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. If you would like to listen to booktalks of some of these books, please check out this site http://www.buzzsprout.com/229361 and enjoy!

Rebound Book Review by 7th Grader Evan May 9, 2018

RBRebound by Kwame Alexander is about a kid named Charlie who always talks back to his mom and gets in trouble a lot. He talks back to his mom because his dad died. Charlie’s mom said we are going to Disney World because he felt sad. He said no, so he went to his grandpa’s house and he learned how to play basketball.

One night, Charlie, his friend Skinny, and Skinny’s cousin Ivan were going to a convenient store. They saw these cans on an old lady’s porch and Skinny had an idea. His idea was to take the cans and turn it into money so they took the cans and turned it into money and they went to the convenient store to get junk food. Charlie spends the whole summer at his grandparent’s house. If it wasn’t for his grandpa, he wouldn’t have learned how to be a basketball player. This book is called rebound because Charlie is good at rebounds.

This is a good basketball book and interesting book but you should read The Crossover first before you read Rebound.

 

 

First Crossover, Then Rebound April 4, 2018

Rebound by Kwame Alexander is the prequel to the book The Crossover.  Rebound goes back in time to tell the story of Charlie “Chuck” Bell and how basketball became his life before he grew up, settled down, got married, and had Jordan and Josh Bell, the main characters in The Crossover.

RBCharlie Bell is hit hard by his father’s sudden death. Anger and confusion change Charlie’s outlook and his relationship with his mom. Things at home get bad and Charlie’s mom decides to ship him off to his grandparent’s house for the summer. Grandpa Bell is ready to put Charlie, or as he calls him – Chuck, to work! Charlie just wants to read comics all day but Grandpa isn’t having that! Aside from hard labor, Charlie tags along to the Boys and Girls Club (similar to the YMCA) with his Grandpa and Roxie, his cousin. Roxie is a dedicated basketball player. Charlie doesn’t even like basketball, in fact, he’s terrible at it! Charlie is coerced into filling in a spot during a 3 on 3 game and that is the beginning of his new found interest in the game. Over the summer, Charlie learns a lot about basketball, his family, and himself. Chuck turns things around and is able to rebound on the basketball court and in his life.

If you’ve already read The Crossover, this is a must read! I read The Crossover several years ago but it all came back to me as I read Rebound. I was able to make connections between both books. When I got to the end, there was a great surprise waiting that I did not expect! I loved The Crossover and LOVED Rebound even more, and I’m not even a basketball fan!

The author, Kwame Alexander, mixes up this novel in verse by throwing in some comic strip pages throughout the story. Get your hands on this book because it will not disappoint!

 

 

Everyone Needs a Boost Now and Then…Right? February 21, 2013


I picked up this book on a recommendation by a 7th grader at my school who in five words described this book imgresBoost by Kathy Mackel with  – intriguing, sustaining, sad, astonishing, READ. She really loved the book and her enthusiasm for it made me want to read it. I’d had it on my list for a long time, but she gave me the push I needed. I’m always on the hunt for sports books, and this one is great because it is about a girl. Savvy who loves basketball lives for it, breathes it, and eats for it! Her family is undergoing a huge change though. Just having gone through a bankruptcy, her family moves in with Savvy’s great aunt in New Jersey on a sheep farm. Right away there are adjustments that no one feels ready to make, least of all her older sister Callie whom everyone treats with kid gloves.

As Savvy looks to get on a competative traveling basketball team, and Callie takes her place on the school cheerleading squad things appear to be looking up. That is until Savvy gets accused of something that can derail all her dreams for playing basketball in the big leagues!

Recommended for grade 7 and up.