Summer Reading Printable Book List

PCMS 2020 Summer Reading Book List

  • The goal of summer reading is to develop lifelong reading habits while limiting the effects of the summer slide—the tendency to lose some of the achievement gains students make during the school year—particularly in literacy skills.  

    Below is an illustrated, reviewed, and coded list of suggested summer reading titles. These novels are listed by grade level, as their content aligns with the concepts and/or content covered in the Grade 7 or Grade 8 ELA curriculum. Included for those students who prefer to read historically accurate stories of adventure and survival, a list of nonfiction recommendations follows the Grade 8 novel choices.  All students are expected to complete the following 2019 PCMS summer reading assignment.

     Incoming 7th & 8th graders at PCMS are required to choose and read at least one book from their grade-level list.  Then, they are expected to answer at least one question from each of the six categories in the list labeled “Questions for Any Book,” for a total of SIX questions.  We recommended that you read your book with the questions in your mind.  Many of the questions have two or three parts, so make sure to fully answer ALL of the questions with specific details and relevant information from the text.  Enjoy and have a great summer!

Questions for Any Book

  • Category 1:  Characters (Choose one of these questions to answer about your book!)

    1. Was there one character who was similar to you?  How would the story have been different if you were the main character, and how?
    2. Which character could you relate to best, and why?
    3. Explain an experience of your own that was similar to someone in the book?  
    4. Compare a character, the story, or a main event to another book.  
    5. List and explain of all the ways one of the characters changed in the book.  
    6. Explain what did the main character learned in this book?  
    7. Choose two or three characters from the book and write what you think happens to them after the end. Be sure to include your reasoning.

    Category 2:  Plot and Conflict (Choose one of these questions to answer about your book!)

    1. What was more important, the characters or the plot?  Was this book more about what people were doing or what people were thinking?  Explain your reasons.
    2. Choose three events in the story and explain why these events stand out for you as memorable.
    3. Was there foreshadowing and suspense?  Or, did the author gives things away at the beginning of the book?  Was this effective? Explain how the use of suspense and/or foreshadowing affected your enjoyment of the book.
    4. Explain how would you have resolved the conflict (problem) in the book?  

    Category 3:  Point of View (Choose one of these questions to answer about your book!)

    1. Did the author use multiple voices in telling the story?  How did this affect the story and your appreciation of the book?  Explain!
    2. Whose voice was the story told in (from whose point of view is the story told)? Explain how you think it might have been different if another character was telling the story.  
    3. Did you feel like the narrator was being honest in telling the story?  Did you feel manipulated? Include your reasoning.
    4. Was the narrator involved in the story while it was happening, or were they looking back on the events from a distance?  Why do you think the author structured it this way? Include your reasoning.

    Category 4:  Setting (Choose one of these questions to answer about your book!)

    1. Did the setting (the time and place) of the story make a difference?  Could it have taken place anywhere? Why do you think the author wrote the book with this setting?  Include your reasoning.
    2. Was the author’s description of the landscape/community well done?  Could you visualize the landscape, rooms, town, etc.? Record a descriptive passage and draw a picture based on the author’s language.
    3. Was the time period important to the story?  Why or why not? Explain!
    4. Explain how the author conveyed the era (time period). Include details.
    5. Did the story involve a road trip?  Explain how the journey advanced the plot of the story?  

    Category 5:  Theme (Choose one of these questions to answer about your book!)

    1. Explain a major theme in the book and how it was developed. Be sure to use details and include your reasoning.
    2. Are the major themes of the book relevant in your life?  Why or why not? Explain!
    3. Did you think the story was funny, sad, touching, disturbing, and/or moving?  Provide details and reasoning as to why or why not.
    4. Was the story realistic?  Did it matter to the storyline?  Provide details and reasoning as to why you think the author wrote it this way.
    5. Think about the book’s title. Provide details and your reasoning to explain why you think the author chose the words in this title.

    Category 6:  Your Thoughts! (Choose one of these questions to answer about your book!)

    1. Compare this book to others you have read.  Is it similar to any of them? Did you like it more or less than other books you have read?  Why or why not? Provide details and your reasoning.
    2. What do you think will be your lasting impression of the book?  What will be your most vivid memories of it a year from now? Provide details and your reasoning.
    3. What “touched” you most about this book?  Did you feel any emotions while you read this?  Why or why not? Provide details and your reasoning.
    4. If you could jump in at any point in this book, and become a part of the storyline, where would it be? Provide details and your reasoning.
    5. Were you sorry the book ended?  Why or why not? Provide details and your reasoning.
    6. Sometimes authors have notes at the end of the book explaining why they wrote the story.  Is there information explaining why the author wrote this story or where they got their idea?  What do you think? Provide details and your reasoning.
    7. What do you think the author was trying to accomplish with this novel?  Why? Provide details and your reasoning.
    8. Are any of the events in the book relevant to your own life?  Why or why not? Provide details and your reasoning.

Ratings Advice—PLEASE READ

Summer Reading Level Codes

  • Grade Level Code

      E (K-5); M (5-8); J (7-9); S (9-12)

    CR= Clean read

    • No excessive or harsh language, no graphic or extreme violence, no sexual content; may include kissing and discussion of sex.

7th Grade Fiction Book List

  •  Shouting at the Rain Book

    Shouting at the Rain

    by Lynda Mullaly Hun Year Published:

    A New York Times Bestseller. ​ From the author of the ​New York Times ​ bestseller ​Fish in a Tree ​ comes a compelling story about perspective and learning to love the family you have.
    Delsie loves tracking the weather--lately, though, it seems the squalls are in her own life. She's always lived with her kindhearted Grammy, but now she's looking at their life with new eyes and wishing she could have a "regular family." Delsie observes other changes in the air, too--the most painful being a friend who's outgrown her. Luckily, she has neighbors with strong shoulders to support her, and Ronan, a new friend who is caring and courageous but also troubled by the losses he's endured. As Ronan and Delsie traipse around Cape Cod on their adventures, they both learn what it means to be angry versus sad, broken versus whole, and abandoned versus loved. And that, together, they can weather any storm

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  •  New Kid Book

    New Kid

    by Jerry Craft Year Published: CR

    Winner of the Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Author Award, and Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature! Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Gene Luen Yang, New Kid is a timely, honest graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real, from award-winning author-illustrator Jerry Craft. 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, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?
    *****

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  •  Crush Book Cover

    Crush

    by Svetlana Chmakova Year Published: EMJ

    In his daydreams, Jensen is the biggest hero that ever was, saving the world and his friends on a daily basis. But his middle school reality is VERY different--math is hard, getting along with friends is hard… Even finding a partner for the class project is a huge problem when you always get picked last. And the pressure is on even more once the school newspaper's dynamic duo, Jenny and Akilah, draw Jensen into the whirlwind of school news, social-experiment projects, and behind-the-scenes club drama. Jensen has always played the middle school game one level at a time, but suddenly, someone's cranked up the difficulty setting. Will those daring daydreams of his finally work in his favor, or will he have to find real solutions to his real-life problems? The charming world of Berrybrook Middle School gets a little bigger in this highly anticipated follow-up to Svetlana Chmakova's award-winning ​Awkward ​ with a story about a boy who learns his own way of being brave! 

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  •  Rebound Book Cover

    Rebound

    by Kwame Alexander Year Published: MJ – clean read

    "An eminently satisfying story of family, recovery, and growing into manhood."—Kirkus, starred review

    From the New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander comes Rebound, a dynamic novel in verse and companion to his Newbery Award-winner, The Crossover, illustrated with striking graphic novel panels.

    Before Josh and Jordan Bell were streaking up and down the court, their father was learning his own moves. In this prequel to Newbery Medal winner The Crossover, Chuck Bell takes center stage, as readers get a glimpse of his childhood and how he became the jazz music worshiping, basketball star his sons look up to.   

    A novel in verse with all the impact and rhythm readers have come to expect from Kwame Alexander, Rebound will go back in time to visit the childhood of Chuck "Da Man" Bell during one pivotal summer when young Charlie is sent to stay with his grandparents where he discovers basketball and learns more about his family's past.  

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  •  Posted Book Cover

    Posted

    by John David Anderson (M,J) Year Published: Fiction

    With multiple starred reviews, don't miss this humorous, poignant, and original contemporary story about bullying, broken friendships, social media, and the failures of communication between kids.

    In middle school, words aren’t just words. They can be weapons. They can be gifts. The right words can win you friends or make you enemies. They can come back to haunt you. Sometimes they can change things forever. 

    When cell phones are banned at Branton Middle School, Frost and his friends Deedee, Wolf, and Bench come up with a new way to communicate: leaving sticky notes for each other all around the school. It catches on, and soon all the kids in school are leaving notes—though, for every kind and friendly one, there is a cutting and cruel one as well.

    In the middle of this, a new girl named Rose arrives at school and sits at Frost’s lunch table. Rose is not like anyone else at Branton Middle School, and it’s clear that the close circle of friends Frost has made for himself won’t easily hold another. As the sticky-note war escalates, and the pressure to choose sides mounts, Frost soon realizes that after this year, nothing will ever be the same. (CR)

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  •  Brave

    Brave

    by Svetlana Chmakova (M,J) Year Published:

    In his daydreams, Jensen is the biggest hero that ever was, saving the world and his friends on a daily basis. But his middle school reality is VERY different--math is hard, getting along with friends is hard...Even finding a partner for the class project is a huge problem when you always get picked last. And the pressure's on even more once the school newspaper's dynamic duo, Jenny, and Akilah, draw Jensen into the whirlwind of school news, social-experiment projects, and behind-the-scenes club drama. Jensen has always played the middle school game one level at a time, but suddenly, someone's cranked up the difficulty setting. Will those daring daydreams of his finally work in his favor, or will he have to find real solutions to his real-life problems? The charming world of Berrybrook Middle School gets a little bigger in this highly anticipated follow-up to Svetlana Chmakova's award-winning Awkward with a story about a boy who learns his own way of being brave!  (CR)

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  • Halfway Normal

    Halfway Normal

    by Barbara Dee (M) Year Published: FIction

    Norah Levy has just completed two years of treatment for leukemia and is ready to go back to the “real world” of middle school. She knows it'll be tricky—but like the Greek mythological characters she read about while she was sick, Norah’s up for any challenge.

    But seventh grade turns out to be trickier than she thought. Norah’s classmates don’t know what to make of her. Her best friend, Harper, tries to be there for her, but she doesn’t get it, really—and is hanging out with a new group of girls. Norah’s other good friend, Silas, is avoiding her. What’s that about, anyway?

    When Norah is placed with the eighth graders for math and science she meets Griffin, a cute boy who encourages her love of Greek mythology and art. And Norah decides not to tell him her secret—that she was “that girl" who had cancer. But when something happens to make secret-keeping impossible, Norah must figure out a way to share her cancer story. But how do you explain something to others that you can’t explain to yourself? (CR)

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  •  Amina’s Voice

    Amina’s Voice

    by Hena Khan (M) Year Published: Fiction

    A Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family’s vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school after tragedy strikes her community in this sweet and moving middle grade novel from the award-winning author of It’s Ramadan, Curious George and Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns.

    Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American.” Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized.

    Amina’s Voice brings to life the joys and challenges of a young Pakistani American and highlights the many ways in which one girl’s voice can help bring a diverse community together to love and support each other. (CR)

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  • Restart

    by Gordan Korman (M,J) Year Published: Fiction

    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.
    From the #1 bestselling author of Swindle and Slacker, Restart is the spectacular story of a kid with a messy past who has to figure out what it means to get a clean start.  Told in the alternating voices of Chase and some of his classmates, including both friends and victims. (CR)

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  •  Ghost Book Cover

    Ghost, Patina, Sunny, Lu

    by Jason Reynolds- New York Times Notable Children’s 4-book Track series Year Published: EMJ – clean read

    Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves.

    Running. That’s all Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all started with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who sees something in Ghost: crazy natural talent. If Ghost can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed, or will his past finally catch up to him?

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  •  The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl

    The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl

    by Stacy McAnulty Year Published: MJ – clean read

    A lightning strike gave her a super power...but even a super genius can't solve the problem of middle school. This smart and funny novel is perfect for fans of The Fourteenth Goldfish, Rain Reign, and Counting by Sevens.

    Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning. She doesn't remember it, but it changed her life forever. The zap gave her genius-level math skills, and ever since, Lucy has been homeschooled. Now, at 12 years old, she's technically ready for college. She just has to pass 1 more test--middle school!

    Lucy's grandma insists: Go to middle school for 1 year. Make 1 friend. Join 1 activity. And read 1 book (that's not a math textbook!). Lucy's not sure what a girl who does calculus homework for fun can possibly learn in 7th grade. She has everything she needs at home, where nobody can make fun of her rigid routines or her superpowered brain. The equation of Lucy's life has already been solved. Unless there's been a miscalculation?

    A celebration of friendship, Stacy McAnulty's smart and thoughtful middle-grade debut reminds us all to get out of our comfort zones and embrace what makes us different.

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8th Grade Fiction List

  •  Ghost Boys Book Cover

    Ghost Boys

    by Jewell Parker Rhodes Year Published:

    A heartbreaking and powerful story about a black boy killed by a police officer, drawing connections through history, from award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes. An instant ​New York Times ​ bestseller & An instant IndieBound bestseller & The #1 Kids' Indie Next Pick & A Walter Award winner ​Only the living can make the world better. Live and make it better. Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat. As a ghost, he observes the devastation that's been unleashed on his family and community in the wake of what they see as an unjust and brutal killing.
    Soon Jerome meets another ghost: Emmett Till, a boy from a very different time but similar circumstances. Emmett helps Jerome process what has happened, on a journey towards recognizing how historical racism may have led to the events that ended his life. Jerome also meets Sarah, the daughter of the police officer, who grapples with her father's actions.

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  •  I am alfonso jones book cover

    I Am Alfonso Jones

    by –TonyMedina Year Published:

    Named to the 2018 Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens list (Young Adult Library Services Association) and the New York Public Library's list of Best Books for Teens.
    Alfonso Jones can't wait to play the role of Hamlet in his school's hip-hop rendition of the classic Shakespearean play. He also wants to let his best friend, Danetta, know how he really feels about her. But as he is buying his first suit, an off-duty police officer mistakes a clothes hanger for a gun, and he shoots Alfonso.
    When Alfonso wakes up in the afterlife, he's on a ghost train guided by well-known victims of police shootings, who teach him what he needs to know about this subterranean spiritual world. Meanwhile, Alfonso's family and friends struggle with their grief and seek justice for Alfonso in the streets. As they confront their new realities, both Alfonso and those he loves realize the work that lies ahead in the fight for justice.

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  •  Worlds Into Deep Blue Book Cover

    Words in Deep Blue

    by Cath Crowley Year Published: JS Fiction

    A beautiful love story for fans of Jandy Nelson, John Green, and Nicola Yoon: two teens find their way back to each other in a bookstore full of secrets and crushes, grief and hope—and letters hidden between the pages.

    Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.
     
    Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore.
     
    As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.

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  •  Backfield Boys Book Cover

    Backfield Boys

    by John Feinstein Year Published: MJ – clean read Fiction

    In Backfield Boys, renowned sports journalist and New York Times–bestselling author John Feinstein tells a thrilling story of friendship, football, and a fight for justice.

    Freshman footballers Jason Roddin and Tom Jefferson are a perfect pair: Jason is a blazing-fast wide-receiver, while his best friend Tom has all the skills a standout quarterback needs. After summer football camp at an elite sports-focused boarding school, the boys are thrilled to be invited back with full-ride scholarships.

    But on day one of practice, they’re shocked when the team's coaching staff makes Tom, a black kid, a receiver and Jason, a white kid, a quarterback. Confronted with mounting evidence of deep-seated racial bias, the boys speak out, risking their scholarships and chances to play. As tensions ratchet up with coaches and other players, Tom and Jason must decide how much they're willing to lose in a conflict with powerful forces that has nothing―and everything―to do with the game they love.

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  •  Refugee Book Cover

    Refugee

    by Alan Gratz Year Published: MJS – clean read Fiction

    JOSEF is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world . . .  ISABEL is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety in America . . . MAHMOUD is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe . . .  All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers -- from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, shocking connections will tie their stories together in the end. This action-packed novel tackles topics both timely and timeless: courage, survival, and the quest for home.

    Gratz’s newest bestseller Grenade is the story of two young WWII soldiers, an American Marine and a soldier in Japan’s Blood and Iron Student Corps.

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  •  The Librarian of Auschwitz Book Cover

    The Librarian of Auschwitz

    by Antonio Iturbi Year Published: S Fiction

    Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.

    Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz.  Out of one of the darkest chapters of human history comes this extraordinary story of courage and hope.

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  •  Long Way Down Book Cover

    Long Way Down

    by Jason Reynolds Year Published: JS - for more mature readers Fiction

    An ode to Put the Damn Guns Down, this is National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestseller Jason Reynolds’s fiercely stunning novel that takes place in sixty potent seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother.

    A cannon. A strap.
    A piece. A biscuit.
    A burner. A heater.
    A chopper. A gat.
                                                  A hammer
                                                  A tool for RULE

    Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator? Just as Will’s trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck’s cigarette. Will doesn’t know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES.

    And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if WILL gets off that elevator.

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  • Geekerella

    by Ashley Poston Year Published: MJS – clean read Fiction

    Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale romance.
     
    Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.
     
    Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

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  •  Amal Unbound

    Amal Unbound

    by Aisha Saeed Year Published: MJ – clean read

    Life is quiet and ordinary in Amal's Pakistani village, but she had no complaints, and besides, she's busy pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher one day. Her dreams are temporarily dashed when--as the eldest daughter--she must stay home from school to take care of her siblings. Amal is upset, but she doesn't lose hope and finds ways to continue learning. Then the unimaginable happens--after an accidental run-in with the son of her village's corrupt landlord, Amal must work as his family's servant to pay off her own family's debt.

    Life at the opulent Khan estate is full of heartbreak and struggle for Amal--especially when she inadvertently makes an enemy of a girl named Nabila. Most troubling, though, is Amal's growing awareness of the Khans' nefarious dealings. When it becomes clear just how far they will go to protect their interests, Amal realizes she will have to find a way to work with others if they are ever to exact change in a cruel status quo, and if Amal is ever to achieve her dreams.

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  •  Dear Martin

    Dear Martin

    by Nic Stone Year Published: JS – for more mature readers

    Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning New York Times bestselling debut, a William C. Morris Award Finalist.

    Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can't escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates.

    Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

    Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it's Justyce who is under attack.

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  •  The Hate U Give

    The Hate U Give

    by Angie Thomas Year Published: (JS – for more mature readers)

    Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a white police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

    Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

    But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

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  •  Eliza and Her Monsters

    Eliza and Her Monsters

    by Francesca Zappia Year Published: JS – clean read

    Eighteen-year-old Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator of Monstrous Sea, a wildly popular webcomic, but when a new boy at school tempts her to live a life offline, everything she’s worked for begins to crumble.

    In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, smart, and friendless. Online, Eliza is Lady Constellation, the anonymous creator of a popular webcomic called Monstrous Sea. With millions of followers and fans throughout the world, Eliza’s persona is popular. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community. Then Wallace Warland transfers to her school, and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

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7th & 8th Grade NonFiction Book List

  •  We are displaced book cover

    We Are Displaced

    by Malala Yousafzai Year Published:

    "A stirring and timely book." --​New York Times ​ Book Review ​After her father was murdered, María escaped in the middle of the night with her mother. Zaynab was out of school for two years as she fled war before landing in America. Her sister, Sabreen, survived a harrowing journey to Italy. Ajida escaped horrific violence, but then found herself battling the elements to keep her family safe. In her powerful new book, Nobel Peace Prize winner and ​New York Times​ bestselling author ​Malala Yousafzai​ introduces some of the people behind the statistics and news stories about the millions of people displaced worldwide.
    Malala's experiences visiting refugee camps caused her to reconsider her own displacement -- first as an Internally Displaced Person when she was a young child in Pakistan, and then as an international activist who could travel anywhere in the world except to the home she loved. In We Are Displaced ​ , which is part memoir, part communal storytelling, Malala not only explores her own story, but she also shares the personal stories of some of the incredible girls she has met on her journeys -- girls who have lost their community, relatives, and often the only world they've ever known. In a time of immigration crisis, war, and border conflicts, ​We Are Displaced ​ is an important reminder from one of the world's most prominent young activists that every single one of the 68.5 million currently displaced is a person -- often a young person -- with hopes and dreams. For more mature readers.

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  •  They Called Us Enemy Book Cover

    They Called Us Enemy

    by ​George Takei Year Published:

    New York Times Bestseller!​ A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei's childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon -- and America itself -- in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love.
    George Takei has captured hearts and minds worldwide with his captivating stage presence and outspoken commitment to equal rights. But long before he braved new frontiers in Star Trek, he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father's -- and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future.

    In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the west coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten "relocation centers," hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard. They Called Us Enemy ​ is Takei's firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the joys and terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother's hard choices, his father's faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future. What does it mean to be American? Who gets to decide? When the world is against you, what can one person do? To answer these questions, George Takei joins co-writers Justin Eisinger & Steven Scott and artist Harmony Becker for the journey of a lifetime.

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  •  Fierce Book Cover

    Fierce ​

    by Aly Raisman Year Published:

    Discover Aly Raisman's inspiring story of dedication, perseverance, and learning to think positive even in the toughest times on her path to gold medal success in two Olympic Games--and beyond.

    Aly Raisman first stepped onto a gymnastics mat as a toddler in a "mommy & me" gymnastics class. No one could have predicted then that sixteen years later, she'd be standing on an Olympic podium, having achieved her dreams.

    Aly's road to success was full of hard work, perseverance, and victories, but not without its hardships. Aly faced many obstacles, from naysayers who said she'd never make it in gymnastics to classmates who shamed her for her athletic body to a devastating betrayal of trust. Through it all, Aly surrounded herself with supportive family, friends, and teammates and found the inner strength to remain positive and believe in herself. Now, in her own words, Aly shows what it takes to be a champion on and off the floor, and takes readers on a behind-the-scenes journey before, during, and after her remarkable achievements in two Olympic Games--through her highest highs, lowest lows, and all the moments in between.

    Honest and heartfelt, frank and funny, Aly's story is enhanced with never-before-published photos, excerpts from the personal journals she's kept since childhood that chronicle memorable moments with her teammates, and hard-won advice for readers striving to rise above challenges, learn to love themselves, and make their own dreams come true.

    *****

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  •  The National Team: The Inside Story of the Women

    The National Team: The Inside Story of the Women Who Changed Soccer ​

    by Caitlin Murray Year Published:

     ​The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team has won four World Cups and four Olympic gold medals, set record TV ratings, drawn massive crowds, earned huge revenues for FIFA and U.S. Soccer, and helped to redefine the place of women in sports. But despite their dominance, and their rosters of superstar players, they've endured striking inequality: low pay, poor playing conditions, and limited opportunities to play in professional leagues. The National Team, from leading soccer journalist Caitlin Murray, tells the history of the USWNT in full, from their formation in the 1980s to the run-up to the 2019 World Cup, chronicling both their athletic triumphs and less visible challenges off the pitch. Murray also recounts the rise and fall of U.S. professional leagues, including the burgeoning National Women's Soccer League, an essential part of the women's game. Through nearly 100 exclusive interviews with players, coaches, and team officials, including Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, Hope Solo, Heather O'Reilly, Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain, Pia Sundhage, Tom Sermanni, and Sunil Gulati, Murray takes readers inside the locker rooms and board rooms in engrossing detail. A story of endurance and determination, The National Team is a complete portrait of this beloved and important team

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  • Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court

    by – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ​(MJS) Year Published:

    At one time, Lew Alcindor was just another kid from New York City with all the usual problems: He struggled with fitting in, with pleasing a strict father, and with overcoming shyness that made him feel socially awkward. But with a talent for basketball and an unmatched team of supporters, Lew Alcindor was able to transform and to become Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

    From a childhood made difficult by racism and prejudice to a record-smashing career on the basketball court as an adult, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's life was packed with "coaches" who taught him right from wrong and led him on the path to greatness. His parents, coaches Jack Donahue and John Wooden, Muhammad Ali, Bruce Lee, and many others played important roles in Abdul-Jabbar's life and sparked him to become an activist for social change and advancement. The inspiration from those around him, and his drive to find his own path in life, are highlighted in this personal and awe-inspiring journey.
    Written especially for young readers, ​Becoming Kareem ​ chronicles how Kareem Abdul-Jabbar becomes the icon and legend he is today, both on and off the court.

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  •  Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Pr

    Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz

    by Michael Bornstein (M,J,S) Year Published: Non-Fiction

    In 1945, in a now-famous piece of World War II archival footage, four-year-old Michael Bornstein was filmed by Soviet soldiers as he was carried out of Auschwitz in his grandmother’s arms. Survivors Club tells the unforgettable story of how a father’s courageous wit, a mother’s fierce love, and one perfectly timed illness saved his life, and how others in his family from Zarki, Poland, dodged death at the hands of the Nazis time and again with incredible deftness. Working from his own recollections as well as extensive interviews with relatives and survivors who knew the family, Michael relates his inspirational Holocaust survival story with the help of his daughter, Debbie Bornstein Holinstat. Shocking, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting, this narrative nonfiction offers an indelible depiction of what happened to one Polish village in the wake of the German invasion in 1939. (CR)

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  •  Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary

    Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary

    by Martha Brockenbrough (M,J,S) Year Published: Non-Fiction

    Complex, passionate, brilliant, flawed―Alexander Hamilton comes alive in this exciting biography.

    He was born out of wedlock on a small island in the West Indies and orphaned as a teenager. From those inauspicious circumstances, he rose to a position of power and influence in colonial America.

    Discover this founding father's incredible true story: his brilliant scholarship and military career; his groundbreaking and enduring policy, which shapes American government today; his salacious and scandalous personal life; his heartrending end.

    Richly informed by Hamilton's own writing, with archival artwork and new

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  • Hey Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction

    by Jarrett J. Krosoczka Year Published: JS - for more mature readers Nonfiction

    In kindergarten, Jarrett Krosoczka's teacher asks him to draw his family, with a mommy and a daddy. But Jarrett's family is much more complicated than that. His mom is an addict, in and out of rehab, and in and out of Jarrett's life. His father is a mystery -- Jarrett doesn't know where to find him, or even what his name is. Jarrett lives with his grandparents -- two very loud, very loving, very opinionated people who had thought they were through with raising children until Jarrett came along.  Jarrett goes through his childhood trying to make his non-normal life as normal as possible, finding a way to express himself through drawing even as so little is being said to him about what's going on. Only as a teenager can Jarrett begin to piece together the truth of his family, reckoning with his mother and tracking down his father. Hey, Kiddo is a profoundly important memoir about growing up in a family grappling with addiction and finding the art that helps you survive.

    *****

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  • 4 2 Is Not Just a Number

    42 Is Not Just a Number

    by Doreen Rappaport Year Published: MJ Nonfiction

    An eye-opening look at the life and legacy of Jackie Robinson, the man who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball and became an American hero.

    Baseball, basketball, football — no matter the game, Jackie Robinson excelled. His talents would have easily landed another man a career in pro sports, but such opportunities were closed to athletes like Jackie for one reason: his skin was the wrong color. Settling for playing baseball in the Negro Leagues, Jackie chafed at the inability to prove himself where it mattered most: the major leagues. Then in 1946, Branch Rickey, manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, recruited Jackie Robinson. Jackie faced cruel and sometimes violent hatred and discrimination, but he proved himself again and again, exhibiting courage, determination, restraint, and a phenomenal ability to play the game. In this compelling biography, award-winning author Doreen Rappaport chronicles the extraordinary life of Jackie Robinson and how his achievements won over — and changed — a segregated nation.

    *****

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  • Girls Who Code-NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!

    by Reshma Saujani Year Published: MJ Non-Fiction

    Part how-to, part girl-empowerment, and all fun, from the leader of the movement championed by Sheryl Sandberg, Malala Yousafzai, and John Legend.
     
    Since 2012, the organization Girls Who Code has taught computing skills to and inspired over 40,000 girls across America. Now its founder, Reshma Saujani, wants to inspire you to be a girl who codes! Bursting with dynamic artwork, down-to-earth explanations of coding principles, and real-life stories of girls and women working at places like Pixar and NASA, this graphically animated book shows what a huge role computer science plays in our lives and how much fun it can be. No matter your interest—sports, the arts, baking, student government, social justice—coding can help you do what you love and make your dreams come true. Whether you’re a girl who’s never coded before, a girl who codes, or a parent raising one, this entertaining book, printed in bold two-color and featuring art on every page, will have you itching to create your own apps, games, and robots to make the world a better place.

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  •  Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian Sc

    Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team

    by Steve Sheinkin (M,J,S) Year Published: Non-Fiction

    Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team is an astonishing underdog sports story―and more. It’s an unflinching look at the U.S. government’s violent persecution of Native Americans and the school that was designed to erase Indian cultures. Expertly told by three-time National Book Award finalist Steve Sheinkin, it’s the story of a group of young men who came together at that school, the overwhelming obstacles they faced both on and off the field, and their absolute refusal to accept defeat.

    Jim Thorpe (super athlete, Olympic gold medalist) and Glenn Pop Warner (indomitable coach, football mastermind) - Before these men became legends, they met in 1907 at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, where they forged one of the winningest teams in American football history. Called "the team that invented football," they took on the best opponents of their day, defeating much more privileged schools such as Harvard and the Army in a series of breathtakingly close calls, genius plays, and bone-crushing hard work.

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  •  Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court

    Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court

    by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Year Published: MJS Nonfiction

    At one time, Lew Alcindor was just another kid from New York City with all the usual problems: He struggled with fitting in, with pleasing a strict father, and with overcoming shyness that made him feel socially awkward. But with a talent for basketball and an unmatched team of supporters, Lew Alcindor was able to transform and to become Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

    From a childhood made difficult by racism and prejudice to a record-smashing career on the basketball court as an adult, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's life was packed with "coaches" who taught him right from wrong and led him on the path to greatness. His parents, coaches Jack Donahue and John Wooden, Muhammad Ali, Bruce Lee, and many others played important roles in Abdul-Jabbar's life and sparked him to become an activist for social change and advancement. The inspiration from those around him, and his drive to find his own path in life, are highlighted in this personal and awe-inspiring journey.

    Written especially for young readers, Becoming Kareem chronicles how Kareem Abdul-Jabbar become the icon and legend he is today, both on and off the court.

    Comments (-1)
  •  Brazen

    Brazen

    by Pénélope Bagieu Year Published: JS Nonfiction

    Throughout history and across the globe, one characteristic connects the daring women of Brazen: their indomitable spirit.

    With her characteristic wit and dazzling drawings, celebrated graphic novelist Pénélope Bagieu profiles the lives of 29 feisty female role models – renowned female artists, scientists, athletes, explorers, activists, and warriors, some world famous, some little known. From Nellie Bly to Mae Jemison or Josephine Baker to Naziq al-Abid, the stories in this graphic biography are sure to inspire the next generation of rebel ladies.  Each entry covers the subject's life from birth to period of activity and, where applicable, death, across about six pages of delicately drawn panels with colorful highlights and washes. The work features humorously anachronistic props, such as modern books, as well as accurate depictions (smoking, drinking).

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  •  Attucks! Oscar Robertson and the Basketball Team

    Attucks! Oscar Robertson and the Basketball Team that Awakened a City

    by Phillip Hoose Year Published: MJS Nonfiction

    By winning the state high school basketball championship in 1955, ten teens from an Indianapolis school meant to be the centerpiece of racially segregated education in the state shattered the myth of their inferiority. Their brilliant coach had fashioned an unbeatable team from a group of boys born in the South and raised in poverty. Anchored by the astonishing Oscar Robertson, a future college and NBA star, the Crispus Attucks Tigers went down in history as the first state champions from Indianapolis and the first all-black team in U.S. history to win a racially open championship tournament―an integration they had forced with their on-court prowess.

    From native Hoosier and award-winning author Phillip Hoose comes this true story of a team up against impossible odds, making a difference when it mattered most.

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  •  Fierce

    Fierce

    by Aly Raisman Year Published: JS NonFiction

    Discover Aly Raisman's inspiring story of dedication, perseverance, and learning to think positive even in the toughest times on her path to gold medal success in two Olympic Games--and beyond.

    Aly Raisman first stepped onto a gymnastics mat as a toddler in a "mommy & me" gymnastics class. No one could have predicted then that sixteen years later, she'd be standing on an Olympic podium, having achieved her dreams.

    Aly's road to success was full of hard work, perseverance, and victories, but not without its hardships. Aly faced many obstacles, from naysayers who said she'd never make it in gymnastics to classmates who shamed her for her athletic body to a devastating betrayal of trust. Through it all, Aly surrounded herself with supportive family, friends, and teammates and found the inner strength to remain positive and believe in herself. Now, in her own words, Aly shows what it takes to be a champion on and off the floor, and takes readers on a behind-the-scenes journey before, during, and after her remarkable achievements in two Olympic Games--through her highest highs, lowest lows, and all the moments in between.

    Honest and heartfelt, frank and funny, Aly's story is enhanced with never-before-published photos, excerpts from the personal journals she's kept since childhood that chronicle memorable moments with her teammates, and hard-won advice for readers striving to rise above challenges, learn to love themselves, and make their own dreams come true.

    Comments (-1)
  • Of course, we hope you read abundantly this summer and highly recommend a visit to the Pembroke Public Library. Their Teen Summer Reading page, designed for students entering grades 6-12, contains information about the public library’s Summer Reading Program, this year's Teen Team Read, and links for summer reading suggestions.

    http://www.pembrokepubliclibrary.org/teen-summer-reading.html

    Avoid the summer slide and have fun reading.