Level Classes

Booker T.  Washington Junior High

8th Grade Summer Reading List and Project


In Conroe ISD, we encourage all students to read over the summer in order to enrich learning and provoke thought.  Summer reading strengthens reading skills, increases academic achievement, fosters a love for reading, and empowers students to become life-long learners.


Over the summer you should read as many books as you have time and interest to read.  Reading experts note that most young readers suffer a backslide in reading skills during the summer.  Research shows that a consistent amount of reading each day (30-45 minutes) will increase reading and comprehension skills and benefit you in every subject, even math.  Reading is a wonderful way to escape a hot, humid summer afternoon and to travel anywhere a good author can take you.  It will also keep your mind sharp and prepare you for the rigors of 8th grade classes.


Every student will be required to complete a summer reading project.  Your project will be due September 5, 2017.

Part 1:  Choose ONE of the following books to read over the summer.

Part 2:  Book Project-Upon reading one of the following books below, you must select one project from the Project Choice Sheet that has been provided – this will be counted as a grade.


Now is the Time for Running

by Michael Williams


by Scott Westerfeld


by Helen Frost

Readability Rating:

Easy to Medium

Readability Rating:

Medium to Challenging

Readability Rating:


Turtle in Paradise

by Jennifer Holm

One Crazy Summer

by Rita Williams Garcia

The Graveyard Book

by Neil Gaiman

Readability Rating:


Readability Rating:


Readability Rating:

Medium to Challenging

See the synopses of each book listed before making your selection.

1.           Now is the Time for Running: (Michael Williams) Deo and his friends play soccer in the dusty fields of Zimbabwe, cheered on by Deo's older brother, Innocent. It is a day like any other . . . until the soldiers arrive and Deo and Innocent are forced to run for their lives.  Along the way, they must rely on the kindness of people they meet to make it through. But when tragedy strikes, Deo's love of soccer is all he has left. Can he use that gift to find hope once more?

2.               Uglies: (Scott Westerfeld) Tally is about to turn sixteen. In a few weeks she'll have the operation that will turn her from an ugly into a stunning pretty. As a pretty, she'll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.  But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to become a pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world-- and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally's choice will change her world forever... If you like this book, you might want to follow up with its sequel, Pretties.

3.           Hidden: (Helen Frost) When Wren Abbott and Darra Monson are eight years old, Darra's father steals a minivan. He doesn't know that Wren is hiding in the back. The hours and days that follow change the lives of both girls. Darra is left with a question that only Wren can answer. Wren has questions, too.  Years later, in a chance encounter at camp, the girls face each other for the first time. They can finally learn the truth--that is, if they’re willing to reveal to each other the stories that they've hidden for so long. Told from alternating viewpoints, this novel-in-poems reveals the complexities of memory and the strength of a friendship that can overcome pain.

4.           Turtle in Paradise: (Jenifer Holm) Life isn't like the movies, and 11-year-old Turtle is no Shirley Temple. She's smart and tough and has seen enough of the world not to expect a Hollywood ending. After all, it's 1935, and jobs and money and sometimes even dreams are scarce. But when Turtle's mama gets a job housekeeping for a lady who doesn't like kids, Turtle is forced to head off to Key West, Florida, to stay with relatives she's never met. Florida is like nothing Turtle has ever seen: hot, strange, and full of wild, ragtag boy cousins...and even secret treasure. Before she knows what's happened, Turtle finds herself coming out of the shell she has spent her life building, and as she does, her world opens up in the most unexpected ways.

5.           One Crazy Summer: (Rita Williams-Garcia) Eleven-year-old Delphine has it together. Even though her mother, Cecile, abandoned her and her younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, seven years ago. Even though her father and Big Ma will send them from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to stay with Cecile for the summer. And even though Delphine will have to take care of her sisters, as usual, and learn the truth about the missing pieces of the past. When the girls arrive in Oakland in the summer of 1968, Cecile wants nothing to do with them. She makes them eat Chinese takeout dinners, forbids them to enter her kitchen, and never explains the strange visitors with Afros and black berets who knock on her door. Rather than spend time with them, Cecile sends Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern to a summer camp sponsored by a revolutionary group, the Black Panthers, where the girls get a radical new education. Set during one of the most tumultuous years in recent American history, one crazy summer is the heartbreaking, funny tale of three girls in search of the mother who abandoned them.

6.              The Graveyard Book: (Neil Gaiman) After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.  Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family...

Where to get the books

Most of the following books can be found at your local public library borrowed for free with a free library card, purchased at a bookstore, or access some of the books for free as an E-book.  You can check out E books at your local Public Library.


-          www.amazon.com (many discounted titles)

-          www.barnesandnoble.com (usually a discount)

-          www.hpb.com (Half Price Books)


-          Barnes and Noble (The Woodlands Mall)

-          Walmart

-          Target

-          Once and Again Used Books (The Woodlands)

-          Half Price Books (Two locations off of FM 1960)

Summer Reading

Project Choices

On a poster or large sheet of paper, draw 10 objects or symbols to represent the book.  Using complete sentences, explain what each object or symbol represents and explain how the symbol is important to the book.

Using materials like clay, wood, or soap, make 3-D models of three objects which were important in the book you read.  On a card attached to each model, explain why that object was important in the book

Write a diary that one of the story’s main characters might have kept before, during, or after the book’s events.  Remember that the character’s thoughts and feelings are very important in a diary.  The diary should contain at least 15 entries.

Write a one sentence summary of each chapter and illustrate the sentence.  Turn this in on paper or poster board.

Create a timeline of 15 events for the book, including an illustration and a caption for each event.  This is to be completed on poster board.

Select one character from the book you read who has the qualities of a heroine or hero.  List six qualities and tell why you think they are heroic.  This can be typed or hand written.

Fold card stock quality paper to create a book jacket that has a front, spine, back and flaps.  The front cover should contain artwork that represents the book, the title, and author.  Place the title, author and publishing company on the spine.  On the back cover, write a summary of the book (using your own words).  On the inside front flap, write something about the author.  You may look at professionally designed book jackets, but do not copy.

Make a movie poster advertisement for your book.  You must create an appealing poster so someone will want to read the novel.  Include the title, author, one or more illustrations, and a description of the novel.  Your illustrations should depict characters from scenes of the book.  Choose actors and actresses to star as your main characters.

Use a cereal box to tell about your book.  Cover your box with paper.  Create a new title; place that on the front of the box.  Place a short explanation of the book on the back.  Add catchy phrases bout the book all over the box to get people to want to read the book.  Include the author, copyright date, number of pages, publisher, and city of publication.




If you have any questions or need clarification on this assignment please feel free to email any of the 8th Grade Language Arts teachers.

Julie LaRoche (pre AP and level):  jlaroche@conroeisd.net 

Jennifer Fleming (resource):  jrfleming@conroeisd.net 

Sharon Kral (level):  skral@conroeisd.net 

Nickole Maronge (pre AP and level):  nmaronge@conroeisd.net 

Michael Murray (level):  mmurray@conroeisd.net 

Aileen Salas (level):  ailsalas@conroeisd.net

Be sure to choose a book you are interested in, a project option you will enjoy doing, and…