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Surviving Middle School

by Luke Reynolds

Written in the language of middle schoolers (“like, can I borrow a pencil, home slice?”), author Luke Reynolds, a real life middle school English teacher, covers many topics that are relevant to a middle schooler; how to find your voice, advice about grades, relationships and love, and so much more. Part guided journaling, part self help and part advice, his writing style is as if he is talking to you, the reader, directly. He is funny, witty and sometimes almost painfully cheesy (but still funny nonetheless!). His useful and down to earth advice will make sense to even the most stubborn of tweens/teens, mostly because of the sincerity and truth in which it is written. This is a great read for students who have questions about what really goes on in middle school and also for the concerned parent who has questions about what really goes on in middle school!

John Willy and Freddy McGee

by Holly Meade

With text and cut-paper illustrations by artist Holly Meade, picture book John Willy and Freddy McGee will delight youngsters who love animals. Any child who has ever had a guinea pig, hamster or gerbil knows what happens when the cage door is left open---escape to exciting adventures! The pictures show the scampering trail of two curious guinea pigs eager to explore as they traipse around the house from room to room and finally climb up a chair into the pool table, followed by the CAT. Who knew how much fun it could be to run down the holes and scurry through the tunnels, until the cat bats all of the pool balls into the pockets! Watch out, John Willy and Freddy McGee! The guinea pigs figure out how to push the balls around until they can get up out of a pocket and hurry back home to their cage. But when they have had time to rest for awhile, they decide they are ready for another adventure after all. This story is very engaging for young readers, the illustrations bright and colorful, and children will have fun looking for the cat on each page.

Journey's End

by Rachel Hawkins

Nolie Stanhope is excited to visit her father for the summer, but she isn’t so excited that the visit is in the farthest reaches of Scotland in a tiny town called Journey’s End. Her father is there studying a mysterious fog bank that no one can enter without disappearing. Nolie makes friends with Bel McKissick whose family runs a store in town. Surprising things begin to happen when they spot a boy who looks just like Albert MacLeish, a boy who disappeared in the fog a hundred years before. Realistic characters combine with mystery and a bit of spookiness for a great page turner.