Home > Uncategorized > 2012 Grade 7 & 8 Summer Reading List

2012 Grade 7 & 8 Summer Reading List

This list was compiled by Linda Williams for the Connecticut State Department of Education. Many of the titles selected are loosely connected to Connecticut’s statewide summer reading theme, NIGHT. Most listed titles have been selected as exemplary books by at least one of the following: American Library Association (ALA) the International Reading Association (IRA), the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), or the National Science Teachers Assocation (NSTA). (Download a .pdf of the list).


Star Crossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce
In a kingdom dominated by religious intolerance, 16-year-old Digger, a street thief, has always avoided attention, but when she learns that her friends are plotting against the throne she must decide whether to join them or turn them in. (Trailer)

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Bored and lonely after his family moves from Berlin to a place called “Out-With” in 1942, Bruno, the son of a Nazi officer, befriends a boy in striped pajamas who lives behind a wire fence.

The 10 P.M. Question by Kate De Goldi
Twelve-year-old Frankie Parsons has a quirky family, a wonderful best friend, and a head full of worrying questions that he shares with his mother each night, but when free-spirited Sydney arrives at school with questions of her own, Frankie is forced toface the ultimate ten p.m. question.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Nobody Owens is a normal boy, except that he has been raised by ghosts and other denizens of the graveyard. (Trailer)

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
A retelling of the tale of twelve princesses who wear out their shoes dancing every night, and of Galen, a former soldier now working in the king’s gardens, who follows them in hopes of breaking the curse.
ALA, Nutmeg Nominee 2012

Dark Water Rising by Marion Hale
While salvaging and rebuilding in the aftermath of the Galveston flood of 1900, sixteen-year-old Seth proves himself in a way that his previous efforts never could, but he still must face his father man-to-man.

The Midnight Zoo by Sonya Hartnett
Twelve-year-old Andrej, nine-year-old Tomas, and their baby sister Wilma flee their Romany encampment when it is attacked by Germans during World War II, and in an abandoned town they find a zoo where the animals tell their stories, helping the children understand what has become of their lives and what it means to be free.

Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar
While navigating his first year of high school and awaiting the birth of his new baby brother, Scott loses old friends and gains some unlikely new ones as he hones his skills as a writer.

Ruined: A Ghost Story by Paula Morris
Rebecca moves to New Orleans to stay with her aunt in a scary old house while her father is traveling, and while most kids at school treat her poorly, a mysterious girl named Lisette shows her the hidden nooks of the city and reveals shocking truths about Rebecca’s own history.

Keeper of the Night by Kimberly Willis Holt
Thirteen-year-old Isabel, a girl living on the island of Guam, and her family try to cope with the suicide of Isabel’s mother.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Thirteen-year-old Conor awakens one night to find a monster outside his bedroom window, but not the one from the recurring nightmare that began when his mother became ill–an ancient, wild creature that wants him to face truth and loss.

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen
When a school bus accident leaves sixteen-year-old Jessica an amputee, she returns to school with a prosthetic limb and her track team finds a wonderful way to help rekindle her dream of running again.
ALA, Nutmeg Nominee 2013

Red Moon at Sharpsburg by Rosemary Wells
As the Civil War breaks out, India, a young Southern girl, summons her sharp intelligence and the courage she didn’t know she had to survive the war that threatens to destroy her family, her Virginia home, and the only life she has ever known.


Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
Anya, embarrassed by her Russian immigrant family and self-conscious about her body, has given up on fitting in at school but falling down a well and making friends with the ghost there just may be worse.


The Firefly Letters by Margarita Engle
Draws on little-known Cuban history to tell a stirring story in poetry. Based on the diaries and letters of Swedish suffragist Fredrika Bremer, who spent three months in Cuba in 1851, the story focuses on oppressed women, the privileged as well as the enslaved, in three alternating free-verse narratives.


Denied, Detained, Deported by Ann Bausum
An award-winning author examines the history of American immigration–a critical topic in 21st century America–particularly those lesser-known stories of immigrants who were denied entrance into the States or detained for security reasons.

Bat Scientists by Mary Kay Carson
Describes how scientists are learning more about bats, how they fly, communicate, and hunt, and what dangers they are facing and explains how researchers are trying to stop the spread of a disease that is killing bats in North America.

Bodies from the Ash by James M. Deem
Describes the archaeological excavations that began on the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum which had been buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79. (BWI)

Phineas Gage by John Fleischman
The true story of Phineas Gage, whose brain had been pierced by an iron rod in 1848, and who survived and became a case study in how the brain functions. (BWI)

Every Bone Tells a Story by Jill Rubalcaba
Discusses the unearthing of four hominins–Turkana Boy, Lapedo Child, Kennewick Man, and Iceman–and the ways that new technology has helped archaeological specialists to refine their theories and change their view of the past.

Team Moon by Catherine Thimmesh
Culled from direct quotes from the people behind the scenes, NASA transcripts, national archives and NASA photos, the whole story of Apollo 11 and the first moon landing emerges.

Written in Bone by Sally M. Walker
Reports on the work of forensic scientists who are excavating grave sites in James Fort, in Jamestown, Virginia, to understand who lived in the Chesapeake Bay area in the 1600s and 1700s; and uncovers the lives of a teenage boy, a ship’s captain, a colonial officer, an African slave girl, and others. (BWI)


The Trouble Begins at 8 by Sid Fleischman
A narrative account of the childhood and youth of nineteenth-century writer Mark Twain. Includes period engravings, newspaper cartoons, and black-and-white photographs. (BWI)

Maria Mitchell: The Soul of an Astronomer by Beatrice Gormley
A biography of the first female science professor at Vassar College and the first American woman astronomer.

Heroine of the Titanic by Elaine Landau
Biography of Titanic survivor Margaret Brown, first woman to run for the United States Congress, who spent her life helping others.

Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone
Profiles thirteen women who challenged social norms and government policies to prove they could be exceptional astronauts.

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