he got home. So he saw a mansion and decided what he saw was a weird creature . He asked the creature if he could stay the night. The creature would let him stay for something in return. The merchant will allow his daughter to marry the creature. Beauty didn’t like the giant but when he turned into a prince, she fell in love with him.

I think this book keeps you engaged and doesn’t stress you out over number of pages. I like the font of the words.


The Selection Book Review by 7th Grader Kaylin

sThe Selection by Kiera Cass is the best book ever! It’s about a girl named America and she joined a competition called The Selection. America was in love with someone else when she got selected. She reluctantly went to the competition where the Prince was choosing his wife from 35 girls. America didn’t think she would fall in love with the Prince but she couldn’t resist how nice he was.

The book is so suspenseful! I had so much emotion in the book than my whole life of living. Things would go good and then bad real fast. I fell in love with Aspen and then he made horrible decisions and then my heart went to the prince, Maxon. Maxon is now my NEW Shawn Mendes!


The Selection Book Review by 7th Grader Celeste

sThe Selection by Kiera Cass is the best book ever! This book has lots of suspense and a great love story. It’s about a girl named America and she was pressured to join a competition called The Selection. The Selection is a competition where the prince gets to choose his wife out of 35 girls. America was in love with someone else when she joined The Selection. She would have never expected what feelings she had for the prince with someone back home.

This is the best book I have ever read because there is such a great love story. This book also is so suspenseful. I fell in love with Aspen then he made a terrible decision that made me mad. Then after meeting Maxon, I fell in love with him and have not gotten over him since.


Lucky in Love Book Review by 8th Grader Kathy May 8, 2018


Lucky in Love by Kasie West is a really good love story. It’s about a girl named Maddie and one day on her birthday, she buys a lottery ticket and surprisingly,  she wins. Out of the blue, her life changed. Maddie doesn’t have to worry about school or her family anymore. She liked being in the spotlight after she won the money, but then everyone at school started figuring out she won the lottery and then people started asking her if they could borrow some money. She has a hard time trusting people now, except for Seth. He hasn’t found out about her winning the lottery and she doesn’t want him to know. I really liked when I was reading it wondering what would happen if he does find out about her secret.


Flipped Book Review by 7th Grader Hannah May 7, 2018

FFlipped by Wendlin Van Draaen was really good. It’s about a boy named Bryce who moved across the street from a girl name Julianna. After they met, Julianna started to have a huge crush on Bryce. Bryce didn’t have a crush on her because he thought she was weird. Through the years, Julianna´s feelings for Bryce grew, yet Bryce´s feelings for Julianna didn’t change at all. In the middle of the book, Bryce said some mean things about Julianna and she found out. After a while, Bryce started to feel bad and he also started to have feelings for her. Julianna didn’t have feelings for him anymore because of all the mean things he said about her. After months of going through drama and ignoring each other, Bryce finally stepped up and told Julianna his feelings for her. Julianna still didn’t feel the same for him. It seems their feelings for each other have “flipped”!

Then Bryce planted a sycamore tree for Julianna. This meant a lot to her because she used to climb a sycamore tree daily, watching the sun rise and set, until it got cut down. Once Julianna saw what Bryce planted for her, she finally forgave him and they became friends again.

 I liked this book because I love how there was a lot of drama, plot twists, and romantic parts. I also liked how the author changes from Bryce´s point of view to Julianna´s point of view on every chapter. There is a movie of this story and I used to watch it all the time.


Just a Girl on Her Own March 31, 2018

Filed under: Historical Fiction,Romance — oneilllibrary @ 7:27 pm

downloadAll she has ever wanted for as long as she can remember, is to be allowed to pursue her art. Vicky doesn’t think that is too much to ask. But it is, if you are a young lady of means living in London in 1909.

Vicky has found herself ostracized from society when she makes the unpardonable sacrifice for her art – posing in the nude – for other artists. A classmate of her finishing school in France happens to see this and wastes no time in reporting it to any and everyone who will listen. Vicky returns to London to a furious father and a disappointed mother. Not only is her own life in turmoil, but the city appears to be overrun with women suffragists. At first, Vicky can see no way that those women might have something to do with her situation, but as her ability to do her work is taken away from her, she realizes her limitations because of her gender, and the suffragists fighting for the right to vote are all really hoping to gain the same thing – some amount of control over their own lives.

Vicky comes to believe her only way out is to marry a man of her parents choosing – believing that once she is married she’ll be able to attend the Royal Collage of Art or the RCA. What she doesn’t see coming is a young police constable who seems to be turning up everywhere she looks and who she feels a pull towards she can’t explain. Before she knows it, the two worlds Vicky is trying to exist in are headed on a collision course and she isn’t sure how to stop it.

A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller is a wonderful period piece looking at a time when women were trying to find not only their voice but prove they had the ability to have vocations outside of the home.

Highly recommended for anyone interested in the feel of London at the turn of the 20th century and for anything related to the struggle for women’s rights. Grades 7th and up.


The Woods are Bleeding January 12, 2018

Filed under: Fantasy Books,Romance — oneilllibrary @ 11:10 am

Screenshot 2018-01-02 at 10.37.04 AMWinter isn’t your typical teenager. She does well in school, has a good friend, but that is where normal stops and strange begins. Winter has a destiny bequeathed to her on her birth. Her father and his father before him and so on, have been guardians of the Wood dating back to the 1200s. This means they roam their part of the magical wood and send anyone who might accidentally walk through a portal back to their own time. Winter has been training for her “job” since she was ten. However, two years ago, her training was brought to an abrupt halt. Her father disappeared and never came out of the Woods. It has been told Winter and her mother that her father stepped off the path. But Winter knows better. That isn’t possible. So what could have really happened to her father.

When Winter comes across a determined a young man traveler who keeps coming into the Woods, she makes a drastic decision. Never are travelers allowed into the guardians current time and place. That could have devastating impacts on history and change things in ways no one can begin to understand. However, this young man, Henry, says his own parents have disappeared, and he thinks that Winter’s missing father might be the key to finding his own. As much as Winter knows she is breaking all the rules, she can’t pass up the opportunity to learn more about what really happened to her father.

Not only that, but something is happening to the Woods. They are dying. Winter knows she only has a limited amount of time to figure out what is happening before everything she knows is destroyed. Can Henry be the one to help her? Can she trust him?

The Woods by Chelsea Bobulski is an interesting read in the fantasy genre and felt fresh.  Recommended for mature 6th graders and up.