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!

Ms. Underwood’s Review of The Raft by S.A. Bodeen January 25, 2018

Filed under: Realistic Fiction/ Contemporary Fiction — bhomel @ 10:31 am
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The Raft had my attention from beginning to end. The Raft is a quick read, following The RaftRobie as she survives at sea after a devastating plane crash.  Robie is very relatable and easy to follow. She is independent, hopeful, and resourceful.  Robie also has a care for the environment and animal welfare. You can still relate to Robie, even as her mental state starts to diminish.

This book will catch the attention of any reader from beginning to end.  It reminded me of my time in Oahu, the fear on every turbulent plane ride, and those moments of sheer determination in an emergency situation.

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An Escape to Space: Starflight November 22, 2016

Filed under: Science Fiction Books — ghahn2012 @ 11:23 am
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Have you ever wanted to escape your problems?  Solara Brooks has the perfect solution.  Her life on earth is nothing worth keeping- so she plans to escape to the fringes of space where she can start over working as a mechanic.  In the fringe she will be valued for her skills and it won’t 9781484723241_p0_v8_s192x300matter that she has no family, no money, and a criminal conviction.  The only problem is that she can’t afford to get there.  Solara decides to indenture herself to someone for the length of the journey and unfortunately, the only person willing to take her is her tormentor from school.  Solara is a survivor though and through some brilliant twists and turns in the plot, she shows just how strong she is.

Starflight by Melissa Landers is science fiction at its best.  Space pirates, new frontier, and adventure all help make this story memorable.  But the part that will leave you wanting more is the characters.  Luckily, this is the first of a series.

 

WWI Steampunk Style November 1, 2016

 

leviathan_westerfeld

This alternate history, steampunk novel is set when the world is about to plunge into World War I. The Austro-Hungarian and German forces have manufactured war machines they call Clankers. These giant machines are powered entirely by steam, and are fitted with giant machine guns and reloadable ammunition—the world has seen nothing like them before! In retaliation, British forces having been breeding animals to become machines. The pride of their air force is a giant machine called the Leviathan—it is a whale crossed with a plane, deadly and with a mind of its own.

The prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Aleksander Ferdinand, who has no royal blood on his mother’s side, has been forcibly removed from his palace and is on the run from being murdered by members of his own court. At the same time, British Devyn Sharp, a young woman with a passion for flying, has disguised herself as a boy to join the British Air Service. With war looming, the two should be enemies, but when their paths cross, they might decide to become heroes together.

 

Going for Gold! October 7, 2014

Filed under: Nonfiction Titles — oneilllibrary @ 9:48 am
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So imagine hearing there is just money to be had lying around? What would you do? Would you go for it? That is the situation that happened in 1897 when a steamer came into Seattle with sixty-eight men who unloaded thousands and thousands of dollars worth of gold in cans, bags, blankets and even moccasins. Yes, the second great gold rush in the history of the United States had begun, and it wasn’t even on American soil. It was in Canada, but that didn’t stop Americans from making the long journey to the cold, arctic area of the Klondike.

What makes the book Call of the Klondike by David Meissner and Kim Richardson so fascinating is the personal, firstimgres hand accounts of two adventures’ who were inspired after seeing those 68 men disembark from that ship. The two men were Stanley Pearce and Marshall Bond, who were friends and both came from mining families. They just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and both had families that could set them up nicely for an outfit. So they took off for the Klondike quickly to get ahead of any others who would be taken over by gold lust. And they were right to go, because a huge wave of gold seekers were just a few months behind them.

Getting to the area where gold had been found wasn’t easy. First there was a four or five day boat ride, followed by 500 miles of trails and lakes, much of it done in cold, icy rain, or freezing cold weather.

This book looks at the lives of these two men through letters home to their parents, and the journal one of them kept during this adventurous year in our country’s history to give us a rare glimpse into this rush and the hardships many faced for a chance at getting rich.

Great read for grades 6th and up.

 

Action, Adventure and True Love! February 15, 2014

Rush

By: Jonathan Friesenimgres-4

I definitely wish I had the adrenaline-junkie vide that is created with our main character Jake in Rush, a definite surprising-action adventure that I couldn’t put down. With a touch of romance, as Jake’s love for his long-time best friend continues to grow, this book really does have it all, for both boys and girls!

When Jake is on the fast-track to become a fire-fighter and join a prestigious crew, his limits are definitely pushed and the rush that he receives is definitely heightened. It all boils down to how far he is willing to take his rush and how much he is willing to risk… In the end, I believe Jake learns not only an answer to this question, but a great lesson in pushing the limits.

 

Lady Thief February 10, 2014

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(This review is done based off an Advance Reader’s Copy)

Lady Thief, sequel to A.C. Gaughen’s Scarlet, has even more adventure and intrigue than the first book!  It is now known throughout Nottingham that Will Scarlet, aka Scar, the most reclusive and brooding member of Robin Hood’s band of Merry Men, is not a man at all.  Instead, “he” is truly Lady Marion, a noblewoman on the run from an arranged marriage, who has trained herself to be exactingly deadly with daggers.  

At the end of Scarlet, Lady Marion wed heartless Lord Gisbourne to save Robin Hood from further torture and certain execution.  She is now treated like Gisbourne’s puppet and plaything at court, while plotting venomous revenge in secret.  At the same time, Robin is on his own mission to be elected as the people’s choice for new Sheriff of Nottingham.  But Prince John has other, more sinister ideas.

In Lady Marion, still known as Scar to her band of sworn brothers and thieves, A.C. Gaughen has created a very remarkable, unforgettable character.  She is a young woman still mourning the death of her beloved sister and protector, a noblewoman used like a pawn by her unsympathetic parents, and a trained killer who demonstrates again and again an overwhelming commitment to protecting the lives of innocent citizens.  Furthermore, while Robin recognizes himself as a hero and the rightful protector of the people of Nottingham, Marion struggles to reconcile her prowess for murder and thievery with her desire to be a good person.  Luckily, Robin and the rest of the Merry Men are always there to remind Scar of her generosity, bravery, and selflessness.

This is a perfect read for fans of Robin LaFever’s Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph who are dying for Mortal Heart to be released in April! 

 

Holmes and Stoker team up in an amazing mystery adventure!!! October 7, 2013

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This first book in the new Stoker & Holmes series is an addicting read!!! In 1889 London, beautiful and wealthy young women have been turning up dead, their bodies arranged to look like suicides. But a few things aren’t adding up- namely that each is found to be carrying an intricate scarab dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet. Infamous Miss Irene Adler (one of the few people to ever outsmart Sherlock Holmes) is requested by Princess Alexandra to get to the bottom of these murder/suicides by any means necessary. Miss Adler commissions Evaline Stoker, vampire hunter, socialite, and sister to Bram Stoker, as well as Mina Holmes, brilliant scientist, observer, and niece to Sherlock, to infiltrate the upper circles of London society to discover how all of these young women are linked, and who would want them dead. What follows is a hilarious, action-packed adventure filled with opium dens, steampunk gadgets, time travel and a dangerous goddess cult. Best of all, readers get to see a real partnership develop between the vivacious but headstrong Evaline and the brilliant but overly blunt Mina. I can’t wait for book two!!!