Middle School / Books Rule!
Recommended books for grades 5-8

INSIGNIA, by S.J. Kincaid

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The story:  The world is at war–nothing new about that, except that the wars are now being fought by proxy, and governments are always on the lookout for kids who can be trained as the new cannon fodder: fast at the controls, good thinkers, lightning-fast problem solvers. Tom Raines is a kid whose father is a professional gambler, and while Tom’s attendance at school (and thus his grades) are spotty at best, he’s a butt-kicking gamer. When he hits a never-before-achieved level on a virtual reality game, the government’s alert light is tripped, and Tom gets recruited. He knows going in that he’ll be fighting for the Indo-America, but he never dreamed he’d also be fighting kids on his own side as everyone scrambles for patrons and prestige. When Tom meets Medusa, it doesn’t take him long to realize she’s his equal in every way…but she fights for the enemy, and now Tom has to make a choice.  When the war comes, do you fight for your country, or take care of your friends?

Mrs. Friend says:  Two thumbs up on this cool sci-fi series!  It reminds me quite a bit of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game.  If you like the first book, take a look at the second one in the series: Vortex.  More problems–and surprises, not all of them welcome–for Tom!

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