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. Enjoy!

See You in the Cosmos March 20, 2017

See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng is an AMAZING novel told from the perspective of a space-loving eleven year old (who explains he is thirteen in maturity years :)). Alex Petroski loves space, and his idol is Carl Sagan. Just as Carl Sagan launched the Voyager Golden Records, which contain sounds and pictures of life on Earth, into space, Alex plans to lauSee You in the Cosmosnch his Golden iPod. This iPod contains Alex’s narration of his daily life, and he searches for people to interview who can explain the beauties and intricacies of what it means to be human for the alien life forms who will find his iPod after he launches it. This book follows Alex’s determination to build a rocket which will launch his iPod, his quest to find a “man in love” to interview, and his desire to unravel the mystery of why there is a record of a man with his deceased father’s same name and birthday living in Las Vegas. What follows is a roadtrip of epic proportions that will stay with you long after you close this book’s pages. Highly, highly recommended for any fans of realistic fiction!!!

 

 

The Good Braider May 17, 2014

Fourteen-year-old Viola lives in Juba, Sudan with her loving grandmother, strong-willed mother, and adoring littlethe good braider brother.  Although danger is constantly present in the form of land mines, armed soldiers, and starvation, Viola loves her family and community, and remembers the days when Juba was a lush paradise.  When she is raped by a soldier when walking home one evening, however, her family decides to make the treacherous journey from Sudan to Egypt to the United States.  Tragedy occurs along the way, and Viola finds herself torn between the luxuries found in America, and the high cost her family paid to get there.  Eventually, Viola discovers that she does not have to be defined by horrors in her past, and that she can live as a strong, proud Sudanese American woman.

 

Switcheroo +skating = Fun Read February 26, 2014

Filed under: Science Fiction Books — kbradley123 @ 2:31 pm
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Being Sloane Jacobs

by Lauren Morrill

Sloane Emily Jacobs has elite figure skating camp all summer. It is an escape from the spotlight of her senator dad and her family’s issues. Sloane Devon Jacobs is forced to go to hockey summer camp in order to stay on her high school team. She too, is looking for an escape from her family as her mom is temporarily is gone from her household. When the two Sloane Jacobs literally run into each other the night before both camps, they strike a plan to switch lives for the summer.  Each camp is far different than what each novice expects and of course each experiences a little bit of romance while pretending to be someone they are not.

This fun adventure has sports, romance, and adventure. Each chapter is from another Sloane’s perspective and is clearly labelled. This switcheroo really brings out high jinks and each girl has their own adventure in their new city and sport. It is a fun read that keeps you wanting to know what happens next!

  If you liked the Parent Trap or books where people switch lives this one is for you! It is a thoughtful reminder of what it is like to glide in someone else’s skates.       

 

All About the Music February 20, 2014

When HarrImagey is eight years old, a group of older neighborhood boys ties him to a tree… not knowing that an intense thunderstorm is on its way.  Lightning ends up striking the tree, leaving Harry severely burned, with facial scarring that turns him into a self-proclaimed “freak” and   “monster”.  Harry’s resulting depression lands him in therapy, where a music loving psychologist turns him on to all of the great bands of the 80s, and encourages Harry to learn to play the guitar.  The result is a misfit group of teens who call themselves “The Scar Boys”, and who actually have a great shot at touring.  Along the way, there are car disasters, fights, unrequited love, and some really amazing nights on stages all over the country.  And as Harry learns, even when the people in his life let him down and he is plagued with self-doubt and depression, “the music is always there”.

 

Not Your Typical Cancer Book October 9, 2013

 

 

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Hazel Grace is a sixteen-year-old with terminal lung cancer.  She is content with a quiet existence spent reading, watching America’s Next Top Model, and attending the occasional cancer support group meeting.  Then she meets Augustus Waters.  Energetic, witty, sensitive Augustus, aching to leave a permanent mark on the world, will show her that every day can be filled with an astonishing amount of magic and heartbreak.  Interwoven with mythology, poetry, and video games, this is not what Hazel refers to as “the typical cancer book”.

 

What do cheerleaders, a pig, and a big snowstorm have in common? March 20, 2013

Let It Snow

By: Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle, & John Green

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I know it’s a little late for holiday books, as this one is centered around Christmas-time (which is when I bought it), but it’s a great read, even coming from someone that does not enjoy Christmas as much as most people!

This book has three different “mini-novels” in one! They all inter-relate somehow with characters, events in the area, and some of the same drama that you see people facing- hence the cheerleaders, pig, and snow storm!

I really liked how each story though was quite different and uniquefrom the other and felt it was weaved together very cleverly. If you are looking for some short, quick romances that will make you laugh, cry, and yearn for Christmas again, this is the book for you!

 

So You Ran Away From The Juvenile Detention Center…. March 8, 2013

In The Journey Back by Priscilla Cummings, Fourteen Year old Digger has been in Cliffside Youth Detention Center too long. No one is home to protect his mother and siblings from his father’s rage. So Digger decides to escape. His escape takes him in the back of a garbage truck, stealing a truck, and canoeing down a dangerous river. Digger ends up hurt and hungry in a camping ground. This is where his real journey home begins.

This story is one of escaping the past. Digger is in the youth detention for a prank that went tragically wrong. Even though he knows what happened was wrong, Digger wants to help his mother and sibling and needs to get home to them. Through this journey back home, Digger discovers who he is and what he believes. His new friends show him that life is messy for all people and not everything will work out the way you plan. Digger own journey gets side tracks and he ends up discovering who he is and who he wants to be in life.

This book is a sequel to The Red Kayak. However, it is not necessary to read in order to understand this separate story of Digger. I really enjoyed the many survival aspects to this book as well as the emotional pull that Digger develops with his new friends, Luke and Nora. This book will show readers the honorable way to live, but also the hardships one has to face to live and survive!