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Summer reading for 7th & 8th graders



Here are our reading lists for 7th and 8th grade Crusaders this summer. You may read any book you would like, as long as it is a chapter book, age appropriate, and one that you have not read before. Remember these books are only a suggestion. We look forward to reading your book reports!

For Crusaders entering 7th grade this fall:

Skelton Man by Joseph Bruchac
When Molly woke up to find her parents had vanished, her life became filled with terrible questions. Where were her parents and who is this spooky old man who’s taken her to live with him, claiming to be her great uncle? Why doesn’t he eat and why does he lock her in her room at night? What are her dreams of Skelton man trying to tell her? She needs to find some answers before it’s too late.

3 Willows: The Sisterhood Grows by Ann Brashares
The author of the best selling Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series introduces the girls in a new sisterhood series. Summer is a time to grow and Polly, Jo and Ama each sprout into young adulthood over the course of one summer.

Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan
Darren Shan is an ordinary schoolboy who likes hanging out with his three best friends. One day they stumble across an invitation to visit Cirque Du Freak, a mysterious freak show. As if by destiny, Darren wins a ticket, and what follows is his horrifying descent into the dark and bloody world of vampires.

Million Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica
Thirteen year old Nate Brodie is nicknamed “Brady” – not only for his throwing arm but because he is huge Tom Brady fan. When after saving his money, Nate goes to buy a Tom Brady autographed football, he wins the chance of a lifetime: to throw a pass through a target at a Patriots game on national TV. The prize? One million dollars!

The Kid Who Invented the Popsicle & Other Extraordinary Stories Behind Everyday Things by Don Wulffson
Brief, factual stories of how various familiar things were invented, many by accident.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1980’s television game show “The 20,000 Pyramid,” a twelve year old New York City girl tires to make sense of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.

The Schwa Was Here by Neal Schusterman
When Anthony “Antsy” Bonano and his friends meet Calvin Schwa, they are impressed and puzzled by his ability to appear and disappear before their very eyes. Antsy concocts a moneymaking scheme based on Schwa’s invisibility that seems promising until he and his money-making friends are caught by the town’s legendary millionaire, Mr. Crawley.

Tangled Threads: A Hmong Girl’s Story
After ten years in a refugee camp in Thailand, 13 year old Mai Yang travels to Providence, Rhode Island, where her Americanized cousins introduce her to pizza and shopping while her grandmother and her new friends keep her connected to her Hmong heritage.

The Prince of Fenway Park by Julianna Baggott
It’s 2004 and the Red Sox haven’t won a world series in 86 years. What if you knew they were cursed and why? What if you and you alone could break the curse but you would have to go into the past and outsmart some curious creatures and take a midnight ride on a monster? Would you do it? Could you?

Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World by Jennifer Armstrong
In August 1914, Ernst Shackleton sails from London with 27 men in an attempt to become the first team of explorers to cross the Antarctic from one side to the other. Five months later their ship, the Endurance, became trapped in an ice pack. This is an extraordinary true adventure story about how the men survived.

The Misfits by James Howe
Two 7th grade boys who have always been misfits decide to do something about it with the approach of student council elections. When they team up to form a new political party, their platform bans name calling and the impact on the school and their own lives is a surprise to all.

Black Duck by Janet Taylor Lisle
When Ruben and Jed find a dead body on a Rhode Island beach, they inadvertently become involved in a turf war between two rival liquor smuggling gangs during the prohibition era.

Something Upstairs by Avi
When he moves from Los Angeles to Providence, Rhode Island, Kenny discovers that his new house is haunted by the spirit of a Black slave boy who asks Kenny to return with him to the early nineteenth century and prevent his murder by slave traders.

The Twits by Roald Dahl
In this very funny book, Mr. and Mrs. Twit are two old people who enjoy playing practical jokes and are finally outwitted by a family of monkeys.

The Color of My Words by Joseph Lynn
When life gets hard for Ana Rosa, living in a small village in the Dominican Republic, she can depend on her older brother to make her feel better until life-changing events occur on her 13th birthday

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick
Learning disabled Max and his friend Freak, whose birth defect has affected his body but not his mind, combine forces to make a powerful team.

Bike Boy and the Queen of 33rd Street by Sharon Flake
A spoiled and charming girl named Queen doesn’t like her new neighbor, a humble, broken bike riding boy named Leroy. He claims he’s been to Africa but how can she take this raggedy, smelly boy seriously, especially when he starts to move in on dinner time with her family? Ultimately Queen learns some important life lessons from Leroy about the words we say to people do matter and that friendship can be found where you least expect it.

The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill
The pushcarts have declared war! New York City’s streets are clogged with huge, rude trucks that park where they want, hold up traffic and bulldoze into anything that is in their way. The pushcart peddlers are determined to get rid of them and the trucks are as determined to get rid of the pushcarts. The pushcarts have come up with a brilliant strategy. Armed with a secret weapon, they win the battle, but can they win the war against the corrupt mayor?

Rules by Cynthia Lord
Twelve year old Catherine just wants a normal life, which is near impossible when you have a brother with autism and a family that revolves around his disability. She has spent years trying to teach David the rules – from “a peach is not a funny apple” to “keep your pants on in public” – in order to stop his embarrassing behaviors. But the summer Catherine meets Jason, a paraplegic boy, and Kristi, the next door friend she has always wished for, it’s her own shocking behavior that turns everything upside down and forces her to ask: What is normal?

For Crusaders entering 8th grade this fall:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Arnold “Spirit” Jr is a stuttering hydrocephalic living on an Indian reservation where he gets bullied and beaten up all of the time. He decides to leave the reservation and attend a rich white school so he can nurture his desire to be a cartoonist. He gets caught between 2 worlds: his home on the reservation and the white high school he attends and feels like he doesn’t fit in anywhere. Arnold is forced to form a new identity for himself and must learn to see himself not just as an Indian but a person from many tribes.

Baseball Crazy: Ten Short Stories that Cover All the Bases
A collection of ten short stories from popular contemporary authors that celebrate the joys of America’s favorite pastime and the wonder, frustration and delight of its fans.

Sucks to be Me by Kimberly Pauley
You think your life sucks? Try being Mina Hamilton. Her parents are vampires, which would sound cool if they weren’t so bo-ring and parent-like. And now Mina has to decide whether or not she wants to be one too…in a month. As if high school wasn’t bad enough, now she’s got to go to vampire classes with a bunch of freaks who actually want to drink blood. (Gross! As if sushi wasn’t bad enough.) And she can’t even tell her best friend about any of it, not with a bunch of red-tape-loving vampire bureaucrats breathing down her neck. How’s a girl supposed to find a prom date and get through school with all this blood-sucking drama going on?

Of Beetles and Angels by Mawi Asgedom
This is a true story of a young boy’s remarkable journey from a refugee camp in Sudan to an affluent Chicago suburb where his family survives on welfare. Mawi overcomes racial prejudice, language barriers and financial disadvantage, eventually realizing his dream of a full tuition scholarship to Harvard University.

Chew on This: Everything You Don’t Want to Know about Fast Food by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson
This book is a look at fast food: what’s in it, how it’s made and what it does to our bodies. Once you know what’s in the food you are eating, you might never eat fast food again!

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
While going through the possessions of a deceased guest who owed them money, an innkeeper and her son find a treasure map that leads them to many adventures and a pirate’s fortune.

After Tupac & D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson
In 1996 in Queens, New York, two girls become friends though the music of Tupac Shakur. His music continues to touch their lives as they deal with their families and futures.

Numbering All the Bones by Ann Rinaldi
While most slaves are being freed, now that the Civil War has ended, Eulinda’a younger brother has been sold after being falsely accused of stealing, and her older brother has run away, leaving thirteen year old Eulinda alone in a household headed by a cruel mistress and a master who will not acknowledge that Eulinda is his daughter.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
The orphan Bod, short for Nobody, is taken in by the inhabitants of a graveyard as a toddler after his family is murdered and is raised lovingly and carefully to the age of 18 by the community of ghosts and underworldly creatures.

Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
In 1869 while his father is away on a cattle drive, 15 year old Tommy takes over managing the family farm. Tommy gets irritated when his younger brother adopts a dog that he names Yeller. Soon Tommy becomes as fond of the dog as everyone else in his family as Yeller is an excellent watchdog. While fighting off a mad wolf, Yeller becomes infected with rabies. At first Yeller seems unaffected but then he starts to behave viciously and Tommy has to decide what to do.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
Kenny narrates this story about his middle class family African American family and their 1963 trip from Michigan to Alabama. The purpose of the trip is twofold – to visit their grandmother and to get Kenny’s older brother away from the tough crowd he is running with. Sadly, racism rears its ugly head as the family travels through the south.

Hoops by Walter Dean Meyers
A teenage basketball player from Harlem is befriended by a former professional player who, after being forced to quit because of point shaving, hopes to prevent other young athletes from repeating his mistake.

Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
This book is about a group of teenagers who plan to kidnap Mr. Griffin, their strict English teacher. They bring Mr. Griffin to a cemetery and want him to beg them to let him go. Mr. Griffin won’t beg and they leave him there, only to come back and find him dead.

Red Kayak by Pricilla Cummings
After a young boy is killed in a kayaking accident, 13 year old Brady struggles with whether he should divulge the prank that caused the accident or keep silent to protect the pranksters.

Heat by Mike Lupica
Pitching prodigy Michael Aroyo is on the run from social services after being banned from playing Little League baseball because rival coaches doubt he is only 12 years old and he has no parents to offer them proof.

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Percy learns that he has special powers after he makes his pre-algebra teacher disappear. Further investigation reveals that he is the son of the Greek god Poseidon. To save humankind Percy embarks on an adventure to return a lightning bolt his father stole from Zeus.

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
When a twelve year old genius tries to restore his family fortune by capturing a fairy and demanding a ransom in gold, the fairies fight back with magic, technology and a particularly nasty troll.

Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes
Mr. Ward, an English teacher at Bronx high school has an open mike in his classroom on Fridays so students can read their poetry aloud. Eighteen diverse voices take the mike to express their feelings about themselves, each other, their families, troubles, hopes and fears. Through the poetry they share and the stories they tell, their words and lives show what lies beneath the skin, behind the eyes and beyond the masquerade.

House of Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
Matt, a clone, lives in Opium, a futuristic country carved out between the U.S. and Mexico specifically for the world’s drug lords. Clones are despised, but Matt has special status because he is the clone of El Patron, the ruling drug Lord. As Matt begins to understand who he is, he refuses to accept his fate and the injustices he uncovers around him.

Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
Georgia Nicholson is fourteen years old, and like most fourteen year olds she has a lot on her mind: clothes, boys, the size of her nose and so much more. In this, the first of her diaries, readers will laugh out loud at the events in her life. By turns crazy, kooky and poignant, this book despite being fiction is very real.

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