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!

Whatever After Abby in Wonderland Review by 8th Grader Abby April 19, 2018

Whatever After by Sarah Mlynowski is my favorite series in the WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD!

This series is about a girl named Abby who just moved to Smithville with her family. When they moved to their new house, they saw a VERY old mirror. One night they heard a noise and they went to their basement and knocked on the mirror three times and they transported to a fairytale. Ever since that, they go into fairy tales EVERY midnight.


In the story Whatever After Abby in Wonderland, Abby, the main character,  went to her arch nemesis Penny’s house with her two great friends, Frankie and Robin. Abby is excited to go but she doesn’t like how Penny brags A LOT about how rich she is. When they all get there, they go outside and decide to play cards. While they’re playing, one of their cards flies away and lands by a hole in a golf park. Frankie goes and collects the card and she falls into the BIG HOLE! Abby gets scared and she goes after her with Robin and Penny. EW! When they land out of the hole, they find themselves in Alice in Wonderland. Robin and Penny are having A LOT of fun, While Abby is stressed out because they do not know her SECRET. Will she have to tell them her secret or will they ruin the story?

This book is very relatable because my name is Abby and the main character name is Abby. I love fairy tales, princesses, love, affection, and happy ending are my favorite! The author, Sarah Mlynowski, writes amazing fantasy which is up my alley. This book is a book that you would want to read in order of books to understand it, but if you don’t read them in order then it is ok. If you are into fairy tales and friendship then you will like this book and if you want to read the new book Whatever After Two Peas in a Pod is coming out on April 24, 2018!


Modern Retelling of Snow White September 19, 2017

Filed under: Fantasy Books — lpitrak @ 3:51 pm
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This is a very inventive reimagining of the classic fairy tale Snow White. Mina, daughter of a cruel magician, has not known love since her mother died when she was a young girl. Even if her mother was still living, however, Mina might not be capable of love. Her outer beauty conceals a very dark secret—a heart made of glass. To save her life, her father removed her diseased heart and replaced it with one of cold, perfect glass. While she is alive, though, this has left her unable to feel emotions. Through scheming
Image result for girls made of snow and glassMina finds herself marrying King Nicolas, moving to Whitespring Castle, and becoming stepmother to a two-year-old little girl with a dark secret of her own; Princess Lynet has been sculpted from snow by Mina’s father, who is now blackmailing the king by threatening to reveal this to the entire kingdom. When Princess Lynet turns sixteen and her father announces his plans to name her Queen in Mina’splace, the two are positioned to fight to the death. But, is it possible that a stepmother with a heart of glass and a princess made of snow might actually love each other more than they love power, money, and their royal positions?


Do you believe in FAIRY TALES? February 27, 2013

Cinder (Book 1) and Scarlet (Book 2) 

By: Marissa Meyer

Genre: Fantasy

Welcome to the Lunar Chronicles! An admitted non-fan of Science Fiction/Fantasy, I was coerced into listening to a fabulous audiobook (Thank You Mrs. Squires) by the name of Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I have always enjoyed the various stories and versions of Cinderella (my favorite fairy tale) and thought- why not give it a try??  And I must say, I easily fell in love! The young lady who narrated the audiobook was fabulously entertaining and of course I found myself not wanting to leave my car after endless commutes just so I could finish and find out what was going to happen to our beloved Cinder, a modern day mechanic in a futuristic society.

Yes, this book definitely had counterparts that coincided with the story of Cinderella, but did so in such a way that I felt was incredibly creative and unlike many other pieces I had been reading at the time. As I have continued and gotten more into the Science-Fiction/Fantasy genre, I will still say that this is one of my favorites. I have recommended it to many students, boys and girls included and I could not wait to hear and see what happens as Cinder, a now fugitive would make of herself and the world she lived in as the man she had feelings for, none other than Prince Kai, was forced to potentially come together with the evil Queen Levana in order to save her life….

And then Scarlet (Book 2) came out and I could not wait to get my hands on it. Despite it being a little lengthy, I was ready for the challenge. We now meet Scarlet, when she finds that her grandmother has gone missing, a take on a new fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood. Scarlet comes into contact with a “wolf-like” character and hence the story begins.

I thought it was interesting to finally see how Cinder and Scarlet’s stories intersected, as the book continually shifts back and forth to what was currently happening with the two ladies. While Cinder is trying to escape and stay away from Queen Levana who will do nothing else than to find her and kill her, Scarlet is on a mission to find her missing grandmother. What might you ask could these two ladies have in common? Well, without giving away too much, I will say that secrets are finally out in the open and some unsolved mysteries from the first book in the series were solved!

Finally, a series that although there is a commanality with both books, still has something inventive, creative and unknown within the second book! I am looking incredibly forward to book three and even four! 🙂




Fairy Tales Retold November 27, 2012


Traditionally the Thirteenth Fairy, enraged at not being invited to the royal christening of the infant princess, curses her to fall into a deep sleep on her sixteenth birthday, from which she will never wake.  The royal family, including the beautiful and gentle princess, are made to suffer at the hands of a malicious and jealous witch.  In Yolen’s Curse of the Thirteenth Fey retelling, however, readers get the fairy’s side of the story.  The “thirteenth fairy” is actually the youngest in a family of fairies, all bound to the selfish royal family who use the fairies as performers for their own amusement.  Unlike the rest of her clan, “The Shouting Fey”, Gorse is a shy and awkward bookworm.  On the day of the princess’ christening, Gorse is late and in hurrying to the castle, falls down a hole into a cave, where she meets two banished fairy princes.  In trying to save them all, she unwittingly unleashes the curse that created the legend of Sleeping Beauty.  Perfect for fans of Robin McKinley’s Beauty or the fractured fairy tales of Gregory McGuire.