Middle School’s Beware

Six months ago, I had a book signing in Rose Water, Ohio. Afterwards, I visited the middle school and spent time talking to the students in the media center. (Library.) The students were like statues with pale faces and vacant expressions. None of them spoke or moved an inch. 

I noticed their eyes had not been on me. Instead, they were gazing at a door to the side of the library. After my thirty minute presentation on why reading is valuable, I finally asked, “What’s wrong?” 

The media specialist stood up and spoke before anyone could answer. “Let’s all thank Mr. Knight for spending time with us.” 

In unison, the students made their way towards the exit without saying a word, while the media specialist escorted them to their next class.

After they left the library, I had been curious on what was so fascinating about the door. So before the next group of students arrived, I hurried over to the door and opened it. 

Inside was a storage room of sorts, with a dusty filing cabinet, stacks of supplies, and an old desk. When I shut the door and turned around, two students-a boy and girl-had been standing there watching me. 

“That is the most dangerous room in the world,” the girl said with a chilling edge to her voice. 

I shut the door and smiled. “How can that storage closet be the most dangerous room in the world?” 

The boy answered. “You don’t understand. In the middle of every middle school, there is a powerful room that changes the life of any student that goes inside.” 

Together, they explained to me what happens when students enter the Middle Room. Not only did I believe every word they said to me, but I was terrified at what these students have to go through each day to survive. 

So I wrote about their story, as a warning to all middle school students. My message in the book was simple…Do not enter the Middle Room.

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