Monday, October 25, 2010

The Best Middle School Novels

I was originally going to title this post: "The Best Middle Grade Novels." But I wasn't really sure if the books I was listing would be considered middle grade. Even though the three books I have below feature protagonists who are twelve years old, the stories and plots are pretty deep and I wasn't sure if they should be catagorized YA or MG. To compensate, I'm calling them Middle School novels, because that's when I read them. I feel like these are YA books with younger characters. Not quite MG, not quite YA. Regardless, these books are worthy of audiences of all ages.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

I think this is my favorite book of all time. And it's probably pointless to have up on here because I'm sure everyone has already read it. But I have to give some love to The Giver. I first read it in fifth grade on my own and loved it. It was the first dystopian novel I've ever read and look at me now! I had to read it again in seventh grade for school and I enjoyed analyzing and dissecting the novel. If you don't know, The Giver takes place in a future society that's "perfect" - no pain, no hunger, no disease. When you turn twelve years old, a committee decides what job you will have, and you start training. Jonas, the main character, gets the job of the Receiver, which is an honored position where Jonas will receive the memories of the community.

The Giver is one of those books that is banned, so obviously that means it's an amazing and thought-provoking novel. I consider this to be a must read for everyone.

Tangerine by Edward Bloor

I also read this in seventh grade for school. It's about a middle school boy, Paul, who moves to Tangerine County in Florida with his family. Paul is legally blind, so he's not a star athlete like his brother Erik. But as time goes on, Paul discovers some secrets that Erik has been hiding.

Tangerine is also another one of my favorite books (I'm sensing a theme here). This definitely is not as popular as The Giver, and I haven't really seen it in bookstores or anything. But it's such a good book in that it's like a mystery, as Paul is trying to figure out some things about his brother. And there's a pretty big twist ending which was awesome. If you haven't read this, I would definitely give it a try, it's a really good book.

A Corner of the Universe by Ann M. Martin

I picked up this book because the cover was so pretty and because it was written by Ann M. Martin, the same author who "wrote" The Baby-sitter's Club series (I say "wrote" because I think she used a lot of ghostwriters). A Corner of the Universe is about a twelve year old girl Hattie, whose uncle she's never met comes to stay with her family in the summer of 1960. Her uncle is mentally challenged (though it was undiagnosed since it was 1960) and Hattie befriends him and struggles to cope with teasing from other children and the ups and downs of his personality. It's a really good novel: thoughtful and pretty deep compared to the Babysitter's Club. This may be more for younger girls but I really liked it and still do.

So that's it for now, I need to get some studying done. I'll probably do another post of this because there are a lot of middle grade novels that I really enjoyed when I was younger and I think other people would like them too.

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