Summer Reading List

Summer Before Sixth Grade

Join your middle school classmates and pick some great books to read this summer. When school starts in the fall, you can enter to win cool prizes!


*Images are from Destiny; book descriptions are from Destiny and Amazon.

Lincoln's Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin

An account of how counterfeiter Benjamin Boyd's gang stole the body of Abraham Lincoln and demanded Boyd's release from jail and two hundred thousand dollars as ransom and the efforts of the Secret Service to recover the remains.


https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/videos/teaching-content/lincolns-grave-robbers-booktalk/

El Deafo by Cece Bell







In this funny graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell tells the story of her hearing loss at a young age and her experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful and very awkward hearing aid. The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear (including some things she wasn't supposed to hear,) but it also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend.


*Also available on Sora


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cnj5STG0SZo

Major Impossible by Nathan Hale

John Wesley Powell always had the spirit of adventure in him. As a young man, he traveled all over the United States exploring. When the Civil War began, Powell went to fight for the Union, and even after he lost most of his right arm, he continued to fight until the war was over. In 1869 he embarked with the Colorado River Exploring Expedition, ten men in four boats, to float through Grand Canyon. Over the course of three months, the explorers lost their boats and supplies, nearly drowned, and were in peril on multiple occasions. Ten explorers went in, only six came out. Powell would come to be known as one of the most epic explorers in history! Equal parts gruesome and hilarious, this latest installment in the Hazardous Tales series takes readers on an action-packed adventure through American history.


*Also available on Sora


https://youtu.be/Axl-GFXp21U

Phineas Gage: A Gruesome But True Story about Brain Science by John Fleischman

In 1848, Phineas Gage was blasting rock near Cavendish, Vermont when a thirteen-pound iron rod was shot through his brain. Miraculously, he survived and became a textbook case in brain science. But he was forever changed by the accident, and what happened inside his brain will tell you a lot about how your brain works and what makes us who we are.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXbAMHzYGJ0

The Only Road by Alexandra Diaz

Inspired by true events, The Only Road is the story of Jaime, a Guatemalan boy who feels that leaving his home and risking everything is his only chance for a better life. It is a story of fear and bravery, love and loss, strangers becoming family, and one boy’s treacherous and life-changing journey.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LSmgOhJ-7Y

Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick

Thirteen-year-old Steven has a totally normal life: he plays drums in the All-Star Jazz band, has a crush on the hottest girl in the school, and is constantly annoyed by his five-year-old brother, Jeffrey. But when Jeffrey is diagnosed with leukemia, Steven's world is turned upside down. He is forced to deal with his brother's illness and his parents' attempts to keep the family in one piece. Salted with humor and peppered with devastating realities, DRUMS, GIRLS, AND DANGEROUS PIE is a heartwarming journey through a year in the life of a family in crisis.


https://youtu.be/ViEIzp2Dg1Y

Booked by Kwame Alexander

In this follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel THE CROSSOVER, soccer, family, love, and friendship, take center stage as twelve-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate Coby, and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read. This electric and heartfelt novel-in-verse by poet Kwame Alexander bends and breaks as it captures all the thrills and setbacks, action and emotion of a World Cup match.


*Also available on Sora


https://youtu.be/y1SaldV6b4o

The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier

Ever since the monster apocalypse hit town, average thirteen year old Jack Sullivan has been living in his tree house, which he's armed to the teeth with catapults and a moat, not to mention video games and an endless supply of Oreos and Mountain Dew scavenged from abandoned stores. But Jack alone is no match for the hordes of Zombies and Winged Wretches and Vine Thingies, and especially not for the eerily intelligent monster known only as Blarg. So Jack builds a team: his dorky best friend, Quint; the reformed middle school bully, Dirk; Jack's loyal pet monster, Rover; and Jack's crush, June. With their help, Jack is going to slay Blarg, achieve the ultimate Feat of Apocalyptic Success, and be average no longer!


*Also available on Sora


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DmdE0-0r4k

Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron

A twelve-year-old girl discovers her father is the keeper of the gateway between our world and The Dark, and when he goes missing she'll need to unlock her own powers and fight a horde of spooky creatures set on starting a war.


*Also available on Sora


https://youtu.be/3IoJ6ff5FLY

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Twelve-year-old Aru Shah has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she'll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from her latest archeological trip.One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru's doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don't believe her claim that the museum's Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it's up to Aru to save them.


*Also available on Sora


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOgjDNWQSbI

Sunny Side Up by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm

Sunny Lewin has been packed off to Florida to live with her grandfather for the summer. At first she thought Florida might be fun -- it is the home of Disney World, after all. But the place where Gramps lives is no amusement park. It’s full of . . . old people. Really old people. Luckily, Sunny isn’t the only kid around. She meets Buzz, a boy who is completely obsessed with comic books, and soon they’re having adventures of their own: facing off against golfball-eating alligators, runaway cats, and mysteriously disappearing neighbors. But the question remains -- why is Sunny down in Florida in the first place? The answer lies in a family secret that won’t be secret to Sunny much longer.


*Also available on Sora


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrkK56fZHKw

The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Ten-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him. So begins a new adventure for Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?


*Also available on Sora


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAmfyTzSyX0

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

Two abandoned Irish siblings, Molly and Kip, travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MP0txNz69jM&list=PL6Dj6wWd8vJCD3rBPwZffrhvVBqYAFVCK

The Truth as Told By Mason Buttle

Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. But that's only half of Mason's problems. Fifteen months ago, Mason’s best friend, Benny, turned up dead in the Buttle family’s orchard.An investigation drags on, and Mason can’t understand why Lieutenant Baird won’t believe his story of that day. Both Mason and his new friend, Calvin, are relentlessly bullied by the other boys in their neighborhood, so they create an underground haven for themselves. When Calvin goes missing, Mason finds himself in trouble again. He’s desperate to figure out what happened to Calvin and, eventually, Benny. But will anyone believe him?



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvtvDYw7HgI&list=PLVY3GsHGY2VvfmN38AiwobepQ0WxxsxQ_&index=4&t=0s

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

Meg Murry, her little brother Charles Wallace, and their mother are having a midnight snack on a dark and stormy night when an unearthly stranger appears at their door. He claims to have been blown off course and goes on to tell them that there is such a thing as a "tesseract", which, if you didn't know, is a wrinkle in time. Meg's father had been experimenting with time travel when he suddenly disappeared. Will Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin outwit the forces of evil as they search through space for their father?

Heat by Mike Lupica

Twelve-year-old Michael Arroyo lives in the shadows of Yankee Stadium, but it might as well be on a different continent since he can't afford to see the inside. He also lives in the shadows of his Bronx neighborhood, hiding from the bill collectors and the officials who would separate him from his 17-year-old brother if they knew the two boys were living on their own. Baseball is Michael's only salvation, along with his dream of playing in the Little League World Series, until a rival accuses Michael of being older than the league limit. With no parents and a birth certificate that is stuck in his native Cuba, the shadows in Michael's life grow darker. But that is when heroes emerge, and for Michael, heroes don't come any bigger than the Yankees.