Middle and High School Summer Reading
Each student entering 6th through 10th grade is required to read a total of three novels over the summer. One of these novels is selected by CCA. In addition, each student is required to read two additional grade appropriate books of their choice: one from the list given and another one chosen completely by the student. The student choice books must be ones that have not been read before. Please see the following pages for reading lists. Book report forms are immediately following the reading list and may be cut directly from this book or photocopied. These reports are not optional. All three must be turned in. Please encourage your child to read as much as possible during the summer. Thanks!
Entering 6th Grade
By Gary Paulsen
Brian, 13, is the only passenger on a small plane flying him to visit his father in the Canadian wilderness when the pilot has a heart attack and dies. The plane drifts off course and finally crashes into a small lake. Miraculously Brian is able to swim free of the plane, arriving on a sandy tree-lined shore with only his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother had given him as a present. The novel chronicles in gritty detail Brian’s mistakes, setbacks, and small triumphs as, with the help of the hatchet, he manages to survive the 54 days alone in the wilderness.
6th Graders Also Choose One Novel from the Following List
Third Novel is Student Choice
Al Capone Does My Shirts (Or any book in the Al Capone Series by Choldenko)
By Jennifer Choldenko
Set in 1935, 12-year-old Moose Flanagan and his family move from Santa Monica to Alcatraz Island where his father gets a job as an electrician at the prison and his mother hopes to send his autistic older sister to a special school in San Francisco. When Natalie is rejected by the school, Moose is unable to play baseball because he must take care of her, and her unorthodox behavior sometimes lands him in hot water. He also comes to grief when he reluctantly goes along with a moneymaking scheme dreamed up by the warden’s pretty but troublesome daughter. Family dilemmas are at the center of the story, but history and setting–including plenty of references to the prison’s most infamous inmate, mob boss Al Capone–play an important part, too. The Flanagan family is believable in the way each member deals with Natalie and her difficulties, and Moose makes a sympathetic main character. The story, told with humor and skill, will fascinate readers with an interest in what it was like for the children of prison guards and other workers to actually grow up on Alcatraz Island.–Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library
Three Times Lucky
By Sheila Turnage
Rising sixth grader Miss Moses LoBeau lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC, where everyone’s business is fair game and no secret is sacred. She washed ashore in a hurricane eleven years ago, and she’s been making waves ever since. Although Mo hopes someday to find her “upstream mother,” she’s found a home with the Colonel–a café owner with a forgotten past of his own–and Miss Lana, the fabulous café hostess. She will protect those she loves with every bit of her strong will and tough attitude. So when a lawman comes to town asking about a murder, Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, set out to uncover the truth in hopes of saving the only family Mo has ever known.
By Jerry Spinelli
Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of “Stargirl, Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first. Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal. In this celebration of nonconformity, Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the perils of popularity and the thrill and inspiration of first love.
By R.J. Palcacio
August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Wonder begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.
Entering 7th Grade
Three Cups of Tea
By Greg Mortenson
This young reader’s edition of the worldwide bestseller Three Cups of Tea has been specially adapted for younger readers and updated by Greg Mortenson to bring his remarkable story of humanitarianism up to date for the present. Includes new photos and illustrations, as well as a special interview by Greg’s twelve-year-old daughter, Amira, who has traveled with her father as an advocate for the Pennies for Peace program for children.
7th Graders Also Choose One Novel from the Following List
Third Novel is Student Choice
How to Catch a Bogle
By Catherine Jinks
How to Catch a Bogle is a thrilling fantasy that blends Dickensian charm and great suspense. This book is wonderful both as a thrilling fantasy and a charming period piece, and it’s all the better because of the way these strong elements are combined. This is a novel that can make fantasy lovers out of historical fiction fans, and vice versa. (Review by Barbara Shultz for Common Sense Media)
I Lived on Butterfly Hill
By Marjorie Agosin
An eleven-year-old’s world is upended by political turmoil in this “lyrically ambitious tale of exile and reunification” (Kirkus Reviews) from an award-winning poet, based on true events in Chile. Celeste Marconi is a dreamer. She lives peacefully among friends and neighbors and family in the idyllic town of Valparaiso, Chile—until one day when warships are spotted in the harbor and schoolmates start disappearing from class without a word. Celeste doesn’t quite know what is happening, but one thing is clear: no one is safe, not anymore.
Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing- great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes. (Review from Amazon)
Entering 8th Grade
To Kill A Mockingbird
By Harper Lee
Set in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Depression, To Kill a Mockingbird follows three years in the life of 8-year-old Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus–three years punctuated by the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man accused of raping a white woman. Though her story explores big themes, Harper Lee chooses to tell it through the eyes of a child. The result is a tough and tender novel of race, class, justice, and the pain of growing up.
8th Graders Also Choose One Novel from the Following List
Third Novel is Student Choice
A Single Shard
By Linda Sue Park
In this Newbery Medal-winning book set in 12th century Korea, Tree-ear, a 13-year-old orphan, lives under a bridge in Ch’ulp’o, a potters’ village famed for delicate celadon ware. He has become fascinated with the potter’s craft; he wants nothing more than to watch master potter Min at work, and he dreams of making a pot of his own someday. When Min takes Tree-ear on as his helper, Tree-ear is elated — until he finds obstacles in his path: the backbreaking labor of digging and hauling clay, Min’s irascible temper, and his own ignorance. But Tree-ear is determined to prove himself — even if it means taking a long, solitary journey on foot to present Min’s work in the hope of a royal commission . . . even if it means arriving at the royal court with nothing to show but a single celadon shard.
Bud, Not Buddy
By Christopher Paul Curtis
It’s 1936, in Flint, Michigan, and when 10-year-old Bud decides to hit the road to find his father, nothing can stop him.
The Diary of a Young Girl
By Anne Frank
Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen – year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annex” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever- present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period.
By Daphne Du Maurier
With these words, the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew. For in every corner of every room were phantoms of a time dead but not forgotten—a past devotedly preserved by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers: a suite immaculate and untouched, clothing laid out and ready to be worn, but not by any of the great house’s current occupants. With an eerie presentiment of evil tightening her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter walked in the shadow of her mysterious predecessor, determined to uncover the darkest secrets and shattering truths about Maxim’s first wife—the late and hauntingly beautiful Rebecca.
Entering 9th Grade
Of Mice and Men
By John Steinbeck
“A controversial tale of friendship and tragedy during the Great Depression
They are an unlikely pair: George is “small and quick and dark of face”; Lennie,
a man of tremendous size, has the mind of a young child. Yet they have
formed a “family,” clinging together in the face of loneliness and alienation.
Laborers in California’s dusty vegetable fields, they hustle work when they can,
living a hand-to-mouth existence. For George and Lennie have a plan: to own
an acre of land and a shack they can call their own. When they land jobs on a
ranch in the Salinas Valley, the fulfillment of their dream seems to be within
their grasp. But even George cannot guard Lennie from the provocations of a
flirtatious woman, nor predict the consequences of Lennie’s unswerving
obedience to the things George taught him.”
9th Graders Also Choose
One Novel from the Following List:
Third Novel is Student Choice
The Old Man and the Sea
By Ernest Hemingway
“The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway’s most enduring
works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of
an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal, a
relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf
Stream. Here Hemingway recasts, in strikingly contemporary style, the
classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, of personal triumph won
Written in 1952, this hugely successful novella confirmed Hemingway’s
power and presence in the literary world and played a large part in his
winning the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature.”
My Name is Asher Lev
By Chaim Potok
“Asher Lev is a Ladover Hasid who keeps kosher, prays three times a
day and believes in the Ribbono Shel Olom, the Master of the Universe.
He grows up in a cloistered Hasidic community in postwar Brooklyn, a
world suffused by ritual and revolving around a charismatic Rebbe. He
is torn between two identities, the one consecrated to God, the other
devoted only to art and his imagination, and in time, his artistic gift
threatens to estrange him from that world and the parents he adores.
As it follows his struggle, My Name Is Asher Lev becomes a luminous,
visionary portrait of the artist, by turns heartbreaking and exultant.”
Life of Pi
By Yann Martel
“Pi Patel is an unusual boy. The son of a zookeeper, he has an
encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of
stories and practices not only his native Hinduism but also Christianity
and Islam. When Pi is 16, his family emigrates from India to North
America aboard a Japanese cargo ship along with their zoo animals
bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a
lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra,
and Richard Parker, a 450 pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has
dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to
coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days lost at sea. When they finally
reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to
be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to
believe his story and press him to tell them “the truth”. After hours of
coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much
more conventional – but is it more true?
Life of Pi is at once a realistic, rousing adventure and a meta-tale of survival
that explores the redemptive power of storytelling and the transformative
nature of fiction. It’s a story, as one character puts it, to make you believe in
Entering 10th Grade
The Joy Luck Club
By Amy Tan
“Four Chinese women, drawn together by the shadow of their past,
meet in San Francisco to play mahjong, invest in stocks, eat dim sum,
and to “say” stories to each other. Nearly 40 years later, one of the
women has died, and her daughter arrives to take her place. However,
the daughter never expected to learn of her mother’s secret lifelong
wish – and the tragic way in which it has come true. The revelation
creates among the women an urgent need to remember the past. What
is lost between generations and among friends – and what is salvaged –
resonates throughout this novel of friendship among women and the
relations between mothers and daughters.”
10th Graders Also Choose
One Novel from the Following List:
Third Novel is Student Choice
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
By Carson McCullers
“Carson McCullers was all of 23 when she published her first novel, The
Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. She became an overnight literary sensation, and
soon such authors as Tennessee Williams were calling her “the greatest
prose writer that the South [has] produced.” The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
tells an unforgettable tale of moral isolation in a small southern mill town in
Richard Wright was astonished by McCullers’s ability “to rise above the
pressures of her environment and embrace white and black humanity in one
sweep of apprehension and tenderness.” Hers is a humanity that touches all
who come to her work, whether for the first time or, as so many do, time and
time again. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter is Carson McCullers at her most
compassionate, most enduring best.”
Bless Me, Ultima
By Rudolfo Anaya
“Although only six years old, Antonio Marez is perceptive beyond his
years. He was brought into the world with the help of Ultima, a
curandera, or folk healer, in touch with nature and the spirit world.
Revered by some as a wisewoman but rebuked by others as a witch,
Ultima has now come back to stay with Tony’s family in New Mexico.
As Tony seeks out his destiny—torn between his mother’s farming
forebears and his father’s wandering vaquero roots, between Spanish
Catholicism and the gods of his indigenous ancestors—Ultima’s loving
tutelage will help him navigate questions of life and death, good and
evil, and reveal to him the vastness of the heritage that shapes him, in
this pioneering work of literature.”