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!

Based on True Events November 30, 2016

On March 11, 2011, a catastrophic earthquake hit Japan. Minutes later, a wall of the Pacific Ocean came slamming into the coast of Japan from a massive tsunami.

Leza Lowitz, the author of Up From the Sea, noted, “15,889 people died, 6,152 were injured, and 2,601 people are still missing.” She was inspired to write this story because she was in Tokyo when this happened – she saw the devastation and death first hand.

Up from the Sea is a novel in verse. Kai, a fictional character, tells his story of survival and loss. At school, Kai thinks he’s part of just another routine earthquake drill Japan often has. This time the drill is real! After the earthquake, Kai seeks higher ground b2Q==.jpgecause a tsunami is coming. The tsunami destroys everything in Kai’s life – his home, his school, and his family. Kai’s story portrays the aftermath of the tsunami that hit Japan and how many people’s lives were changed.

If you like reading novels in verse, easy books, books about natural disasters, stories about survival, or just good stories – I recommend Up From the Sea by Leza Lowitz



Extreme Earth! December 9, 2012

I love watching tsunami, hurricane, earthquake and any type of natural disaster shows on TV. As soon as I find one while flipping through the channels, I have to watch it. I especially enjoy real videos of the disasters – it really is amazing to see Mother Nature in action. When I came across Seymour Simon’s Extreme Earth Records book, I knew this was my type of book!                              

In this book, you can read about the extreme places on Earth – the coldest, hottest, deepest, and rainiest. There are pictures of all these extreme places along with explanations of what it is like there. In the back of the book there are sections about notable earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis. Since this book was published this year, it does have information about the earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck Japan in 2011.

This is a quick and easy nonfiction book that captured my interest. I read it cover to cover in one sitting and learned about a few places I had never heard of. I recommend this book for anyone from 5th grade up to adults. It’s pretty fascinating to read about extreme places that we can probably never visit!