Reading is such a fiery passion, of devouring new stories and interesting ways of thinking. Middle school children of today are 50% readers or 50% not interested at all. Maybe even more nowadays aren’t interested in print. However, Young Readers Day is to celebrate the importance of reading. Enjoy or recommend these 6 reads to anyone interested in pursuing the art of creating a TBR.
1. Apple Crush by Lucy Knisley
This is the second installment of the graphic novel series Stepping Stones. A middle-grade book about Jen who is now used to living on a peapod farm with her two step sisters Andy and Reese. Now the new school life looks a bit bleak. First, Andy is more boy-crazy than hanging out with her sister. Jen doesn’t understand the big deal, but soon Jen will learn the sweet sorrows of growing up, puberty, and more about middle school life. Based on Knisley’s own childhood experience, there are some laughs and relatable content of school adjustment.
2. Iveliz Explains it All by Andrea Beatriz Arango
A powerful verse about finding your voice. It’s the life of a seventh grader facing mental challenges and learning to accept and control them. Iveliz has a goal: to make new friends and help Abuela Mimi after moving from Puerto Rico. However, her goals shatter instantly. What people say angers her so that she can’t stop. She keeps taking medicine which helps her stop being sad, but her Abuela Mimi insists that she stops taking it. The question is how do you explain your feelings if you don’t even know how? Read Iveliz’s journey of self-expression and self-help.
3. When Life Gives You Mangos by Kereen Getten
Twelve-year-old Clara lives on an island where visitors say it’s exotic. She loves eating mangos off the ground and running in the rain with her Papa. She loves to go to her hideout with her bestie Gaynah, although they have been distant lately. Her memory of last Summer is distorted. After a hurricane hit, some memories drip, others her Mom explains. But, it doesn’t feel like her own experience. When the new girl in the village is a unique standout, this may be the Summer she won’t forget.
4. Like Home by Louisa Onome
If you have enjoyed the show On My Block, the movie In The Heights, or have read works from Elizabeth Acevedo; this debut novel is about a girl whose life changes after a vandalism incident. this throws her relationships and the neighborhood into a frenzy.
Chinelo or Nelo, as her best friend Kate calls her, is all about her neighborhood ginger East. She enjoys the sense of community and its relaxed ride-or-die energy. However, a deadly incident at the local arcade causes a major ruckus. Soon lots of her friends have moved away except Kate. When Kate’s parent’s corner store is vandalized, a national-scale drama unfolds as claims of ‘fixing it’ go underway. Kate is now distancing herself. Chinelo is determined to figure it out and try to save this neighborhood.
5. Frizzy by Claribel A. Ortega and Rose Bousamra
A middle-grade graphic novel that is all about hair love and acceptance. Marlene loves books, her Tia Ruby, and her hangouts with her best friend Camila. However, her Mom, Paola, wants her to grow up and do well in school. This means straightening her hair so it looks ‘neat’ and ‘presentable’. But she hates the salon and wonders why her curl isn’t seen as pretty. With the gorgeous pink pastel and visuals in this graphic novel, read Marlene’s appreciation journey of her hair with the help of Camila, Tia Ruby, and a few embarrassing moments in between.
6. Invisible by Christina Diaz Gonzalez and Gabriela Epstein
When reading this graphic novel you will get The Breakfast club energy from it. Can you be yourself when no one knows who you truly are? Five students meet when forced to do school community service hours: George (the brain), Sara (the loner), Dayara (the tough kid), Nico (the rich kid), and Miguel (the athlete). They know they can’t possibly have anything in common. each has their own issues to face, but someone needs their help and it may bring them together.
Three graphic novels and three novels to choose from. Middle school reads can also be read by young adults. So, whatever story captures your eye go to your nearest library or bookstore to get one of these for your TBR. For more recommendations on books of any kind visit Bookstr.
FEATURED IMAGE VIA CANVA, GABRIELLE MAYA