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!

Ghost children live here October 8, 2017

Filed under: Mystery and Ghost Stories — lpitrak @ 3:35 pm
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Coraline and her parents move into a giant mansion that has been separated into many different apartments,

 each containing a different family. There is only one apartment that is empty, and Coraline finds herself strangely curious to open the door to explore this place. The mice in the building pass along the message for her to NOT go through the door… but Coraline is home alone one day and cannot contain her urge to pass through. Beyond the door, Coraline finds an apartment that is much like the one she just left—it is layed out the same way, and there are even two parents known as Other Mother and Other Father. They are loving and pay attention to her, cook her amazing food, and show her tiny wonders such as dolls and books that come to life. Coraline is pretty thrilled when Other Mother invites her to stay permanently—until Other Mother tells her that in order to do so, Coraline will have to allow her to sew buttons over her eyes. Horrified by this, Coraline tries to run away, and discovers the trapped children who Other Mother turned into ghosts. Can Coraline free their souls, save her real parents from the wrath of Other Mother and Other Father, and make it out alive?

 

 

Can a monster hunter become a monster himself?

These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for more than forty years, the one who gave me his trust, the  one for whom I kept these secrets. The one who saved me… and the one who cursed me.

 

These words open this strange and terrifying book by Rick Yancey. They are taken from the journal of Will Henry, an orphan and apprentice with an unusual specialty—Will is apprencticed to Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, a man who has spent his life both studying and hunting horrifying different species of monsters that most humans aren’t even aware exist. When Will is approached by a strange grave robber who has stumbled upon


the remains of a young girl who died with the monster that was eating her still attached to her body, Will’s world is about to change forever. The dead monster is an Anthropophagus–a headless monster that feeds through a mouth in its chest. This one was a baby when it killed the girl; but there are more who are now full grown… and if the mostrumologists can’t kill them, nothing can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Ali losing her mind… or is a spirit haunting her lake house? October 4, 2016

Filed under: Mystery and Ghost Stories — lpitrak @ 10:33 am
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Ali and her mother don’t have a close relationship.  Her mom is forgetful and withdrawn- always staring into space, or locking herself alone in her room.  Because of this, Ali is excited to spend the summer with her fun Aunt Dulcie, who is a painter, and her sweet little cousin Emma.  Right before she is set to leave for the summer lake house, where her mom and Aunt Dulcie used to spend the summer every year when they were kids, Ali finds an old photograph of three girls.  She recognizes the beautiful, smiling girl as her mother, and the goofy, grinning girl as Aunt Dulcie, but who is the third person who has been partially torn out of the picture?  This mysdeep-and-dark-and-dangeroustery will become more important as Ali spends more time getting to know the lake house and a girl from the neighborhood, Sissy, who seems to hate Ali immediately.  Strange things begin to happen- doors open without anyone touching them, wet puddles appear on the floor in the middle of sunny days, Aunt Dulcie’s paintings turn dark and violent (almost as if someone else is guiding her hand as she paints) and sweet Emma has been having hysterical tantrums after spending time with Sissy.  Ali knows there is some connection between all these strange occurrences, something that happened when her mom and Aunt Dolcie were kids, something that turned her mom from fun-loving and happy to the miserable adult she is today…. Did someone hurt her mom and aunt?  Or did they hurt someone else?

 

 

 

 

Who is the Prince of Mist?

It is 1943, and Max and Alicia Carver are growing up in Spain while World War II is raging around them.  For the family’s protection, their father decides to relocate from the city in which they live to a small coastal town.  From the first day they move into their new home, however, Max and Alicia can sense an eerie, ghost-like presence.  Their younger sister finds a cat with giant golden eyes who seems to have a connection with the house.  Max discovers an overgrown sculpture garden made up of statues of creepy-looking circus performers that form a circle around a terrifying stone clown- a stone clown whose position changes overnight and who Alicia saw in her dreams before the family moved.  In addition, Max and the prince of mist cover.jpgAlicia see the dreamlike outline of a ship in the mist over the ocean… but it seemingly appears and disappears at random.  After Max and Alicia meet a friend in town named Roland, the three start to uncover a horrifying mystery involving the spirit of Jacob Fleishman- a young boy who drowned off the coast of their house, a boat which capsized almost thirty years earlier that was full of traveling carnival performers, and a legendary figure known as the Prince of Mist- a man capable of granting wishes, but demanding horrible payments in return.  This novel is part mystery, party ghost story, part horror… and will keep you creeped out and looking over your shoulder the whole time you are reading!