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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New Best Friend Needed January 12, 2015

What do you do when your best friend disappears…right before what was supposed to be the best summer of your imgreslife? Emily goes on a quick vacation with her family and upon her return sends message after message to her friend, Sloane. Only to realize Sloane isn’t answering, even after a week of phone messages and texts. Nothing. After going to Sloane’s house and seeing that no one is there anymore, Emily is almost to the point of desperation.

Right before she is going to tell her parents that her best (pretty much only friend) has disappeared, Emily receives a letter in the mail from Sloane. It is much like other lists that Sloane has sent her over the last two years they’ve been friends. Emily becomes convinced if she does the things on the list, she’ll figure out what has happened to her friend. She’s not sure how “kiss a stranger,” or “ 55 S. Ave. Ask for Mona,” will help her, but she decides she will spend the summer completing all thirteen things on the list.

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson is a book you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of time to read because once you start you won’t want to stop. As the summer goes on, Emily finds help for her list in some unlikely places and with some unlikely people!

Recommended for 8th grade and up.

 

Can Small Acts Of Good Really Make a Difference? October 3, 2014

Summer is stretching out in front of Nina as one long event, with not a lot going on to break it up. Her parents are super consumed with a big trail case they are preparing for, her older brother Matt is getting ready to head off to college by pulling further away, and her best friend and neighbor Jorie seems more different than ever. So what’s a girl to do?

imgresLying in the hammock in her family’s front yard, Nina sees a neighbor with a broken leg struggle to plant her flowers and then give up. She knows her neighbor always plants marigolds, but clearly she can’t with a broken leg. It is in that moment that Nina gets an idea. An idea that her grandmother, who died the year before, talked to her about many times. It’s the idea of Simple Truths (STs), that sometimes it’s the smallest things that end up meaning the most.

In that instant, Nina decides she will take each day that remains of summer, and do one small act of kindness for someone. She will focus on her neighborhood first.

The Summer I Saved the World in 65 Days by Michele Weber Hurwitz will have you cheering for Nina and hopeful for her neighborhood, her family and her friends. This is the kind of book you want to rush through, but when it ends, you are sad. Take time to enjoy this fun, poignant gem.

Recommended for grades 6th and up with appeal to much older students.

 

What happens when an email is sent by mistake… April 5, 2014

Title: This is What Happy Looks Like imgres

Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Genre: Realistic Fiction

An unlikely relationship begins to ensue via email when Graham accidentally sends a message to Ellie. Without knowing anything about one another, they continue to chat over email as time continues. These two teenagers are on opposite sides of the country and couldn’t be more different.

Without knowing it, Graham takes a job within Ellie’s small town in Maine and the two finally end up meeting. However, without having told one another about certain information about their lives, will the two really be a good match and find happiness?

This is a very cute story, not only about love, but about finding yourself and your own happiness. Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight continues yet again to create believable characters and a plot line that you won’t be able to resist!