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!

WWI Steampunk Style November 1, 2016



This alternate history, steampunk novel is set when the world is about to plunge into World War I. The Austro-Hungarian and German forces have manufactured war machines they call Clankers. These giant machines are powered entirely by steam, and are fitted with giant machine guns and reloadable ammunition—the world has seen nothing like them before! In retaliation, British forces having been breeding animals to become machines. The pride of their air force is a giant machine called the Leviathan—it is a whale crossed with a plane, deadly and with a mind of its own.

The prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Aleksander Ferdinand, who has no royal blood on his mother’s side, has been forcibly removed from his palace and is on the run from being murdered by members of his own court. At the same time, British Devyn Sharp, a young woman with a passion for flying, has disguised herself as a boy to join the British Air Service. With war looming, the two should be enemies, but when their paths cross, they might decide to become heroes together.


Holmes and Stoker team up in an amazing mystery adventure!!! October 7, 2013


This first book in the new Stoker & Holmes series is an addicting read!!! In 1889 London, beautiful and wealthy young women have been turning up dead, their bodies arranged to look like suicides. But a few things aren’t adding up- namely that each is found to be carrying an intricate scarab dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet. Infamous Miss Irene Adler (one of the few people to ever outsmart Sherlock Holmes) is requested by Princess Alexandra to get to the bottom of these murder/suicides by any means necessary. Miss Adler commissions Evaline Stoker, vampire hunter, socialite, and sister to Bram Stoker, as well as Mina Holmes, brilliant scientist, observer, and niece to Sherlock, to infiltrate the upper circles of London society to discover how all of these young women are linked, and who would want them dead. What follows is a hilarious, action-packed adventure filled with opium dens, steampunk gadgets, time travel and a dangerous goddess cult. Best of all, readers get to see a real partnership develop between the vivacious but headstrong Evaline and the brilliant but overly blunt Mina. I can’t wait for book two!!!


Steampunk Spy! March 18, 2013

Filed under: Science Fiction Books — kbradley123 @ 1:12 pm
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In Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger, Sophronia is forced to attend finishing school after countless incidents that have cause shamed to her family. Little does her family know that the finishing school that she is about to attend is one that is know for turning girls not into ladies but into assassins, spies and evil geniuses. However, Sophronia also discovers that there is trouble at her new floating school. An older student is holding a prototype hostage and evil flywaymen are going to attack the school! It is up to Sophronia and her odd band of friends to keep the school safe, while also making sure they are on time to their next lesson with a vampire teacher!

This book is a great example of an epic mash-up. This book is part steampunk mystery, part adventure and part historical re-write. This book is set in alternate 1850 England but everything is changed do to the steampunk nature of the book. Sophronia is a strong female sent to a finishing school by her family to make her presentable to society. What ends up happening is Sophronia because a really good spy and is still learning how to be a proper lady. There are many twisted and turns in this book and I really enjoyed the quick thinking of Sophronia. This is the first book of a series, so who knows what trouble Sophronia and friends will get into next.

Those who like books by Cassandra Clare and Scott Westerfeld will enjoy this new series on learning to be a proper lady while also being a cunning spy!