Middletown Middle – Story Ten – The Replacement

April 1953 In its entire history, Middletown Middle School has only had two janitors. For a school that has been around for more than a century, such crazy longevity is exceptional. What was the reason neither man could quit or retire? The school held them captive. Both men passed away at the school after working…

Middletown Middle – Spirit Week

May 2005 The State Robot Olympics is one day away, and the Middletown Middle robotics team has a problem: their robot isn’t working. It is also the school’s Spirit Week, so the eighth graders are distracted by silly hair, wacky socks, free snacks, and pep rallies.  The four-student team has affixed the saw, attached the…

Driving with Whales and Zeppelins

Driving with Whales and Zeppelins Boring.  That was how eight-year-old Louis Butler describes visiting Grandpa Charlie’s cottage on the isle of Jersey. The man did not have Nintendo or Cable TV. His telly was an old piece of furniture with plants and books atop it. Visits always consisted of sitting around drinking tea in the…

Middletown Middle – Bus J

March 12, 2020  The ride home on Bus J is always an adventure. It ships the rowdiest kids on the longest ride — a 45-minute trek down Old Bridge Road, through one of the state’s densest forests. It always looked like it was on the verge of nighttime, even on the sunniest days. The man…

Middletown Middle – Menu Monster

February 2018 Principal Sosa: I gave my students the assignment to write three paragraphs summarizing their weekend. One of the kids wrote hundreds. He has unlimited screen time so you imagine how boring his summaries are.  Check out his report this week. I’ll need some feedback.   WEEKEND WRAP-UP This weekend me and my brother Billy…

Middletown Middle / Chapter Five – The New Girl

Chapter Five – The New Girl September 1953 The Cold War was a scary time for America. The big bad Soviets were the classic villains, with their missiles aimed at the US. It got so bad that folks started building bunkers under their homes, which were strong enough to withstand the end of the world….

Middletown Middle / Chapter Four – The Giant Well

August 1863 The hot Kansas wind twisted around Isaiah Milton’s face. His mother named him after the sound the wind made when it came through the front door of his childhood home: Isaiah.  It called again twenty years later, and he stumbled through the Kansas plains searching for it. He needed food, sleep, and shade, but he…

Middletown Middle / Chapter Three – The Face Painter

Here’s the second chapter of my grade school anthology book –  Middletown Middle.  The school with more mysteries than students.  Read chapter two here. June 9, 1999 Sure, lots of schools have a ‘Principal for a Day’ program, where students get their picture taken hanging out with the principal. But of course those students aren’t really a…

Middletown Middle / Chapter Two – Unktomi

Here’s the second chapter of my grade school anthology book –   Middletown Middle.  The school with more mysteries than students.  Read Chapter One – The Nickname Curse Chapter Two – Unktomi November 25, 1987 It was Big Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, which meant a half-day of school before a long weekend. Twins Jenny and…

Middletown Middle / Chapter One – The Mascot Curse

Here’s the first chapter of my grade school anthology book –   Middletown Middle.  The school with more mysteries than students. Chapter One – The Nickname Curse September 2020 “Coloring? Seriously?” Jeremy, the new fifth-grader complains as he takes out his crayons. “We stopped coloring in second grade at my old school.”  “Welcome to Middletown Middle,”…