3 engaging books for middle-grade readers

Three titles that would be good holiday gifts for middle-grade readers.

2. 'The Losers Club,' by Andrew Clements

The popular author of "Frindle" is back with "The Losers Club," another pitch-perfect story of school friendships. Or should we say school enemies? Yes, Alec Spencer has a problem he fears could render him friendless. He can’t stop reading. “Some people had comfort food, but Alec had comfort books – stories so familiar that they made reading feel like coasting downhill on a bike…” Now, those books are ruining his grades, and his parents have a solution: Alec must stop reading in class. Or else.

When he and his brother begin after-school care, Alec discovers that joining a club is part of the deal. His former friend, now potential enemy, is a show-off who runs the Active Games group. Alec has no intention of playing kickball for two and a half hours. Instead, he’ll start a new club for book nerds. Not the kind that encourages conversation. All Alec wants to do is read.  

But the Extended Day’s supervisor requires two members to begin a club. The sixth-grader finds a fellow bookworm, a girl he might just have a tiny crush on. Soon, they’ve had to add extra tables. So much for calling it a Losers Club. Even when the kids in Active Games keep lobbing kickballs toward their table, the Losers’ books stay open.

An easy read for grades 3-7, this breezy novel includes a recommended reading list. It's a perfect book for those of us who believe that losing yourself in a good book might just solve a few of life’s problems.

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