NMS Suggested Summer Reading List

Summer 2012

Mrs. Powers recommends these books for students who are looking for good books to read over the summer.  All students can read books from any list, not just the one for their grade level. However, books for rising 9th graders are not recommended for younger readers.

for rising 6th Grade students 

Artemis Fowl by: Eoin Colfer

When a twelve-year-old evil 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.

The Birchbark House by: Louise Erdrich

Omakayas, a Native American girl of the Ojibwa tribe, lives through the joys of summer and the perils of winter on an island in Lake Superior in 1847.

The Breadwinner by: Deborah Ellis

Because the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan impose strict limitations on women's freedom, 11-year-old Parvana disguises herself as a boy so that her family can survive after her father's arrest.

Bud, Not Buddy by: Christopher Paul Curtis

Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Michigan during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father.

Esperanza Rising by: Pam Munoz Ryan

Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances.

The Graveyard Book by: Neil Gaiman

The orphan baby Bod, short for Nobody, is taken in by the inhabitants of a graveyard and raised lovingly to the age of eighteen years by the community of ghosts and otherworldly creatures.

Heart of a Samurai by: Margi Preus

After being rescued by an American whaler after a terrible shipwreck, 14-year-old Manjiro, who dreams of becoming a samurai, learns new customs as he becomes the first Japanese person in the U.S. in 1841.

Holes by: Louis Sacher

As a result of a curse on his ancestors, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.

Inside Out & Back Again by: Thanhha Lai

Hà and her family flee war-torn Vietnam for the American South. In spare yet vivid verse, she chronicles her year-long struggle to find her place in a new and shifting world.


The Lightning Thief by: Rick Riordan

After learning that he is the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, god of the sea, Percy is sent to a summer camp for demigods like himself where he joins a quest to prevent a war between the gods.


The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by: Rodman Philbrick

Homer P. Figg escapes from his wretched foster home in Pine Swamp, Maine, and sets out to find his beloved older brother, Harold, who has been illegally sold into the Union Army.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by: Trent Lee Stewart

After passing a series of mind-bending tests, four children are selected for a secret mission at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules.        


Out of My Mind by: Sharon Draper

Considered by many to be mentally retarded, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time.

Rivals by: Tim Green

Twelve-year-old Josh looks forward to the Baseball Hall of Fame tournament, but first he and his friends put themselves at great risk trying to expose a conspiracy to bribe the head umpire.

Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief by: Wendelin Von Draanen

Thirteen-year-old Sammy's penchant for speaking her mind gets her in trouble when she involves herself in the investigation of a robbery at the "seedy" hotel across the street.

Savvy by: Ingrid Law

The adventures of Mibs Beaumont, whose thirteenth birthday has revealed her "savvy"--a magical power unique to each member of her family--just as her father is injured in a terrible accident.

Seedfolks by: Paul Fleischman

One by one, a number of people of varying ages and backgrounds transform a trash-filled inner-city lot into a productive and beautiful garden, and, in doing so, the gardeners are themselves transformed.

Shiloh by: Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Marty finds a lost beagle behind his West Virginia home, and tries to hide it from his family and the dog's real owner, a mean-spirited man known to shoot deer out of season and to mistreat his dogs.

Swindle by: Gordon Korman

After unscrupulous collector Palamino cons him out of a valuable baseball card, sixth-grader Griffin Bing puts together a band of misfits to break into Palomino's store and steal the card back.

Turtle in Paradise by: Jennifer L. Holm

In 1935, when her mother gets a job housekeeping for a woman who does not like children, eleven-year-old Turtle is sent to stay with relatives she has never met in far away Key West, Florida.

The Underneath by: Kathi Appelt

An old hound that has been chained up at his hateful owner's run-down shack, and two kittens born underneath the house, endure separation, and danger in their quest to be reunited and free.


When You Reach Me by: Rebecca Stead

As her mother prepares to be a contestant on a TV game show, a New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious anonymous notes that seems to defy the laws of time and space.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by: Grace Lin

Minli, an adventurous girl from a poor village, buys a magical goldfish, and then joins a dragon who cannot fly on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon to save her village.

for rising 7th grade students

A Long Way from Chicago by: Richard Peck

A boy recounts his wild summer trips to rural Illinois with his sister during the Great Depression to visit their larger-than-life grandmother.  This book is laugh-out-loud funny!

A Swiftly Tilting Planet by: Madeline L'Engle

The Murry children must travel through time and space in a battle against an evil dictator who would destroy the entire universe.


Breathe: A Ghost Story by: Cliff McNish

When he and his mother move into an old farmhouse, Jack discovers that he can communicate with the ghosts in the house and fights with an evil spirit that tries to destroy his mother and himself.

Bystander by: James Preller

Eric discovers there are consequences to not standing by and watching as the bully at his new school hurts people.

Chasing Lincoln’s Killer by: James Swanson

(NON-FICTION) Recounts the twelve-day pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth, covering the chase through Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

Dead End in Norvelt by: Jack Gantos

12-year-old Jack Gantos is forced to help an elderly neighbor with unusual chores involving the newly dead, molten wax, underage driving, lessons from history, typewriting, and countless bloody noses.

Far North by: Will Hobbs

After crashing their float plane, sixteen-year-old Gabe and his friend, Raymond, struggle to survive a winter in the wilderness of Canada.

Heat by: Mike Lupica

Pitching prodigy Michael Arroyo is on the run from social services after being banned from Little League baseball because rival coaches doubt he is only 12 and he has no parents to offer them proof.

Lawn Boy by: Gary Paulsen

Things get out of hand for a twelve-year-old boy when a neighbor convinces him to expand his summer lawn mowing business.

Moon over Manifest by: Clare Vanderpool

Twelve-year-old Abilene Tucker is the daughter of a drifter who, in the summer of 1936, sends her to stay with an old friend in Kansas, and where she hopes to find out some things about her father’s past.

No More Dead Dogs by: Gordon Korman

8th grade football hero Wallace Wallace is sentenced to detention attending rehearsals of a school play.

The Outcasts of 19 Schyler Place by: E. L. Konigsberg

12-year-old Margaret Rose Kane spearheads a campaign to preserve three unique towers her grand uncles have been building in their back yard for over forty years.

Pictures of Hollis Woods by: Patricia Reilly Giff

A troublesome twelve-year-old orphan, staying with an elderly artist who needs her, remembers the only other time she was happy in a foster home, with a family that truly seemed to care about her.

Summer of My German Soldier by: Bette Greene

When German prisoners of war are brought to her Arkansas town during World War II, 12-year-old Patty, a Jewish girl, befriends one of them and must deal with the consequences of that friendship.

The Art of Keeping Cool by: Janey Taylor Lisle

In 1942, Robert and his cousin Elliot uncover long-hidden family secrets while staying with their grandparents, where they also become involved with a German artist who is suspected of being a spy.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by: Brian Selznick

When 12-year-old Hugo, an orphan living within the walls of a Paris train station in 1931, meets a mysterious toyseller and his goddaughter, his undercover life and his biggest secret are jeopardized.

The Schwa was Here by: Neal Shusterman

A Brooklyn eighth-grader nicknamed Antsy befriends the Schwa, an "invisible-ish" boy who is tired of blending into his surroundings and going unnoticed by nearly everyone.

The Wednesday Wars by: Gary Schmidt

During the 1967 school year, on Wednesday afternoons when all his classmates leave school early, seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood is left behind and required to do whatever Mrs. Baker requests.

for rising 8th grade students

As Easy as Falling off the Face of the Earth by: Lynne Rae Perkins

On the way to camp, Ry find himself in the middle of nowhere when his train leaves him behind, leading to a remarkable journey full of surprises and adventure.

Ask Me No Questions        by: Marina Budhos

14-year-old Nadira and her family leave Bangladesh for New York City, but the expiration of their visas and the events of September 11, 2001, bring frustration, sorrow, and terror for the whole family.

Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition by: Karen Blumenthal

(NON-FICTION) An interesting look at the history of the 18th Amendment, including the unintended consequences of gangsters (including the famous Al Capone) committing alcohol-related crimes.

Borderline by: Allan Stratton

After Homeland Security breaks into his house and hauls his father away as a person of interest in a possible terrorist attack, Sami sets out to prove his father’s innocence.

Chains        by: Laurie Halse Anderson

After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.

Crossing the Wire by: Will Hobbs

Fifteen-year-old Victor Flores journeys north in a desperate attempt to cross the Arizona border and find work in the United States to support his family in central Mexico.

Cuba 15 by: Nancy Osa

Violet Paz, a Chicago high school student, reluctantly prepares for her upcoming "quince," a Spanish nickname for the celebration of an Hispanic girl's fifteenth birthday.

Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters by: Gail Giles

Fourteen-year-old Sunny is stunned when a total stranger shows up at her house posing as her older sister Jazz, who supposedly died in a fire months earlier.

The Giver by: Lois Lowery

Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.

The Grimm Legacy by: Polly Shulman

Elizabeth gets an after-school job with access to the Grimm Collection of magical objects and is drawn into a series of frightening adventures involving mythical creatures and stolen goods.

Peeled        by: Joan Bauer

In an upstate New York farming community, high school reporter Hildy Biddle investigates a series of strange occurrences at a house rumored to be haunted.

Reckless by: Cornelia Funke

Jacob knows about the fantasy world behind the mirror, but his brother doesn’t and now he is turning to stone and needs Jacob’s help.

Scrawl by: Mark Shulman

Sent to detention, eighth grade bully Tod uses the time to journal his thoughts and experiences, which expose the bleak private agonies of life behind his actions.

Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs by:  Ron Koertge

14-yr-old Kevin’s biggest problem isn’t the baseball playoffs, it’s what to do when he’s dating one girl but e-mailing poems to another.

Ship Breaker by: Paolo Bacigalupi

After a hurricane, teenaged Nailer finds a beached clipper ship with a girl in the wreckage and has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth or rescue the girl.

Summer of the Monkeys by: Wilson Rawls

In the late 1800's, a fourteen-year-old Ozark mountain boy spends the summer trying to recapture monkeys escaped from a traveling circus.

The Hobbitt by: J.R.R. Tolkien

Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, becomes a thief for a band of dwarves and soon finds himself in the midst of a war with the evil goblins and wargs.

The Hunger Games by: Suzanne Collins

                A survivor game, gone deadly.

The River Between Us by: Richard Peck

During the early days of the Civil War, the Pruitt family takes in two mysterious young ladies who have fled New Orleans to come north to Illinois.

Touching Spirit Bear by: Ben Mikaelson

In order to avoid going to prison, Cole agrees to participate in a sentencing alternative in which he is sent to a remote Alaskan Island where an encounter with a huge Spirit Bear changes his life.

Under A War Torn Sky by: Laura M. Elliott      

After his plane is shot down by Hitler's Luftwaffe, nineteen-year-old Henry Forester of Richmond, Virginia, strives to walk across occupied France in hopes of rejoining his unit.  

Under the Mesquite by: Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Throughout her high school years, as her mother battles cancer, Lupita takes on more responsibility for her house and seven younger siblings, while finding refuge in acting and writing poetry.

Words in the Dust by:Trent Reedy

Zulaikha, a girl in Afghanistan, faces many changes in her life as she defies her father, secretly learns to read, her older sister gets married, and American troops offer her surgery to fix her disfiguring cleft lip.

for rising 9th grade students

The Absolutely True Diary of a part-time Indian by: Sherman Alexie

Junior leaves the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white high school, where the only other Native American is the school mascot. Is he choosing his own destiny or betraying his heritage?


Going Bovine by: Libba Bray

Cameron, a sixteen-year-old slacker, sets off on a madcap road trip along with a punk angel, a dwarf sidekick, a yard gnome and a mad scientist to save the world and perhaps his own life.


Feed by: M.T. Anderson

In a future where most people have computer implants in their heads to control their environment, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in serious trouble.


Hope was Here by: Joan Bauer

When 16-year-old Hope and her aunt move from Brooklyn to Wisconsin, to work as waitress and cook in a diner, they become involved with the diner owner's political campaign to oust the town's corrupt mayor.


The House of the Scorpion by: Nancy Farmer

In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special status as the young clone of El Patron, the 142-year-old leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States.

I Am the Cheese by: Robert Cormier

A boy's desperate search for his father leads him to discover secrets of his past that might very well threaten his life.


If I Stay by: Gayle Forman

While in a coma following an automobile accident that killed her parents and younger brother, seventeen-year-old Mia, a gifted cellist, weights whether to live with her grief or join her family in death.


Jane Eyre by: Charlotte Bronte

When a penniless governess falls in love with the brooding master of Thornfield, she is unaware of the tragic events that will follow.


Monster by: Walter Dean Myers

While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, 16-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom as he tries to come to terms with the consequences of his actions.


Nation by: Terry Pratchett

                An epic tale of ravaged islands, shipwrecked nobles and survival.


The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism, & Treachery by Steve Sheinkin

(NON-FICTION) Treating history as mystery, Sheinkin takes readers through means, motive, and opportunity as he outlines Arnold’s path towards treason.

Numbers by: Rachel Ward

Jem, a 15-yr-old British girl, and her boyfriend Spider, are on the run because of complications from her “talent” of seeing the date people will die when she looks into their eyes.


Paper Towns by: John Greene

Quentin "Q" Jacobsen basks in the predictable boringness of his life until the beautiful Margo, Q's neighbor and classmate, takes him on a midnight adventure and then mysteriously disappears.

Prom by: Laurie Halse Anderson

                Save the prom. Save the world.


Star Crossed by: Elizabeth Bunce

Fleeing thief Digger ends up in a remote castle and becomes involved in political intrigue in a country where magic is forbidden.


Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by: Chris Crutcher

The daily class discussions about controversial issues serve as a backdrop for a high-school senior's attempt to answer a friend's dramatic cry for help.

They Call Themselves the KKK by: Susan Bartoletti

                (NON-FICTION) The true story of an American terrorist group.


Thirteen Reasons Why by: Jay Asher

High school student Clay receives a mysterious box in the mail containing seven cassette tapes recorded by his crush, Hannah, who committed suicide, and spends a heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah's voice recounting the events leading up to her death.

Where Things Come Back by: John Corey

17-year-old Cullen's summer is marked by his cousin's death by overdose, an alleged spotting of an extinct woodpecker, failed romances, and his younger brother's sudden disappearance.

The White Darkness by: Geraldine McCaughrean

Fourteen-year-old Symone's exciting vacation to Antarctica turns into a desperate struggle for survival when her uncle's obsessive quest leads them across the frozen wilderness into danger.