THE MIDDLE FILES
the e-newsletter for middle schoolers

Diary of a Middle School Kid

Kate, an 8th grader at St. Petronille School, is an avid reader who spends a lot of time at the library. After all, it's her favorite place to visit in Glen Ellyn. When Christina is not bothering her to sign up as a volunteer at the library, Kate is at home practicing classical music or Disney songs on her violin or hanging out with friends.

Kate and her friends love walking around town and stopping in stores like Starbucks and M & Em's Boutique. Her favorite food is a peanut butter and honey sandwich (she hates jelly). Kate visits her family's lake house in Saugatuck, Michigan and likes to paddleboard. It's really hard for her to pick a favorite book, but she can narrow it down to the Percy Jackson series, Harry Potter, and anything by Wendy Mass. 

Kate loves to read adventure and fantasy genres as a way to visit cool places. She likes to read about dragons and magic and would love to gain the power to shapeshift into anything.
Middle School Events

Looking for something to do? The library has some great fall programs just for you.  Check out the entire spring schedule on our calendar. Here are some highlights:

Time Warp: Breakout Challenge
Monday, March 12 | 4-5 pm
It's not just daylight savings time that causes people trouble in this breakout challenge. Players are lost in time and must navigate the history of communication to escape. For grades 6-8. Reserve your spot.

Middle School Test Kitchen: Sriracha
Thursday, March 22 | 4-5 pm
Have you ever wanted to experiment in the kitchen? Now's your chance! Watch a documentary on the hot sauce Sriracha, then experiment with the sauce on different types of foods. For grades 6-8.
New Book Spotlight

Hideout by Watt Key
The son of a Mississippi policeman finds a boy living on his own in the wilderness. Twelve-year-old Sam has been given a fishing boat by his father, but he hates fishing. Instead, he uses the boat to disappear for hours at a time, exploring the forbidden swampy surroundings of his bayou home.

Then, he discovers a strange kid named Davey, mysteriously alone, repairing an abandoned cabin deep in the woods. Not fooled by the boy's evasive explanation as to why he's on his own, Sam becomes entangled in his own efforts to help Davey. But this leads to Sam telling small lies that only get bigger as the danger increases for both boys, and hidden truths become harder to conceal. Check out Hideout.
Riddle Me This!

I have many feathers to help me fly. I have a body and head, but I'm not alive. It is your strength which determines how far I go. You can hold me in your hand, but I'm never thrown.

Tell the answer to a staff member at the youth reference desk to receive a delicious prize!

Last Month's Answer: A deck of cards
Mid-Lit: Peer Book Reviews

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
My name is Anna. I go to Hadley Jr. High and I reviewed The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkein.

I liked The Hobbit because there were many magical creatures and events that I felt like I was experiencing, too. Bilbo goes on a special journey with the dwarves and Gandalf that no Hobbit has gone on before. Bilbo learns who to trust and who his enemies are, and I liked seeing how people helped him or hurt him throughout the way. 

Bilbo nearly dies after trying to steal from the giants and barely escapes the fast-running Orcs who are after him and the dwarf Thorin (who was king under the mountain after his father died, though a certain dragon disagreed). I liked seeing how Bilbo cunningly escaped and got his friends out of messes, but I wondered if he'd be able to save all his friends in the final battle. I felt like I was going through all the hard times Bilbo faced with the dwarves and Gandalf and understood how, only being a Hobbit, there were many times Bilbo longingly wished to be back in his comfy chair at home. 

But at the end of this long, terrifying journey, Bilbo is no longer a little old Hobbit who sits around all day and gossips. He is now a burglar with great skills who will never be forgotten by dwarves, hobbits, and a great wizard.

If you love Harry Potter, you should try this book. Check out The Hobbit.
ICE SKATING: ONLY FOR THE PROS

By Nafeesa

Hi, my name is Nafeesa. Have you ever been to an ice-skating rink? I sure have. Pro tip: only professionals can skate. Well, that's how I see it, anyway. 

When I first went ice skating, I thought it was going to be just like rollerblading (which I am a PRO at), so I decided to give it a shot. I stepped into the rink, and I fell. Straight on my butt, hard. After I balanced myself again, I attempted to move and tripped. This happened a few times before my sister showed me how to move my skates in an in-and-out motion. But that didn't help, and I was still tripping all over the place. I hung on to the wall and moved very slowly, but I guess I was moving too slow because people kept bumping into me! Then a guy came up to me and said I had to skate in the center.

I was speechless, literally. I wanted to say, "You want me to go to the center of the rink without crashing into anyone? Yeah, right." (exaggerated sarcasm) He was older than me and I was too shy to argue, so I attempted to fidget toward the center and immediately got yelled at by a girl younger than me who was skating like she's in the Olympics or something. I envy her. As I was making my way to the center, another guy was skating backwards, talking to his friends at the same time, and then ... CRASH! His back bumped into me and I would've fallen face first on the ground, but I caught myself with my arms. The other guy had no sign of pain or damage and apparently caught himself.

I was either really angry or having an adrenaline rush, probably both. And then the guy says, "Oh no! I'm so sorry! Are you okay?" What a perfectly rhetorical question. Do I look okay? I was bleeding!! How could he think I was okay? Instead of saying that, I shook my head and tried to get up and felt a sharp pain in both my arms. Eventually, my parents carried me out of the rink and we had to go get a cast because something happened to my wrist. I had to wear a cast for a month and the other guy left without a scratch. I was pretty mad about that situation, but at least he said sorry. I still don't know how to skate.

Now listen, if you ever think about going to an ice skating rink, make sure you wear knee and arm pads plus a helmet! You never know. It could happen to you. 
Glen Ellyn Public Library | 400 Duane Street | Middle School Web Page
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