SPPS Middle School (6-8)
Summer Reading List
Directions: Students will choose two books off the list below. Before your student begins reading, please have them go to Lexile.com, and type in the title of the book to find out its lexile, or reading level. I am not assigning specific books to specific grades. Many students are on a variety of reading levels, and I want your student to find books that are on their level, or slightly above. For a reference, these are the average lexile levels for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade readers:
6th grade: 665L to 1000L
7th grade: 735L to 1065L
8th grade: 805L to 1100L
If you are unsure of your child’s reading level, they can answer a couple of questions at: https://lexile.com/fab/, and it will start them on the right track.
At the start of the school year, students will take a short reading comprehension quiz over their book, and also discuss key points of the book with their classmates. They do not need to complete a summer project. They should be finished with their books by the August 21, 2015.
I have taken books from the 2016 Kentucky Book Award nominees list, and also from the American Association of School Libraries. I have removed several books from the list as they may not be appropriate for students. If your student has the shortened KBA list I sent home, please have them remove Curses and Smoke: A Novel of Pompeii, and Unfriended. These reading choices will not be
I hope you all have a great summer, and happy reading!
Mrs. Cottom (gcottam@sppslex.org)
SPPS English Language Arts
SPPS Summer Reading Choices 2015-16
Brown Girl Dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson
Nancy Paulsen Books, 2014,
ISBN: 9780399252518.
Told in verse, this book explores what it was like for Woodson growing up during the civil rights movement.
Counting by 7s  (6th grade only)
by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Dial, 2013
ISBN: 9780803738553.
Tragedy changes Willow’s quirky but comfortable life, and as she adapts, she changes the lives of those around her.
The Crossover
By Kwame Alexander.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.
Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.
Dogs of War (7th and 8th only)
by Sheila Keenan,
illustrated by Nathan Fox
Graphix, 2013
ISBN: 9780545128872.
This graphic novel tells the unforgettable true stories of three wars heroes from three different eras?World War I, World War II, and Vietnam?and they all happened to have four legs.
The Dolphins of Shark Bay (6th grade only)
by Pamela S. Turner
Houghton Mifflin, 2013
ISBN: 9780547716381.
Meet amazing dolphins that have learned to use tools to hunt for their dinner.
by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Scholastic, 2015,
ISBN: 9780439874021.
In an epic novel, three children find their lives changed through a magic harmonica and their own self-resilience.
Fish in a Tree
by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Nancy Paulsen Books, 2015,
ISBN: 9780399162596.
Ally struggles to hide her dyslexia by continually getting in trouble, until a substitute teacher discovers what she is really hiding.
by Jen Calonita
2015, ISBN: 9781492601562.
When a thief gets sentenced to Fairy Tale Reform School, she gets more than she bargained for as a mystery develops. First in a series.
The Fourteenth Goldfish
by Jennifer L. Holm
Random House, 2014,
ISBN: 9780375870644.
Ellie’s scientist grandfather makes his greatest discovery when he reverses aging, but he has to live with the consequences of the effects on thirteen-year-old Ellie and her mother.
The Great Greene Heist
by Varian Johnson
Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine,
2014, ISBN: 9780545525527.
Jackson Greene vowed never to get involved in another middle-school con, but he is put to the test when the girl of his dreams runs for class president.
Hook’s Revenge
by Heidi Schulz,
illustrated by John Hendrix
Disney-Hyperion, 2014,
ISBN: 9781423198673.
Captain Hook’s daughter sets out to avenge her father’s death by slayingthe crocodile. First in a series.
I Kill the Mockingbird
by Paul Acampora
Roaring Brook Press, 2014,
ISBN: 9781596437425.
Over summer break, Lucy, Elena, and Michael launch a campaign to make a beloved teacher’s favorite book “go viral.”
The Iron Trial (7th and 8th grade only)
by Holly Black
and Cassandra Clare
Scholastic, 2014,
ISBN: 9780545522250.
Despite his father’s warnings about the dangers of magic, Callum enrolls in the Magisterium and begins to learn about himself and his own bewildering powers.
Lowriders in Space
by Cathy Camper,
illustrated by Raul the Third
Chronicle Books, 2014,
ISBN: 9781452121550.
Flapjack, Elirio, and Lupe build a custom out-of-this-world lowrider car to enter in the Universal Car Competition and hope they will win the cash prize so they may finally make their dream come true of owning their own
garage. First in a series.
The Mark of the Dragonfly
by Jaleigh Johnson
Random House/Delacorte, 2014
ISBN: 9780385376150.
When plucky machinist Piper rescues Anna after a meteor shower, both girls stow away on an armored train to escape the man chasing them.
Mark of the Thief
by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Scholastic, 2015,
ISBN: 9780545561549.
Nic, a slave in the mines of ancient Rome, escapes after discovering a magical amulet. First in a series.
by Gordon Korman
Balzer + Bray, 2015,
ISBN: 9780062299963.
After living in a perfect town his whole life, Eli discovers there are secrets that will change everything. First in a series.
The Night Gardener
by Jonathan Auxier.
Amulet Books, 2014.
Irish orphans Molly, fourteen, and Kip, ten, travel to England to work as servants in a crumbling manor house where nothing is quite what it seems to be. The siblings are confronted by a mysterious stranger and the secrets of the cursed house in this spooky tale.
The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights
by Steve Sheinkin
Roaring Brook Press, 2014,
ISBN: 9781596437968.
Exposing racism in the military, this is the gripping account of 50 African American sailors who were charged with mutiny after refusing to follow direct orders putting lives in danger.
Road Trip (6th and 7th grade only)
by Gary Paulsen and Jim Paulsen
Random House/Wendy Lamb
Books, 2013
ISBN: 9780385741910.
Initially expecting a simple trip to rescue a border collie, Ben finds himself traveling by school bus with his enthusiastic father, a crusty mechanic, and other colorful characters.
The Screaming Staircase
by Jonathan Stroud
Disney-Hyperion, 2013
ISBN: 9781423164913.
In a London overrun by ghosts, Lucy works with the ghost-hunting agency Lockwood & Co. to combat hauntings. First in a series.
The Secret Hum of a Daisy
by Tracy Holczer.
G. P. Putnum’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), 2014.
After 12-year-old Grace’s mother’s sudden death, Grace is forced to live with a grandmother she’s never met. Then she discovers clues in a mysterious treasure hunt–one that will help her find her true home.
Skink: No Surrender (7th and 8th only)
by Carl Hiaasen.
Alfred A. Knopf, 2014.
With the help of an eccentric ex-governor, a teenage Richard searches for his missing cousin in the Florida wilds. There are a million places she could be, a million unpleasant fates that might have befallen her, but one thing is certain: in the Florida swamp, justice is best served wild.
A Song for Bijou
by Josh Farrar
Walker, 2013
ISBN: 9780802733948.
When Alex falls head over heels in love with the mysterious Bijou, he is going to have to break out of his shell to woo her.
Tesla’s Attic
by Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman
Disney-Hyperion, 2014
ISBN: 9781423148036.
When Nick holds a yard sale to get rid of the junk in the attic of his new home, he realizes too late that all the objects have mysterious powers and he needs to get them back.
Titanic: Voices from the Disaster
by Deborah Hopkinson
Scholastic, 2012
ISBN: 9780545116749.
Survivors’ accounts bring the Titanic disaster to life.
by Alecia Whitaker.
Poppy/Little Brown and Company, 2014.
Sixteen-year-old Bird Barrett is discovered by a country music record label while playing in her family’s bluegrass band. As her star rises, she must learn to stay true to her roots while navigating a brave new world of glamour and gold records in Nashville, Tennessee.
**List compiled from 2015-16 recommendations from American Library
Association, and Kentucky Book Award 2016 nominees.