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Excellent Books for Middle-Schoolers

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Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 8:14 am | Updated: 1:56 pm, Wed Jul 2, 2014.

Young readers have little trouble finding picture books to enjoy, but in middle school the hunt for good books becomes more difficult. Today, two students from St. Vincent de Paul School share their reviews of books they found appealing—“Snicker of Magic,” a past Book Buzz Pick, and “No Summit Out of Sight,” a new non-fiction title.

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“A Snicker of Magic,” by Natalie Lloyd.

Reviewed by Natalie Maune, seventh grade.

“Felicity Juniper Pickle is not your average sixth grade student. Some students collect baseball cards or coins. But, Felicity collects words. She can see them over people’s heads, on their shoulders. The words have legs, wings, arms or they just float in different shapes.

“When Felicity, Mama, Frannie Jo and Biscuit move to Midnight Gulch to live with Felicity’s Aunt Cleo, things start to change. Felicity believes her family has been cursed with a ‘wandering heart.’ Now, Felicity has never had that problem. Her Mama, on the other hand, has been that way ever since Roger Pickle left them. Roger was Felicity’s dad. Felicity and her family have moved a lot.

“Author Natalie Lloyd definitely has a ‘snicker of magic’ in her writing. This action/mystery/adventure will have you on the edge of your seat the entire time. I can relate to Felicity because she is afraid to share her words because she doesn’t want to stutter or mess up. Felicity is my favorite character because I would love to collect words too. Felicity collects words that she likes in a blue book. She writes them because she wants to remember them.

“Felicity finds a bunch of new words that she would like to keep in Midnight Gulch. Some words she’s seen are ‘THREADBARE’ or sometimes ‘Felicity.’ When she meets Jonah Pickett, she learns all sorts of new words.

“Felicity remembers that her Mama will most likely make them move soon. What will she do? Felicity doesn’t want to leave Midnight Gulch because she believes there is a snicker of magic left. She has to find a way to stay in Midnight Gulch, but how? This book is definitely a MUST READ for all 11, 12 or 13-year-olds.”

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“No Summit Out of Sight,” by Jordan Romero

Reviewed by Olivia Heggemann, eighth grade.

“At nine-years-old, Jordan Romero made a goal to climb each of the Seven Summits, plus one—the tallest mountains on all seven continents. He reached his first summit, Kilimanjaro, when he was ten. Jordan successfully climbed Mt. Everest when he was thirteen. At the age of fifteen, Jordan Romero completed his final climb and became the youngest person to reach all Seven Summits. ‘No Summit Out of Sight’ is Jordan’s remarkable story, including how his goal began and all the hard work it took to achieve it.

“Jordan’s story is frightening at times, but always inspiring. He speaks honestly about his hard work, his struggles, and his doubts. He didn’t make me want to climb mountains. However, his dedication to a very difficult goal is motivating. The description of the different cultures and countries is very thorough, giving readers a view of the world Jordan encounters. He also includes detailed descriptions of the mountain climbing process—both positive and negative.

“The story is a great read for teens and young adults. While showing the reality of his great effort, Jordan also encourages readers to ‘find their own Everest.' His experience, and his words, promote a healthy, active lifestyle and having the courage to try hard things.”

/blogs