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

Archive for the ‘Difficult lives’ Category

BETWEEN THE LINES, by Nikki Grimes

April 23, 2018

The story: A group of high school kids get to know each other on a completely different level through the medium of poetry. Everyone ends up in Mr. Ward’s class for different reasons, but learning to use the right words helps them deal with their issues: Darrian’s mom is dead, Jenesis is about to age […]

LONG WAY DOWN, by Jason Reynolds

April 23, 2018

The story: Will’s brother Shawn is dead, and Will knows the Rules: Don’t cry. Don’t snitch. DO get revenge. He’s in the elevator, a gun stuffed down the back of his jeans, ready to make Riggs pay–but there are seven floors between here and the street, and at every floor, someone gets on: someone Will […]

DISAPPEARED, by Francisco X. Stork

March 26, 2018

The story: Sara and her brother Emiliano are both in over their heads. Sara, a young reporter, uncovers the truth behind a human trafficking ring in their hometown of Juarez, and now she’s a target. Emiliano, wanting to be rich (and in love with a girl who already is), is falling into the sparkling trap […]

THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE, by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley

March 26, 2018

The story: Crippled Ada can’t remember ever having left her third story apartment in the East End of London, where she’s learned what she knows of life from looking out the window. When the threat of bombs forces her to make a move, she and her younger brother Jamie find themselves evacuated to the country–and […]

THE GOLDFISH BOY, by Lisa Thompson

October 13, 2017

The story: Matthew’s OCD keeps him in the house, as far away from germs as he can get. Who would have thought that a kid who spends most of his time watching out the window would be the one putting together clues to solve the disappearance of a neighbor’s grandson? If Matthew can’t do it, […]

YOU MAY ALREADY BE A WINNER, by Ann Dee Ellis

October 13, 2017

The story: Her dad is gone, her mother leaves them home alone all the time, and her only hobby is entering every sweepstakes she can find. Only Olivia’s imagination–and her love for younger sister Berkeley–keeps the sixth grader going. When she finally, finally finds a friend in Bart, he betrays her in what seems to […]

MUSTACHES FOR MADDIE, by Chad Morris and Shelley Brown

September 29, 2017

The story: 6th grade Maddie’s life–complete with bullies, Shakespeare, and tough decisions about standing up–is turned upside down when she finds out she has a brain tumor. Now it’s the turn of her classmates to rally around her, and they do: complete with mustaches (Maddie’s signature fashion accessory). But there’s a big surgery coming up, […]

WILD BIRD, by Wendelin Van Draanen

September 29, 2017

The story: Wren is in trouble…big trouble. Her parents have sent her to jail–or at least, that’s how it feels. After getting busted while high on drugs and doing just about everything to alienate her family, she’s been sent to a rehab survival camp out in the Utah desert. Not only does she not have […]

THIS IMPOSSIBLE LIGHT, by Lily Myers

September 28, 2017

The story: Ivy is a smart girl, even though her world seems to be crumbling around her. Her parents have divorced, dad has a new girlfriend, her brother has moved out, and her mother seems to be drowning in depression. Worst of all, Ivy feels that she’s getting too tall, too round, too different from […]

FLAWED, by Cecelia Ahern

September 28, 2017

The story: In Celestine’s dystopian society, making choices that don’t benefit society can cause you to be labeled “flawed”–and branded, so that everyone else knows it too. When Celestine breaks a rule to help someone on the fringes, the unthinkable happens, and somehow she finds herself targeted as the most flawed person EVER. Will her […]