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Middle Schoolers

Middle school can be a time of change. Your child may have new interests, new friends and lots of new questions. Books are always the best way to explore the world – whether it's a book about different cultures or a book about the girl-next-door. Reading a book alone or together as a family can start a discussion about all those new emotions that are a part of growing up.

Unfortunately, these pre-teen years are when many children lose interest in reading. Richland Library wants your children to be lifelong readers. Our staff knows all the best books; we can recommend titles that even the most reluctant reader will love. Some of our favorites are listed below. Stop by any Richland Library location for even more recommendations from our staff.

Middle schoolers can also help out at the library and earn community service hours as a Junior Volunteer!


Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
Amazon Says: 2011 National Book Award FinalistAs a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked more...
Amazon Says: 2011 National Book Award FinalistAs a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him. So begins a coming-of-age masterwork full of equal parts comedy and tragedy from Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt. As Doug struggles to be more than the “skinny thug” that his teachers and the police think him to be, he finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer—a fiery young lady who “smelled like daisies would smell if they were growing in a big field under a clearing sky after a rain.” In Lil, Doug finds the strength to endure an abusive father, the suspicions of a whole town, and the return of his oldest brother, forever scarred, from Vietnam. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubon’s birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage. In this stunning novel, Schmidt expertly weaves multiple themes of loss and recovery in a story teeming with distinctive, unusual characters and invaluable lessons about love, creativity, and survival. less...
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Son by Lois Lowry
Amazon Says: Told in three separate story lines, Lois Lowry’s Son combines elements from the first three novels in her Giver Quartet—The Giver (1994 Newbery Medal winner), Gathering more...
Amazon Says: Told in three separate story lines, Lois Lowry’s Son combines elements from the first three novels in her Giver Quartet—The Giver (1994 Newbery Medal winner), Gathering Blue, and Messenger—into a breathtaking, thought-provoking narrative that wrestles with ideas of human freedom. Thrust again into the dark, claustrophobic world of The Giver, readers will meet an intriguing new heroine, fourteen-year-old Claire. Jonas from The Giver is here too, and Kira, the heroine of Gathering Blue. In a final clash between good and evil, a new hero emerges. The whole Quartet has been redesigned in honor of this long-awaited grand finale! Book Details:Format: HardcoverPublication Date: 10/2/2012Pages: 400Reading Level: Age 12 and Up less...
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Shug by Jenny Han
Amazon Says: Annemarie “Shug” Wilcox is clever and brave and true (on the inside anyway). And she’s about to become your new best friend in this enchanting middle grade novel from th more...
Amazon Says: Annemarie “Shug” Wilcox is clever and brave and true (on the inside anyway). And she’s about to become your new best friend in this enchanting middle grade novel from the New York Times bestselling author of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (soon to be a major motion picture!), Jenny Han. Annemarie Wilcox, or Shug as her family calls her, is beginning to think there's nothing worse than being twelve. She's too tall, too freckled, and way too flat-chested. Shug is sure that there's not one good or amazing thing about her. And now she has to start junior high, where the friends she counts most dear aren't acting so dear anymore -- especially Mark, the boy she's known her whole life through. Life is growing up all around her, and all Shug wants is for things to be like they used to be. How is a person supposed to prepare for what happens tomorrow when there's just no figuring out today? less...
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Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
Amazon Says: Caitlin has Asperger's. The world according to her is black and white; anything in between is confusing. Before, when things got confusing, Caitlin went to her older brother, more...
Amazon Says: Caitlin has Asperger's. The world according to her is black and white; anything in between is confusing. Before, when things got confusing, Caitlin went to her older brother, Devon, for help. But Devon has died, and Caitlin's dad is so distraught that he is just not helpful. Caitlin wants everything to go back to the way things were, but she doesn't know how to do that. Then she comes across the word closure- and she realizes this is what she needs. And in her search for it, Caitlin discovers that the world may not be black and white after all. Book Details:Format: PaperbackPublication Date: 2/3/2011Pages: 256Reading Level: Age 10 and Up less...
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The Skin I'm In by Sharon Flake
Amazon Says: Thirteen-year-old Maleeka, uncomfortable because her skin is extremely dark, meets a new teacher with a birthmark on her face and makes some discoveries about how to love who more...
Amazon Says: Thirteen-year-old Maleeka, uncomfortable because her skin is extremely dark, meets a new teacher with a birthmark on her face and makes some discoveries about how to love who she is and what she looks like. less...
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Amazon Says: Series: National Book Award Winner for Young People's Literature, Newbery Honor Book, Printz Honor Book Matteo Alacrán was not born; he was harvested. His DNA came from El P more...
Amazon Says: Series: National Book Award Winner for Young People's Literature, Newbery Honor Book, Printz Honor Book Matteo Alacrán was not born; he was harvested. His DNA came from El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium--a strip of poppy fields lying between the United States and what was once called Mexico. Matt's first cell split and divided inside a petri dish. Then he was placed in the womb of a cow, where he continued the miraculous journey from embryo to fetus to baby. He is a boy now, but most consider him a monster--except for El Patrón. El Patrón loves Matt as he loves himself, because Matt is himself. As Matt struggles to understand his existence, he is threatened by a sinister cast of characters, including El Patrón's power-hungry family, and he is surrounded by a dangerous army of bodyguards. Escape is the only chance Matt has to survive. But escape from the Alacrán Estate is no guarantee of freedom, because Matt is marked by his difference in ways he doesn't even suspect. less...
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Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
Amazon Says: The first time she saw him, she flipped. The first time he saw her, he ran. That was the second grade, but not much has changed by the seventh. She says: “My Bryce. Still wa more...
Amazon Says: The first time she saw him, she flipped. The first time he saw her, he ran. That was the second grade, but not much has changed by the seventh. She says: “My Bryce. Still walking around with my first kiss.” He says: “It’s been six years of strategic avoidance and social discomfort.” But in the eighth grade everything gets turned upside down. And just as he’s thinking there’s more to her than meets the eye, she’s thinking that he’s not quite all he seemed. This is a classic romantic comedy of errors told in alternating chapters by two fresh, funny new voices. Wendelin Van Draanen is at her best here with a knockout cast of quirky characters and a hilarious series of misunderstandings and missed opportunities. But underlying the humor are two teens in transition. They are each learning to look beyond the surface of people, both figuring out who they are, who they want to be, and who they want to be with. From the Hardcover edition. less...
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Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
Amazon Says: Meet the orphan turned teen superspy who's saving the world one mission at a time—from #1 New York Times bestselling author!    They said his uncle Ian died in a more...
Amazon Says: Meet the orphan turned teen superspy who's saving the world one mission at a time—from #1 New York Times bestselling author!    They said his uncle Ian died in a car accident. But Alex Rider knows that’s a lie, and the bullet holes in the windshield prove it. Yet he never suspected the truth: his uncle was really a spy for Britain’s top secret intelligence agency. And now Alex has been recruited to find his uncle’s killers . . . Alex Rider's is debut mission is packed with bonus material - including an extra Alex Rider short story, a letter from Anthony Horowitz, and much more! From the author of Magpie Murders and Moriarty.  “Slam-bang action, spying and high-tech gadgets . . . a non-stop thriller!”—Kirkus Reviews less...
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Handbook for Boys: A Novel by Walter Dean Myers
Amazon Says: Sixteen-year-old Jimmy, on probation for assault, talks about life with three old men in a Harlem barbershop and hears about the tools he can use to get what he wants. more...
Amazon Says: Sixteen-year-old Jimmy, on probation for assault, talks about life with three old men in a Harlem barbershop and hears about the tools he can use to get what he wants. less...
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