Summer Reading Lists


Middle School Summer Reading Lists

The best way to build vocabulary skills and become a good writer is to be an avid reader. To encourage intellectual pursuits during the summer, middle school students are required to read 3 books during their summer break. Writing assignments related to the readings (details below) are also required and due on the first day class.

Incoming 6th Graders

Please read one book from each group listed below. You will then write a one to two page well‐written book report about each of the three books you have read. You need to include an illustration or painting created by you to go with one of the reports. All three book reports and one artistic representation are due on the first day of sixth grade.

Group A: Books about Ancient Civilizations

  • The Iron Ring by Lloyd Alexander
  • The Golden Goblet by Eloise Jarvis
  • McGraw Pharaoh’s Daughter: A Novel of Ancient Egypt by Julius Lester
  • The Oracles of Delphi Keep by Victoria Laurie
  • The Golden Bull by Marjorie Crowley

Group B: Stories that take place in North America

  • Prairie School by Lois Lenski
  • Bound for Oregon by Jean Van Leeuwen
  • Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling
  • The Warriors by Joseph Bruchac
  • Thunder from the Sea by Joan Hiatt Harlow
  • Gentle Ben by Walt Mory
  • Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz‐Ryan
  • Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz‐Ryan
  • Blue Willow by Doris Gate
  • Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
  • Indian Captive by Lois Lenski

Group C: Wide and Wonderful

  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
  • The Secret of the Ruby Ring by Yvonne MacGrory
  • The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald
  • Mudville by Kurtis Scaletta
  • Paperboy by Vince Vawter
  • Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning by Danielle Hayworth
  • Moon Over Manifest by Claire Vanderpool
  • Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary Schmidt
  • The Good Master by Kate Seredy
  • Inside Out and Back Again by Thanha Lai
  • Katie John by Mary Calhoun

There are so many other wonderful books and I encourage you to keep a list of all the books you read over the summer. We will share book reviews as well as assigned book reports in September! Enjoy and happy travels in your reading!

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Incoming 7th Graders

Incoming 7th grade students must read three books and complete the assignments as outlined below:

Please read:

  1. Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
  2. Robin Hood by Henry Gilbert (The Kindle version is fine)

You may choose the third book from the following:

  1. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
  2. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
  3. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  4. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (If you did not read this book last year)
  5. Any of the Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling (one that you did not previously read)

For Catherine Called Birdy and the book of your choice you must do a one page book review which contain the following information:

  • Title and author
  • Main character information (A brief description of character such as looks and character traits/personality)
  • Setting
  • Plot/Resolution (What was the main problem/plan/story line/scheme of the story and how it was resolved?)
  • Personal review of the book (Include likes and dislikes with reasons for both, what you learned from the book, how you connected to the characters, would you recommend this book (why or why not)?)
  • Boarders must be included on book reviews.
  • The assignment must be presented in FINAL format (CARD STOCK). Spelling, punctuation, sentence and paragraph structure must be correct.
  • All pictures are hand drawn. No pictures may be printed from the internet.

For Robin Hood by Henry Gilbert , you may choose one of the following projects:

  1. TURN YOUR CHAPTER BOOK INTO AN ILLUSTRATED CHILDRENS BOOK. Create a book for 1st-3rd graders. You must have a cover and illustrated pages with sentences to retell the main idea of the story. The length of your handwritten book must be at least 12 pages.
  2. WRITE THE DIARY A MAIN CHARACTER MIGHT HAVE WRITTEN. Imagine you are the person in your book. Write a 14-day diary as if you were the main character of the book. In your daily entries include at least one illustration as well as your feelings about what is happening to you (as the main character). You may use the cover of your diary for an illustration, or you may decorate it as if it were a real diary. Your diary can have pictures that you draw. You should have a page for each diary entry, and each entry should be at least 5 sentences long.
  3. PRETEND YOU ARE A REPORTER FOR A NEWSPAPER. Based on the book that you choose, create a newspaper with four]five articles, advertisements and illustrations. The articles can be different topics. Ideas for articles include: crime, personal interest interviews, sports, weather, and international. All the stories in your newspaper will be directly related to your book. The title of the newspaper should be something appropriate to the book. You can use your personal review as an editorial in your paper. In the rest of the paper, include your required story elements along with events from the book. Your newspaper must be a minimum of two (2) pages. The design should look like a newspaper.
Project Details

Each project must include the information listed below either within the project or separately:

  • Title and author
  • Main character information (A brief description of character such as looks and character traits/personality)
  • Setting
  • Plot/Resolution (What was the main problem/plan/story line/scheme of the story and how it was
  • Personal review of the book. (Include likes and dislikes with reasons for both, what you learned from the book, how you connected to the characters, would you recommend this book (why or why not)?) This should be a minimum of 3 paragraphs. MAKE SURE YOU USE QUOTES FROM THE BOOK TO SUPPORT YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE REVIEW.
  • Your name must be clearly visible on the project!
  • It must be presented in FINAL format (CARD STOCK). Spelling, punctuation, and sentence and paragraph structure must be correct.
  • Boarders must be included on book reviews.
  • All pictures are hand drawn. No pictures may be printed from the internet.
Extra Credit

For the BOOK OF YOUR CHOICE choose one of the above projects instead of the book review.

These projects will be due on the first day of school. Late projects will be downgraded one letter grade.

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Incoming 8th Graders

Please read one book from each category below and write a 2‐3 paragraph composition. The composition should include your impressions of the book as well as your recommendations. Also, draw a picture of a scene from the book.

Category A: Fantasy

Myst #1: The Book of Atrus by Rand Miller
Summary – The story follows Atrus through his strange apprenticeship to his father, Gehn, who wields the power to create worlds.

Gate Keepers #1: Ravens Gate by Anthony Horowitz
Summary – When Matt Freeman gets into trouble with the police, he’s sent to be fostered in Yorkshire. It’s not long before he senses there’s something wrong with his guardian: with the whole village. Then Matt learns about the Old Ones and begins to understand just how he is different. But no one will believe him; no one can help.

The Xanth Mystery #1: A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony
Summary – Xanth was the enchanted land where magic ruled‐‐where every citizen had a special spell only he could cast. That is, except for Bink of North Village. He was sure he possessed no magic, and knew that if he didn’t find some soon, he would be exiled. According to the Good Magician Humfrey, the charts said that Bink was as powerful as the King or even the Evil Magician Trent. Unfortunately, no one could determine its form. Meanwhile, Bink was in despair. If he didn’t find his magic soon, he would be forced to leave….

Okeef Family #1: Arm of the Starfish by Madelein L’Engle
Summary – When Adam Eddington, a gifted marine biology student, makes the acquaintance of blond and beautiful Kali Cutter at Kennedy International Airport on his way to Portugal to spend the summer working for the renowned scientist Dr. O’Keefe, he has no idea that this seemingly chance meeting will set into motion a chain of events he will be unable to stop. Caught between Kali’s seductive wiles and thetrusting adoration of Dr. O’Keefe’s daughter, Polly, Adam finds himself enmeshed in a deadly power struggle between two groups of people, only one of which can have right on its side. As the danger escalates, Adam must make a decision that could affect the entire world‐‐which side is he on?

Category B: Citizen of the World

Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy

Summary – Zulaikha hopes. She hopes for peace, now that the Taliban have been driven from Afghanistan; a good relationship with her hard stepmother; and one day even to go to school, or to have her cleft palate fixed. Zulaikha knows all will be provided for her‐‐”Inshallah,” God willing. Then she meets Meena, who offers to teach her the Afghan poetry she taught her late mother. And the Americans come to her village, promising not just new opportunities and dangers, but surgery to fix her face. These changes could mean a whole new life for Zulaikha‐‐but can she dare to hope they’ll come true?

Shooting Kabul by N.H. Senzai
Summary – In the summer of 2001, twelve year old Fadi’s parents make the difficult decision to illegally leave Afghanistan and move the family to the United States. When their underground transport arrive at the rendezvous point, chaos ensues, and Fadi is left dragging his younger sister Mariam through the crush of people. But Mariam accidentally lets go of his hand and becomes lost in the crowd, just as Fadi is snatched up into the truck. With Taliban soldiers closing in, the truck speeds away, leaving Mariam behind. Adjusting to life in the United States isn’t easy for Fadi’s family and as the events of September 11th unfold the prospects of locating Mariam in a war torn Afghanistan seem slim. When a photography competition with a grand prize trip to India is announced, Fadi sees his chance to return to Afghanistan and find his sister. But can one photo really bring Mariam home? Based in part on the Ms. Senzai’s husband’s own experience fleeing his home in Soviet controlled Afghanistan in the 1970s, Shooting Kabul is a powerful story of hope, love, and perseverance.

My Brother, My Sister and I by Yoko Watkins
Summary – Thirteen‐year‐old Yoko and her older brother and sister live in abject poverty in Japan at the end of World War II. When the clog factory warehouse they call home is destroyed by fire, their lives become even more desperate, particularly when Yoko’s sister, Ko, is injured and must be hospitalized and her brother, Hideyo, is accused of murder.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Summary – When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance. But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

Red Scarf Girl by Ji‐Li Jiang
Summary – It’s 1966, and twelve‐year‐old Ji‐li Jiang has everything a girl could want: brains, friends, and a bright future in Communist China. But it’s also the year that China’s leader, Mao Ze‐dong, launches the Cultural Revolution—and Ji‐li’s world begins to fall apart. Over the next few years, people who were once her friends and neighbors turn on her and her family, forcing them to live in constant terror of arrest. When Ji‐li’s father is finally imprisoned, she faces the most difficult dilemma of her life.

Category C: USA

My Name Is Aram by William Saroyan
Summary – Aram Garoghlanian was a Californian, born in Fresno on the other side of the Southern Pacific tracks. But he was also part of a large, sprawling family of immigrant Armenians‐‐a whole tribe of eccentric uncles, brawling cousins, and gentle women. Through these unforgettable, often hilarious characters Aram comes to understand life, courage, and the power of dreams. Whether it is fierce Uncle Khosrove who yells “Pay no attention to it” in any situation, Uncle Melik, who tries to grow pomegranate trees in the desert, or angelic looking Cousin Arak who gets Arma into classroom scrapes, Aram’s visions are shaped and colored by this tum‐of‐the‐century clan.

The Chesty Oak by Kate Seredy
Summary – Young Michael of Hungary carries an acorn all the way from his castle home in Chestry Valley to the warm soil of the Hudson Valley farm in the USA where he makes a new home after WWII.

Children of the River by Linda Crew
Summary – Sundara fled Cambodia with her aunt’s family to escape the Khmer Rouge army when she was thirteen, leaving behind her parents, her brother and sister, and the boy she had loved since she was a child. Now, four years later, she struggles to fit in at her Oregon high school and to be “a good Cambodian girl” at home. A good Cambodian girl never dates; she waits for her family to arrange her marriage to a Cambodian boy. Yet Sundara and Jonathan, an extraordinary American boy, are powerfully drawn to each other. Haunted by grief for her lost family and for the life left behind, Sundara longs to be with him. At the same time she wonders, Are her hopes for happiness and new life in America disloyal to her past and her people?

And Now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold
Summary – When you act like and adult but get treated like a child, what else can you do but keep your wishes secret and pray that they’ll come true. This is the story of a twelve‐year‐old Miguel Chavez, who yearns in his heart to go with the men of his family on a long and hard sheep drive to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains‐‐until his prayer is finally answered, with a disturbing and dangerous exchange.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part‐Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Summary – Junior, a budding cartoonist lives on the Reservation with his family. A Native American Indian teen, culture and loyalty is very important to him and his family and friends. But he feels somehow constricted on the reservation decides that he wants to leave the community school and go to the White School on the other end of town. His decision is met with a mix of support and anger, both of which Junior must sift through while at the same time going on his journey of self‐exploration.

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High School Summer Reading Lists

The best way to build vocabulary skills and become a good writer is to be an avid reader. To encourage intellectual pursuits during the summer, high school students are required to read 2-3 books during their vacation. They are required to discuss and write an essay about their summer reading on the first day of English class.

Incoming Freshmen (Entering 9th Grade)

Read three selections: two from the following list and one individual selection.

  • Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  • Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid
  • Return from Tomorrow by George Ritchie
  • The Chosen by Chaim Potok
  • The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
  • Growing Up by Russell Baker
  • The Human Comedy by William Saroyan
  • I Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • Laughing Boy by Oliver LaFarge
  • My Antonia by Willa Cather
  • The #1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Profiles in Courage by John Kennedy
  • Story of My Life by Helen Keller
  • Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Incoming Sophomores (Entering 10th Grade)

Read three selections: two from the following list and one individual selection.

  • At Risk by Alice Hoffman
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • Black Boy by Richard Wright
  • Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • The Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
  • Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
  • Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Stories by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
  • Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin
  • House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday
  • Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
  • Ironweed by William Kennedy
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathebane
  • The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan
  • Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
Incoming Juniors (Entering 11th Grade)

Incoming juniors will read three books over the summer. All juniors must read In the Shadow of Man by Jane Goodall, one book from the junior section of this reading list (see below) and one book of your choice. On the first day of class, all juniors should be prepared to be tested on their summer reading.

  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  • The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
  • Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
  • Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
  • Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  • Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
  • For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  • Grendel by John Gardner
  • The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
  • Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow
  • The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  • Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  • Native Son by Richard Wright
  • Night by Elie Weisel
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  • Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Tracks by Louise Erdrich
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel
Incoming Seniors (Entering 12th Grade)

Read three selections: two from the following list and one individual selection.

  • The Autobiography of Charles Darwin by Charles Darwin
  • The Color of Water by James McBride
  • Roots by Alex Haley
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez,
  • And There Was Light by Jacques Lusseyran
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcom X
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
  • A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes by Stephen Hawking
  • The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • The Cancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  • Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Cider House Rules by John Irving
  • A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  • A Doll’s House & Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
  • Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  • Steppenwolf: A Novel by Hermann Hesse
  • A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  • The Fixer by Bernard Malamud
  • Franny & Zooey by J.D. Salinger
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog
  • Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  • Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  • Resurrection by Leo Tolstoy
  • A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
  • Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  • The Stand by Stephen King
  • Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig