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!

3 Perspectives, 3 Life-Changing Moments June 19, 2013

Take Me There

By: Susane Colasanti

After a student of mine, Rose, checked out all the books by this author from the library, I knew I had to see what all the fuss was about. As my previous post about the same author’s book, Keep Holding On,  suggests, obviously I too was hooked. While listening to the audio version of Take Me There, it was interesting because it tells three different overlapping stories from the three main characters in the book. I originally thought that it was going to be some typical high school girly book, but all of a sudden when I heard a male voice come over my radio- I knew there was more to the story.

Susane does a fabulous job really getting you hooked into her books, as she has very relatable characters and concepts of what occurs in high school. What was interesting is that we started with Rhiannon who is devastated after a break up with her boyfriend. We see how she interacts with her two best friends, James and Nicole during this difficult time. Then, just as we are waiting to see what happens next withDownloadedFile Rhiannon’s story, Susane plunges into James and Nicole’s stories of that same period of time we just heard Rhiannon talking about. So it was really interesting seeing the three very different perspectives and perceptions of what occurred during that time. It made me think of how often people can witness the same event but have a completely different perspective on what happened and how it affected them.

As the story continues, Susane definitely surpasses your “typical” high-school romance and drama, while digging into high school bullying, how what definitely goes around comes back around, and even some inappropriate relationships that have occurred or may be occurring. I think though she pushes the envelope, she isn’t afraid to take risks and she does so in a tasteful way that will make it okay for me to have this book in my middle school classroom.

All in all, you will love this book and definitely won’t want to put it down!

 

When is enough, enough?

Keeping Holding On

By: Susane Colasanti

I love how this book sucks you right in during the first chapter where our main character Noelle is fumbling over her words with her serious high school crush, Julian. Of course as the story begins to unravel we see that Noelle doesn’t have your typical, happy teenage lifestyle. Noelle finds herself in very dark spots with an immense amount of bullying at school, a very harsh home life- where her mom tells her what a mistake she was, and not a lot of self-confidence. You really begin to feel for Noelle and will definitely find your inner-insecure teenager as you read along with her.

DownloadedFileThere are moments where things start to look up for Noelle just for someone, like the biggest school bully or her former best friend, to bring her right back down. As the story continues, Noelle begins to let in on her secret home life scenario with some people she deems as close friends and she begins to see how good it feels to reach out and talk to someone, though incredibly hesitant at first.

This is a great book that will definitely make you think about some of your actions and how your actions effect others. You will continue to root for Noelle, her high school crushes, and her ability to find herself as the story progresses, and things might just look up for her toward the book’s conclusion.