Some good reads | Mentoring in the Middle

Some good reads

I've been switching back and forth this summer (all eight days of it so far!) between "adult" books and my stack of middle school books.  Here's what I've read so far. 

On the "adult" side:
This book was recommended by my 24-year old daughter, and I have to admit, it was a fun read on a lot of levels.  The story is told from many different voices, and in different ways - emails, FBI documents, hospital bills, and conversations, past and present.  It has a couple of interesting threads in it that I liked, and one that I wasn't as crazy about, but all in all, it was a creative, fun read.

Then, I read this one.  This is the story of a Harvard professor who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimers.  The story is told entirely from her point of view as she grapples with what's happening to her.  How she denies, then accepts her diagnosis, how it impacts her family, her work, her friends....this is one heartbreaking, tender story written with an insight that is profound. 

Another excellent read, very different from the first one!

And then, in between these, I've been reading books to stay ahead of my sixth graders for next year. 

So far, I've finished this book which was recommended by another teacher, who'd heard good things about it.  It was a great read and I found it hard to put down.  Until I got to the end.  And then I was totally confused.  And then angry.  But it did suck me in!  Still, it's definitely NOT for sixth graders.  So that one's not going on my shelves.  Unless someone out there talks me into it!

This was a beautiful story of a young girl making peace with who she is, how she feels about her best friend,  why she doesn't care about school work anymore, and what to do with a girl who bullies her from the first day of school.  But more importantly, it's about uncovering some parts of her past which help her understand who she is.  A very nice book!

I read this one in an afternoon.  Although spooky books aren't really my thing, I've found each year, that I have a group of readers who get excited by spooky, ghost-filled books.  So this year, I expanded my mystery section and created a "Spooky" section.  This books fits on that shelf.  It feels like an easy read for many sixth graders, and it has just the right amount of suspense around a cemetery that I think kids will enjoy it.

And now I've started this one, which is just filled with good humor and makes me chuckle a couple of times a page.  Recommended by a student, it's the first in a trilogy about all of the princes who have been lumped together under one name Prince "Charming."  But none of them are actually named that - they're Frederic, Liam, Duncan, and Gustav.  And they rescued Cinderella, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White.  Looks like a fun read!

How about you?  What are you reading this summer?  What recommendations do you want to pass along?


  1. Love all the book recommendations! I am the Cheese is on my list of books to read now. I've never heard of it before. I've been reading so many young adult and children's chapter books lately. Just finished The Book Thief, which was really good! Although, not a book I would put on my shelf for my 5th graders. Currently reading Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar far it is really good too. I was surprised to see Wait Till Helen comes on your list! That was one of my favorite reads as a kid (I actually have my original copy in my classroom library). I just bought the new book, since my original one has seen better days!

    Fifth Grade Wit and

    1. The Book Thief isn't on my sixth grade shelf either. It gets hard when there are movies out and kids see them. I really went back and forth with the Divergent series, but finally put that series on my shelves. I have The Maze Runner on my shelf, but I hold the rest of the series and only let certain people read it because it's pretty bleak. I want these kids to enjoy reading, and I want them to be provoked, but not disheartened! I'll be curious to see what you think of Miss Peregrine when you finish it. Let me know!