Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf is a different sort of book. It’s a scrapbook full of stuff that 7th grader Ginny Davis collects all year: diary entries, post-it notes, instant messages, e-mails, report cards, candy wrappers, sales receipts and more. The scrapbook pages are a collage of all of this. As you turn the pages you read and look at all of this stuff…and it’s the stuff that tells Ginny’s story. There are things to read, like diary entries and e-mails, but the rest of the things on the pages are more like clues to look at and the clues really do help you understand who Ginny is and what is going on with her. In a lot of ways Ginny is typical. She wants her school picture to look good and she wants friends, clothes and maybe even a boyfriend. She also has problems just like everybody. She’s having trouble getting used to a new step-dad and her older brother is making bad choices that cause problems for the whole family. All of this happy, sad, funny stuff in Ginny’s life you figure out by looking at the pages in this scrapbook. After reading this book, try making a scrapbook page or a collage of yourself. There is more than one way to make a self-portrait – as you can tell by reading Ginny’s story. Author: Jennifer L. Holm
Sabrina and Daphne have been sent to live with their mysterious Grandmother, Relda Grimm, a Grandmother they didn’t even know they had. Once they arrive the girls find out they are direct descendants of the Grimm Brothers – the fairy tale guys. They also discover that the Grimm Brother stories actually happened and that the fairy tale characters are alive and well and living in their Grandmother’s town, Ferryport Landing. The Grimm Brother stories are actually a history of all the crimes committed by the fairy tale characters. The girls are part of a long line of detectives from the Grimm family whose job it is to investigate the fairy tale crimes. The girls and their Grandmother are hot on the case of a giant that has been unleashed into Ferryport Landing by one of the fairy tale characters, or Everafters, as they like to be called. Which character set the giant loose…and why? Author: Michael Buckley
Cass and Max-Ernest are back and their new adventure is just as dangerous as it was before. (See The Name of This Book is Secret) Cass discovers a note in her lunch bag – a shopping list from her mom. But there’s something weird about the note: a) Cass’s mom just went to the store the day before b) some of the things on the list they never eat c) the note is signed, “Mother”. It just doesn’t add up and there is a good reason it doesn’t – the note isn’t from Cass’s mom at all, it’s a coded message from the Terces Society, the secret organization Cass and Max-Ernest have joined to keep the world safe from The Midnight Sun and evil Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais.
The note sets up a meeting place so how can Max-Ernest and Cass resist? Well, there is the small problem that Cass is grounded – but when has that ever stopped a person from saving the world? Author: Pseudonymous Bosch
After being hit by a car, Jack discovers he can see people, people other people can’t see. The question is, who is real, and who is a ghost? While in New York City, Jack meets Euri, an adventurous, fun girl that is excited to show him the city’s sites. Jack soon discovers that Euri is a ghost who agrees to show him the sites of New York’s Underworld, the haunts and ghosts of those people who have died in New York.
Jack’s mother died in New York.
The possibility of seeing her again fuels Jack’s desire to learn all about Euri’s world of the dead. Since Jack is alive touring the Underworld, is it possible for him to find his mother…and bring her back to the world of the living? And if Euri can come to the world of the living and find him, why can’t his mother and why doesn’t Euri go find her own family? Author: Katherine Marsh
We first met Adam Canfield in Adam Canfield of the Slash, and Adam’s still got a lot going on. He’s a good student, he plays sports and he is co-editor of his school’s newspaper, The Slash, with his friend Jennifer. In Adam Canfield Watch Your Back!, Adam becomes one of the stories he usually writes about. Happy about an unexpected snow day, Adam heads out to shovel snow to make some extra spending money. On his way home, he is mugged by some high school kids and his money is stolen. At school the next day, Adam, Jennifer, and their favorite reporter Phoebe decide to do a story exposing bullies and this time, people are naming names. And if that isn’t enough controversy, they also tackle the unfairness in the school’s science fair and a plan to bulldoze a poor African-American section in their town to build mansions for the rich. These kids are no fluff reporters. They take on serious topics and really try to be journalists who dig out the truth in every situation while trying to be fair to all the parties involved. And they’re funny. Two thumbs up. Author: Michael Winerip