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!

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  Her mom is forgetful and withdrawn- always staring into space, or locking herself alone in her room.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?





New House…New Horrors September 30, 2013

It was what she wanted, really, to move to a bigger town, with more people, more opportunities. So it seems so wonderful when imagesJade’s family is able to afford a house she never thought they could, in a nice suburb in a beautiful community. Quickly though, the kids at school let her know exactly why the house was so cheap. A girl fell to her death on the stairs in Jade’s new house.

Now her little brother is talking about seeing a girl in his room, people at school tell Jade that the girl was pushed to her death, and Jade’s relationship with her stepmother seems to be boiling over. Quickly, Jade realizes that her little brother isn’t just seeing an imaginary friend, but the ghost of the girl who lived in the house and died. Jade soon finds out, she isn’t a happy ghost either.

Can Jade convince the ghost to leave her littler brother and her family in peace? Or will Jade need to find the real killer and bring that person to justice before the ghost does something fatal to the living?

The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington is a fast paced ghost story that will keep you turning pages to find out if Jade can indeed save her brother from a malevolent ghost, and perhaps gain a boyfriend in the process.

Recommended for grades 7 and up.


Being Popular Has a Price – Can You Pay? June 27, 2013

Filed under: Mystery and Ghost Stories,Romance — oneilllibrary @ 2:35 pm
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So, pretty much everyone has wanted to be popular at some point in their lives. Maybe at school, at a sport they love, at a job, or party. Jordan in The Prank by Ashley Rae imgres-1Harris is no exception. She’d like to be popular partly because the boy she has been crushing on for ever, Charlie, belongs to that group.

One day, completely out of the blue, Jordan gets an invite to hang with the popular crowd after school one day. She finds out they are plotting some pranks against their rival school before a big football game. At first Jordan feels a little weird and backs out at the last minute. Unfortunately, she gives them her bike to use and they leave it at the scene of the crime. Turns out, someone gets badly hurt during the prank, and no one is sure exactly how it happened. Charlie and Jordan get drawn more and more into pranks that at first don’t seem too bad, until right in front of their eyes a classmate dies. Is it all just some horrible coincidence, or is there something more sinister at work? Time is running out for everyone involved in the pranks as the clock ticks down toward game time.

This is a great fast read. Recommended for students 6th grade and up.



Being Chased By Ghosts June 22, 2013

Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder is the companion novel in verse to I Heart You, You Haunt Me. In Chasing Brooklyn, Brooklyn and Nico tell their sides of the story – a very sad story. Both have been affected by the death of Lucca – Lucca was dating Brooklyn and he was Nico’s older brother.

Lucca died in a car accident. Brooklyn and Nico are facing the struggles of losing someone important to them. Gabe, Lucca’s friend, survived the accident that killed Lucca. Distraught by the accident, Gabe overdoses on drugs and dies. Brooklyn was struggling with her feelings over missing Lucca and things just became worse. Now Gabe seems to be haunting her in her dreams and she is afraid! Another ghost is lurking around too – Lucca. Lucca is trying to send a message to Nico. Lucca wants Nico to help Brooklyn by making her feel safe and happy.

Nico and Brooklyn become friends quickly – they bond over what they have in common – Lucca. Pretty soon, Brooklyn and Nico aren’t sure if their strange feelings for each other are ok.

Chasing Brooklyn is a romance and ghost story told in novel in verse.


Check Out This Cover! June 18, 2013

Filed under: Mystery and Ghost Stories — bhomel @ 9:36 pm
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Two reasons why I picked up this book: 1. the creepy looking cover and 2. it was about Facebook. As a fan of social media, I had to read this book even though scary and mysterious books are out of my reading comfort zone. This genre was a challenge for me because I usually stay away from anything that looks scary. (I am a big chicken, I know!)

I am glad I read Defriended by Ruth Baron. Defriended is about a high school student named Jason. Jason finds Lacey on Facebook because she had the same obscure music lyrics posted on her Facebook profile as Jason did. He sent her a friend request and in time they became Facebook friends. Jason had so much in common with Lacey. After chatting and sending private messages back and forth, Jason took a chance and asked Lacey if she wanted to meet IRL – in real life.

That’s when things started to get very strange!! Lacey seemed to be acting a little different now – and she told Jason that things were complicated in her life at the moment. Being curious, Jason decided to Google Lacey. Jason discovered several articles reporting the death of Lacey a few months back!! How could the Lacey he’d been talking to online, the Lacey he was hoping to be his girlfriend, BE DEAD? Jason had to find out if this was a joke someone was playing or if Lacey’s ghost was talking to him online!

Jason gets to the bottom of Lacey’s Facebook messages and is surprised by what he finds out!

This book will keep you reading because you will want to know what Jason finds out about his Facebook friend Lacey!