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

THE APOTHECARY, by Maile Meloy

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The story: Janie’s family has just moved from beautiful Hollywood to dark, gray London, which is still a mess after World War II. Life stinks until she meets Benjamin—a boy with kind of a smart mouth who wants to become a spy. When Benjamin’s father, a mysterious apothecary, is kidnapped, he and Janie must uncover the magical secrets of his father’s book of poisons and spells while trying to keep it out of the hands of his father’s enemies…and at the same time, trying to keep the atomic bomb out of the hands of the Russians. Time is against them…can they find a way to alter it?

Mrs. Friend’s opinion: If you think you hate historical fiction, but know you like fantasy, give this one a try: it’s got good guys (yay democracy!) and bad guys (boo Communism!) as well as a good-sized dose of magic and mystery.  And it’s nice to realize that girls still thoughts guys were cute, even back in the day.

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