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!

Flipped Book Review by 7th Grader Hannah May 7, 2018

FFlipped by Wendlin Van Draaen was really good. It’s about a boy named Bryce who moved across the street from a girl name Julianna. After they met, Julianna started to have a huge crush on Bryce. Bryce didn’t have a crush on her because he thought she was weird. Through the years, Julianna´s feelings for Bryce grew, yet Bryce´s feelings for Julianna didn’t change at all. In the middle of the book, Bryce said some mean things about Julianna and she found out. After a while, Bryce started to feel bad and he also started to have feelings for her. Julianna didn’t have feelings for him anymore because of all the mean things he said about her. After months of going through drama and ignoring each other, Bryce finally stepped up and told Julianna his feelings for her. Julianna still didn’t feel the same for him. It seems their feelings for each other have “flipped”!

Then Bryce planted a sycamore tree for Julianna. This meant a lot to her because she used to climb a sycamore tree daily, watching the sun rise and set, until it got cut down. Once Julianna saw what Bryce planted for her, she finally forgave him and they became friends again.

 I liked this book because I love how there was a lot of drama, plot twists, and romantic parts. I also liked how the author changes from Bryce´s point of view to Julianna´s point of view on every chapter. There is a movie of this story and I used to watch it all the time.

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An Escape to Space: Starflight November 22, 2016

Filed under: Science Fiction Books — ghahn2012 @ 11:23 am
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Have you ever wanted to escape your problems?  Solara Brooks has the perfect solution.  Her life on earth is nothing worth keeping- so she plans to escape to the fringes of space where she can start over working as a mechanic.  In the fringe she will be valued for her skills and it won’t 9781484723241_p0_v8_s192x300matter that she has no family, no money, and a criminal conviction.  The only problem is that she can’t afford to get there.  Solara decides to indenture herself to someone for the length of the journey and unfortunately, the only person willing to take her is her tormentor from school.  Solara is a survivor though and through some brilliant twists and turns in the plot, she shows just how strong she is.

Starflight by Melissa Landers is science fiction at its best.  Space pirates, new frontier, and adventure all help make this story memorable.  But the part that will leave you wanting more is the characters.  Luckily, this is the first of a series.

 

One Wrong Note…Could Mean Death May 20, 2015

What happens when something you love, has the potential both to save you and possible be the cause of your death? Hanna is imgres
faced with this after she is pulled for an audition for the Commandant of the work camp, Birkenau. She has already been taken from her home where she had a lovely life with her older sister, Erika, and her parents. Hanna was excited before the Nazis invaded her country of Hungary because she had been planning to got to the Budapest Conservatorium of Music. Hanna has a gift for playing the piano and when she is forced with her family to leave, it is her piano she misses and the time to play.

Once in the work camp of Birkenau, Hanna realizes quickly that she and her sister and mother must learn new ways to exist. With her father taken away from them at the gates of the camp, Hanna can only hope they will all be reunited at the end of the war, if they can last that long.

An opportunity comes for Hanna to play for the Commandant of the camp and while she doesn’t think she’ll get picked, when the Commandant’s son, Karl, specifically singles her out, she gets the job. Only later does she learn that her time may be precarious, since one wrong move, or note, can be the end of her time playing and possibly her very life.

Playing for the Commandant by Suzy Zail takes the reader on a journey to explore not only what it might have been like to have your life hang in the balance every day, but how would you have felt if you realized you were beginning to have feelings for the enemy? Hanna faces this dilemma as she finds herself failing in love with Karl, the Commandant’s son.

Good Holocaust book with a different perspective than others. Recommended for 8th grade and up.

 

She Never Expected This May 4, 2015

imgresGrowing up in Little, California is a great place for Carter Moon. Her family runs a cute little cafe, called, wait for it, Little Eats! The most exciting, or for Carter, disturbing thing to happen in her life is the fact that her older brother John has a gambling addiction that he doesn’t seem able to shake. Carter likes her small town, where everyone knows everyone, and she has no plans of leaving, ever.

Enter Adam Jakes, teen movie star and heart throb to thousands of girls around the country, and he has decided to shot a feel good Christmas movie in the sleepy little town of Little, CA. Carter’s best friend Chloe is over the “moon” about this because if there is a biggest fan of Adam Jakes, it is Chloe. Even though Chloe has a wonderful boyfriend, Drake, who is also best friends with Carter. The three of them spend all their time together, when Carter and Chloe aren’t taking shifts at Little Eats that is.

Carter isn’t planning to let Adam Jakes or his movie impact her summer at all. After all, they won’t be there filming for much past July 4th. However, much to her surprise, Carter gets a proposition she can’t refuse. She is approached by Adam Jake’s publicist to be his “fake” girlfriend for the time Adam is filming in Little. And offered a sum of money that Carter knows will help her brother out of his latest bind. She decides it is a chance she can’t afford to not take. However, she isn’t prepared to like Adam Jakes, let alone feel more for him.

Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson is for any romance junkie out there, who loves a good story and wonderful characters. Grab this for your next long weekend, or car ride. You won’t want to put it down!

Recommended for grades 8 and up.

 

The Librarian is a Demon…No Really He IS! March 31, 2015

Filed under: Fantasy Books,Romance — oneilllibrary @ 2:35 pm
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So, Cyn -short for Cynthia- realizes that not much can penetrate her laser focus when Ryan is around  (the guy she’s been majorly crushing on forEVER but doesn’t know she exists), but still, something is up when her normally unflappable, positive and totally supportive best friend.  Annie suddenly seems really taken with the new school librarian. Not as in, oh, he recommends such great books to me, but as in so taken that it is creepy and inappropriate.

imgresCyn decides she needs to check things out since Annie can’t stop gushing about Mr. Gabriel. When Cyn meets him, she agrees with Annie that, yes, he is quite attractive, but there is something that is a bit, well, OFF, about him that Cyn just can’t put her finger on. However, Annie will hear nothing against her new guy (again – ick) and proceeds to begin to shut Cyn out of her life. Cyn realizes that Mr. Gabriel is doing something to the students at her school. He touches them and they get kind of foggy looking and out of it. Cyn sees Ryan (AKA – love of her life) talking to one of his zombie/ foggy friends and she mentions that she thinks there is something strange going on with Mr. Gabriel. Of course she knows this sounds totally crazy, until she is proven right.

Turns out …he’s a demon, and he wants her best friend to become his demon bride. Double ick! So it is up to Cyn to try to save not only Annie, but Ryan and…wait for it – her entire school – from Mr. Gabriel and his evil ways. The Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen will not disappoint. You will laugh out loud with this book, and be rooting for Cyn every step of the way, through murders and soul sucking and well, waiting for her first kiss from Ryan…which, let’s face it is right up there with saving her friend Annie from becoming a Demon’s bride!

Run out and get this book RIGHT NOW! It is a great read. It is funny, and scary and just plain downright WONDERFUL. Recommended for 8th grade and up.

 

Walking the Line… In War March 2, 2015

Ashe is used to living in a war zone. After all, his parents are only together because of him. His dad was on his way to getting a job with the NFL after college, but he had to drop out after Ashe’s mom got pregnant. While it is clear both his parents love him to death, they don’t share the same affection for each other. Most of his life has been spent in a cold war situation.

With the real war in Vietnam heating up, Ashe realizes just how far apart his parents have become. His dad is imgrescompletely supportive of the war while his mom begins to attend rallies to end the war. In the middle of this, a new girl begins to attend his school and he quickly becomes entranced with her. Her brother is off already fighting in the war in Vietnam.

Things really begin to fall apart when Ashe’s mom does something his father just can’t, or won’t, forgive. Ashe is being asked to choose between two people he loves dearly, but who are pulling him in opposite directions.

Death Coming Up the Hill by Chris Crowe is written as a novel in verse and is a fast and engaging read. Seeing Ashe struggle between knowing what his mother did was wrong, but understanding why she did it as well as seeing how his father can feel. It also gives the reader a view into a very tumultuous year in our history – 1968.

Recommended for 8th graders because of the subject matter.

 

Life in the Death Shop February 19, 2015

Filed under: Romance,Science Fiction Books — oneilllibrary @ 8:36 am
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Her life had been pretty predictable up to this point. Aria had her close group of friends, her mother, Luna, and well, the Realms. Life in the Realms made everything seem fine. Until her mother has to leave their pod and go to another settlement called Bliss to do her research, leaving Aria behind. Still, not the end of the world, until contact is lost to Bliss. In an effort to find out what has happened to her mother, Aria befriends the son of the Head of Security, Soren, thinking he must know something. However, things go very wrong when Soren decides to break into a part of their pod that hasn’t been used for years. He and some of the boys start a fire and then attack Aria and her friend Paisley. Out of the burning night a person appears, an outsider, who rescues Aria from Soren’s attack.

imgresPeregrine is stunned to see the waste in the pod and doesn’t understand the attack on the girl. He saves her life from the fire, and take the strange eye piece that she was wearing over her eye. He returns to his tribe and back into conflict with his older brother Vale. Quickly Peregrine knows he will have to leave again, since he can’t get along with his brother. However, people from Aria’s pod come and kidnap Peregrine’s little nephew and demand to have the eye piece from Aria back. Peregrine is able to escape, barely but he knows he must leave his tribe to try to find a way to get his nephew back.

Little does he know that his actions back at the pod have created problems for Aria leading to her expulsion from her society. Aria, forced outside of the comfort and familiar surroundings of the pod, finds herself dropped into the middle of the Death Shop, where rumor has it there are a million ways to die. Never having been outside of four walls before, she isn’t sure how she will survive. Peregrine comes across her not long after she has been thrown out and he sees her as a way to get his nephew back.

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi is a fast paced action story of what could happen in a future where the sky has turned on the earth, and what the humans are trying to do to live.

Great book for anyone looking for a futuristic earth – without zombies – and a nice romance too! Recommended for grades 8 and up.