If you know anything about me, you know I have always loved to read. Thank goodness for the library. I have many memories of scouring libraries for the perfect book, from elementary on up. I had this gifted class in middle school where we read, "The Last of the Mohicans," "Through the Tunnel," "Fahrenheit 451," and I loved it.
Here are some of my favorite books I read around middle school time. I have a lot of happy times associated with these books. I'm a nerd. And I hope Amazon will forgive me for ripping off their pictures.
1. Little Women This was my first "big" novel. I read my Great-Grandmother's 1912 copy curled up in her big wingback chair in the corner of her living room. I reread it every year when we visited her for Thanksgiving. When I turned fourteen, my Great-Aunt (her daughter), gave me the most beautiful leather copy with gold-leaf pages for Christmas. I still treasure it, and think of her everytime I open it. I can't wait for Emma to read it.
2. The "Wrinkle in Time" series by Madeleine L'Engle
I love this series. I was swept up in her novels, and as a struggling, dorky pre-teen I could really identify with Meg.
3. The Blue Castle by LM Montgomery
I enjoyed the LM Montgomery books, but especially her later books. I realize now as I type this, that Valancy was another ugly duckling. Hmmm, I'm sensing a pattern here.
4. Up A Road Slowly, by Irene Hunt
This is a great story of a girl's journey from childhood to adulthood. After her mother's death, Julie goes to live with Aunt Cordelia, a spinster schoolteacher, where she experiences many emotions and changes as she grows from seven to eighteen.
5. "The Witch of Blackbird Pond" by Elizabeth George Speare
I just reread this for the first time in years. I felt like I could really imagine what it was like to live in the 1600s in an oppressive Puritan society.
6. The Lois Duncan books.
I have always loved ghost stories. I began checking them out in elementary school, so it makes me laugh when I see Emma and her friends doing the same. Lois Duncan has some of the scariest novels for this age hands down. A couple have been made into movies.
7. The Ghost Belonged to Me by Richard Peck.
Here is another great series that has a ghostly theme. Set at the turn of the last century, it follows a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, who partners in ghost hunts with a boy from an extremely proper upbringing. Blossom Culp is such a fantastic, feisty heroine. Her mother is a fortune-teller who finds their dinner in trash cans, she is persecuted by the popular girls in the "Sunny Thoughts and Busy Fingers Sisterhood," and through her discovery of her sixth sense, finds herself on the Titanic as it is going down. The book is hilarious, scary, and touching at the same time.
8. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
Just bought this for Emma.