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

Archive for the ‘Fiction Here & Now’ Category

SAVING RED, by Sonya Sones

May 22, 2017

The story: Molly feels bad about a lot of things in her life, yet it seems like things might just be changing when she befriends homeless Red and falls in love with Cristo. But when Cristo dumps her and Red just keeps listening to the voices in her head, Molly realizes that she can’t fix […]

REFUGEE, by Alan Gratz

May 22, 2017

The story: Three kids, tied together by their refugee status across cultures and decades, never know each other and yet are tied together in unimaginable ways. Josef and his family are trying to flee to safety ahead of the Nazi blitzkrieg; Isabelle and her family are desperate to leave Cuba and make it to the […]


May 22, 2017

The story: Brian is stuck at Uncle Gary’s for the summer, with his cousin Nora who hates him. It seems like it’ll be Death by Boredom when something unexpected happens: the kids get lost in the woods and discover the Matchstick Castle, peopled with a host of famous adventurers, writers, and explorers, who just so […]

AMINA’S VOICE, by Hena Khan

May 22, 2017

The story: Amina knew things were going to change once she started middle school, but she never expected to worry about losing her best friend, about her brother getting into trouble, or about someone vandalizing their mosque. How can a girl feel confident about her life when everything seems to be changing all at once? […]

UNDER LOCKER & KEY, by Allison K. Hymas

May 22, 2017

The story: Jeremy Wilderson is NOT a thief–he’s a “retrieval specialist”, and he only takes things that someone else took first. So when one of his ventures goes bad, Jeremy feels obligated to fix it, even when it attracts the attention of the school’s self-appointed policewoman and do-gooder, Becca Mills. She wants to see Jeremy […]

SHORT, by Holly Goldberg Sloan

March 2, 2017

The story: Julia doesn’t want to let being short define her, which is why it’s weird when she ends up being cast as a Munchkin in a summer theatre production of “The Wizard of Oz”and finds herself really liking it. ┬áHanging out with theatre folks, learning the slang, and scoring a slot as a flying […]


March 2, 2017

The story: It’s 1971, and Joel is looking for a Hanukkah miracle. Is that so much to ask? He just doesn’t want to end up the loser in his own story. Too bad it seems like God isn’t paying attention right this minute–cuz Joel isn’t picky. The miracle could be a snow day in California, […]


February 22, 2017

The story: Jade–a black girl from the poor northeast side of Portland–is a scholarship student at the expensive, nearly all-white St. Francis school. She’s smart, and talented…and black. Jade has worked hard to get a chance to go on a study abroad–but instead, she’s picked for “Woman to Woman”, a mentoring program with a successful […]

BOOKISHLY EVER AFTER, by Isabel Bandeira

February 22, 2017

The story: Phoebe Martins is so busy crushing on the hot guys in her fantasy novels that she doesn’t see the one right under her nose. Or, even worse–when she realizes that Dev actually exists, she’s so shy and awkward that she might as well be invisible. Even trying to straight-up copy her book heroines’ […]

BY YOUR SIDE, by Kasie West

February 15, 2017

The story: When Autumn finds herself trapped in the library on a snowy night, she totally expects that her friends will be back for her soon. She never expected to find someone else in the library too–mysterious Dax Miller, loner and rumored delinquent. As the hours turn to days and the teens connect, Autumn wonders […]