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

WHEN, by Victoria Laurie


The story: Maddie has seen people’s death dates for as long as she can remember–tiny numbers written across their foreheads. The first person to die was her father, but he wasn’t the last: now, ten years later, when she tries to warn a mother of her son’s impending death, she finds herself a suspect in his murder. But Tevon Tibbolt isn’t the only one marked for death, and unless Maddie can help find the murderer, she and her best friend may find themselves taking the rap for it.

Mrs. Friend’s opinion: I liked this stand-alone a lot–Maddie is a spunky, loyal narrator whose life contains just about as much rotten stuff as any teen should have to deal with, but her tenaciousness is put to the test when not just she, but her best friend, find themselves suspected in the gruesome murder of another teen. Laurie ratchets up the suspense just right and keeps it going until the very last page. Plus, an unexpected fun twist at the end gives hope for a brighter outlook for Maddie’s life–which she totally deserves after everything that goes on in this story! Two thumbs up.


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