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 http://www.buzzsprout.com/229361 and enjoy!

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.

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The War Within April 12, 2013

imgresA lot of war books are action packed with guns, bombs and general mayhem abounding. While Eddie’s War by Carol Fisher Saller is certainly, without a doubt a war book, it focuses on the home front, rather than the war front. And as such it is more of what I call a quiet book, but a book with a lot of punch nonetheless.

Eddie is a young boy when talk of a possible war begins. He first encounters the idea when he goes to the local library and begins – pretending at first since he can barely read- to peruse the newspapers. A man sits with him and reads them as well, and Eddie and the man talk once in awhile about the man’s home country. You see, Josef is considered a Gypsy by people in Eddie’s small town in Illinois, and as such isn’t someone many trust easily. However, Eddie sees another side to Josef as the older man searches for news of his small village in Poland.

In the meantime Eddie is trying to grow up. He sees his older brother, Thomas, think about what the coming war means to him and Eddie begins to realize all the fan fair hides some really serious issues. Eddie struggles to understand some complex relationships he didn’t have a grasp of before he got older, and when faced with a potential life altering situation for his friends, it is up to Eddie to decide what he believes and and what he is willing to put on the line for those beliefs.

Written in a verse style and taking place over many years, we as readers get to see Eddie emerge and realize the people who surround him aren’t as perfect as he once believed and he needs to decide what to do with that knowledge.


Recommended for grades 6th and up.