Stewart Bell Jr. Archives
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Our middle grade book spotlight this week is on chapter books featuring a variety of friendships, because let’s be honest--when you have a friend, life just seems to be that much better. The titles featured in this week’s book talk (and listed below) are books that can be found in our juvenile and YA collections at the various branches of the Handley Regional Library System. These books and more can be found by searching the catalog using the search tag #youthfriendship as well as on Libby and Hoopla. Check back next week for a new middle grade book spotlight and if you have any book suggestions, please let us know!!
Holes by Louis Sachar--As further evidence of his family's bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a horrible and desolate correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.
11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass--Amanda and Leo are 11-year-olds caught in a time warp on their birthday. Born on the same day, the two best friends have happily celebrated their birthdays together for 10 years -- until Amanda catches Leo talking about her behind her back, and she decides that their friendship is over. Amanda harbors this grudge for a whole year, and they celebrate their birthdays separately for the first time ever. At the end of a terrible day, each soon realizes that they are reliving the horrible day over and over. After some soul searching, they realize they will have to work together to fix the time warp.
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson--Jess Aarons has been practicing all summer so he can be the fastest runner in the fifth grade. And he almost is, until the new girl in school, Leslie Burke, outpaces him. The two become fast friends and spend most days in the woods behind Leslie's house, where they invent an enchanted land called Terabithia. One morning, Leslie goes to Terabithia without Jess and a tragedy occurs. It will take the love of his family and the strength that Leslie has given him for Jess to be able to deal with his grief.
You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly--Twelve-year-old Charlotte Lockard and eleven-year-old Ben Boxer live across the country from each other and know each other from an online Scrabble game. Although they are different in many ways, the two find friendship and connection as they face family issues and the turmoil of middle school.
The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon--Caleb Franklin and his big brother Bobby Gene are excited to have adventures in the woods behind their house. But Caleb dreams of venturing beyond their ordinary small town. Then Caleb and Bobby Gene meet new neighbor Styx Malone. Styx is sixteen and oozes cool. Styx promises the brothers that together, the three of them can pull off the Great Escalator Trade--exchanging one small thing for something better until they achieve their wildest dream. But as the trades get bigger, the brothers soon find themselves in over their heads. Styx has secrets--secrets so big they could ruin everything.
Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks--Ravi's family has just moved to America from India and he is trying to find his place at Albert Einstein Elementary. Joe has been a student there since he started grade school, but without his best friends who have moved away, he's feeling a little lost. When Dillon, the class bully, zeros in on Ravi and Joe, the two decide to pair up and take back control of their lives together.