Summer Reading

Summer can be a season full of good times and fun memories, but it is also a time to make sure students do not lose the literacy skills they have gained throughout the year. Studies show that children who read over the summer maintain or gain in proficiency.

The Middle School has summer reading requirements for all students. For 6th – 8th, those requirements include an assigned book which must be read prior to the start of the school year. Additionally, we ask that students read approximately three books of their choice (or more!). Encourage your children to read, but do not force your children to read. We want them to enjoy reading and not feel that it is a chore.

See below for a recommended reading list in case you are looking for additional ideas.

Middle School Summer Reading 2017

Required Summer Reading

Please bring a copy of your required book to school in September.

Find your class (the one you’ll be entering) and check out your specific listing. When you get back to school in the fall, you will be discussing, working with, and writing about this text. Therefore, it would be a good idea to save your required book until August so that you remember it when school starts in September.

Entering Fifth Grade
Three books of your choice

Entering Sixth Grade
The Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson (PLUS three books of your choice)

Entering Seventh Grade
The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton (PLUS three books of your choice)

Entering Eighth Grade
The Chosen, Chaim Potok (PLUS three books of your choice); a separate 400-500 word essay is also due (assignment will be emailed home to parents)

In addition to your specific class book, if you have one, every middle school student should read at least THREE books over the summer. Take a look at the general middle school listings, web links, etc. for some great suggestions.

Go to the library—it’s free!  Don’t be shy: ask librarians for advice.  The Brooklyn Public Library has some nice lists of books for middle schoolers; check them out.

Check out some fabulous online resources:

  • The Teen Book Finder app offers easy access to the titles honored each year by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association. Search for books by title, author, genre, award, or list; create a reading list with the favorites button; and find a copy of the book in your local library, all from one screen! Not sure where to start? YALSA offers three hot picks on the homepage each day.
  • summerreading.org
    This is a joint venture of the Queens, New York, and Brooklyn libraries, and offers tons of ideas for readers of all ages. It even locates your chosen books at any public library, keeps track of the books you read, and allows you to create a personalized avatar of yourself!

Be adventurous! Try a category (or genre) of literature that you don’t usually read. Consider reading a biography or other type of nonfiction. Try some science fiction, fantasy, or horror. Get a few books of poetry and read them out loud! Go to your local bookstore and browse. Chat with people and collect recommendations.  Talk to your friends and see what they’re reading.  Peruse a newspaper. Pick up some magazines. There’s always the back of the cereal box… JUST READ! And don’t forget to have fun.

Fiction

Books marked in blue consider Jewish themes.

  • A Separate Peace, John Knowles
  • A Step From Heaven, An Na
  • A Time of Angels, Karen Hesse
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
  • A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L’Engle
  • Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Alan and Naomi, Myron Levoy
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
  • All Other Nights, Dara Horn
  • Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
  • Call of the Wild, Jack London
  • Crystal Cave, Mary Stewart
  • Dave at Night, Gail Carson Levine
  • Dracula, Bram Stoker
  • Duel, David Grossman
  • Elvina’s Mirror, Sylvie Weil
  • Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
  • Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keyes
  • Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
  • Freak the Mighty, Rodman Philbrick
  • Freaky Friday and A Billion for Boris, Mary Rodgers
  • Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
  • Hatchet, Gary Paulsen
  • Holes, Louis Sacher
  • Homeless Bird, Gloria Whelan
  • Hush, Jacqueline Woodson
  • Ishmael, Daniel Quinn
  • Jacob Have I Loved, Katherine Patterson
  • Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
  • Letters from Rifka, Karen Hesse
  • Lord of the Flies, William Golding
  • Make Lemonade  and True Believer, Virginia Euwer Wolff
  • Maus, books I and II, Art Speigelman
  • Mother Night, Kurt Vonnegut
  • My Guardian Angel, Sylvie Weil
  • My Name is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok
  • Of Heroes, Hooks, and Heirlooms, Faye Silton
  • Of Mice and Men, The Red Pony, and Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
  • One Foot Ashore, Jacqueline Dembar Greene
  • Out of Many Waters, Jacqueline Dembar Greene
  • Paddy Clarke, Ha Ha Ha, Roddy Doyle
  • Plots and Players, Pamela Melnikoff
  • Reservation Blues, Sherman Alexie
  • Siddhartha, Herman Hesse
  • Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Stargirl, Jerry Spinelli
  • Story Time, Edward Bloor
  • Summer of My German Soldier, Bette Greene
  • Tangerine, Edward Bloor
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon
  • The Blue Avenger series, Norma Howe
  • The Bridge Over San Luis Rey, Thornton Wilder
  • The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
  • The Cay, Theodore Taylor
  • The Cross By Day, The Mezuzzah By Night, Deborah Spector Siegel
  • The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
  • The Hobbitt, J.R.R. Tolkein
  • The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros
  • The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
  • The King of Mulberry Street, Donna Jo Napoli
  • The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • The Misfits, S.E. Hinton
  • The Once and Future King, T.H. White
  • The Penderwicks – A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy, Jeanne Birdsall
  • The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane
  • The Return, Sonia Levitin
  • The Second Mrs. Giocanda, E.L. Konigsburg
  • The Storyteller’s Beads, Jane Kurtz
  • The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien
  • The View from Saturday, Konigsburg
  • The War Within, Carol Matas
  • The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin
  • The Witches, Roald Dahl
  • Witness, Karen Hesse
  • Ties That Bind, Ties That Break, Lensey Namioka
  • Walk Two Moons, Sharon Creech
  • Whirligig, Paul Fleischman
  • Wonder, RJ Palacio

Short Story Collections

  • A Crown of Feathers and other stories, Singer
  • Am I Blue?, Bauer, ed.
  • American Eyes, Carlson
  • An Island Like You, Cofer
  • Athletic Shorts, Crutcher
  • Baseball in April, Soto
  • Connections, Gallo, ed.
  • El Bronx Remembered, Mohr
  • Growing Up Black, David, ed.
  • New Kids in Town, Bode
  • Night Terrors, Duncan, ed.
  • Selected Tales, Poe
  • Sixteen, Gallo, ed.
  • Skin, Dahl
  • Somehow Tenderness Survives, Rochman, ed.
  • Stay True: Short Stories for Strong Girls, Singer, ed.
  • The House on Mango Street, Cisneros
  • The Illustrated Man, Bradbury
  • Throwing Shadows, Konigsburg
  • When I Was Your Age, Ehrlich, ed.
  • Who Do You Think You Are?, Hochman and McCampbell, eds.
  • Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories, Singer

Poetry

  • 180 More, Collins, ed.
  • Ego Tripping and Other Poems for Young People, Giovanni
  • Heart to Heart, Greenberg, ed.
  • I, Too, Sing America, Cox
  • Joyful Noise, Fleischman
  • Knock at a Star, Kennedy
  • Motion: American Sports Poems, Blaustein
  • Poetry 180, Collins, ed.
  • Rainbows are Made, Sandburg
  • Slam, Von Ziegesar, ed.
  • The Same Sky, Nye, ed.
  • You Come Too, Frost
  • anything by Shel Silverstein or e.e. cummings

And check out just about any books by these wonderful authors:

  • Agatha Christie
  • Avi
  • C.S. Lewis
  • Chaim Potok
  • Cynthia Voigt
  • Douglas Adams
  • E.L. Konigsburg
  • Gary Paulsen
  • Jack Gantos
  • Jack London
  • Jacqueline Woodson
  • James Collier and Christopher Collier
  • Jean Craighead George
  • Jerry Spinelli
  • John Steinbeck
  • Karen Cushman
  • Karen Hesse
  • Katherine Paterson
  • Lois Duncan
  • Lois Lowry
  • Louisa May Alcott
  • Madeline L’Engle
  • Mark Twain
  • Mildred D. Taylor
  • Paul Fleischman
  • Paul Zindel
  • Paula Danziger
  • Paula Fox
  • Philip Pullman
  • Ray Bradbury
  • Robert Cormier
  • S.E. Hinton
  • Sharon Creech
  • Virginia Hamilton
  • Walter Dean Myers

Biography, Autobiography, and Nonfiction

  • 2 Minutes a Day for a Greener Planet, Lamb
  • A Summer Life, Soto
  • A Whole New Ballgame: The Story of the All-America Girls Professional Baseball League, Macy
  • A Writer’s Notebook, Fletcher
  • All Creatures Great and Small, Herriot
  • Anguished English and/or Crazy English, Lederer
  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, Frank
  • Black Boy, Wright
  • Boy, Dahl
  • Chapters: My Growth As a Writer, Duncan
  • Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, Fuller
  • Hole in My Life, Gantos
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou
  • I Never Had it Made, Robinson
  • In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle, Blais
  • Mitzvah Magic, Siegel
  • My Forbidden Face, Latifa
  • Ophelia Speaks, Shandler, ed.
  • Poetry Matters, Fletcher
  • Save Our Planet, MacEachern
  • Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different, Karen Blumenthal
  • Teens With the Courage to Give, Waldman and Cilbertson, eds.
  • The Book of Think (or How to Solve a Problem Twice Your Size), Burns
  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Sacks
  • The Nazi Hunters, How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi, Neal Bascomb
  • The Pigman and Me, Zindel
  • To Be a Slave, Lester
  • Wait Till Next Year, Goodwin
  • Winning Ways: A Photohistory of American Women in Sports, Macy