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

MY LIFE IN DIORAMAS, by Tara Altebrando


The story: Kate’s family has run out of money, and now they have to move–right when her dance team has decided to attend a big competition the girls have been dying to try for years. While the rest of the team gets ready, Kate tries to sabotage her parents’ real estate deal: first by stashing stinky stuff around the house to discourage possible buyers, then by planting loud noises around to bug people who come to the open house. But when the house deal goes through and it looks like the family really is going to move despite Kate’s tricks, her mother’s depression, and the death of their dog–Kate finds out what she’s really made of…and is pleasantly surprised.

Mrs. Friend’s opinion: If you’re a girl in grade 6 or 7, you’ll enjoy 7th-grade Kate’s war against reality, as well as her final acceptance of it, as Kate finally comes to realize that things aren’t going to end up nearly as bad as she expected. There are some funny moments in the story, as well as a light-hearted look at the confusion adolescent girls feel about boys and crushes. This is a fun one!

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