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!

How far can love take you? April 28, 2013

Falling for You

By: Lisa Schroeder

imgresI could not have been more excited when this book came out. I have read all of Lisa Schroeder’s fabulous novels in verse and could not wait to get my hands on her newest installment. First and foremost, I was plenty surprised by the book’s format. Though not a traditional  novel in verse told only through poetry, there were indeed sporadic poems from the main character spread throughout. These poems really help you get a deeper understanding of the main character’s complexities, her struggles, her triumphs, her feelings and how she is dealing with everything around her.

Our main character Rae always seems to run away from opportunities that are presented before her, especially when it comes to relationships. When Nathan comes into the picture, everything seems to good to be true and finally, with help from her friends, she is urged to break through the walls she’s had up for so long. But usually when things seem too good to be true, they probably are. It doesn’t take long for Rae to see some different sides of Nathan and begin questioning herself and her relationship. All the while, she is struggling with the constant battle of her stepfather taking her money, treating her like garbage, and stealing her mother’s love away. When will all of this be too much for Rae? Will she ever actually fall for someone worth falling for? This book keeps you wanting to read more and captures Rae’s story, character, and realness flawlessly! I would recommend it definitely to all my students looking for a nontraditional and triumphant love story!


Have you ever felt invisible? March 19, 2013

Well, that is exactly how Fern feels within her constantly-on-the-go family in See You At Harry’s by Jo Knowles. At first the story captures you with the connection you instantly build with Fern, a middle-schooler who doesn’t feel like an important part in her family. Someone who tries to help her high school brother that is grappling with decisions about his sexuality and much bully


ing at school; along with someone who tries to make her dad happy while running their restaurant, even if that means her having to be in some silly commercial. I looked at Fern as the glue in the family; though we all know that just because the glue is there to help “things” stay together, not everyone always knows about its presence.

I really liked this book because I felt it had many layers just waiting to be shed as the book progressed. As you learn more about the family, their dynamic and how the individual characters are feeling in their given situations- a traumatic incident occurs, one that I did NOT see coming in the slightest. Will Fern be able to help her family stick together? Or will she fall apart, thus leaving her family to do the same? This was a tear-jerking book that I just could not put down. It gives you a very realistic account of what happens when tragedy hits a family and how friends and family have to pull together to get through it.

A definite must-read to all my middle schoolers- boys and girls! It’s got a little bit for everyone- drama, tragedy, humor, romance, typical high-school problems, identity issues and family & relationships dynamics!


Skinny by Donna Cooner December 8, 2012

Filed under: Realistic Fiction/ Contemporary Fiction — bhomel @ 11:39 am
Tags: , ,

Ever Davies is 15 years old and weighs 302 pounds. Things really don’t fit comfortably in her life – her size, her lack of friends at school, her skinny and popular stepsisters. Food and the boy next door she grew up with, Rat, are her only friends. Ever also has Skinny, her evil self-doubting voice inside, always bringing Ever down and reminding her she’s too fat and will never change.

Ever decides to have gastric bypass surgery and begins the battle of her transformation. She hopes in becoming skinnier, she can be who she really is – a singer who has always been too fat and afraid to be in the spotlight. Ever also hopes to make Jackson, her crush, fall for her now that she’s losing weight.

Skinny  by Donna Cooner is a good book to read if you’ve ever felt not pretty enough, not smart enough, or not skinny enough. If you’ve ever doubted yourself, you may relate to Ever and her struggle with Skinny.  Even though things don’t turn out the way she plans, Ever faces Skinny and finds her true voice in the end.