Summer Reading Lists

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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

This summer the children must read these two books set in medieval times:  “The Door in the Wall” and “Catherine, Called Birdy”.  These books are available in libraries, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Kindle, and audio books. For their project they must show how they themselves are like the character, and represent that aspect or aspects in any form they choose. For example, my background culturally is similar to Leslie’s in “Bridge to Terabithia” and I played a role with my friends as she does with Jess. I might write a poem or short essay, draw a picture or make up a song to illustrate this similarity. That is what I am asking the children to do. A short description of each book is available below:

  1. Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
    1. This unusual book provides an insider’s look at the life of Birdy, 14, the daughter of a minor English nobleman. The year is 1290 and the vehicle for storytelling is the girl’s witty, irreverent diary. She looks with a clear and critical eye upon the world around her, telling of the people she knows and of the daily events in her small manor house. Much of Birdy’s energy is consumed by avoiding the various suitors her father chooses for her to marry. She sends them all packing with assorted ruses until she is almost wed to an older, unattractive man she refers to as Shaggy Beard. In the process of telling the routines of her young life, Birdy lays before readers a feast of details about medieval England. The book is rich with information about the food, dress, religious beliefs, manners, health, medical practices, and sanitary habits (or lack thereof) of the people of her day. From the number of fleas she kills in an evening to her herbal medicines laced with urine, Birdy reveals fascinating facts about her time period. A feminist far ahead of her time, she is both believable and lovable. A somewhat philosophical afterword discusses the mind set of medieval people and concludes with a list of books to consult for further information about the period. Superb historical fiction.
  2. The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli
    1. Ever since he can remember, Robin, son of Sir John de Bureford, has been told what is expected of him as the son of a nobleman. He must learn the ways of knighthood. But Robin’s destiny is changed in one stroke: He falls ill and loses the use of his legs. Fearing a plague, his servants abandon him and Robin is left alone. A monk named Brother Luke rescues Robin and takes him to the hospice of St. Mark’s where he is taught woodcarving and–much harder–patience and strength. Says Brother Luke, “Thou hast only to follow the wall far enough and there will be a door in it.” Robin soon enough learns what Brother Luke means. And when the great castle of Lindsay is in danger, it is Robin, who cannot mount a horse and ride to battle, who saves the townspeople and discovers there is more than one way to serve his king.

This project is due the 5th of September. If your child wants to read other historical fiction about the Middle Ages you can choose a book from the list at this link.

Incoming 7th Graders

This summer of 2017 you will read at least three books. One book, GHOST, by Jason Reynolds (2016), will be read by both our class and 8th grade. During the first week of school we will join with 8th grade for some activities and discussions about this book.

Choose at least two more books from the this list. All the books are available at either libraries, bookstores or from amazon.com. You may read as many books as you like, but you only need to write a book report on three books, including Ghost.

You may write as much as you like about each book, but at minimum you must have three paragraphs, with three sentences each. In the heading of your paper, include the title, author’s names and “reviewed by (your name).” In the first paragraph include the title, and if the book has won any awards. Describe at what point in the summer you read the book and of what category, or genre is the book. In your second (or more) paragraphs include your description of the main characters and the brief plot of what happens in the story. In your final paragraph write your recommendation of the book and why you do or don’t recommend it. YOU MUST WRITE IN CURSIVE.

Be prepared to talk about one of your books in class (not Ghost; we will discuss that with 8th grade).

You must have margins on all four sides of your paper.

Incoming 8th Graders

This summer of 2017 you will read at least three books. One book, Ghost, by Jason Reynolds (2016), will be read by both our class and 7th grade. During the first week of school we will join with 7th grade for some activities and discussions about this book.

Choose at least two more books from the attached list. All the books are available at either libraries, bookstores or from amazon.com. You may read as many books as you like, but you only need to write a book report on three books, including Ghost.

You may write as much as you like about each book, but at minimum you must have three paragraphs, with five sentences each. In the heading of your paper, include the title, the author’s name and “reviewed by (your name).” In the first paragraph include the title and the setting of the story. In the following paragraphs include your description of the main characters and a plot description of what happens in the story. In your final paragraph write your recommendation of the book and why you do or don’t recommend it. Please write in cursive(script).

Enjoy your summer!

Reading List: (Read Ghost and at least two other books)

  1. Ghost by Jason Reynolds (2016)
  2. Trouble’s Daughter: The Story of Susanna Hutchinson, Indian Captive by Katherine Kirkpatrick(2000)
  3. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin(2012)
  4. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela(1995)
  5. Holes by Louis Sachar (2000)
  6. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand(2010)
  7. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  8. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  9. Hold Tight and Don’t Let Go by Laura Rose Wagner (2015)
  10. Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt (2012-reprint)

reading

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