The Avid Reader

Most avid readers can point to a specific book that turned on their fervor for the written word. Armstrong Middle School eighth-grader Sicily Brocato is no exception, although she admits, she got off to a slow start.

“From the age of about 6 to 9, for some reason, I actually disliked reading, probably because I was a rambunctious kid at that point,” says Sicily.

But at the age of 10, a friend kept “bugging” her to read a book by Young Adult author Veronica Roth. That book was Divergent.

“From the moment I started it, I couldn’t stop. It was just so much more interesting than real life, and I wished I could be like the people in the book. I kept reading that series, and I eventually started loving to read.”

The 13-year-old Starkville native continues to rely on recommendations from friends, as well as teachers, to find her next good read, but you’re just as likely to find her pouring over book jackets at a book store or the Starkville Public Library to find titles that pique her interest.

A writer in her own right, Sicily spends her creative energy penning stories of her own. Suspense and horror are her preferred genres, but she’s written her share of poems and songs, too. When she isn’t reading or writing, she takes part in plays and musicals, both with AMS and the Starkville Community Theatre.

Here are Sicily’s recommendations for your to-read stack:

Book_Wonder1. Wonder by R.J. Palacio — It is a very well-written and heart-warming. I think kids my age can really relate to it.

2. Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama — Everyone needs to try either manga or anime at least once in their life, even if you think it’s not your thing. Although I’d skip this one if you’re not into violence, it had me hooked for months.

3. The Giver by Lois Lowry — This a big one. I mean, everyone loves a good dystopian society. It’s also just a really, really entertaining read.

Book_TheWatsonsGoToBham19634. The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis — Everyone needs to read (this book). It strays from what I normally read, but it has a lot of history about segregation in the United States, specifically Alabama. It actually made me cry in front of my class.

5. Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge — I think it’s a great horror novel for readers my age. And I love how it’s really confusing at first, but it makes sense in the end.