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Summer Reading for 8th Graders



Cruaders, it’s time to choose your books for summer reading and book reports! Here are some suggested books if you are entering 8th grade in the fall. Remember these are only a suggestion. 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.

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.

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 that will not acknowledge that Eulinda is his daughter.

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!

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 African American family and their 1963 trip from Michigan to Alabama. The purpose of the trip is two fold – 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.

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.

Notes From the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick

16 year old Alex decides to get even with his parents but instead of revenge he ends up in trouble with the law and has to do community service at a senior center. This is about an angry judge, Alex’s best friend Laurie and old man dying of emphysema and how the combination changes them all.

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.

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.

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.

House of Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
Matt, a clone, lives in Opium, a futuristic country carved out between the US 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.

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 the stories they tell, their words and lives show what lies beneath the skin, behind the eyes and beyond the masquerade.

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