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

THE BOY IN THE BLACK SUIT, by Jason Reynolds

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The story: Matt Miller’s mother is dead, his dad is using the bottle to drown his sorrows, and Matt can’t seem to care about school even though it’s his senior year. But then he stumbles into a job at the local funeral home, and somehow, sharing other peoples’ pain seems to lessen his own. Maybe he’ll be able to get his dad up and running again. Maybe he’ll learn to let his mom go. Maybe…he’ll even be able to find a little happiness of his own with the cute girl who works at the Cluck Bucket. Maybe.

Mrs. Friend’s opinion:  Matt is an everyday hero you can root for, dealing with things that are terrible at any age; by the end of the story, he’s only a couple of months older, but a whole lifetime wiser with the discovery that as you let people in and share their sorrow, your own pain grows less. Recommended.

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