Middle School Students Connecting Through Reading

I understand as an author that connecting with the reader is the most important goal. For students, that goal can be extremely difficult. I  know that middle school students will have little patience for a book. The story must start fast, continue to read fast, and have a terrific ending.

Most authors that write for a younger generation believe the only way students will connect with the book, is if the story is dark. What these authors fail to understand is that youth readers are just like adult readers. They want to escape from the world while reading a great book.

Here are some tips to make a great connection to the youth readers, without going to extreme:

~ With multiple characters, make sure that there is a personality for every middle school student that reads the book.

~ Be responsible with the characters. If the student made a personal connection, the character will also affect the student’s personality.

~ The student should understand what the character is going through. Because of this, the student will want to be more like the character.

~ While reading, the student should be able to tune out the world.

~ The story should encourage the student to reach for goals that are much bigger than what they have dreamed for themselves.

~ Depending how the character socializes with the other characters, this could have a direct impact on how the student socializes at school.

~ If the author is responsible, the student will learn how to socialize with others and deal with conflict, while reaching for goals that once seemed unattainable.

For all these reasons, I think mysteries and psychological thrillers for middle school students will make the best connection. The lines between fiction and non-fiction are blurred. Readers will form a bond with the characters and strive to overcome obstacles using motivation, rather than fear.

Authors should understand that middle school students are not going to relate to characters that are propelled into the darkness of the story. Middle schoolers will relate to a character that goes beyond their expectations.

Ron Knight 

Psychological Thriller for Middle School Students:



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