Cosgrove Middle School 2011 – Summer Reading List For Incoming 7th Graders

*Half-Brother – Kenneth Oppel
For thirteen years, Ben Tomlin was an only child. But all that changes when his mother brings home Zan — an eight-day-old chimpanzee. Ben’s father, a renowned behavioral scientist, has uprooted the family to pursue his latest research project: a high-profile experiment to determine whether chimpanzees can acquire advanced language skills. Ben’s parents tell him to treat Zan like a little brother. Ben reluctantly agrees. It isn’t long before Ben is Zan’s favorite, and Ben starts to see Zan as more than just an experiment. Half Brother isn’t just a story about a boy and a chimp. It’s about the way families are made, the way humanity is judged, the way easy choices become hard ones, and how you can’t always do right by the people and animals you love. In the hands of master storyteller Kenneth Oppel, it’s a novel you won’t soon forget.

*Revolver – Marcus Sedgwick
2011 Michael L. Printz honor winner. A loaded gun, stolen gold, and a menacing stranger. A taut frontier survivor story, set at the time of the Alaska gold rush. In an isolated cabin, fourteen-year-old Sig is alone with a corpse: his father, who has fallen through the ice and frozen to death only hours earlier. Then comes a stranger claiming that Sig’s father owes him a share of a horde of stolen gold! Sig’s only protection is a loaded Colt revolver hidden in the cabin’s storeroom. The question is, will Sig use the gun, and why?

*Heart of A Samurai – Margi Preus
2011 Newbery Honor Award Book. In 1841, a Japanese fishing vessel sinks. Its crew is forced to swim to a small, unknown island, where they are rescued by a passing American ship. Japan¿s borders remain closed to all Western nations, so the crew sets off to America, learning English on the way. Manjiro, a fourteen-year-old boy, is curious and eager to learn everything he can about this new culture. Eventually the captain adopts Manjiro and takes him to his home in New England. The boy lives for some time in New England, and then heads to San Francisco to pan for gold. After many years, he makes it back to Japan, only to be imprisoned as an outsider. With his hard-won knowledge of the West, Manjiro is in a unique position to persuade the shogun to ease open the boundaries around Japan; he may even achieve his unlikely dream of becoming a samurai.

I Am A Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President – Josh Lieb
Family Guy meets Election in this hilarious young adult debut! Twelve-year-old Oliver Watson’s got the IQ of a grilled cheese sandwich. Or so everyone in Omaha thinks. In reality, Oliver’s a mad evil genius on his way to world domination, and he’s used his great brain to make himself the third-richest person on earth! Then Oliver’s father—and archnemesis—makes a crack about the upcoming middle school election, and Oliver takes it as a personal challenge. He’ll run, and he’ll win! Turns out, though, that overthrowing foreign dictators is actually way easier than getting kids to like you. . . Can this evil genius win the class presidency and keep his true identity a secret, all in time to impress his dad?

The Underneath – Kathi Appelt
Deep among the Texan bayous, underneath a ramshackle cabin, an abandoned cat seeks refuge. Above lives Gar Face — the scarred, embittered, unredeemable product of a loveless, abusive childhood. Gar Face embodies cruelty and hate; yet his battered, ill-fed old bloodhound, Ranger, welcomes the cat; soon, with newborn kittens Sabine and Puck, they’ve made a loving, loyal family.

Wednesday Wars – Gary D. Schmidt
Meet Holling Hoodhood, a seventh-grader at Camillo Junior High, who must spend Wednesday afternoons with his teacher, Mrs. Baker, while the rest of the class has religious instruction. Mrs. Baker doesn’t like Holling—he’s sure of it. Why else would she make him read the plays of William Shakespeare outside class? But everyone has bigger things to worry about, like Vietnam A bully demanding cream puffs; angry rats; and a baseball hero signing autographs the very same night Holling has to appear in a play in yellow tights!

The Schwa Was Here – Neal Shusterman
They say his clothes blend into the background, no matter where he stands. They say a lot of things about the Schwa, but one thing’s for sure: no one ever noticed him. Except me. My name is Antsy Bonano—and I was the one who realized the Schwa was “functionally invisible” and used him to make some big bucks. But I was also the one who caused him more grief than a friend should. So if you all just shut up and listen, I’ll tell you everything there is to know about the Schwa, from how he got his name, to what really happened with his mom. I’ll spill everything. Unless, of course, “the Schwa Effect” wipes him out of my brain before I’m done . . . .

Antsy Does Time – Neal Shusterman
The wisecracking teenage Brooklynite introduced in Shusterman’s award-winning The Schwa Was Here (2004) takes a second ride on the emotional roller coaster in this equally screwball sequel. When classmate Gunnar announces that he is going to die in six months from a rare disease, Antsy Bonnano prints up a formal contract that signs over a month of his own life to his gloomy buddy. The idea catches on, but the problem is that Gunnar’s not actually sick!

*Septimus Heap Series – Angie Sage
Includes; Magyk, Flyte, Physik, Queste, and Syren.
A wide cast of characters battle the forces of Darke Magyk in a well-realized world of fantasy.

*Gallagher Girls Series – Ally Carter
Includes Titles; I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You’ ‘Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy’, ‘Only The Good Spy Young’, ‘Don’t Judge A Girl By Her Cover’. As a sophomore at a secret spy school and the daughter of a former CIA operative, Cammie is sheltered from “normal teenage life” until she meets a local boy while on a class surveillance mission

Zen and The Art of Faking It – Jordan Sonnenblick
When eighth-grader San Lee moves to a new town and a new school for the umpteenth time, he doesn’t try to make new friends or be a loner or play cool. Instead he sits back and devises a plan to be totally different.

Drums, Girls, & Dangerous Pie – Jordan Sonnenblick
When his younger brother is diagnosed with leukemia, thirteen-year-old Steven tries to deal with his complicated emotions, his school life, and his desire to support his family.

Hattie Big Sky – Kirby Larson
2007 Newbery Honor Book – Sixteen-year-old Hattie Brooks inherits her uncle’s homesteading claim in Montana in 1917 and encounters some unexpected problems related to the war in Europe.

Fairest – Gail Carson Levine
In the Kingdom of Ayortha, Aza, an unattractive woman with a magical voice, learns to balance her appearance with her talent, meanwhile, her singing attracts both Prince Ijori, who cannot resist it, and Queen Ivi, who plots to use it to benefit herself.

Storm Thief – Chris Wooding
With the help of a golem, two teenaged thieves try to survive on the city island of Orokos, where unpredictable probability storms continually change both the landscape and the inhabitants.

Gifted – Beth Evangelista
Arrogant, mentally gifted George Clark has dreaded the eighth-grade class camping trip and its inevitable bullying, but a hurricane and a friend’s loyalty make him realize what is important in life.

Tangerine by Edward Bloor.
Legally blind, Paul Fisher has lived most of his life in the shadow of his football star brother, but things change when they move to Tangerine County, Florida and Paul wins a crew of new friends on the soccer field. He also unravels the horrible truth about his disturbed, menacing older brother.

The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn – Dorothy Hoobler
While attempting to solve the mystery of a stolen jewel, Seikei, a merchant’s son who longs to be a samurai, joins a group of Kabuki actors in eighteenth-century Japan. The Demon in the Teahouse is this book’s sequel.

Travel Team – Mike Lupica
After he is cut from his travel basketball team – the same team that his father once led to national prominence – Danny Walker forms his own team of cast-offs. They have a dream of victory, but do they really have a shot at it?

Pirates! – Celia Rees
In 1722, Nancy Kington joins a pirate crew to escape an arranged marriage to an evil plantation owner. She takes her slave Minerva with her, and together they share a rip-roaring adventure!

The Book of Mordred – Vivian Vande Velde
Under King Arthur’s reign, Kiera–daughter of Lady Alayna–is abducted by knights who leave their barn burning and their only servant dead, and Alayna travels to Camelot to entreat Mordred to help resuce her.

Ruby Electric – Theresa Nelson
Ruby Miller (future colleague of Steven Spielberg) is caught with a can of spray paint in front of a graffiti-covered wall and sentenced to fifty hours of community service with “the seventh-grade version of Dumb and Dumber.” But she has more important things to focus on, such as the truth about her father, whom she’s convinced is a top-secret CIA operative.

Heir Apparent – Vivian Vande Velde
Written by local author and takes place in Rochester! While playing a virtual reality game of kings and intrigue, fourteen-year-old Giannine learns that demonstrators have damaged the equipment to which she is connected, and she must win the game quickly or be damaged herself.

Hard Ball – Will Weaver
A Billy Baggs novel.” A fourteen-year-old Minnesota farm boy has to figure out how to get along with the arch-rival in his love life and on the baseball diamond, and both boys must learn how to deal with the unfair expectations of their fathers.

Sabriel – Garth Nix
Sabriel, daughter of the necromancer Abhorsen, must journey into the mysterious and magical Old Kingdom to rescue her father from the Land of the Dead.

Fever, 1793 – Laurie Halse Anderson
Sixteen-year-old Matilda Cook, her widowed mother, and her grandfather are eking out a living running a coffeehouse in the middle of bustling Philadelphia when they learn that their servant girl has died of yellow fever. Thus begins Matilda’s odyssey of coping and survival as the disease decimates the city, turning the place into a ghost town and Matilda into an orphan.

*Indicates a new addition to the list—List prepared by H.Enis School Library Media Specialist – Cosgrove Middle School Spencerport NY

Cosgrove Middle School: Cool and Breezy: Light Reads For Incoming 7th Graders

Penny From Heaven – Jennifer Holm
Newbery Honor Book 2007 – As she turns twelve during the summer of 1953, Penny gains new insights into herself and her family while also learning a secret about her father’s death.

Rebel – Willo Davis Roberts
When her grandmother decides to ditch assisted living and start a boarding house, fourteen-year-old Amanda Jane Keeling, or Rebel, signs on for the work crew, where she just happens to meet a teenage boy taller than she is and to embroil them both in a mystery.

How I Survived Being A Girl – Wendelin Van Draanan
Twelve-year-old Carolyn, who has always wished she were a boy, begins to see things in a new light when her sister is born.

Bloody Jack – L.A. Meyer
Reduced to begging and thievery in the streets of London, a thirteen-year-old orphan disguises herself as a boy and connives her way onto a British warship set for high sea adventure in search of pirates.

Things Not Seen – Andrew Clements
When fifteen-year-old Bobby wakes up and finds himself invisible, he and his parents and his new blind friend Alicia try to find out what caused his condition and how to reverse it.

The Last Book In The Universe – Rodman Philbrick
After an earthquake has destroyed much of the planet, an epileptic teenager nicknamed Spaz begins the heroic fight to bring human intelligence back to the Earth of a distant future.

Olive’s Ocean – Kevin Henkes
On a summer visit to her grandmother’s cottage by the ocean, twelve-year-old Martha gains perspective on the death of a classmate, on her relationship with her grandmother, on her feelings for an older boy, and on her plans to be a writer.

Series of Unfortunate Events – Lemony Snicket
Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent children. They are charming, and resourceful, and have pleasant facial features. Unfortunately, they are exceptionally unlucky. Feel free to read any of the books within this series 1-13. Then again, you might want to consider something else with a happier or more positive theme. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Artemis Fowl Series – Eoin Colfer
This funny, fast-paced, fairy-filled adventure series features boy genius and arch criminal Artemis Fowl, who can’t resist plotting the perfect crime! Choose from titles: Artemis Fowl, The Arctic Incident, The Eternity Code, The Lost Colony, or The Opal Deception.

Joey Pigza Loses Control – Jack Gantos
Joey finally feels a sense of self-control over his hyperactivity now that he receives daily medication patches. Visiting his divorced father for the summer seems like a good idea until his father, a mirror image of the pre-meds Joey, flushes all of the boy’s patches down the toilet.

Coraline – Neil Gaiman
Looking for excitement, Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar, yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of three others

The Greatest : Muhammad Ali – Walter Dean Myers
An illustrated biography of boxing great Muhammad Ali that addresses his politics, his fight against Parkinson’s disease, and boxing’s dangers.

Middle School Blues – Lou Kassem
Twelve-year-old Cindy begins seventh grade with a certain amount of apprehension, but discovers that her new friends and experiences are thoroughly enjoyable.

*Indicates a new addition to the list—List prepared by H.Enis School Library Media Specialist – Cosgrove Middle School
Spencerport NY