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!

Ms. Spring’s Review of The Detour by S.A. Bodeen January 25, 2018

The DetourWhen I first picked up The Detour, by S.A. Bodeen, I was skeptical. The cover shows a bunker-like scene: concrete walls and ceiling, curtains and rod framing a cement wall, empty plate and half full glass on the floor. (Can you tell I’m a positive person? “Glass half full” rather than “Glass half empty”?) I do try to give most things the benefit of the doubt, and I’m glad I did in this instance. The tagline of “She’s Rich. She’s Famous. And She’s Trapped,” hits it dead center. The main character leaves a lot to be desired in personality when you start the book. Livvy displays a self-centered, unappealing monologue of thoughts – all about how her predicament is not her fault.

Throughout the story, layers of her inward-facing shell soften to reveal how she has come to this point. The unfortunate circumstances she faces – being a captive of a vindictive former writer – show the reader and the character that nothing is ever as it seems on the surface. Not only does poignant and descriptive language invite the reader to continue to turn pages, but a few plot twists, as well. In the end, there are lessons to be acknowledged regarding our own paths and how we influence others. I highly recommend diving into this book. Be sure to allow a couple hours’ freedom to spend with Livvy in the padlocked, basement room.


Am I Missing? A Book Review by 7th Grader Alejandro A. December 7, 2016

Filed under: Mystery and Ghost Stories,Student Book Reviews — bhomel @ 3:13 pm

After a girl, named Janie Johnson, is eating lunch one day, she sees that her friend has a milk carton with a picture of a missing child. She suddenly realizes that the child looks like her! She is confused as to how she was kidnapped from a shopping mall in New Jersey 12 years ago. And the reason she is confused is because she might think that her own Image result for the face on the milk cartonparents kidnapped her and changed her name.

The Face on the Milk Carton by: Caroline B. Cooney  is a good read for people who like mysteries. This book is so mysterious because I wanted to know if Janie was really kidnapped and who her parents really are and how was she kidnapped 12 years ago from a Shopping mall in New Jersey.



7th Grade Guest Blogger – Sophia G. May 8, 2014

The Girl Who Was Supposed To Die By April Henry

This book is a page turner. Have you ever dreamt of being kidnapped or about to be killed? Well in this book it actually happens to her. But the thing is, sheimgres doesn’t know who she is, where she came from, where she is, and why do three strange men want to kill her. And they wont stop in till they do. The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die is suspenseful and interesting. You never know what could happen next. I definitely recommend this book to boys and girls ages 13 and up.

Did she escape? Do they kill her? You have to read it to find out.


When Grandma is Bad and the Wolf is Good! February 17, 2014

After growing up as one of the famous twelve dancing princesses, Princess Petunia is hoping to leave all that drama behind her. Now that she is 16, she is looking for a little more freedom. So when an invite comes from a Countess she stayed with when she was younger, Princess Petunia takes the opportunity to go for a visit.  After all, it isn’t far from her home, and two of her sisters are getting ready for their weddings so she won’t be missed. What the princesses don’t know, is the new King Understone is still looking for brides for his brothers and himself.imgres

So as Princess Petunia heads off to the Countess’ home, she certainly doesn’t expect to be attacked by the “wolves” that live in the forest. Wolves that turn out to be men, lead by a young earl, named Oliver, who is trying hard to keep his family together. After Princess Petunia finds herself kidnapped by Oliver, she and Oliver come to an agreement. Oliver quickly realizes that Princess Petunia is in danger, and he has to figure out a way to save a girl he hardly knows but feels a connection to. Will Oliver be able help save the princesses and especially, Petunia from King Understone and his brothers?

Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George extends the story started in Princess of the Midnight Ball. Anyone who likes fairytales will enjoy this book.

Recommended for students in grades 6 and up.


Ever Feel Like a Puppet on a String? December 2, 2013

Filed under: Fantasy Books — oneilllibrary @ 3:17 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

imgresSo, this book, Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz, has a bit for everyone. A witch, orphan children, a con man, a kidnapping, dogs and magic.

First we meet the witch, who is in agony because of a stone, a fire opal to be exact. It is the source of most of her power but it has also been draining away her life for years. She decides that she must get rid of the stone, but she is unable to destroy it herself. The stone will burn her ultimately, but how can she get rid of it?

Parsefall and Lizzie Rose are two children who are living with a man named Grisini in London in 1860. He is a masterful puppeteer. Parsefall is very good with the puppets as well, and has been with Grisini ever since Grisini took him from the work house at a young age. Lizzie Rose has only been with the small group for a little over a year, ever since her parents died. While Grisini provides a roof over the orphans heads’ and some food from time to time, not much else is given to Lizzie Rose and Parsefall.

Enter Clara, a young girl who is tormented by the ghosts of her four dead siblings and by a mother who can’t let the dead siblings go long enough to be thankful for the one she still has left, and a father who is just trying to make the best of his life. Clara’s family is a wealthy one, and she begs for her 12th birthday for Grisini to bring his puppet show to her house.

It is this puppet show that puts into motion events that reach all the way up to the witch in her tower in Northern England.

Splendors and Glooms is a magnificent book, filled with intrigue, mystery, unscrupulous people and stand up ones. Just when you aren’t sure where it will take you, it all makes sense.

Highly recommended for grades 7 and up. Fine for 6th graders, but should be a good reader.