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

BOY 21, by Matthew Quick

Boy 21

The story: When his coach asks Finley to befriend a new kid at school, he doesn’t mention that there’s a catch: if Russ–who wants to be called Boy21, and who claims he’s from outer space–can pull himself together, he’ll almost certainly end up taking Finley’s spot on the team. Without basketball, how will Finley ever get out of this crummy town and away from the memories that haunt his family? Finley just wants to do what’s best…but it’s hard to tell what’s best for anyone, even himself.

Mrs. Friend’s opinion: This started out seeming to be one kind of story (a sports/basketball story) and ended up as something completely different. And while basketball and girlfriends make up a big part of it, by the end the book you’re more interested in the weird things have happen to people that change everything–and how Finley’s going to solve the mystery that’s his own life.


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