There are an abundance of reading lists for middle school students. However, if you are looking for a good book for the kid to read over the summer, I recommend When Zachary Beaver Came to Town (WZBCTT) by Kimberly Willis Holt. Here is my brief review:
A National Book Award Winner, WZBCTT is the story of a teen’s encounter with the world’s fattest boy when the boy, Zachary, is stranded for a few weeks in the teen’s rural Texas town.
Set in the summer of 1971, the story captures some amusing aspects of small-town living, chronicles the narrator Toby’s difficulty attracting the attention of the girl of his dreams, and angst about his mother’s decision to leave his father to pursue her dream of becoming a country music star.
The story takes place in Antler, TX, and some of the down-home flavor seems overdone. However, the story is good and the characters, memorable. The book is appropriate for 7th or 8th graders able to read 700 lexile material.
Eric Anderson is a reading and writing tutor in Wesley Chapel, FL. Contact him at 813.787.8959.