Summer Reading Assignments Grade 6-8
Summer Reading 2020-2021 Entering MYP 1 – Grade 6
Students are asked to select at least ONE of the following titles to read over the course of the summer. The reading should be a work the student has not encountered previously. Students will discuss and write about their chosen novel during the first week of September, so they should plan to bring the book with them for the first two weeks of school.
● Squint by Chad Morris & Shelly Brown *OBOB Flint Minett has keratoconus, an eye disease, but desperately wants to win a comic book art contest so that he and his new friend McKell Panganiban will be better accepted at middle school.
● No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen *OBOB Twelve-year-old Felix's appearance on a television game show reveals that he and his mother have been homeless for a while, but also restores some of his faith in other people.
● If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth *OBOB Seventh-grader Lewis "Shoe" Blake from the Tuscarora Reservation has a new friend, George Haddonfield, from the local air force base, but in 1975 upstate New York, there is a lot of tension and hatred between Native Americans and whites.
● Greenglass House by Kate Milford *OBOB At a smuggler's inn, 12-yr-old Milo, the innkeepers' adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing, but soon guests arrive with strange stories about the house, sending Milo and his new friend on an adventure.
● Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed *OBOB In Pakistan, Amal holds onto her dream of being a teacher even after becoming an indentured servant to pay off her family's debt to the wealthy and corrupt Khan family.
● The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch, Xan, who rescues the children and delivers them to families on the other side of the forest, feeding the babies with starlight on the journey. One baby is accidentally feds with moonlight, giving the child extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, Luna, as her own. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her.
● Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them. Her parents take a job and Aven moves with them across the country. In her new life she bonds with Connor, a classmate who also feels isolated because of his own disability, and they discover a room at Stagecoach Pass that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined.
● The List by Patricia Forde In the city of Ark, speech is constrained to five hundred sanctioned words. Speak outside the approved lexicon and face banishment. The exceptions are the Wordsmith and his apprentice Letta. On the death of her master, Letta is suddenly promoted to Wordsmith, charged with collecting and saving words. But when she uncovers a sinister plan to suppress language and rob Ark’s citizens of their power of speech, she realizes that it’s up to her to save not only words, but culture itself.
● Ms. Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson Ms. Bixby’s the sort of teacher who makes you feel like the indignity of school is worthwhile. Who makes the idea of growing up less terrifying. Who you never want to disappoint. When Ms. Bixby unexpectedly announces that she is very sick and won’t be able to finish the school year, Topher, Brand, and Steve come up with a plan.
● The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin On July 17, 1944, a massive explosion rocked the segregated Navy base at Port Chicago, California, killing more than 300 sailors. On August 9th, 244 men refused to go back to work until unsafe and unfair conditions at the docks were addressed. When the dust settled, fifty were charged with mutiny, facing decades in jail and even execution.
● Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson When 11-year-old Jack Martel crawls out of his pup tent on the first morning of his camping trip with his mom in Acadia National Park, he notices right away that something isn't right. Where is his mom's tent, and their rental car? And where is his mom? Any other kid might panic, might even go to the police. But Jack isn't like other kids. And his mom isn't like other moms. Jack knows that it's up to him to find his mom before someone figures out what's happened and separates them forever.
● The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers. One day, he’s tracked down by an uncle he barely knows—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. Uncle Randolph tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god. The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war.
● The Luck Uglies by Paul Durham Rye O'Chanter has seen a lot of strange things happen in Village Drowning: children are chased through the streets. Families are fined for breaking laws that don't even exist. Girls aren't allowed to read anymore, and certain books—books that hold secrets about Drowning's past—have been outlawed altogether. Now a terrifying encounter has eleven-year-old Rye convinced that the monstrous, supposedly extinct Bog Noblins have returned. Before the monsters disappeared, there was only one way to defeat them—the Luck Uglies.
● My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights by Brooks Benjamin All Dillon wants is to be a real dancer. And if he wins a summer scholarship at Dance-Splosion, he’s on his way. The problem? His dad wants him to play football. And Dillon’s freestyle crew, the Dizzee Freekz, says that dance studios are for sellouts. But as Dillon’s dancing improves, he wonders: what if studios aren’t the enemy? And what if he actually has a shot at winning the scholarship? Dillon’s life is about to get crazy . . . on and off the dance floor in this kid-friendly humorous novel.
● Hoot by Carl Hiaasen Unfortunately, Roy's first acquaintance in Florida is Dana Matherson, a well-known bully. Then again, if Dana hadn't been sinking his thumbs into Roy's temples and mashing his face against the school-bus window, Roy might never have spotted the running boy. And the running boy is intriguing: he was running away from the school bus, carried no books, and-here's the odd part-wore no shoes. Sensing a mystery, Roy sets himself on the boy's trail. The chase introduces him to potty-trained alligators, a fake-fart champion, some burrowing owls, a renegade eco-avenger, and several extremely poisonous snakes with unnaturally sparkling tails.
Book description sources: Amazon, Goodreads, Follett. *OBOB indicates the title is on the list for the 2019-20 Oregon Battle of the Books, middle school division.
Summer Reading 2020-21 Entering MYP 2 – Grade 7
Students are asked to select at least ONE of the following titles to read over the course of the summer. The reading should be a work the student has not encountered previously. Students will discuss and write about their chosen novel during the first weeks of school, so they should plan to bring the book with them for the first two weeks of school.
● Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes *OBOB After seventh-grader Jerome is shot by a white police officer, he observes the aftermath of his death and meets the ghosts of other fallen black boys including historical figure Emmett Till.
● The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty *OBOB Math genius Lucy Callahan enrolls in middle school after years of homeschooling, and learns life is more than numbers.
● Refugee by Alan Gratz *OBOB Josef is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. Isabel is a Cuban girl in 1994. Mahmoud is a Syrian boy in 2015. All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge, and all face unimaginable dangers.
● Moving Target by Christina Díaz González *OBOB Twelve-year-old Cassie Arroyo is a student in Rome, but her life changes when a secret organization, the Hastati, shoots her father. She learns she is a member of an ancient bloodline that enables her to use the Spear of Destiny.
● Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez *OBOB In order to heal after his mother's death, thirteen-year-old Sal learns to reach into time and space to retrieve things, and people, from other universes.
● Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy *OBOB When twelve-year-old Stephanie inherits her weird uncle's estate, she must join forces with Skulduggery Pleasant, a skeleton mage, to save the world from Nefarian Serpine's evil plans.
● Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick Now that Truly Lovejoy’s father has been injured by an IED in Afghanistan and is having trouble finding work back home, the family moves from Texas to tiny Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire, to take over Lovejoy’s Books, a struggling bookstore that’s been in the family for one hundred years. With two older brothers and two younger sisters clamoring for attention, her mother back in school, and everyone up to their eyebrows trying to keep Lovejoy’s Books afloat, Truly feels more overlooked than usual. So she pours herself into uncovering the mystery of an undelivered letter she finds stuck in a valuable autographed first edition of Charlotte’s Web, which subsequently goes missing from the bookshop. What’s inside the envelope leads Truly and her new Pumpkin Falls friends on a madcap treasure hunt around town, chasing clues that could spell danger.
● Cryptid Hunters by Roland Smith After their parents are lost in an accident, thirteen-year old twins Grace and Marty are whisked away to live with their Uncle Wolfe-an uncle that they didn't even know they had! The intimidating Uncle Wolfe is an anthropologist who has dedicated his life to finding cryptids, mysterious creatures believed to be long extinct.
● Restart by Gordon Korman Chase's memory just went out the window. Chase doesn't remember falling off the roof. He doesn't remember hitting his head. He doesn't, in fact, remember anything. He wakes up in a hospital room and suddenly has to learn his whole life all over again . . . starting with his own name. He knows he's Chase. But who is Chase? When he gets back to school, he sees that different kids have very different reactions to his return. Some kids treat him like a hero. Some kids are clearly afraid of him. One girl in particular is so angry with him that she pours her frozen yogurt on his head the first chance she gets. Pretty soon, it's not only a question of who Chase is--it's a question of who he was . . . and who he's going to be.
● The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer Alex and Conner Bailey's world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.
● The Circuit: Life of a Migrant Child by Francisco Jimenez This book is a collection of non fiction stories from the life of a migrant child, Francisco Jimenez.
● Counting By 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life... until now.
● Shooting Kabul by N.H. Senzai 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 arrives 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.
● Courage for Beginners by Karen Harrington Twelve-year-old Mysti Murphy wishes she were a character in a book. If her life were fictional, she'd magically know how to deal with the fact that her best friend, Anibal Gomez, has abandoned her in favor of being a "hipster." She'd be able to take care of everyone when her dad has to spend time in the hospital. And she'd certainly be able to change her family's secret.
● The Menagerie by Tui T. and Kari Sutherland Logan Wilde is accidentally drawn into the mysterious, dangerous world of the Menagerie when he discovers a griffin hiding under his bed . . . and it leads him straight to the weirdest girl in seventh grade, Zoe Kahn. Zoe is panicking. Her family has been guarding the Menagerie for centuries. If they don't get the cubs back fast, the whole place will be shut down. To save the griffins' lives, she's willing to break all the rules, even if it means letting an outsider like Logan help. But the real mystery remains: Is someone trying to sabotage the Menagerie?
Book description sources: Amazon, Goodreads, Follett. *OBOB indicates the title is on the list for the 2020-2021 Oregon Battle of the Books, middle school division.
Summer Reading 2020-21 Entering MYP 3 – Grade 8
Please select one book to read this summer. As you are reading, please read for character development, themes, and author’s purpose. When you return to school in the fall, you will be writing an essay on one of those literary understandings. Be sure to identify quotes that may support these ideas.
The Body in the Woods by April Henry
Alexis, Nick, and Ruby have very different backgrounds: Alexis has spent her life covering for her mom’s mental illness, Nick’s bravado hides his fear of not being good enough, and Ruby just wants to pursue her eccentric interests in a world that doesn’t understand her. When the three teens join Portland County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, they are teamed up to search for an autistic man lost in the woods. What they find instead is a dead body. The three team up to find the girl’s killer—before he can strike one of their own.
I Will Always Write Back by Caitlin Alifirenka & Martin Ganda
It started as an assignment. Everyone in Caitlin's class wrote to an unknown student somewhere in a distant place. When Caitlin saw Zimbabwe written on the board, she chose it. Martin was lucky to even receive a pen pal letter. There were only ten letters, and forty kids in his class. But he was the top student, so he got the first one. That letter was the beginning of a correspondence that spanned six years and changed two lives. In this compelling dual memoir, Caitlin and Martin recount how they became best friends --and better people--through letters.
A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen
With the rise of the Berlin Wall, twelve-year-old Gerta finds her family divided overnight. She, her mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search of work, are stuck on the western side. And cannot return home. Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the wall, to think forbidden thoughts of freedom, yet she can’t help herself. She desperately hopes to have her family once again reunited and free.
Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins
This coming of age story is narrated by two 14-year old boys on opposing sides of the conflict between the Burmese government and the Karenni, one of the many ethnic minorities in Burma. When the boys’ paths intersect, they are forced to make difficult decisions about friendship and war.
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free. Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. It is in this brutal world that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. When Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy. There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen
Stuck at the bottom of the social ladder at pretty much the lowest level of people at school who aren’t paid to be there, Maya Van Wagenen decides to begin a unique social experiment: spend the school year following a 1950’s popularity guide written by former teen model, Betty Cornell. Can curlers, girdles, Vaseline, and a strand of pearls help Maya on her quest to be popular?
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, many with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer to safety. Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people—adults and children alike—aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.
The Boys in the Boat: The True Story of an American Team’s Epic Journey by Daniel James Brown
The story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936. The emotional heart of the story lies with one rower, Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not for glory, but to regain his shattered self-regard and to find a place he can call home.
The Teacher’s Funeral: a Comedy in Three Parts by Richard Peck
In 1904, Russell Culver 15 wanted to leave school and his tiny Indiana farm town for the endless sky of the Dakotas. Instead of school closing, leaving him free to roam, his sister Tansy steps in. Despite stolen supplies, a privy fire, and many snakes, Tansy maybe, just maybe, can set her brother on a wiser course.
Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen (OBOB)
Nic, a slave in the mines of Rome, is forced to enter a sealed cave filled with Julius Caesar's treasures. What he finds will change his destiny and the history of the Empire.
New Kid by Jerry Craft (OBOB)
Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life, but instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics.
The Next Great Paulie Fink by Ali Benjamin (OBOB)
Led by new student Caitlyn, seventh-graders at a tiny rural school in Vermont create a reality-show inspired competition to determine who will replace the school's legendary class clown, Paulie Fink.
Undefeated by Steve Sheinkin (OBOB)
A great American sport and Native American history come together in this true story of how Jim Thorpe and Pop Warner created the legendary Carlisle Indians football team.
Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan (OBOB)
Amina, a Pakistani American Muslim girl, struggles to stay true to her family's culture while dealing with the vandalism of the local Islamic Center and mosque and her best friend Soojin's new friendship with their former nemesis.