PAUSD Middle School Summer Reading Suggestions 2016
Adams, Douglas Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (1978 originally as radio broadcast)
In the first volume of the series, the destruction of the Earth turns homebody Arthur Dent into a hitchhiker in the galaxy.
Alcott, Louisa May Little Women (Originally published in two volumes 1868, 1869)
Chronicles the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young ladies in nineteenth-century New England.
Orwell, George 1984 (YA) (1895)
Depicts life in a totalitarian regime of the future.
Stevenson, Robert Louis Treasure Island (1883) or Kidnapped (1886)
While going through the possessions of a deceased guest who owed them money, the mistress of the inn and her son find a treasure map that leads them to a pirate’s fortune as well as great danger.
Frodo, the hobbit, and a band of warriors from the different kingdoms set out to destroy the Ring of Power before the evil Sauron grasps control.
A team of explorers makes an expedition into an Icelandic crater which leads to the centre of the earth and to incredible and horrifying discoveries. (or read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, 1870 or Around the World in 80 Days, 1873)
Wells, H.G. The Time Machine (1895) (or any of his books)
A scientist invents a machine that transports him far into the future where he discovers a changed world inhabited by two unusual races, the Eloi and the Morlocks.
When thirteen-year-olds T.E. and Audrey meet at a wilderness camp in the desert, they think their quirks are enough to prevent them from ever having friends. But as they trek through the challenging and unforgiving landscape, they learn that they each have what it takes to make the other whole.
Sydney’s charismatic older brother, Peyton, has always been the center of attention in the family but when he is sent to jail, Sydney struggles to find her place at home and the world until she meets the Chathams, including gentle, protective Mac, who makes her feel seen for the first time.
Gino, Alex George (2016 Stonewall Award)
When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl. George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy. With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.
When Iranian-American Kamran Smith learns that his big brother, Darius, has been labelled a terrorist, he sets out to piece together the codes and clues that will save his brother’s life and his country from a deadly terrorist attack.
The difficult star of the reality television show, “Expedition Survival,” disappears on location in the Florida Everglades, where they were filming animals from the wildlife refuge run by Wahoo Crane’s family, and Wahoo and classmate Tuna Gordon set out to find him, but they must avoid Tuna’s gun-happy father.
After her older brother starts acting strangely, Sunny Lewin is shipped off to Florida to spend the summer with her grandfather. She makes a friend her age and tries to enjoy her stay but, other than Buzz, everyone is really old. Besides, Sunny just knows her parents sent her away because she somehow made her brother the way he is. She just wants things to go back to how they were before. (Graphic Novel)
Three previously-published novellas that shed further light on the world of Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face, set before he entered Beecher Prep and during his first year there and told from other characters’ points of view. “The Julian Chapter” reveals why the bully dislikes Auggie so much. “Pluto” is about the lifelong friendship between Auggie and Christopher. And, finally, “Shingaling” offers a view of how the girls at Beecher Prep see Auggie when he first comes on the scene.
Jack, 12, tells the gripping story of Joseph, 14, who joins his family as a foster child. Damaged in prison, Joseph wants nothing more than to find his baby daughter, Jupiter, whom he has never seen. When Joseph has begun to believe he’ll have a future, he is confronted by demons from his past that force a tragic sacrifice.
As Bridge makes her way through seventh grade on Manhattan’s Upper West Side with her best friends, curvaceous Em, crusader Tab, and a curious new friend, she finds the answers she has been seeking.
In alternating chapters, two teenagers describe how their feelings about themselves, each other, and their families have changed over the years.
Soon after their mother’s sudden death in San Diego, Liberty, twelve, and Billie, eight, are abandoned at an Arizona gas station by the father they barely know and Liberty must find a way to keep them together and safe until either Dad returns or they can contact Julie, their mother’s best friend.
Williams-Garcia, Rita Gone Crazy in Alabama (#3 One Crazy Summer) (2016 Coretta School King Award)
Sisters Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern Gaither have been sent for the summer from Brooklyn to rural Alabama to reunite with their grandmother, Big Ma; their great-grandmother, Ma Charles; and their Uncle Darnell, a Vietnam vet recovering from drug addiction. Caught in the middle of a family feud between Ma Charles and her half-sister, Miss Trotter, the girls grapple with mixed feelings and new revelations about their family and its history.
Fifteen-year-old Zona Lowell is finally comfortable in high school when her father tells her that they’re moving to Greece for the second half of her sophomore year, and she will be forced to meet her mother’s large extended family there against her will.
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction–if they don’t kill each other first.
Aladdin is a street rat. There’s really no getting around that. Like most, he’s just trying to survive another day in impoverished Agrabah. Jasmine is a princess, one who is about to enter into an arranged marriage. All she wants is to escape her fate, to see what lies beyond the palace walls. But everything changes when the sultan’s trusted advisor, Jafar, suddenly rises to power. With the help of an ancient lamp, Jafar becomes determined to break the laws of magic and gain control over love and death. Soon Aladdin and the deposed princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion to stop the power-mad ruler. But their fight for freedom grows costly when it threatens to tear the kingdom apart.
Adrian sul’Han, known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic—and a thirst for revenge. The son of the queen of the Fells, Ash is forced into hiding after a series of murders throws the queendom into chaos. Now Ash is closer than he’s ever been to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. As a healer, can Ash use his powers not to save a life but to take it?
Imprisoned on the Isle of the Lost, the teenaged children of Disney’s most evil villains search for a dragon’s eye–the key to true darkness and the villains’ only hope of escape.
Four sisters rely on each other–and a bit of mysterious magic–to cope with their mother’s illness.
Rachelle must protect the king’s illegitimate son while searching for the weapons that will save her world from endless night.
Messenger, Shannon Keeper of the Lost Cities (2016-17 CYRM nominee)
Twelve-year-old Sophie discovers the abilities that have always caused her to stand out are because she is actually an elf and, after she is brought to Eternalia where she can hone her skills, Sophie learns she harbors certain secrets that others would kill to learn.
Rapunzel believes she is the luckiest person in Tyme, because Witch tells her so. However, when Jack climbs into her tower to steal an enchanted rose, he hints that Witch is not telling the whole truth and Rapunzel, driven by her anger and fear, descends to the ground for the first time.
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. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years. When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision. Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die.
Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen. That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right. Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.
Lord Ballister Blackheart seeks to bring down the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics with the aid of his new shapeshifting sidekick Nimona. (Graphic Novel)
Ursu, Anne The Real Boy (2016-17 CYRM nominee)
A shy boy named Oscar who works as the hand to a powerful magic worker becomes the only person who can save his village from an evil monster.
When twelve-year-old Kara discovers her mother’s grimoire in the dangerous forest, she must decide if she’ll use it, even though such magic is forbidden.
SCIENCE FICTION & DYSTOPIAN
A sixteen-year-old girl is caught in an epic clash of civilizations when a society of undersea warriors marches out of the ocean into modern-day Coney Island.
The reign of the Galactic Empire has reached the Outer Rim planet of Jelucan, where aristocratic Thane Kyrell and rural villager Ciena Ree bond over their love of flying. Enrolling at the Imperial Academy together to become fighter pilots for the glorious Empire is nothing less than a dream come true for the both of them. But Thane sours on the dream when he sees firsthand the horrific tactics the Empire uses to maintain its ironclad rule. Bitter and disillusioned, Thane joins the fledgling Rebellion — putting Ciena in an unbearable position to choose between her loyalty to the Empire and her love for the man she’s known since childhood.
Twelve-year-old twins Nick and Eryn investigate why their mother and new stepfather are keeping secrets, why they are forbidden to meet their step-siblings, and, most important, why their lives are in danger.
The planet Kerenza is attacked, and Kady and Ezra find themselves on a space fleet fleeing the enemy, while their ship’s artificial intelligence system and a deadly plague may be the end of them all.
Phee Van Zant, an orphaned street-racer on the corrupt planet Castra, gets swept up in the corporate rally circuit and an even bigger revolution.
Meyer, Marissa Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) (YA)
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.
Bradley, Kimberly The War That Saved My Life (2016 Newbery Honor)
A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother.
Carson, Rae Walk on Earth a Stranger (YA)
Lee Westfall, a young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold, must flee her home to avoid people who would abuse her powers, so when her best friend Jefferson heads out across Gold Rush-era America to stake his claim, she disguises herself as a boy and sets out on her own dangerous journey.
Thirteen-year-old Lizzie and her secret friend Noah, who is hiding in her house, plan to rescue Noah’s father from the quarantined Chinatown, and save everyone they love from contracting the plague that is spreading in 1900 San Francisco.
In 1969 twelve-year-old Mimi and her family move to an all-white town in Vermont, where Mimi’s mixed-race background and interest in “boyish” topics like astronomy make her feel like an outsider (Novel in Verse).
Lamana, Julie Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere (2016-17 CYRM nominee)
Ten-year-old Armani is crushed to learn that her long-anticipated birthday party will be cancelled due to Hurricane Katrina’s imminent approach. Her disappointment quickly transforms into terror as the storm hits, separating her from her parents. She must look after her two younger sisters on a journey that takes her first to the Superdome, then to a shelter, and finally back home to the ravaged Lower Ninth Ward.
In 1845, Sammy, a Chinese American girl, and Annamae, an African American slave girl, disguise themselves as boys and travel on the Oregon Trail to California from Missouri.
Munoz, Ryan Echo (2016 Newbery Honor)
Lost in the Black Forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and finds himself entwined in a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica–and decades later three children, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California find themselves caught up in the same thread of destiny in the darkest days of the twentieth century, struggling to keep their families intact, and tied together by the music of the same harmonica.
When the Berlin Wall went up, Gerta, her mother, and her brother Fritz were trapped on the eastern side where they were living, while her father, and her other brother Dominic were in the West–four years later, now twelve, Gerta sees her father on a viewing platform on the western side and realizes he wants her to risk her life trying to tunnel to freedom.
In 1963, thirteen-year-old Arthur is sentenced to community service helping the neighborhood Junk Man after he throws a brick at the old man’s head in a moment of rage, but the junk he collects might be more important than he suspects. Inspired by the work of American folk artist James Hampton.
Fourteen-year-old Joan Skraggs, just like the heroines in her beloved novels, yearns for real life and true love. But what hope is there for adventure, beauty, or art on a hardscrabble farm in Pennsylvania where the work never ends? Over the summer of 1911, Joan pours her heart out into her diary as she seeks a new, better life for herself–because maybe, just maybe, a hired girl cleaning and cooking for six dollars a week can become what a farm girl could only dream of–a woman with a future.
When the eighth grade civics class of Miami’s Culver Middle School goes on a trip to Washington, D.C., Wyatt Palmer finds himself in deep trouble before the plane even lands because his best friend, Matt, has decided the men sitting behind them are terrorists and it is up to the boys to stop them.
It’s hard to believe this is Roan’s last year at Jedi Academy. He’s been busier than ever learning to fly (and wash) starships, swimming in the Lake Country on Naboo, studying for the Jedi obstacle course exam, and tracking down dozens of vorpak clones–don’t ask. But now, someone is setting him up to get in trouble with everyone at school, including Yoda. If he doesn’t find out who it is, and fast, he may get kicked out of school! Why can’t middle school just be easy.
Due to an administrative mix-up, troublemaker Donovan Curtis is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction, a special program for gifted and talented students, after pulling a major prank at school.
Grabenstein, Chris Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library (2016-17 CYRM nominee)
Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library. Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high.
Patterson, James Just My Rotten Luck (#7 The Middle School Series)
In this seventh Middle School episode, Rafe heads back to the place his misadventures began: the dreaded Hills Village Middle School, where he’s now being forced to take “special” classes.. He also finds himself joining the school’s football team–alongside his main tormentor, Miller the Killer! But Rafe has grand plans for a better year: First, he decides to start a super-secret art project that’s sure to rock the school. Then, if Rafe manages to make a play to save his team, he might have to deal with something completely new: popularity!
Patterson, James I Funny TV: A Middle School Story (#4 in I Funny series)
Jamie Grimm has finally accomplished his dream of proving himself the Planet’s Funniest Kid Comic, and the sky’s the limit from there. Enter a couple of TV executives with a huge plan for Jamie: a new show about Jamie and his oddball friends! But when Jamie struggles to learn the acting ropes, will it be an early curtain call for the biggest show of the decade?
Engle, Margarita Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir (2016 Pura Belpre Award)
A deeply personal memoir-in-verse filled with Engle’s trademark intricately woven lyricism. The author’s memories focus on the first 14 years of her life, beginning with idyllic summers spent in her mother’s homeland of Cuba and ending during the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis and subsequent travel ban. Engle captures the heart of a quiet, young girl torn between two cultures.
Mateo’s big brother Julian works in the United States. When the family doesn’t hear from Julian for a few weeks, Mateo sneaks out and journeys north to find him, crossing the border with the help of a new friend, Angel.
A California girl born and raised, Mai can’t wait to spend her vacation at the beach. Instead, she has to travel to Vietnam with her grandmother, who is going back to find out what really happened to her husband during the Vietnam War. Mai’s parents think this trip will be a great opportunity for their out-of-touch daughter to learn more about her culture. But to Mai, those are their roots, not her own. Vietnam is hot, smelly, and the last place she wants to be. Besides barely speaking the language, she doesn’t know the geography, the local customs, or even her distant relatives. To survive her trip, Mai must find a balance between her two completely different worlds.
Storytelling and the secret desires of the heart wind together in this atmospheric novel that doubles as a ghost tale. Irish immigrants to England, Molly and Kip make their way to the Windsor house in search of employment. The great house stands in the shadow of a menacing tree, which locals speak of only in fearful whispers. Despite her young age and the warnings of a local storyteller, Molly uses the power of her own words to secure work, but soon realizes that all is not right in the house.
Where is Early’s father? He’s not the kind of father who would disappear. But he’s gone . . . and he’s left a whole lot of trouble behind. As danger closes in, Early, her mom, and her brother have to flee their apartment. With nowhere else to go, they are forced to move into a city shelter. Once there, Early starts asking questions and looking for answers. Because her father hasn’t disappeared without a trace. There are patterns and rhythms to what’s happened, and Early might be the only one who can use them to track him down and make her way out of a very tough place.
Lois Lane is the new girl at East Metropolis High, and her instinct to ask questions brings her and her online friend, Smallville Guy, into conflict with some bullying video gamers called the Warheads, who are being used in a dangerous virtual reality experiment.
Carter, Ally I’d Tell You I Love You…. (Gallagher Girls series)
Set in a spy school for girls, this entertaining novel centers on 15-year-old Cammie, the headmistress’s daughter, who must decide if she is cut out for a life of secrets. Though the plot takes a while to unfold, fun details and characters will keep readers engaged (Cammie and her friends speak 14 languages, take classes in Covert Operations, can rappel down buildings and plant tracking devices). But when Cammie, known as the Chameleon for her ability to disappear in public places, is spotted by a cute boy named Josh in the middle of the town fair, she begins a new mission: learning to be an ordinary girlfriend
A young woman in nineteenth-century New York City must struggle against gender and class boundaries when her father is found dead of a supposed suicide, and she believes there is more than meets the eye, so in order to uncover the truth she will have to decide how much she is willing to risk and lose.
Solu’s luxurious celebrity-filled “Cruise to Lose” is billed as “the biggest cruise since the Titanic,” and if the new diet sweetener works as promised—dropping five percent of a person’s body weight in just days—it really could be the answer to the world’s obesity problem. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv’s invitation. She’s already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host, Tom Fiorelli (otherwise known as the hottest guy ever!) and she’s too seasick to even try the sweetener. And that’s before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.
Newly arrived in 1892 New England, Abigail Rook becomes assistant to R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with the ability to see supernatural beings, and she helps him delve into a case of serial murder which, Jackaby is convinced, is due to a nonhuman creature.
HORROR & SUPERNATURAL
Elizabeth Grey is one of the king’s best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she’s accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake. Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that’s been laid upon him.
A witch called Old Auntie is lurking near Dan’s family’s new home. He doesn’t believe in her at first, but is forced to accept that she is real and take action when his little sister, Erica, is ‘took’ to become Auntie’s slave for the next fifty years.
A visit to an Egyptian exhibit brings teen Liliana Young face to face with a recently awakened mummy-turned-handsome-sun-god as she gets caught up in an adventure with more twists and turns than the Nile itself.
When wasps come to Steve in a dream offering to fix his sick baby brother, he thinks all he has to do is say yes. But yes may not mean what Steve thinks it means.
Bascomb, Neal The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi (YA) (2014 YALSA Nonfiction Award)
The author of the adult book Hunting Eichmann (Houghton, 2009) tells the harrowing story of the Israeli agents responsible for tracking down Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi leader who orchestrated the extermination of six million Jews. In the years following World War II, many Jews were involved in attempts to find Nazi war criminals who had gone into hiding all over the globe and bring them to trial.
Out of the depths of the Great Depression comes the astonishing tale of nine working-class boys from the American West who at the 1936 Olympics showed the world what true grit really meant. With rowers who were the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew was never expected to defeat the elite East Coast teams, yet they did, going on to shock the world by challenging the German boat rowing for Hitler.
Sheinkin, Steve Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War (YA) (2106 YALSA Nonfiction Award) (2015 National Book Award Finalist)
The story of Daniel Ellsberg and his decision to steal and publish secret documents about America’s involvement in the Vietnam War
Lively dialogue and a fascinating narrative make this an entertaining read. A true-crime thriller set in 1876, the story involves Secret Service agents on the trail of counterfeiters who hoped to spring their leader from jail by holding the body of President Abraham Lincoln for ransom. The men involved included “Big Jim” Kennally, the mastermind behind the plot; Terrence Mullen; and Benjamin Boyd. Among the lawmen are James Brooks, chief of the Secret Service, and agents Patrick Tyrrell and Elmer Washburn.
Stone, Tanya Lee Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who dared to Dream (2010 Sibert Medal Winner)
They had the right stuff. They defied the prejudices of the time. And they blazed a trail for generations of women to follow. What does it take to be an astronaut? Excellence at flying, courage, intelligence, resistance to stress, top physical shape — any checklist would include these. But when America created NASA in 1958, there was another unspoken rule: you had to be a man. Here is the tale of thirteen women who proved that they were not only as tough as the toughest man but also brave enough to challenge the government. They were blocked by prejudice, jealousy, and the scrawled note of one of the most powerful men in Washington. But even though the Mercury 13 women did not make it into space, they did not lose, for their example empowered young women to take their place in the sky, piloting jets and commanding space capsules.
Jamieson, Victoria Roller Girl (2016 Newbery Honor)
Twelve-year-old Astrid realizes that her interests are distinctly different from those of her best friend. Mesmerized while viewing a roller derby, she dreams of becoming a “Roller Girl” but discovers that the sport is considerably more daunting than she imagined and is not without physical, social, and emotional pain. Nevertheless, Astrid is determined to succeed. While this graphic novel provides interesting information about the sport, at its heart it is a story of friendship, exploring the tensions which test the girls’ relationship as they move from childhood to adolescence. Astrid learns to be honest with herself, her mother, and her friends through a series of stressful events. (Graphic Novel)
Lupica, Mike The Extra Yard (Home Team series)
Teddy, a young football player, learns that sometimes bridging the distance in your family can be harder than stretching for an extra yard on the field in the second book of the Home Team series from New York Times bestselling author and sportswriting legend Mike Lupica.