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!

Lady Midnight April 24, 2018

lady midnight

This book is the first in a new series by the author of The Mortal Instruments, Infernal Devices, and Shadowhunters Academy series.

In this new series, angels, fairies, demons, and humans all live together on earth– but not always peacefully. Emma is what is known as a Shadowhunter; she is half-angel, half-human and an elite warrior. Emma and her partner Julian are the guardians of Los Angeles, where vampires and murderous fairies prey on humans. Shadowhunters try to keep the peace, but fight when needed. Recently, though, both human and fairy bodies have been showing up brutally murdered. The Shadowhunters know they must join forces with the fairies to catch whatever darker force is at work in the world.

Into this very dangerous war is thrown Kit, a mortal teenage boy who can see the creatures of the underworld that most humans cannot. The Shadowhunters want to use Kit as a weapon and a spy, but Kit’s moral father has his own plans that he plans to trap Kit in.

Read this amazing dark urban fantasy book to find out who is killing humans and magical creatures, and who is destined to save the city.


Vampires- Glamorous, Cruel, or Both? October 4, 2016

Filed under: Fantasy Books — lpitrak @ 10:24 am
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Tana lives in an ordinary town, exceptional only for its proximately to a Coldtown.  Coldtowns are walled off sealed cities, in which people who have been bitten by vampires are sent to live.  Once being turned into a vampire, a person becomes more beautiful, more powerful, and immortal… So it is no surprise that Coldtowns are actually seen as glamorous places, where champagne is always flowing, playing music and dancing in the streets is common, and the parties never end.  Life inside of Coldtowns is so mystifying that savvy journalists set up live televised feeds, so that normal mortals can have 24/7 access viewing to these cities where the fun lasts forever.  But Tana knows, because she witnessed her own mother undergo the transformation into a vampire, that there is extreme brutality, cruelty, and boredom at the heart of these vamthe_coldest_girl_in_coldtown_coverpire civilizations.  One night, after a party where most of her highschool class is in attendance, Tana wakes up in a pool of blood and sees her classmates slaughtered around her.  She is the only one still alive, besides her ex-boyfriend who is now one of her best friends, and a mysterious, dark stranger… both of whom seem to have been bitten.  Tana knows she has to get them to a Coldtown before they turn and become a danger to themselves, to her, and to the rest of her town…. But getting them there means traveling into the heart of a vampire Coldtown as a mortal girl. This awesome book brings a huge twist to vampire legend and mythology, and is dark, creepy, and funny in all the right ways!  Perfect for reading before Halloween!!!





Real Life Gross Out! February 19, 2013

Filed under: Nonfiction Titles — oneilllibrary @ 9:33 pm
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What could be better than learning about real life gross out stuff? And what a better subject than…blood itself! In Seeing Red: The True Story of Blood by Tanya Lloyd Kyi, we learn so much about the origins of how people all over the world viewed blood in the past and how we deal with it today. The little stories in this book are awesome. For example, did you know that Gaul warriors made necklaces…for their horses of the severed heads of their enemies? Or what about a woman in the 1600s who bathed in blood because she thought it would make her younger. Some believed that your brains were in your blood and if you leaked too much, there went your intelligence! But not all these ideas are from the past. Many religions today still have rituals surrounding blood.

I am not into gross stuff, but this book walks the line between truly gross out and cool information. If you love reading weird off the wall facts, and enjoy going “ewwww” often, this is a great find for you!

Recommended for 7th grade and up.


Oh, You Poor Pathetic Vampires November 30, 2012

Filed under: Fantasy Books — ghahn2012 @ 1:36 pm
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Honestly, I’ve been pretty sick of the vampire/werewolf genre for the last few years.  There was a ridiculous output of these books after Twilight made it big, and in my opinion, it was big time overkill! My YA book group recommended the title The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks as a monthly read.  It just happened to be in the school library, so I gave it a try.  Now although I’ve already told you that I’m sick of vampires, I love when when an author can take something that everyone is familiar with and give it their own spin.  Catherine Jinks earned major creativity points in my book when instead of making her vampires strong and good looking she made them weak and pathetic.  What a twist, right?

The main character is, of course, a teenage vampire named Nina who is actually in her fifties and living with her senior citizen mother.  The only time she really gets out of the house is to go to her Tuesday night vampire support meetings at the local church.  She is able to survive by writing vampire novels- about a stylized, strong, good looking vampire who saves people.  Nina herself is weak and barely surviving on guinea pigs and supplements.  Everything that this group of vampires does is to help them survive.  Nina has never even tasted human blood!  Nina makes an interesting hero as she and some of her friends try to find a vampire hunter who staked one of the members of reformed vampire support group.

I absolutely recommend this book as great change of pace from the classic vampire story.  There is even a werewolf thrown in for good measure.



The Books Are Always Better (Even when the movies are pretty good) November 16, 2012

Sometimes a book, or 4 in this case, can really have an impact on you.

After seeing the movie Breaking Dawn Part 2 tonight all I can say is I am so glad I read the books! As I watched, I laughed, held my breath in shock, almost wanted to cry, remembered how much I enjoyed reading all 4 books in a matter of weeks, and felt sad now that it’s over after years of following the Twilight saga.

If you didn’t read the books, you might go see the movie and possibly enjoy it. If you did read Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn, then you know the story. You have gone along for the journey and been a part of Bella and Edward’s forbidden love. You may even be on Team Jacob and wished Bella would have ended up with him instead.

And when you do see the movie, you will be speechless when you notice that Stephenie Meyer decided, for the first time, to stray from the story! You are going to gasp and say, “This isn’t what happened in the book!” I bet when you leave that theater, you too will be saying the same thing I did, ” I am so glad I read the books before ever seeing any of the movies.”

Come to think of it, I’ve always said that about movies made from books – the books are always better.


Vampires, Oh MY! November 11, 2012

Filed under: Fantasy Books,Romance — oneilllibrary @ 4:39 pm
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ImageSick of the sweet vampires in Twilight and the whole saga? Well, welcome to a world where vampires have taken over and the only humans living are called hepers and have to live in a special protected dome to keep the vampires from getting them. In The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda with so few humans alive, when a Heper Hunt is announced all the vampires are thrilled with the idea of hunting the last few remaining humans. All except Gene, who just happens to be human and has been living and passing for a vampire his whole life. When Gene is selected for the Heper Hunt, his biggest fear – that he’ll be discovered and consumed by the other vampires on the hunt – could come true if he isn’t very careful.

This book is a fantastic read, and one I couldn’t put down till I finished it late the other night. What is cool about this book is it really makes you think about what it would be like to live among people who would kill you in a heart beat if they knew you weren’t who they thought you were. Gene has times when he has to figure out what it means to be human and if he even wants to be. The problem is, he cant’ change who he is, as much as he might want to. I’m looking forward to the next book in this series because there is quite a twist at the end of The Hunt.

Recommended for grades 7 and up.