As previously mentioned, I'm embarking on a new career as a middle school librarian this fall. I'm very excited about this, but I'm also very nervous because, while I have read and do read books that are targeted to the middle school audience, my reading tastes generally tend toward the older end of the YA spectrum, and as I reflect on the books that I personally read when I was in middle school, the list contains mostly V.C. Andrews, R.L. Stine's Fear Street series, Stephen King's The Stand, Treasure Island (assigned), Animal Farm (assigned), 1984 (assigned), a few Agatha Christie mysteries and an assorted array of books that causes me to wonder "What on earth was I doing reading those books?". I mean, a book is a book, and it's great that I was reading, but couldn't I find something more appropriate for my stage in life?
My doubts about my own reading choices have left me anxious about building a collection others. The former librarian was awesome, so I believe that the existing collection should be well-stocked, but I'm not sure whether I know what "classic" titles are "must-haves" for middle schoolers, and most teen lists don't separate out this group. So I'm coming to you, dear blog readers, for suggestions of titles new and old. I've brainstormed a short list of newer titles that I think will be good selections, but I need your help!
Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith
Cold Hands, Warm Heart by Jill Wolfson
If I Stay by Gayle Foreman
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
What other titles, new and old, would you put in a middle school collection*?
*The only real guidelines I have from the previous librarian are "no sex."