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Summer Reading List 

Combat Summer Learning Loss:  Read a Book!

When summer break starts, the formal learning process ends, and,instead of progressing, students start to slip in their abilities.  Research demonstrates that if children read high interest, ability-appropriate books during the summer their reading skills can grow as much as their peers who attend summer school. Check out the list of Common Core Text Exemplars for grades 6-8, below.


Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain

A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle

The Dark is Rising, by Susan Cooper

Dragonwings, by Laurence Yep

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred D. Taylor

The People Could Fly:  American Black Folktales, "The People Could Fly," by Virginia Hamilton

The Tale of Mandarin Ducks, by Katherine Paterson

Women Hollering Creek and Other Stories, "Eleven," by Sandra Cisneros

Black Ships Before Troy:  The Story of the Iliad, by Rosemary Sutcliff


Sorry, Wrong Number, by Louise Fletcher

The Diary of Anne Frank:  A Play, by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett


"Paul Revere's Ride," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Leaves of Grass, "O Captain!  My Captain!," by Walt Whitman

Alice Through the Looking Glass, "Jabberwocky," by Lewis Carroll

The Mountain Chant:  A Navajo Ceremony, "Twelvth Song of Thunder," Navajo tradition

The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, "The Railway Train," by Emily Dickinson

W.B. Yeats Selected Poetry, "The Song os Wandering Aengus," by William Butler Yeats

The Poetry of Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken," by Robert Frost

Chicago Poems, "Chicago," by Carl Sandburg

The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, "I, too, Sing America," by Langston Hughes

The Book of Questions, "The Book of Questions," by Pablo Neruda

Black Hair, "Oranges," by Gary Soto

Acolytes, "A Poem for My Librarian, Mrs. Long," by Nikki Giovanni

Informational Texts:  English Language Arts

Adams on Adams, "Letter on Thomas Jefferson," by John Adams

Narrative the the Life of Frederick Douglass an American Slave, Written by Himself, by Frederick Douglass

Lend Me Your Ears:  Great Speeches in History, 3rd Edition, "Blood , Toil, Tears and Sweat:  Address to Parliament  on May 13th, 1940," by Winston Churchill

Harriet Tubman:  Conductor on the Underground Railroad, by Ann Petry

Travels with Charley:  In Search of America, by John Steinbeck

Informational Texts:  History/Social Studies

Preamble and First Amendment to the United States Constitution

A Night to Remember, by Walter Lord

A Short Walk through the Pyramids and through the World of Art, by Phillip Isaacson

The Great Fire, by Jim Murphy

Vincent Van Gogh:  Portrait of an Artist, by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan

This Land Was Made for You and Me:  The Life and Songs of Woody Guthrie, by Elizabeth Partridge

Words We Live By:  Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution, by Linda R. Monk

Freedom Walkers:  The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, by Russell Freedman

Informational Texts:  Science, Mathematics, and Technical Subjects

Cathedral:  The Story of Its Construction, by David Macaulay

The Building of Manhattan, by Donald Mack

The Number Devil:  A Mathematical Adventure, by Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Math Trek:  Adventures in the Math Zone, by Ivars Peterson and Nancy Henderson

Geeks:  How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet out of Idaho, by John Katz

American Scholar 72.4 (Autumn  2003), by Henry Petroski

U.X.L Encyclopedia of Science, "Geology," edited by Rob Nagel

Astronomy & Space:  From the Big Bang to the Big Crunch, "Space Probe," edited by Phillis Engelbert

New Book of Popular Science, "Elementary Particles"

California Invasive Plant Council.  Invasive Plant Inventory. 2006-2010.

Other Ideas

The Panama Canal - Roberson

Cameron Townsend - Benge

The Home Ranch - Moody

Farewell to Manzanar - Houston (WWII Japanese internment camp)

Samuel F. B. Morse - Tiner

Robert E. Lee - Roddy

The Slopes of War - Perez (Civil War)

The Red Badge of Courage - Crane (Civil War, Classic)

Uncle Tom's Cabin - Stowe (slavery, Classic)

Two Tickets to Freedom - Freedman (slavery)

Rifles for Watie - Keith (Civil War)

Running 1000 Miles for Freedom - Craft (slavery)