Teen Book Blogger, Elizabeth N. recommends Why Can’t I Be You by Melissa Walker
Why Can’t I Be You is a realistic fiction novel about a girl named Claire, who is a tween. This summer, she is finally old enough to not go to summer camp, and now she can decide what she wants to do. She has two best friends, Brianna and Ronan, but Brianna’s cousin always takes the spotlight and acts very sophisticated and glamorous. Also, Brianna moved into a new, big house which reminds Claire that her friends have more money than her family. And Ronan has been acting really weird whenever anyone ever talks about, or mentions his father. As she has troubles with her friends, she starts to wish that she could be someone else. I liked this novel. It had lots of meaning and was very realistic in the way that the main character thought. It is a very addicting book. I wanted to know what would happen next in the book. I recommend this book to whoever likes The First Rule of Punk because they are both realistic novels about tween girls dealing with problems with family and a little bit about “fitting in.” Why Can’t I Be You is a great realistic fiction novel that you should read.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J WALKER
Today I recommend: Swing It, Sunny by Jennifer and Matthew Holm.
This page-turning, graphic novel is the sequel to Sunny Side Up. It’s autumn and Sunny is back home and starting middle school. Her brother, Dale, has been sent to a boarding school to help with his drug problems. Sunny misses him terribly, and her fun is often interrupted by thoughts of him, thoughts that are often completely unrelated to what Sunny is doing. When Dale returns home for the holidays feeling angry and betrayed by his family, it’s Gramps who helps Sunny see the “sunny side of things” again. If you like this book, you may also like Drama, by Raina Telgemeier or All’s Fair in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson.
You can find this book in the Juvenile section at J GRAPHIC HOLM.
Today I recommend: Beyond Lucky by Sarah Aronson
Believing his luck has changed for the better after finding a rare soccer card, aspiring young goalie Ari Fish finds his athletic skills floundering in the face of a dispute between his best friend and the new girl on the team, who both accuse each other of stealing the card. Beyond Lucky is not only about soccer. It’s also about friendships and how complicated they can be in middle school. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and was surprised by the turn of events a few times. This was a fun book that kept me guessing until the end. It’s great fiction for the middle school soccer lover or sports fan. Ari is competitive, yet relatable and endearing. And if you love the play-by-play, Aronson pulls you right into the games!
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J ARONSON
Today I recommend: The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez.
The First Rule of Punk is an awesome fictional novel about a Mexican punk rocker middle schooler, Malu. Malu is moving to Chicago with her mother who loves Mexican heritage, far away from Malu’s father who owns a small record shop. She does not have any friends, until she tries to start up a band with some classmates for the school talent show. Will Malu’s band be good enough to get into the talent show, and will she make friends? Read this novel to find out more.
I loved this book! It is different from other books I have read. This one is about being who you are, the importance of heritage, being a tough punk rocker and staying strong. My favorite character was Ellie, the band’s guitarist. She was very confident and smart, and was not afraid to speak up for what is right, always making petitions and helping others. I really enjoyed this novel, and I hope that you will too.
-Elizabeth N, Teen Blogger
You can find The First Rule of Punk in the Juvenile Fiction section at J PEREZ, and during the 2018-2019 school year on our Battle of the Books shelf.
Today’s recommended read is: Swing It, Sunny by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm.
It’s autumn and Sunny is back home and starting middle school. Dale her brother has been sent to a boarding school to help with his drug problems. Sunny misses him terribly and her fun is often interrupted by thoughts of him, thoughts that are often completely unrelated to what Sunny is doing. When Dale returns home for the holidays feeling angry and betrayed by his family, it’s Gramps who helps Sunny see the sunny side of things again. Through it all, Sunny tries to stay positive and learns we can’t always fix everything.
If you like this book you may like DRAMA by Raina Telgemeier or All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC HOLM.
While trying to cheer up her depressed mother, twelve-year-old Sophie gets roped into doing a triathlon as part of a school project on risk-taking, and discovers she can see people’s thoughts in bubbles above their heads.
This middle-grade novel deals with important topics including depression, therapy, preteen insecurities, and more. While seeing people’s thoughts sounds exciting Sophie quickly learns that you may not want to know what other people are thinking- luckily she has some good friends on her side. For middle-grade readers who like their realistic fiction to have a feel-good ending and don’t mind some low fantasy elements.
You can find this novel in the Juvenile Fiction section at J COOPER.
GHOST – Jason Reynolds
Ghost is a young adult novel by Jason Reynolds which follows seventh-grader Castle “Ghost” Cranshaw as he joins a track team and struggles to deal with his past and his present. Ever since his father went to jail, Castle Cranshaw’s life suddenly switched directions. He was behind in school, always in trouble, and didn’t have the money for essential needs. One day, when Ghost impulsively challenges an elite sprinter to a race-and wins- the Olympic medalist track coach sees that he has something: crazy natural talent. Only with the dreams of playing ball, he unexpectedly joined the track team. Ghost doesn’t only get bullied in school for not having good clothes, but also on his track team (Defenders). Mainly because he doesn’t have running shoes. He then steals a pair of shiny sliver running shoes to shut down all the bullies. Eventually, coach finds out and plans to tell Ghost’s mother. Until he started begging not to. All the trouble-making, all the stealing, and all the bullying comes down to this one point in Ghost’s life. The first track meet of the season. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed and meld with the team, or will his past finally catch up to him?
Ghost by Jason Reynolds originally published on August 30, 2016, is one of the finalists for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Ghost is also the first book in Jason Reynolds’s explosive Track series about a fast but fiery group of kids who have a shot at the Junior Olympics, but have a lot to prove first-to each other, and to themselves. I would recommend this book to readers that are searching for a thriller, as well as meaningful book in their lives.
Another poignant, engaging, exciting novel that combines middle school, sports, and life lessons from Coretta Scott King Honor author Jason Reynolds – commonsensemedia.org
~Vishnu S., Teen Blogger
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J REYNOLDS.
Today I recommend: All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson.
All’s Faire in Middle School is a fictional graphic novel about Imogene, a girl who is homeschooled and whose parents work at a medieval faire. Her father acts as an evil night, and her mother runs a shop. Imogene is about to embark on her own journey, middle school! She doesn’t know if she will make any friends or fit in at middle school, but she tries anyway. She faces a strict science teacher, sort of teasing and bossy friends, homework, and many other things.
I really enjoyed this book. It was funny, and the art style is cartoonish and cool. I loved this book because it had a lot to do with medieval fairs, old english and the craziness of middle school. Imogene’s life and problems were often compared to folk tales and dragons. I suggest this graphic novel to who ever likes medieval times or graphic novels. Victoria Jamieson also wrote Roller Girl, a wonderful graphic novel about a girl learning how to roller skate.
~Elizabeth, Teen Blogger
You can find All’s Faire in Middle School in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC JAMIESON.
Brave is a humorous graphic novel about a middle school boy named Jensen. Everyday, Jensen must brave the difficult math class, bullies who follow him around, and getting along with his art club friends. On top of that, he deals with trying to find a partner for English class, and helping out his frantic friends who are in the newspaper team. Everyday, Jensen needs to be brave to survive the craziness at school.
I absolutely loved this graphic novel so much. It was humorous and the cartoonish art style is amazing! Every once in awhile, Jensen day-dreamed about being a hero, whether he was an astronaut, or stopping a zombie apocalypse from eating everyone at school. My favorite character was Jenny, the lead student of the newspaper team. She was hard working and dedicated to being in the newspaper team. When she was mad, she was “the wrath of the angels/apocalypse Jenny” and was drawn with fire in her eyes. (She was very mad at times.) The world of Brave and its characters overlapped with the book Awkward. However, Jensen was a background character in Awkward. As you can see, I loved this book and recommend this to everyone because it is a fun, quick read.
~Elizabeth, Teen Blogger
You can find Brave in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J CHMAKOVA.
Today I recommend: All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson.
Homeschooled by Renaissance Fair enthusiasts, eleven-year-old Imogene has a hard time fitting in when her wish to enroll in public school is granted.
Fans of Jamieson’s graphic novel Roller Girl won’t be disappointed! Imogene is another strong female character, and the situations that she grapples with feel realistic even if growing up at a Renaissance Fair sounds far-fetched. Imogene deals with bullying and her desire to make new friends as she adjusts to going to middle school while also training to be a squire at the Ren. Faire. I recommend this to anyone who has enjoyed Awkward and Brave by Chmakova or Real Friends by Shannon Hale.
You can find this graphic novel in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC JAMIESON.