Saturday, March 30, 2024

The Dark Life - book review #iLoveMG

This is part of my continuing series, #iLoveMG , where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

The Dark Life

Recommended by Elliot



Dark Life by Kat Falls is a high fantasy novel. It is about a boy named Ty, who has spent his whole life undersea, helping his family farm flourish. But roaming around undersea, there is also a group of outlaws, and when these outlaws start causing trouble, Ty is caught up in the shuffle, and has to fight for his home. 

He finds a girl named Gemma, who is from land, but has come undersea to look for her brother. As they venture, they also uncover secrets about living undersea. Seacrets that cannot fall into the wrong hands. 
 
Dark Life is a great book where layer after layer of secrets unfold, leaving the reader guessing. To lovers of Jennifer A. Neilson and Suzanne Collins, Dark Life is full of action, adventure, and lots of secrets. I strongly recommend this book. I would give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

Saturday, March 16, 2024

The Super Secret Octagon Valley Society - book recommendation #iLoveMG

This is part of my continuing series, #iLoveMG , where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

The (Super Secret) Octagon Valley Society

Recommended by Asher



I recommend The (Super Secret) Octagon Valley Society by Melissa de la Cruz.

This book starts off with eight characters Anton, Ting Ting, Lil Kimmy, Julie, Maureen, Dilip, Harold, and the star of this novel Edwin. He has always been shy but very good at Mathematics top of his class even. He hopes that in his journey he will find others like him smart but a little nervous. 

In this thrill-finding, book watch as these eight iconic characters traverse The Octagon Valley Society Institute for the EXTRAordinary conquering whatever comes at them next.

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Babysitter's Club readalikes

My 5th graders love realistic fiction and graphic novels, so what could be better than realistic graphic novels? This #FirstChapterFriday collection is pretty much always checked out from the classroom library, but it's fun to booktalk them anyway so readers can plan ahead about books they'd like.

You can always tell the savvy readers who skip the queue at school and order books from the public library - smart!

If You Liked the Babysitter's Club Graphic Novels



Sunny Side Up (series)
Merci Suarez Changes Gears (series - not graphic novel)
Real Friends (series)
Just Jaime (series)
All's Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson
El Deafo by Cece Bell
New Kid (Class Act is the second, School Trip is the third in the series)

There are so, so many more graphic novels I could include (and you'll notice graphic novels pop up in a lot of my other book-recommendation categories too). What are your favorite realistic fiction graphic novels?

Saturday, February 3, 2024

Best Middle Grade Survival Stories

Survival stories are always a big hit with kids. I still have falling-apart copies of Hatchet well loved across several generations of students and readers, but there are so many amazing new survival stories in the last few years. 

Be prepared if sharing survival stories for #FirstChapterFriday - your students will NEVER want you to stop reading! 

Survival Stories



I Survived books (series) by Laura Tarshis (series)
Alone by Megan Freeman
The Canyon's Edge by Dusti Bowling
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
Hatchet (series) by Gary Paulsen
Stella By Starlight by Sharon Draper
Controlled Burn by Erin Soderberg Downing
The Disaster Days by Rebecca Behrens
Alone in the Woods by Rebecca Behrens

I was obsessed with survival stories as a kid (and definitely planned my own tree-based dwelling ala My Side of the Mountain). What's your favorite survival story?

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Princess Academy - book review #iLoveMG

Welcome to #iLoveMG where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

Princess Academy

Recommended by Eleanor



Princess Academy is a book by Shannon Hale. It is a fantasy novel with a lot of questions about what you actually want and a little bit of drama It is about a girl who is named Miri after a mountain flower. Miri and her family live on Mount Eskel. One day someone from the lowlands comes to Miri’s village with the news that the prince's bride will be from Mount Eskel. So Miri and girls her age are brought to the princess academy to learn to be proper. When unfair things start happening Miri speaks up for herself and all the other girls. But she doesn't know the is something more dangerous that she will have to face. 

This book has an interesting plot and the characters are determined to stand up for what's right and it has an interesting fantasy element that makes it exciting. I recommend this book to anyone who wants an exciting fantasy book about doing what's right and helping others. I rate this book 9/10 because it was super good and I would love to read it over and over again.

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Looking for Humorous Middle Grade Books?

So many students want humorous books. Instead of falling back on old standards, how about some of these titles? This topic was a HUGE hit with my 5th graders for #FirstChapterFriday. 

Humorous Middle Grade Books



What are your most in-demand humorous books?