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 and enjoy!

Can a boy and a girl truly be JUST friends? April 5, 2014

Title: Better Off Friends

imgres-1Author: Elizabeth Eulberg

Genre: Realistic Fiction

After having read all of Elizabeth’s books including The Lonely Hearts Club, Prom & Prejudice, Take a Bow, and Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality, I was incredibly excited to read her latest Better Off Friends. Macallan and Levi become best friends instantly. Although Macallan is still dealing with the heartache of her mother’s death, she is slowly able to let Levi’s friendship in. Throughout their time in middle school, people are constantly asking them if they are dating, yet they haven’t even explored the idea.

As the two enter high school, they do begin to date other people, and even still they are constantly fielding questions about their relationship. The question is, will these two stay just friends, or will they become more than friends, like others have speculated?

Elizabeth creates a very realistic scenario that many high school and adults can attest to in having close friends of the opposite sex. As the story continues, Elizabeth goes an excellent job in intertwining perspectives of both Macallan and Levi throughout the story to enhance the overall text structure and perception for the reader.


Does Makeup Cover All? March 6, 2014

Lexi knows her life isn’t perfect. But that is how she has to present her little sister, Mackenzie, since her sister is in pageants. As in full glitz pageants, where the little kids wear tons of make-up, fake tans, and fake teeth! These pageants cost a ton of money, and Lexi has given up trying to talk her mom into moderation – even though it is impacting their lives in terms of money and lots of time.

imgresLexi’s bright spot is she gets to spend every weekend with the boy of her dreams…as he watches his girlfriend compete in pageants. So while she daydreams about Logan, she knows the fantasy will never become reality. Or will it? Lexi, with the encouragement of her two best friends, decides to do a little makeover on herself. The problem with that is, do people like her for who she is now on the outside, or who she is inside?

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg has some fun moments. Lexi finally speaks her mind with lots of authority at the end of the book, but it isn’t realist. Still, it is always fun to root for the underdog.

For students in grades 7 and up.