Book Choices for Summer Reading Book Project Ms. Munoz, English 7 Summer Reading List
See list of books and descriptions below. Your Summer Book Project needs to be about one of the books on the list below, or one listed on the project handout sheet given to you during classroom visitations.
NOTE: Titles are noted for general reading level by stars: *easy **average ***challenging. (Descriptions of books are from various sites such as Amazon, GoodReads, SparkNotes, etc.)
Action and Adventure
** Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz... After the death of the uncle who had been his guardian, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider is coerced to continue his uncle's dangerous work for Britain's intelligence agency, MI6. *series*
** Ranger's Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan... When fifteen-year-old Will is rejected by battleschool, he becomes the reluctant apprentice to the mysterious Ranger Halt, and winds up protecting the kingdom from danger. *series*
** Code Orange by Caroline B. Cooney... While conducting research for a biology class paper on infectious diseases, Mitty finds an envelope containing 100-year-old smallpox scabs and fears that he has infected himself and all of New York City, and attracted the attention of terrorists who want to use the disease as a weapon.
** Flash Flood by Chris Ryan... Ben's on a trip to London to meet his mum. But an accident at the Thames Barrier, combined with a tidal surge and a dramatic thunderstorm - and suddenly his trip turns into something totally different as the Barrier is breached and London is flooded. With streets underwater, communications down, rats pouring up out of the sewers and thousands of people in a state of panic, survival becomes a key issue. But as Ben tries to get across London to meet his mother, little does he know that two terrorists have a similar rendezvous. *series*
Drama – Relationships -- Romance
* You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah by Fiona Rosenbloom... As her bat mitzvah approaches, Stacy Adelaide Friedman of White Plains, New York, has a lot on her mind--her parents have separated, her mother dresses her like an American Girl doll, her younger brother is embarrassing, and she is totally in love with Andy Goldfarb.
** The Girl Who Invented Romance by Caroline B. Cooney... While waiting for her first big romance and observing the sometimes rocky love affairs of her parents and brother, sixteen-year-old Kelly develops a board game called Romance.
** Flavor of the Week by Tucker Shaw... Cyril, an overweight boy who is good friends with Rose but wishes he could be more, helps his best friend Nick woo her with culinary masterpieces which Cyril himself secretly creates. Includes recipes from the story. A modern teenage take on the famous French story, Cyrano de Bergerac.
· Bloomability by Sharon Creech... Thirteen-year-old Dinnie finds her world expanding after her aunt and uncle take her from New Mexico to Lugano, Switzerland, to attend an international school.
· ** Twilight by Stephenie Meyer... When seventeen-year-old Bella leaves Phoenix to live with her father in Forks, Washington, she meets an exquisitely handsome boy at school for whom she feels an overwhelming attraction and who she comes to realize is not wholly human. *series*
*** A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray... After the suspicious death of her mother in 1895, sixteen-year-old Gemma returns to England, after many years in India, to attend a finishing school where she becomes aware of her magical powers and ability to see into the spirit world. *series* This one gets amazing student reviews.
*** The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien... Bilbo Baggins, a respectable, well-to-do hobbit lives comfortably in his hobbit-hole until the day the wandering wizard Gandalf chooses him to share in an adventure from which he may never return.
*** Lord of The Rings Trilogy: Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien... The penultimate epic fantasy that tells the tale of Bilbo Baggins' nephew, Frodo, and his friends ,whose quest to destroy the Ring of Power takes them all through Middle Earth. Mrs. Petersen LOVES this!
*** Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury... A book-burning official in a future fascist state finds out that books are a vital part of a culture he never knew. He clandestinely pursues reading, until he is betrayed.
*** Lord of the Flies by William Golding....At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate. But as order collapses, as strange howls echo in the night, as terror begins its reign, the hope of adventure seems as far removed from reality as the hope of being rescued.
*** The Time Machine by H.G. Wells... Relates the adventures of a scientist who invents a machine that transports him into the future.
*** Frankenstein by Mary Shelley... Victor Frankenstein discovers the secret of generating life from lifeless matter and creates a monster who, scorned for being ugly, swears revenge on his creator and the human race.
*** Fantastic Voyage by Isaac Asimov... Five people are miniaturized and sent on a rescue mission through a man's body where they have sixty minutes to reach and break up a blood clot in his brain.
** Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan... Percy, expelled from six schools for being unable to control his temper, learns the truth from his mother that his father is the Greek god Poseidon. He is sent to Camp Half Blood where he is befriended by a satyr and the demigod daughter of Athena who join him in a journey to the Underworld to retrieve Zeus's lightning bolt and prevent a catastrophic war. *series*
** Everlost by Neal Shusterman... When Nick and Allie are killed in a car crash, they end up in Everlost, or limbo for lost souls, where, although Nick is satisfied, Allie will stop at nothing--even skinjacking--to break free.
* Dealing With Dragons by Patricia Wrede... Bored with traditional palace life where she is supposed to be doing needlepoint and dancing instead of cooking and swordfighting, Princess Cimorene goes off to live with a group of dragons and soon becomes involved with fighting against some disreputable wizards. *series*
** Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer... Twelve-year-old millionaire, genius, and criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl finds himself in over his head after he kidnaps a dangerous fairy. *series*
* Children of the Lamp: The Akhenaten Adventure by P.B. Kerr... When twelve-year-old twins John and Philippa Gaunt develop extraordinary magical gifts, they travel to London to meet their wildly eccentric djinn-uncle, Nimrod, who teaches them to harness their new powers and sends them on a mission. *series*
*** Eragon by Christopher Paolini... In Alagaesia, a fifteen-year-old boy of unknown lineage named Eragon finds a mysterious stone that is actually a dragon's egg. When the dragon, Saphira, hatches, Eragon becomes the last of the Dragon Riders, and the only hope of all of the residents of Alagaesia for overthrowing the evil King Galbatorix. *series* Sequel is Eldest, third in the series is coming out in September.
** Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis... Eleven-year-old Elijah Freeman, the first free-born child in Buxton, Canada, which is a haven for slaves fleeing the American South in 1859, uses his wits and skills to try to bring to justice the lying preacher who has stolen money that was to be used to buy a family's freedom.
** Red Moon at Sharpsburg by Rosemary Wells... Even though the odds are against her and the Civil War has ruined her home and given her a view of the darker side of humanity, thirteen-year-old India Moody continues to aspire to become a scientist and attend Oberlin College.
** Black Duck by Janet Taylor Lisle... Years afterwards, Ruben Hart tells the story of how, in 1929 Newport, Rhode Island, his family and his best friend's family were caught up in the violent competition among groups trying to control the local rum-smuggling trade.
** When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park... With national pride and occasional fear, a brother and sister face the increasingly oppressive occupation of Korea by Japan during World War II, which threatens to suppress Korean culture entirely.
* Legend of Bass Reeves by Gary Paulsen... The story of Bass Reeves ,who was born a slave and later became one of the most respected and long-lived federal marshals in Oklahoma and Texas.
*** Or Give Me Death by Ann Rinaldi... With their father away most of the time advocating independence for the American colonies, the children of Patrick Henry try to raise themselves, manage the family plantation, and care for their mentally ill mother.
* Cirque du Freak: A Living Nightmare by Darren Shan... Two boys who are best friends visit an illegal freak show, where an encounter with a vampire and a deadly spider forces them to make life-changing choices. *series*
** Full Tilt by Neal Shusterman... When sixteen-year-old Blake goes to a mysterious, by-invitation-only carnival he somehow knows that it could save his comatose brother, but soon learns that much more is at stake if he fails to meet the challenge presented there by the beautiful Cassandra.
** The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King... Nine-year-old Trisha McFarland, lost in the woods after she wanders off to escape the bickering between her mom and her brother, boosts her courage by imagining that her hero, Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Tom Gordon, is with her, helping her survive an unknown enemy.
* House of Stairs by William Sleator... Five sixteen-year-old orphans of widely varying personality characteristics are involuntarily placed in a house of endless stairs as subjects for a psychological experiment on conditioned human response.
** Midnighters: The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld... Upon moving to Bixby, Oklahoma, fifteen-year-old Jessica Day learns that she is one of a group of people who have special abilities that help them fight ancient creatures living in an hour hidden at midnight; creatures that seem determined to destroy Jess. *series*
* A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck... Joey tells the stories of his annual summer trips to rural Illinois with his sister, Mary Alice, during the Great Depression to visit their larger-than-life grandmother. Grandma Dowdell is one tough cookie, and she is pretty funny, too! In the sequel, Mary Alice goes to live with Grandma Dowdell for a year, and it's a laugh riot!
** Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman... Mrs. Ball calls this one "the Sopranos go to high school." Seventeen-year-old Vince's life is constantly complicated by the fact that he is the son of a powerful New Jersey Mafia boss, and he's dating the daughter of the FBI agent who's out to get his dad. Lots of mob humor (all of his various "uncles" and their nicknames). Vince is the family civilian who is expected to avoid the family business and go to college and med school or law school, so he's got one foot in each world! Sequel is Son of the Mob: Hollywood Hustle.
** The Teacher's Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts by Richard Peck... Mrs. Ball loves the first line: "If your teacher has to die, August isn't a bad time of year for it." Russell's elderly teacher (gasp! she was at least 40!) dies just before the beginning of the book, and his older sister Tansy is hired by the school board in their small town to run the one-room schoolhouse. Russell and his friends decide to do whatever they have to do to get her to quit, and the results are hysterically funny!
* Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen... An 11-year-old boy spends a summer with distant relatives on their Minnesota farm, and discovers what an extraordinary prankster his wild cousin Harris is.
* No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman... Eighth-grade football hero Wallace Wallace is sentenced to detention attending rehearsals of the school play where, in spite of himself, he becomes wrapped up in the production and begins to suggest changes that improve not only the play but his life as well.
* Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos... To the constant disappointment of his mother and his teachers, Joey has trouble paying attention or controlling his mood swings when his prescription meds wear off and he starts getting worked up and acting wired. *series*
*** The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams... Seconds before Earth is demolished to make room for a galactic freeway, an earthman is saved by his friend. Together they journey through the galaxy.
*** The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett... Tiffany, a young witch-to-be in the land of Discworld, teams up with the Wee Free Men, a clan of six-inch-high blue toughs, to rescue her baby brother and ward off a sinister invasion from Fairyland. *series*
** Down the Rabbit Hole: An Echo Falls Mystery by Peter Abrahams... Like her idol Sherlock Holmes, eighth grader Ingrid Levin-Hill uses her intellect to solve a murder case in her hometown of Echo Falls. Sequel is Behind the Curtain.
** The Man With The Red Bag by Eve Bunting... Twelve-year-old Kevin, who is traveling with his grandmother on a sightseeing trip to different national parks and monuments, suspects that a man in his tour group might be carrying a bomb.
*** The Traitor's Gate by Avi... When his father is arrested as a debtor in 1849 London, fourteen-year-old John Huffman must take on unexpected responsibilities, from asking a distant relative for help to determining why people are spying on him and his family.
* The Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery by Nancy Springer... Enola Holmes, much younger sister of detective Sherlock Holmes, must travel to London in disguise to unravel the disappearance of her missing mother.
* Snatched by Pete Hautman and Mary Logue... Too curious for her own good, Roni, crime reporter for her high school newspaper, teams up with Brian, freshman science geek, to investigate the beating and kidnapping of a classmate.
* The Sisters Grimm: The Unusual Suspects by Michael Buckley... Although filled with anger over her parents' disappearance, eleven-year-old Sabrina Grimm--along with her grandmother, sister, and several fairy-tale characters--tries to discover who has killed her teacher.
** Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon by Catherine Thimmesh... Chronicles the Apollo 11 mission, the spaceflight that landed the first man on Earth's moon on July 20, 1969, emphasizing the contributions and reactions of the thousands of people who made the mission successful.
** Promises To Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America by Sharon Robinson... A biography of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in the major leagues, as told by his daughter.
* Guts: the True Stories Behind Hatchet and the Brian Books by Gary Paulsen... The author relates incidents in his life and how they inspired parts of his books about the character, Brian Robeson.
** My Life as a Furry Red Monster : What Being Elmo Has Taught Me About Life, Love, and Laughing Out Loud by Kevin Clash... The master puppeteer behind the Elmo character on "Sesame Street" shares the lessons he's learned from his famous alter ego, the best friend of children all over the world.
*** Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium by Carla Killough McClafferty... Chronicles the life of Marie Curie, discussing her childhood in Poland, schooling in France, discovery of the element radium, efforts to create mobile X-ray units during World War I, and eventual death from radium poisoning.
*** The Power of One : Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine by Judith Bloom Fradin & Dennis Brindell Fradin... Daisy Bates was a civil rights activist, journalist, and organizer who acted as a mentor to the nine African-American students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957.
*** Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton... An account of the attempt, through a hair-raising twenty-four hours on a remote jungle island where a billionaire has financed the creation of a genetics lab which recreates dinosaur species from millions of years ago, for a theme park which gets out of control. Mrs. B says this is much bloodier than the movie -- don't read this one right after lunch! Sequels: Lost World and Jurassic Park III.
*** Epic by Conor Kostick... Gamers will LOVE this one! On New Earth, a world in which your status is based on your performance in a global video role-playing game, fourteen-year-old Erik persuades his friends to aid him in some unusual gambits in order to save Erik's father from exile and safeguard the futures of each of their families.
** Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card... Ender, who is the result of government-sponsored genetic experimentation, may be the military genius Earth needs in its war against an alien enemy. This is the story of Ender's training at the Battle School space station from age six on. *series*
** House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer... In a future where human clones are regarded as property and not people with any rights, Matt enjoys special status as the youngest and last clone of El Patrón, the 142-year-old drug lord whose corrupt drug empire is nestled between Mexico and the United States. But Matt's special status will only last until his parts are needed, and if he wants to live, he must escape.
* Hidden Talents by David Lubar... Thirteen-year-old Martin, a new student at an alternative school for misfits and problem students, falls in with a group of boys with psychic powers and discovers something surprising about himself. Sequel is True Talents.
* Maximum Ride by James Patterson... After the mutant Erasers abduct the youngest member of their group, the "bird kids," who are the result of genetic experimentation, take off in pursuit and find themselves struggling to understand their own origins and purpose. *series*
** Diary of Pelly D by L.J. Adlington... Toni V, a construction worker on a futuristic colony, finds the diary of a teenage girl whose life has been turned upside-down by holocaust-like events, and he begins to question his own beliefs.
** Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer... Through journal entries sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family's struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.
* This Place Has No Atmosphere by Paula Danziger... Aurora loves her life on Earth in the twenty-first century, until she learns that her family is moving to the colony on the moon.
* Atherton: House of Power by Patrick Carman... Edgar, an eleven-year-old orphan, finds a book that reveals significant secrets about Atherton, the strictly divided world on which he lives, even as geological changes threaten to shift the power structure that allows an elite few to live off the labor of others.
*** Uglies by Scott Westerfeld... Tally is faced with a difficult choice when her new friend Shay decides to risk life on the outside rather than submit to the forced operation that turns sixteen year old girls into gorgeous beauties, and realizes that there is a whole new side to the pretty world that she doesn't like. *series*
** Heat by Mike Lupica... Pitching prodigy Michael Arroyo is on the run from social services after being banned from playing Little League baseball because rival coaches doubt he is only twelve years old and he has no parents to offer them proof. Mrs. Ball says this is the best baseball book she's read in a long time.
** Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock... After spending her summer running the family farm and training the quarterback for her school's rival football team, sixteen-year-old D.J. decides to go out for the sport herself, not anticipating the reactions of those around her. Sequel is The Off Season
*** Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher... Intellectually and athletically gifted, TJ, a multiracial, adopted teenager, shuns organized sports and the gung-ho athletes at his high school until he agrees to form a swimming team and recruits some of the school's less popular students.
*** Crackback by John Coy... Miles barely recalls when football was fun after being sidelined by a new coach, constantly criticized by his father, and pressured by his best friend to take performance-enhancing drugs.
*** Keeper by Mal Peet... South American journalist Paul Faustino begins his interview with World Cup Soccer star El Gato and learns a fantastic story of a young, lonely boy growing up in the middle of a rain forest who wandered upon a mysterious soccer field and an apparition that appeared to him daily.
* Football Genius by Tim Green... Troy, a sixth-grader with an unusual gift for predicting football plays before they occur, attempts to use his ability to help his favorite team, the Atlanta Falcons, but he must first prove himself to the coach and players.
* The Million Dollar Putt by Dan Gutman... Assisted by his neighbor, Birdie, blind thirteen-year-old Ed "Bogie" Bogard will win one million dollars if he can sink a ten-foot putt in Hawaii's fifth annual Angus Killick Memorial Tournament.
* The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney... A photograph of a missing girl on a milk carton leads Janie on a search for her real identity. *series*
* Small Steps by Louis Sachar... Sequel to Holes. Three years after being released from Camp Green Lake, Armpit is trying hard to keep his life on track, but when his old pal X-Ray shows up with a tempting plan to make some easy money scalping concert tickets, Armpit reluctantly goes along.
** Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli... Stargirl, a teen who animates quiet Mica High with her colorful personality, suddenly finds herself shunned for her refusal to conform.
** The Killing Sea by Richard Lewis... In the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami in Sumatra, two teenagers, American Sarah and Acehnese Ruslan, meet and continue together their arduous climb inland, where Ruslan hopes to find his father and Sarah seeks a doctor for her brother.
** Red Midnight by Ben Mikaelsen... After soldiers kill his family, twelve-year-old Santiago and his four-year-old sister flee Guatemala in a kayak and try to reach the United States.
** Homecoming by Cynthia Voight... Abandoned first by their father, and then also by their mother in a shopping mall parking lot, four children begin an epic journey on foot following Route 1 from Bridgeport down into Maryland in search of a home.
*** Monster by Walter Dean Myers... While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.
*** The Gospel According to Larry by Janet Tashjian... Seventeen-year-old Josh, a loner-philosopher who wants to make a difference in the world, tries to maintain his secret identity as the author of a web site that is receiving national attention. Sequel is Vote For Larry: Not yet eighteen years old, Josh, a.k.a. Larry, comes out of hiding and returns to public life, this time to run for President as an advocate for issues of concern to youth and to encourage voter turnout. Great for election year reading!
** All of the Above by Shelly Pearsall... Five urban middle school students, their teacher, and other community members relate how a school project to build the world's largest tetrahedron affects the lives of everyone involved.