Suggested Summer Reading 2017
Wildwood Middle School
The librarians compiled this list while keeping in mind our middle school students’ broad array of interests and reading levels. The list allows for a wide range of books that appeal to a wide range of students. Some titles may be relevant and appropriate for some students and not for others. Students may need guidance from parents to determine which books from the list might be good matches for them. Highlighted at the top are new titles to the list.
In addition, take a look at the Middle School Desert Island Reading List for suggestions and reviews from students! For more challenging and mature titles feel free to view the Upper School Suggested Summer Reading List for 2017.
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by Don Brown
Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World by Kelly Jensen
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Ink and Ashes by Valynne E. Maetani
List of Cages by Robin Roe
When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he's got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn't easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can't complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian--the foster brother he hasn't seen in five years. Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He's still kind hearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what's really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives.
The Martian (Young Reader's Edition) by Andy Weir
Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur Series by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, Natacha Bustos
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola YoonNatasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story. Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us. The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
Naila's conservative immigrant parents have always said the same thing: She may choose what to study, how to wear her hair, and what to be when she grows up but they will choose her husband. Following their cultural tradition, they will plan an arranged marriage for her. And until then, dating even friendship with a boy is forbidden. When Naila breaks their rule by falling in love with Saif, her parents are livid. Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, they travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots. But Naila's vacation turns into a nightmare when she learns that plans have changed her parents have found her a husband and they want her to marry him, now! Despite her greatest efforts, Naila is aghast to find herself cut off from everything and everyone she once knew. Her only hope of escape is Saif... if he can find her before it's too late.
A Step From Heaven by An Na
When her family moves to California from Korea, Young Ju Park grows from a child to adolescence in her new home, and finds a surprising new voice that's neither Korean nor American but uniquely her own. Try Wait for Me or The Fold also by An Na.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Ten people arrive on private Indian Island off England's southwest coast, having been lured to a mansion by invitations from a mysterious host. Terror mounts as one guest after another is murdered in a classic “whodunit” that is an elaboration of the famous children's rhyme "Ten Little Indians." Try other Agatha Christie titles too!
Booked by Kwame Alexander
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.
The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
Matt wears a black suit every day. No, not because his mom died—although she did, and it sucks. But he wears the suit for his gig at the local funeral home, which pays way better than the Cluck Bucket, and he needs the income since his dad can’t handle the bills (or anything, really) on his own. So while Dad’s snagging bottles of whiskey, Matt’s snagging fifteen bucks an hour. Not bad. But everything else? Not good. Then Matt meets Lovey. Crazy name, and she’s been through more crazy stuff than he can imagine. Yet Lovey never cries. She’s tough. Really tough. Tough in the way Matt wishes he could be. Which is maybe why he’s drawn to her, and definitely why he can’t seem to shake her. Because there’s nothing more hopeful than finding a person who understands your loneliness—and who can maybe even help take it away.
The Brooklyn Nine: A Novel in Nine Innings by Alan M. Gratz
This story follows the fortunes of a German immigrant family through nine generations, beginning in 1845, as they experience American life and play baseball.
Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn't kept her from leading a quietly happy life... until now. Suddenly Willow's world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Christopher John Francis Boone is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. Then, at fifteen, Christopher’s carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbor’s dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing.
Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she's a terrible singer. Instead she's the set designer for the stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crewmembers are having trouble working together? Also try Smile and Sisters by Telgemeier.
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, this is a heartwarming journey through a year in the life of a family in crisis. Also try the sequel Ever After Ever.
Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan
Lost and alone in a forbidden forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica. Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each, in turn, become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. And ultimately, pulled by the invisible thread of destiny, their suspenseful solo stories converge in an orchestral crescendo.
Emma by Jane Austen
As the daughter of the richest, most important man in the small provincial village of Highbury, Emma Woodhouse is firmly convinced that it is her right—perhaps even her duty—to arrange the lives of others.
Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir by Margarita Engle
Author Margarita Engle tells of growing up as a child of two cultures during the Cold War. Margarita is a girl from two worlds. Her heart lies in Cuba, her mother’s tropical island country, a place so lush with vibrant life that it seems like a fairy tale kingdom. But most of the time she lives in Los Angeles, lonely in the noisy city and dreaming of the summers when she can take a plane through the enchanted air to her beloved island. Words and images are her constant companions, friendly and comforting when the children at school are not. Then a revolution breaks out in Cuba. Margarita fears for her far-away family. When the hostility between Cuba and the United States erupts at the Bay of Pigs Invasion, Margarita’s worlds collide in the worst way possible. How can the two countries she loves hate each other so much? And will she ever get to visit her beautiful island again?
Eye of the Crow: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His First Case by Shane Peacock
Living as an outcast amongst his classmates due to his family heritage, young Sherlock finds comfort studying the world around him and reconstructing events. When he decides to snoop around for clues to solve a sensational murder, Sherlock is accused of the crime and must use all his mystery-solving skills to save himself. Also try the other books in the series!
Fantastic Voyage by Issac Asimov
Four men and a woman are reduced to a microscopic fraction of their original size, sent in a miniaturized atomic sub through a dying man's carotid artery to destroy a blood clot in his brain. If they fail, the entire world will be doomed. Also try other books by Issac Asimov!
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm
Eleven-year-old Ellie Cruz's life changes dramatically when her mother brings a teenage boy home one night and she learns it is her estranged grandfather. Melvin is a scientist who has figured out how to reverse aging and is now 13 again. Tensions are high between Melvin and his adult daughter, Ellie's mother, but Ellie feels like she now has the opportunity to really get to know her grandfather. Her interest in science blossoms, and she is eager to help Melvin retrieve the jellyfish specimen he used in his experiments so he can publish his discovery. Fascinated, Ellie learns about the work of Jonas Salk, Robert Oppenheimer, and Marie Curie. But as she learns more, she realizes that scientific discoveries often have unforeseen consequences.
Gone by Michael Grant
In the blink of an eye, everyone disappears. Everyone is gone except for the young. Teens, Middle schoolers, and toddlers remain, but not a single adult. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day. This is the first book of the series.
Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
This brilliant novel by Newbery Medal winner Rebecca Stead explores multiple perspectives on the bonds and limits of friendship. Bridge is an accident survivor who’s wondering why she’s still alive. Emily has new curves and an almost-boyfriend who wants a certain kind of picture. Tabitha sees through everybody’s games—or so she tells the world. The three girls are best friends with one rule: No fighting. Can it get them through seventh grade? This year everything is different for Sherm Russo as he gets to know Bridge Barsamian. What does it mean to fall for a girl—as a friend? On Valentine’s Day, an unnamed high school girl struggles with a betrayal. How long can she hide in plain sight? Each memorable character navigates the challenges of love and change in this captivating novel.
Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus
Fast-paced and full of adventure, this fascinating, true story is based on a real incident that occurred in 1841, and follows a young Japanese boy as he travels from Japan to America and back to Japan.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Join Douglas Adams's hapless hero Arthur Dent as he travels the galaxy with his intrepid pal Ford Prefect, getting into horrible messes and generally wreaking hilarious havoc.
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld and Keith Thompson
On the eve of World War I, the machine-loving Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their big steam-powered Clankers. Inspired by Darwin, the British have fabricated animals into warships. Their mothership is called Leviathan, and she is a whale-dirigible. This is the first book of a trilogy.
Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
As twelve-year-old Marlee starts middle school in 1958 Little Rock, it feels like her whole world is falling apart. Until she meets Liz, the new girl at school. Liz is everything Marlee wishes she could be: she's brave, brash and always knows the right thing to say. But when Liz leaves school without even a good-bye, the rumor is that Liz was caught passing for white. Marlee decides that doesn't matter. She just wants her friend back. And to stay friends, Marlee and Liz are even willing to take on segregation and the dangers their friendship could bring to both their families.
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
Marcus, a.k.a “w1n5t0n,” is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system… But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they’re mercilessly interrogated for days. When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state… He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself.
Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary by Walter Dean Myers
Myers organizes Malcolm X's life into four stages: his childhood; his adolescence; his period of working under Elijah Mohammad; and his life after breaking with the Nation of Islam.
Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
Caitlin wants to get over her brother’s death, but as an eleven-year-old girl with Asperger's, she doesn't know how. When she reads the definition of closure, she realizes that is what she needs. In her search for it, Caitlin discovers that not everything is black and white the world is full of colors messy and beautiful.
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
Jack and Early, outsiders at their boarding school in Maine, form a friendship that sets them on an epic quest across land, sea, and the depths of their own hearts looking for Pi—the young seeker whose tale Early reads in the numbers following 3.14, convinced that he is lost. On their adventure they find pirates, a ferocious black bear, and finally, resolution and connection in the aftermath of a haunting loss.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are. But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona's powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.
Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him. As Doug struggles to be more than the “skinny thug” that his teachers and the police think him to be, he finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer — a fiery young lady. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubon's birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage.
The Merchant of Death (Pendragon Series) by D.J. MacHale
Bobby Pendragon is a seemingly normal fourteen-year-old boy. He has a family, a home, and even Marley, his beloved dog. But there is something very special about Bobby. He is going to save the world. And not just Earth as we know it. Bobby is slowly starting to realize that life in the cosmos isn't quite what he thought it was. And before he can object, he is swept off to an alternate dimension known as Denduron, a territory inhabited by strange beings, ruled by a magical tyrant, and plagued by dangerous revolution.
Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff
Mila has an exceptional talent for reading a room—sensing hidden facts and unspoken emotions from clues that others overlook. So when her father’s best friend, Matthew, goes missing from his upstate New York home, Mila and her beloved father travel from London to find him. She collects information about Matthew from his belongings, from his wife and baby, from the dog he left behind and from the ghosts of his past—slowly piecing together the story everyone else has missed. But just when shes closest to solving the mystery, a shocking betrayal calls into question her trust in the one person she thought she could read best.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them — until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her. His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain. Also try other books by Maggie Stiefvater.
Red Glass by Laura Resau
Sixteen-year-old Sophie has been frail and delicate since her premature birth. However, she discovers her true strength during a journey through Mexico, where the 6-year-old orphan her family hopes to adopt was born, and to Guatemala, where her would-be boyfriend hopes to find his mother and plans to remain.
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
This is a heartwarming graphic novel about friendship and surviving junior high through the power of roller derby. For most of her twelve years, Astrid has done everything with her best friend Nicole. But after Astrid falls in love with roller derby and signs up for derby camp, Nicole decides to go to dance camp instead. And so begins the most difficult summer of Astrid's life as she struggles to keep up with the older girls at camp, hang on to the friend she feels slipping away, and cautiously embark on a new friendship.
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era! This is the first in a series.
The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang
In a loving spoof of classic superhero origin stories, Hank is exposed to toxic radiation, visits a mystic, and is bitten by an animal used for science experiments before simply working hard at becoming a good fighter. It isn’t until he is faced with real tragedy and inherits the wish-granting turtle spirit who lived in his father’s shadow that he becomes a real hero, the Green Turtle. There’s plenty of humor in this lively, entertaining graphic novel and adventure story, and it capitalizes on the dashing bravado of golden-age comics.
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
In America's Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota — and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it's worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life....
Sky Raiders (Five Kingdoms series)
When a Halloween haunted house trip goes bad, Cole Randolph watches his friends get kidnapped by unknown creatures. In an attempt to save his friends, he jumps down a manhole and lands in another dimension, where he is captured and sold off to the Sky Raiders. His new life as a scout is dangerous, but not as much as when his friend Mira reveals that she holds a deadly secret about the High King, but doesn't tell Cole the whole story. When the High King's soldiers show up at the Sky Raiders' skyport demanding the surrender of Mira, Cole's only chance to save her and his friends is to escape. Will he be able to save his friends and get back home? Who is the High King and what are his plans?
Soundless by Richelle Mead
For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom. When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation. But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon. Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever....
A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman
Veda, a classical dance prodigy in India, lives and breathes dance—so when an accident leaves her a below-knee amputee, her dreams are shattered. For a girl who’s grown used to receiving applause for her dance prowess and flexibility, adjusting to a prosthetic leg is painful and humbling. But Veda refuses to let her disability rob her of her dreams, and she starts all over again, taking beginner classes with the youngest dancers. Then Veda meets Govinda, a young man who approaches dance as a spiritual pursuit. As their relationship deepens, Veda reconnects with the world around her, and begins to discover who she is and what dance truly means to her. Padma Venkatraman’s Climbing the Stairs is also recommended.
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
In Tally's world, one's 16th birthday brings an operation that transforms one from a repellent Ugly to an attractive Pretty. Tally wants to turn into a Pretty, but her friend Shay would rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, the authorities give Tally a terrible choice. This is the first book of the series.
Un Lun Dun by China Mieville
In present-day London, strange things start happening around Zanna: dogs stop to stare at her and birds circle her head. Then, she and her friend Deeba find themselves in an alternate reality where obsolete objects such as old typewriters eventually "seep" and strange people and creatures dwell, including sentient "unbrellas." The girls learn that Zanna is the chosen one, the "shwazzy," of UnLondon. However, her first fight with the nefarious Smog isn't what was predicted in the book of prophecies. The girls soon end up back in London with Zanna unable to recall their time away. Alone in the memory, Deeba pieces together the Smog's plot and finds a way back to UnLondon.
The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
An apparently ordinary 16-year-old boy turns out to have magical powers that make him a target of a covert society of wizards, enchanters, and warriors called the Weir. Jack's small-town world in Ohio begins to unravel when he starts to unleash unintentional bursts of wizardry. When he recovers a powerful sword from an ancestor's grave, he begins to realize how different he really is. A battle with a wizard and some magic-laced conflicts at his high school keep the pages turning while the truth about Jack's destiny slowly emerges. The scene switches to Great Britain, where he learns that he must participate in a duel to the death against a mysterious opponent. The first book in a series!
*All descriptions are taken from publishers, Amazon, School Library Journal, Booklist, Powell’s or written by faculty or students.