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!

Every Move…Watched! July 3, 2018

Filed under: Realistic Fiction/ Contemporary Fiction — oneilllibrary @ 2:17 pm

It is almost time for another renewal, and Esther is apprehensive. She knows that Harry will do a good job, but it can be so stressful when a new “special one” comes to the farm. If only she could help Harry, with well, anything! But she can’t. As Esther, she isn’t even allowed to leave the farm house. She must pretend that everything is fine. Because if she doesn’t, he won’t be happy. And if he isn’t happy with everything she says and does, she might find herself being renewed.

At the farm, things have to be played out in the right way, or he will be displeases. Eachdownload-1 member of the household knows their place and their role. Harry, the farm caretaker, Felicity, the youngest (and therefore has to be renewed more often) and Lucille, with her special spark. That, of course, can make the transition with a new “special one” difficult.

Esther is feeling more and more pressure. After all, she’s been trapped in this farmhouse for nearly two years, and sees no way out, unless it is to stop playing her role and find out what does happen to the other “special ones” who have disappeared over the years. She’s afraid she knows the answer. She thinks he kills them.

The Special Ones by Em Bailey is a thoroughly original book that will keep the reader twisting, wondering what will happen next and how Esther, Felicity and Harry might be able to escape the psychopath who has them all under his control and has others convinced they are the reincarnation of people who lived over a hundred years ago. This is a great book!

Recommended for 8th grade and up.


Sometimes it’s best for your well-being NOT to seek the answers to your questions… July 6, 2014

Don’t Look Backimgres-2

By: Jennifer L. Armentrout

“Mean Girl” Samantha and her best friend disappeared. Samantha finds a way back to her family, but no one knows about her best friend’s whereabouts, not even Samantha. After the trauma that she underwent, Sam returns back to her everyday life without much memory and no recollection of what happened during her disappearance, not only to her but her best friend as well. As Sam is thrown back into her old life, she begins to question if the person she was, was really the person she wanted to continue to be. Each day she begins to piece together some parts to the puzzle and remembers bits and pieces, but are those smalls bits and pieces going to help her find her best friend? As Sam unfolds some portions of the mystery, she questions how far she’ll need to go to find the answers she seeks, and if they are really worth finding the answers in the end? Ultimately, with Samantha even survive after all that she went through or will the knowledge that she is unlocking get her killed or hurt once again?

Another book that I could not put down. The clever way that the author writes and embeds ideas and plot lines really keeps things interesting and flowing. There are various twists and turns that I didn’t see coming and an ultimate solution that both left me surprised but satisfied!


What would you do if you were constantly on the run? February 15, 2014

Filed under: Mystery and Ghost Stories — lhorn1217 @ 10:51 am
Tags: , , ,

Don’t Turn Aroundimgres-6

By: Michelle Gagnon

Tags: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Science Fiction

Our two main characters here are Noa and Peter. We begin with Noa- a foster kid who doesn’t have a family to call her own. The book starts with a heightened sense of thrill when Noa wakes up on a table in a warehouse in nothing but a hospital gown. In not recollecting anything that had taken place beforehand, she instantly tries to escape. Using her incredible street-smarts she’s picked up while primarily caring for herself for so long, she is able to do so.

Then, we meet Peter- a rich kid who takes pleasure in computer-hacking and not his parents money. When he begins to search through his father’s secret files one night, a man breaks into his home, steals his computer, and leaves.

How do these two stories come together? Well, when Peter continues to delve into this program that obviously has some restrictions and danger, he reaches out to other computer hackers for assistance, which happens to be none other than Noa. As they both continue to explore their own situations, they begin to see how their stories really do intertwine.

This story has a lot of complexity in following along the various plot lines, but the intensity, suspense, and smart creativity used along the way is like none other. As Noa and Peter continue to try to solve this mystery, get the “bad guys” while also potentially saving other people’s lives, they continue to ask themselves if it will be enough. The book ends rather abruptly with a lot of unanswered questions, which is why I cannot wait to begin the sequel: Don’t Look Now! Read if you dare!


Starters…the “new” Hunger Games? December 11, 2012

Filed under: Science Fiction Books — lhorn1217 @ 11:18 am
Tags: , , , , ,
startersnewI was instantly drawn to this book Starters by Lissa Price, and I have to say it had everything to do with the cover! I had seen it laying around the library and on my students’ desks and I kept picking it up and I am SO glad that I did! This nail-biter from the first page, had me hooked. There were so many interesting events, relationships, and twists and turns along the way that kept me wanting more- even up until the final pages! When (of course) I found out that there would be a second novel in the series, that luckily for me came out today!
This is a science-fiction book in a utopian/dystopian society where a war has broken out and taken and “kill” the main character’s parents. She is then left to fend for herself and younger brother on the streets. In search of money and a better way of life for she and her younger brother who has grown quite ill, she hears about a place called the “body bank” where young teenagers are able to rent their bodies out to elders in search of their youth and recapturing their “best” days. As she grapples with this decision, her brother is getting worse, they are forced to leave their hiding spot and are now “squatting” in an abandoned building. She doesn’t seem like she had much of a choice and decides to go through with the rental… As she undergoes the process, she thinks that things are going really well. Until she enters her third rental that is due to last a full month- that’s a full month that her mind is sleeping, while someone else whom she has never met gets to go around acting like a careless teenager. This is when everything goes wrong!
This is a fabulous high-energy intense novel that really keeps you enthralled the ENTIRE way through! A great book for both boys and girls, especially ones that enjoy trying to solve mysteries and circumstances, especially dealing with creative science and technology! 🙂