While I didn’t read as much as I thought, I was fortunate enough to hit some excellent books. All of these titles would be appropriate for middle school, with only a word of caution on Story of a Girl, which does talk about sex.
- Beige, by Cecil Castellucci
I loved this fish-out-of-water story of a conservative girl spending time with her aging rocker dad. There’s humor! There’s angst! There’s a playlist in the chapter titles!
- First Light, by Rebecca Stead
The first sentences of the book captured me, and I found that I couldn’t put it down. I enjoyed the mix of realism and fantasy. Marketed as YA, it could also be for middle-grade readers. Interesting and engaging book.
- Evolution, Me, & Other Freaks of Nature, by Robin Brande
My husband did the official review of this title, because evolution vs. intelligent design is His Thing, but we both loved the teen take on a controversial subject. The large side helping of humor in the book didn’t hurt.
- Story of a Girl , by Sara Zarr
I was late to this title, and by then it seemed like lots of people had loved it and written about it, so I just didn’t. (If you are one of those bloggers, give me the link in the comments and I’ll put it in here.) I was haunted by the angst of a girl trying to leave behind one mistake. Top-notch writing.
- I’m Exploding Now, by Sid Hite
Funny story: As I was pulling together today’s list, I realized that I hadn’t read any guy books at all. At all. In desperation, I read a book from my ARC pile, just hoping that it would rock. What do you know? It did. It’s not a long book and not a lot happens. In fact, I was halfway through before anything really happened. But I loved the insight into the teenage boy’s mind. I loved the humor. I’ll be posting a review with book quotes very soon, because I don’t want you to miss this title.