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2016 Middle School Summer Reading List  

Last Updated: May 13, 2016 URL: http://sfusd.libguides.com/content.php?pid=698426 Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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6-8 Fiction

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Booked - Kwame Alexander
Call Number: TEEN F MASS
ISBN: 9780544570986
Publication Date: 2016-04-05
Like lightning/you strike/fast and free/legs zoom/down field/eyes fixed/on the checkered ball/on the goal/ten yards to go/can't nobody stop you/ can't nobody cop you... 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!

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Moving Target - Christina Diaz Gonzalez
Call Number: TEEN F STRA
ISBN: 9780545773188
Publication Date: 2015-08-25
In this exciting and action-packed adventure by an award-winning author, a young girl discovers her secret ancient bloodline. The fate of her family, and the world, may rest in her hands . . . Cassie Arroyo, an American studying in Rome, has her world ripped apart when someone tries to kill her father, an art history professor at an Italian university. Is she their next target? Cassie sets out to uncover what is happening, only to learn that she is a member of an ancient bloodline that enables her to use the Spear of Destiny - a legendary object that can alter the future. Now running from a secret organization intent on killing those from her bloodline, Cassie must - with the help of some friends - decipher the clues that will lead her to the Spear. Christina Diaz Gonzalez has created a fast-paced thrill-ride of a book, rich with riddles and myth, that young readers will not want to put down.

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Full Cicada Moon - Marilyn Hilton
Call Number: F WALK
ISBN: 9780525428756
Publication Date: 2015-09-08
Inside Out and Back Again meets One Crazy Summer and Brown Girl Dreaming in this novel-in-verse about fitting in and standing up for what's right It's 1969, and the Apollo 11 mission is getting ready to go to the moon. But for half-black, half-Japanese Mimi, moving to a predominantly white Vermont town is enough to make her feel alien. Suddenly, Mimi's appearance is all anyone notices. She struggles to fit in with her classmates, even as she fights for her right to stand out by entering science competitions and joining Shop Class instead of Home Ec. And even though teachers and neighbors balk at her mixed-race family and her refusals to conform, Mimi's dreams of becoming an astronaut never fade--no matter how many times she's told no. This historical middle-grade novel is told in poems from Mimi's perspective over the course of one year in her new town, and shows readers that positive change can start with just one person speaking up.

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Monster - Guy A. Sims; Dawud Anyabwile (Illustrator); Walter Dean Myers
Call Number: jF KLAG
ISBN: 9780062274991
Publication Date: 2015-10-20
A stunning black-and-white graphic novel adaptation of Walter Dean Myers's Michael L. Printz Award winner and New York Times bestseller Monster, adapted by Guy Sims and illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile Monster is a multi-award-winning, provocative coming-of-age story about Steve Harmon, a teenager awaiting trial for a murder and robbery. As Steve acclimates to juvenile detention and goes to trial, he envisions the ordeal as a movie. Monster was the first-ever Michael L. Printz Award recipient, an ALA Best Book, a Coretta Scott King Honor selection, and a National Book Award finalist. Now Monster has been adapted into a graphic novel by Guy Sims, with stunning black-and-white art from Dawud Anyabwile, Guy's brother. Fans of Monster and of the work of Walter Dean Myers—and even kids who think they don't like to read—will devour this graphic adaptation.

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Blackbird Fly - Erin Entrada Kelly; Betsy Peterschmidt (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062238610
Publication Date: 2015-03-24
Future rock star or friendless misfit? That's no choice at all. In this acclaimed novel, twelve-year-old Apple grapples with being different; with friends and backstabbers; and with following her dreams. Publishers Weekly called Blackbird Fly "a true triumph," and the Los Angeles Times Book Review said, "Apple soars like the eponymous blackbird of her favorite Beatles song." Apple has always felt a little different from her classmates. She and her mother moved to Louisiana from the Philippines when she was little, and her mother still cooks Filipino foods and chastises Apple for becoming "too American." When Apple's friends turn on her and everything about her life starts to seem weird and embarrassing, Apple turns to music. If she can just save enough to buy a guitar and learn to play, maybe she can change herself. It might be the music that saves her . . . or it might be her two new friends, who show her how special she really is. Erin Entrada Kelly deftly brings Apple's conflicted emotions to the page in her debut novel about family, friendship, popularity, and going your own way. "A must-read for those kids cringing at their own identities."-Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books.

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Fish in a Tree - Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Call Number: jF MOSE
ISBN: 9780399162596
Publication Date: 2015-02-05
A New York Times Bestseller! The author of the beloved One for the Murphys gives readers an emotionally-charged, uplifting novel that will speak to anyone who's ever thought there was something wrong with them because they didn't fit in.   "Everybody is smart in different ways. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid."   Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions.  She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there's a lot more to her--and to everyone--than a label, and that great minds don't always think alike.

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In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse - Joseph Marshall; James Mark Yellowhawk (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781419707858
Publication Date: 2015-11-10
Jimmy McClean is a Lakota boy--though you wouldn't guess it by his name: his father is part white and part Lakota, and his mother is Lakota. When he embarks on a journey with his grandfather, Nyles High Eagle, he learns more and more about his Lakota heritage--in particular, the story of Crazy Horse, one of the most important figures in Lakota and American history. Drawing references and inspiration from the oral stories of the Lakota tradition, celebrated author Joseph Marshall III juxtaposes the contemporary story of Jimmy with an insider's perspective on the life of Tasunke Witko, better known as Crazy Horse (c. 1840-1877). The book follows the heroic deeds of the Lakota leader who took up arms against the US federal government to fight against encroachments on the territories and way of life of the Lakota people, including leading a war party to victory at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Along with Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse was the last of the Lakota to surrender his people to the US army. Through his grandfather's tales about the famous warrior, Jimmy learns more about his Lakota heritage and, ultimately, himself.

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The Great Greene Heist - Varian Johnson
Call Number: jF STEA
ISBN: 9780545525534
Publication Date: 2015-04-28
Saving the school -- one con at a time. (And in paperback!) "A political heist page-turner set in middle school? Is that even possible? Varian Johnson shows us how it's done." - Gordon Korman, author of SWINDLE "Do yourself a favor and start reading immediately." - Rebecca Stead, author of WHEN YOU REACH ME Jackson Greene swears he's given up scheming. Then school bully Keith Sinclair announces he's running for Student Council president, against Jackson's former friend Gaby de la Cruz. Gaby wants Jackson to stay out of it -- but he knows Keith has "connections" to the principal, which could win him the presidency no matter the vote count. So Jackson assembles a crack team: Hashemi Larijani, tech genius. Victor Cho, bankroll. Megan Feldman, science goddess. Charlie de la Cruz, reporter. Together they devise a plan that will take down Keith, win Gaby's respect, and make sure the election is done right. If they can pull it off, it will be remembered as the school's greatest con ever -- one worthy of the name THE GREAT GREENE HEIST.

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The Way Home Looks Now - Wendy Wan-Long Shang
ISBN: 9780545609562
Publication Date: 2015-04-28
From the award-winning author of THE GREAT WALL OF LUCY WU comes a beautifully written and poignant story of family and loss, healing and friendship, and the great American pastime, baseball. Twelve-year-old Peter Lee and his family are baseball lovers, who bond over back lot games and talk of the Pittsburgh Pirates. But when tragedy strikes, the family flies apart and baseball no longer seems to matter. Is that true? Peter wonders if just maybe the game they love can pull them together and bring them back, safe at home.

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Counting by 7s - Holly Goldberg Sloan
ISBN: 9780142422861
Publication Date: 2014-09-16
In the tradition of Out of My Mind, Wonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family. 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.    * "Willow's story is one of renewal, and her journey of rebuilding the ties that unite people as a family will stay in readers' hearts long after the last page."--School Library Journal starred review * "A graceful, meaningful tale featuring a cast of charming, well-rounded characters who learn sweet--but never cloying--lessons about resourcefulness, community, and true resilience in the face of loss."--Booklist starred review * "What sets this novel apart from the average orphan-finds-a-home book is its lack of sentimentality, its truly multicultural cast (Willow describes herself as a "person of color"; Mai and Quang-ha are of mixed Vietnamese, African American, and Mexican ancestry), and its tone. . . . Poignant."--The Horn Book starred review "In achingly beautiful prose, Holly Goldberg Sloan has written a delightful tale of transformation that's a celebration of life in all its wondrous, hilarious and confounding glory. Counting by 7s is a triumph."--Maria Semple, author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette

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Roller Girl - Victoria Jamieson
ISBN: 9780525429678
Publication Date: 2015-03-10
The Newbery Honor Award Winner and New York Times bestseller Roller Girl is a heartwarming graphic novel about friendship and surviving junior high through the power of roller derby--perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier's Smile!  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. As the end of summer nears and her first roller derby bout (and junior high!) draws closer, Astrid realizes that maybe she is strong enough to handle the bout, a lost friendship, and middle school... in short, strong enough to be a roller girl. In this graphic novel debut that earned a Newbery Honor and five starred reviews, real-life derby girl Victoria Jamieson has created an inspiring coming-of-age story about friendship, perseverence, and girl power! From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Baba Yaga's Assistant - Marika McCoola
ISBN: 9780763669614
Publication Date: 2015-08-04
Russian folklore icon Baba Yaga mentors a lonely teen in a wry graphic novel that balances gleefully between the modern and the timeless. Most children think twice before braving a haunted wood filled with terrifying beasties to match wits with a witch, but not Masha. Her beloved grandma taught her many things: that stories are useful, that magic is fickle, that nothing is too difficult or too dirty to clean. The fearsome witch of folklore needs an assistant, and Masha needs an adventure. She may be clever enough to enter Baba Yaga’s house-on-chicken-legs, but within its walls, deceit is the rule. To earn her place, Masha must pass a series of tests, outfox a territorial bear, and make dinner for her host. No easy task, with children on the menu! Spooky and poignant, Marika McCoola’s stunning debut—with richly layered art by acclaimed graphic artist Emily Carroll—is a storytelling feat and a visual feast.

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A Year Without Mom - Dasha Tolstikova
ISBN: 9781554986927
Publication Date: 2015-10-06
A Year Without Mom follows 12-year-old Dasha through a year full of turmoil after her mother leaves for America. It is the early 1990s in Moscow, and political change is in the air. But Dasha is more worried about her own challenges as she negotiates family, friendships and school without her mother. Just as she begins to find her own feet, she gets word that she is to join her mother in America -- a place that seems impossibly far from everything and everyone she loves. This gorgeous and subtly illustrated graphic novel signals the emergence of Dasha Tolstikova as a major new talent.

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Foodprints - Paula Ayer
ISBN: 9781554517190
Publication Date: 2015-04-01
An indispensible guide for savvy teens to sort food myths from reality. The everyday choices we make when it comes to food don’t just have an effect on us--they also affect other people and the planet. Foodprints enables readers to do more than sort through the numerous messages they hear and read about food--they also get the big picture about food production, marketing, and its role in society. Readers will discover: * How our food system evolved from hunter gatherers to on-line ordering * How mega farms and factories came to produce the bulk of our current food supply * How to work through confusing nutrition advice like good and bad carbs, as well as trendy superfoods such as kale, and fad diets * The role of science in the modern food system, from improving safety and convenience to GMOs and artificial flavors * Stories about youth who are working to shape the future of food in positive ways, such as guerilla gardening and media activism. Select photographs and amusing artwork that pops on the page complement this lively exploration which decodes the surprisingly complex subject of one of our most basic needs--the food we eat.

 

6-8 Nonfiction

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The Borden Murders - Sarah Elizabeth Miller
Call Number: j331.3109 BURG
ISBN: 9780553498080
Publication Date: 2016-01-12
Here's middle-grade nonfiction that reads like a thriller. With murder, court battles, and sensational newspaper headlines, the story of Lizzie Borden is compulsively readable and perfect for the Common Core.   Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.   In a compelling, linear narrative, Miller takes readers along as she investigates a brutal crime: the August 4, 1892, murders of wealthy and prominent Andrew and Abby Borden. The accused? Mild-mannered and highly respected Lizzie Borden, daughter of Andrew and stepdaughter of Abby. Most of what is known about Lizzie's arrest and subsequent trial (and acquittal) comes from sensationalized newspaper reports; as Miller sorts fact from fiction, and as a legal battle gets under way, a gripping portrait of a woman and a town emerges.   With inserts featuring period photos and newspaper clippings--and, yes, images from the murder scene--readers will devour this nonfiction book that reads like fiction. "Sure to be a hit with true crime fans everywhere." --School Library Journal, Starred

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The Boys in the Boat - Daniel James Brown
Call Number: j363.3495 RUSC
ISBN: 9780451475923
Publication Date: 2015-09-08
The #1 New York Times bestseller about the Greatest Generation freshly adapted for the next generation.   For readers of Unbroken, out of the depths of the Great Depression comes the astonishing tale of nine working-class boys from the American West who at the 1936 Olympics showed the world what true grit really meant. With rowers who were the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington's eight-oar crew was never expected to defeat the elite East Coast teams, yet they did, going on to shock the world by challenging the German boat rowing for Adolf Hitler.   At the center of the tale is Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, whose personal quest captures the spirit of his generation--the generation that would prove in the coming years that the Nazis could not prevail over American determination and optimism.   This deeply emotional yet easily accessible young readers adaptation of the award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller features never-before-seen photographs, highly visual back matter, and an exclusive new introduction.

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Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales - Nathan Hale
Call Number: j664.109 ARON
ISBN: 9781419708084
Publication Date: 2014-05-13
World War I set the tone for the 20th century and introduced a new type of warfare: global, mechanical, and brutal. Nathan Hale has gathered some of the most fascinating true-life tales from the war and given them his inimitable Hazardous Tales twist. Easy to understand, funny, informative, and lively, this series is the best way to be introduced to some of the most well-known battles (and little-known secrets) of the infamous war. Praise for Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales "Students bored to death by textbook descriptions of WWI battle maneuvers should be engaged by this entertaining, educational glimpse at world history." --Booklist "A mixture of textbook and slapstick, this essential read makes history come alive in a way that is relevant to modern-day life and kids." --School Library Journal nbsp;

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Drowned City - Don Brown
Call Number: j940.3 HALE
ISBN: 9780544157774
Publication Date: 2015-08-04
Kirkus' Best of 2015 list School Library Journal Best of 2015 Publishers Weekly's Best of 2015 list Horn Book Fanfare Book Booklist Editor's Choice On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina's monstrous winds and surging water overwhelmed the protective levees around low-lying New Orleans, Louisiana. Eighty percent of the city flooded, in some places under twenty feet of water. Property damages across the Gulf Coast topped $100 billion. One thousand eight hundred and thirty-three people lost their lives. The riveting tale of this historic storm and the drowning of an American city is one of selflessness, heroism, and courage--andalso of incompetence, racism, and criminality.         Don Brown's kinetic art and as-it-happens narrative capture both the tragedy and triumph of one of the worst natural disasters in American history. A portion of the proceeds from this book has been donated to Habitat for Humanity New Orleans.

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I Am Malala - Malala Yousafzai; Christina Lamb (As told to)
ISBN: 9780316322423
Publication Date: 2015-06-02
A MEMOIR BY THE YOUNGEST RECIPIENT OF THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE "I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday." When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.

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Brown Girl Dreaming - Jacqueline Woodson
Call Number: jB WOOD
ISBN: 0399252517
Publication Date: 2014-08-28
National Book Award Winner Jacqueline Woodson, one of today's finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse. Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson's eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become. Praise for Jacqueline Woodson: Ms. Woodson writes with a sure understanding of the thoughts of young people, offering a poetic, eloquent narrative that is not simply a story . . . but a mature exploration of grown-up issues and self-discovery.The New York Times Book Review

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