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Middle School Librarians - Teachers


Middle School Librarians - Teachers

A group for Middle School Librarians - Teachers.

Members: 294
Latest Activity: yesterday

Discussion Forum

GLBTQ materials and the School Library 2 Replies

Started by Dana Buchanan. Last reply by Dana Buchanan Mar 17, 2014.

Academic Integrity

Started by Teresa Plumer Sep 25, 2012.

Teen Read Week

Started by Elizabeth Ullrich Sep 12, 2012.

Comment Wall

Comment by Victoria Hall on February 1, 2009 at 8:42am
I am looking for resources to accompany Esperanza Rising. Any suggestions for poetry, short stories, children's, lit, current events, excerpts to read aloud, newspaper articles, film, VSH, or DVD's to compliment the unit? Thanks for any ideas or leads of where to post this search.
Comment by Joan Collins on March 31, 2009 at 9:17am
Perhaps connect with the Library of Congress Book Immigrants by Martin W. Sandler. There are many images of newcomers to America.
Also Quilted Landscape Conversations with Young Immigrants by Yale Strom.
Comment by Sandy Bernahl on May 27, 2009 at 2:18pm
What a neat idea for networking for middle school LMCs.
My blog:
Comment by Gayle Keresey on May 27, 2009 at 2:53pm
Thanks for sharing your bog, Sandy. :)
Comment by Jen Spisak on May 27, 2009 at 6:50pm
Just started a library blog recently

If you have any suggestions please let me know!!
Comment by Jamie Isenhour on July 27, 2009 at 2:59pm
I have recently moved from high school to middle school and am finding that deciding appropriate new books for this age group is difficult! Any hints out there??
Comment by Cynthia Alvarado on July 27, 2009 at 3:44pm
It is difficult because some students are really ready to move on to adult titles and others would just as soon continue reading Goosebumps. I try to keep a balance between buying all the great, but more mature themes I would like to see the students read and realizing that they will read more if it is easier and more familiar to them.
Comment by J.Robertson on July 27, 2009 at 4:27pm
Hi Jamie,
I would suggest that you find some blogs written by librarians that you've come to trust. There are lots of reader's advisory kinds of blogs out there that can be quite useful. You can find mine at
Although I've enabled a commenting feature, I actually just maintain the blog for myself. When I want to remember a little bit about the book, and I'm at school, I just call up the web and scroll through the archives. On days when I want to do a quick book talk, but don't feel like talking, I play one of my passionate podcasts for the kids instead. You're welcome to use it if it helps you. I don't usually post information about any books that are not appropriate for grade 6-8 students, and if I did, I'd include a warning re. language or sensitive content etc. unless it's so famous that I think everyone knows about it already. The books that are mentioned in a podcast are different from the ones on the main page. Hope that helps.
If you were actually asking how to tell if the book is okay for middle school, the most important thing is to get to know your community and your students as readers. I've worked in schools where I absolutely wouldn't have a certain book on the shelf, and I've worked in other schools where it's not a problem at all. I find that in some schools the kids in grade seven are 12 going on 18, in some schools they're 12 but could pass for 8, and in some schools they're 12 and act like they're 12.
I have noticed that students in general don't seem to like to read about anyone who is younger than them. Even if the book is perfect for their reading level, and the content contains a great story, as soon as they read that the main character is in grade four, they're not as interested in the book as they previously were. Also I've noticed that tougher neighborhoods seem to be more lenient regarding language. I try to read everything I put on the shelves and depending on the school, if it's a great story, I'll allow minor swear words like "shit" if it contributes to the character development. I try not to have books with the "f" word. We're an ESL school, and it's really not part of the vocabulary I'm anxious to have the students develop. I know it sounds like censorship, but it's what I'm comfortable with - you have to know your population.
Comment by Joan Collins on September 15, 2009 at 1:56pm
I've got lots of tried and true suggestions in my book entitled Motivating Readers at the Middle Grades.
Comment by Joan Collins on September 15, 2009 at 1:58pm
Some middle school kids are ready for adult books and others remain stuck in elementary choices. What you give an incoming 6th grader is very different from what you hand a graduating 8th grader.


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