SUGGESTED OUTSIDE READING BOOKS: BOOKS ABOUT MIDDLE SCHOOL
I Funny, a Middle School Story by James Patterson. Jamie Grimm is a middle schooler on a mission: he wants to become the world's greatest standup comedian--even if he doesn't have a lot to laugh about these days. He's new in town and stuck living with his aunt, uncle, and their evil son Stevie, a bully who doesn't let Jamie's wheelchair stop him from messing with Jamie as much as possible. But Jamie doesn't let his situation get him down. When his Uncle Frankie mentions a contest called The Planet's Funniest Kid Comic, Jamie knows he has to enter. But are the judges only rewarding him out of pity because of his wheelchair, like Stevie suggests? Will Jamie ever share the secret of his troubled past instead of hiding behind his comedy act?
Middle School, the Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson. It's Rafe Khatchadorian's first day at Hills Village Middle School, and it's shaping up to be the worst year ever. He has enough problems at home without throwing his first year of middle school into the mix, but luckily he's got an ace plan for the best year ever--if only he can pull it off. With his best friend Leonardo the Silent awarding him points, Rafe tries to break every rule in his school's oppressive Code of Conduct. Chewing gum in class--5,000 points! Running in the hallway--10,000 points! Pulling the fire alarm--50,000 points! But not everyone thinks Rafe's plan is a good idea, especially not the teachers, parents, and bullies who keep getting in his way.
Middle School, Get Me Out of Here! by James Patterson. After sixth grade, the very worst year of his life, Rafe Khatchadorian thinks he has it made in seventh grade. He's been accepted to art school in the big city and imagines a math-and-history-free fun zone. Wrong! It's more competitive than Rafe ever expected, and to score big in class, he needs to find a way to turn his boring life into the inspiration for a work of art. His method? Operation: Get a Life! Anything he's never done before, he's going to do it, from learning to play poker to going to a modern art museum. But when his newest mission uncovers secrets about the family Rafe's never known, he has to decide if he's ready to have his world turned upside down.
If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period by Gennifer Choldenko. Kirsten's parents are barely speaking to each other, and her best friend has fallen under the spell of the school's queen bee, Brianna. It seems like only Kirsten's younger sister is on her side. Walker's goal is to survive at the new private school his mom has sent him to because she thinks he's going to screw up like his cousin. But he's a good kid. So is his friend Matteo, though no one knows why he’ll do absolutely anything that Brianna asks of him. But all of this feels almost trivial when Kirsten and Walker discover a secret that shakes them both to the core.
Twerp by Mark Goldblatt. It's not like I meant for him to get hurt. . . . Julian Twerski isn't a bully. He's just made a big mistake. So when he returns to school after a weeklong suspension, his English teacher offers him a deal: if he keeps a journal and writes about the terrible incident that got him and his friends suspended, he can get out of writing a report on Shakespeare. Julian jumps at the chance. And so begins his account of life in sixth grade--blowing up homemade fireworks, writing a love letter for his best friend (with disastrous results), and worrying whether he's still the fastest kid in school. Lurking in the background, though, is the one story he can't bring himself to tell, the one story his teacher most wants to hear.
How to Survive Middle School by Donna Gephart. Eleven-year-old David Greenberg dreams of becoming a TV superstar like his idol, Jon Stewart. But in real life, David is just another kid terrified of starting his first year at Harman Middle School. With a wacky sense of humor and hilarious Top 6½ Lists, David spends his free time making TalkTime videos, which he posts on YouTube. But when David and his best friend have a fight, David is lucky enough to make a pretty cool new friend, Sophie—who just (gulp) happens to be a girl. Sophie thinks David's videos are hilarious, and she starts sending out the links to everyone she knows. Sophie's friends tell their friends, and before David knows it, thousands of people are viewing his videos—including some of the last people he would have expected.
Pickle by Kimberly Baker. This is the story of The League of Picklemakers! Ben: who began it all by sneaking in one night and filling homeroom with ball-pit balls. Frank: who figured out that an official club, say a pickle-making club, could receive funding from the PTA. Oliver: Who once convinced half of the class that his real parents had found him and he was going to live in a submarine. Bean: Who wasn't exactly invited, but her parents own a costume shop, which comes in handy if you want to dress up like a giant squirrel and try to scare people at the zoo. Together, they are an unstoppable prank-pulling force, and Fountain Point Middle School will never be the same