Middle School Summer Reading List

Instructor: Steve Pahl
Have you looked at your school's summer reading list yet? Most schools suggest a variety of new and older titles for summer reading. Get brief summaries of the books you might find on your summer reading list below.

Summer Reading Overview

While middle schoolers are bound to find plenty of newer books on their reading lists, like The Hunger Games, many schools also recommend or require some well-known classics. Some schools even require incoming 6-8 graders to read one or more specific books. Here are a few popular books recommended by middle schools across the country.

Sixth Graders

  • The Giver: In a fictional utopian society free of pain and suffering, an eleven-year-old boy receives special training that unveils the truth about his world.
  • The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe: A group of children discover the magical world of Narnia and fight to free it from the power of the White Witch.
  • Ninth Ward: A girl and her grandmother struggle to survive Hurricane Katrina - with a little help from the spirit world.
  • Holes: In a juvenile delinquent camp, troubled boys dig holes as a form of punishment and reform, though the holes may serve an entirely different and strange purpose.

Seventh Graders

  • To Kill a Mockingbird: A tragic event engulfs a Southern town in the moral dilemmas of post-slavery America, as narrated by an 8-year-old girl.
  • Animal Farm: The classic satirical tale of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution with animals as the main characters.
  • Uglies: In a future world, all sixteen-year-olds undergo a procedure that makes them 'pretty'. Heroine Tally is forced to uncover the truth behind becoming 'pretty' when her friend disappears.
  • September 11, 2001: Attack on New York City: Multiple true accounts told by people from different walks of life who faced the challenges of September 11.

Eighth Graders

  • Lord of the Flies: A group of boys marooned on an island are pitted against each other in a series of disturbing events.
  • The Scarlet Letter: An adulterous Puritan woman refuses to name the father of her illegitimate child, even in the face of public shaming and the vengeful desires of her husband.
  • Of Mice and Men: Two traveling farm hands in California seek the American dream together, though the actions of one threaten to undo their whole plan.
  • The Rules of Survival: Two siblings deal with the psychological, physical and emotional trauma of child abuse.
  • Trash: A group of poor boys who sell trash for money discover an item that could upend the social order of 'haves' and 'have-nots'.

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