Cosgrove Middle School 2011
Summer Reading List For Incoming 8th Graders

*Ship Breaker – Paolo Bacigalupi
In America’s Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being broken down for parts, Nailer, a teenage boy, works the light crew, scavenging for copper wiring just to make quota–and hopefully live to see another day. But when, by luck or chance, he discovers an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, Nailer faces the most important decision of his life: Strip the ship for all it’s worth or rescue its lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl who could lead him to a better life. . . .In this powerful novel, award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi delivers a thrilling, fast-paced adventure set in a vivid and raw, uncertain future.

Age 14 – Geert Spillebeen
Among the books for about World War I, few are told from the viewpoint of a child soldier. Based on a true story, this spare, powerful novel, translated from the Dutch and first published in Belgium, focuses on Patrick, a poor Irish kid who is just 13 when war breaks out. He dreams of escaping his dreary future and abusive dad and finding adventure and glory in the army. Tall for his age, he takes on his older brother’s name, and the recruiters knowingly accept him into the service when he claims that he is a 17-year-old named John. After minimal training, he finds himself in the trenches in Flanders, right next to the enemy.

Claudette Colvin – Phillip Hoose
2010 Newbery Award Honor Book “When it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it. You can’t sugarcoat it. You have to take a stand and say, ‘This is not right.’” – Claudette Colvin On March 2, 1955, an impassioned teenager, fed up with the daily injustices of Jim Crow segregation, refused to give her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Instead of being celebrated as Rosa Parks would be just nine months later, fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin found herself shunned by her classmates and dismissed by community leaders. Undaunted, a year later she dared to challenge segregation again as a key plaintiff in Browder v. Gayle, the landmark case that struck down the segregation laws of Montgomery and swept away the legal underpinnings of the Jim Crow South. Based on extensive interviews with Claudette Colvin and many others, Phillip Hoose presents the first in-depth account of an important yet largely unknown civil rights figure, skillfully weaving her dramatic story into the fabric of the historic Montgomery bus boycott and court case that would change the course of American history.

*The Truth About Forever – Sarah Dessen
Macy’s summer stretches before her, carefully planned and outlined. She will spend her days sitting at the library information desk. She will spend her evenings studying for the SATs. Spare time will be used to help her obsessive mother prepare for the big opening of the townhouse section of her luxury development. But Macy’s plans don’t anticipate a surprising and chaotic job with Wish Catering, a motley crew of new friends, or …Wes. Tattooed, artistic, anything-but-expected Wes. He doesn’t fit Macy’s life at all — so why does she feel so comfortable with him? So…happy? What is it about him that makes her let down her guard and finally talk about how much she misses her father, who died before her eyes the year before?

*Keeping The Moon – Sarah Dessen
Fifteen-year-old Colie is spending the summer with her eccentric Aunt Mira while her mother travels. Formerly chubby and still insecure, Colie has built a shell around herself. But her summer with her aunt, her aunt’s tenant Norman, and her friends at the Last Chance Diner her some important lessons about friendship and learning to love yourself.

Rash – Pete Hautman
Set in the year 2070, The ‘USSA’ is now a society where all unhealthy or risky behavior has been outlawed. It’s no longer legal to play football, or to run without wearing extensive padding and a helmet. Alcohol, cigarettes, temper tantrums, hunting, large dogs – all illegal. Three quarters of people over the age of ten are on the drug Levulor, which slows their reflexes, and helps them to keep their tempers in check. But the drug is not truly effective, as 24% of the population is in prison!

The Hunger Games Series– Suzanne Collins
In a not-too-distant future, the United States of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 14 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. Titles include; The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and *Mockingjay.

Laika – Nick Abadzis
Laika was the abandoned puppy destined to become Earth’s first space traveler. This is her journey. Nick Abadzis masterfully blends fiction and fact in the intertwined stories of three compelling lives. Along with Laika, there is Korolev, once a political prisoner, now a driven engineer at the top of the Soviet space program, and Yelena, the lab technician responsible for Laika’s health and life. Laika’s story will speak straight to your heart.

Godless – Pete Hautman
National Book Award Winner. Fed up with his parents’ boring old religion, agnostic-going-on-atheist Jason Bock invents a new god — the town’s water tower. As their religion grows, it takes on a life of its own. While Jason struggles to keep the faith pure, Shin obsesses over writing their bible, and the explosive Henry schemes to make the new faith even more exciting — and dangerous.

Does My Head Look Big In This? – Randa Abdel-Fattah
Australian 11th-grader Amal is smart, funny, outspoken, a good student, and a loyal friend. She is also a devout Muslim who decides to wear the hijab, or head covering, full-time. and everyone has a reaction. Her parents, her teachers, her friends, people on the street. But she stands by her decision to embrace her faith and all that it is, even if it does make her a little different from everyone else. Brilliantly funny and poignant, Randa Abdel-Fattah’s debut novel will strike a chord in all teenage readers, no matter what their beliefs.

Black Duck – Janet Taylor-Lisle
Years afterwards, Ruben Hart tells the story of how, in 1929 Newport, Rhode Island, his family and his best friend’s family were caught up in the violent competition among groups trying to control the local rum-smuggling trade.

Games – Carol Gorman
When fourteen-year-old rivals Boot Quinn and Mick Sullivan fight once too often, the new principal devises the punishment of having to play games together at his office, where they learn which battles are worth fighting.

I am a Taxi – Deborah Ellis
In order to make more money for his family, twelve-year-old Diego, who lives with his imprisoned mother in the San Sebastian Women’s Prison in Cochabamba, Bolivia, leaves his job as an errand boy and begins working as part of an illegal cocaine operation.

Shattering Glass – Gail Giles
Rob, the charismatic leader of the senior class, provokes unexpected violence when he turns the school nerd into Prince Charming.

Airborne Trilogy – Kenneth Oppel
In this exciting adventure, Matt, a young cabin boy aboard an airship, and Kate, a wealthy young girl traveling with her chaperone, team up to search for the existence of mysterious winged creatures reportedly living hundreds of feet above the Earth’s surface. Titles include; Airborne, Skybreaker, and Starclimber.

Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
Aliens have attacked the Earth twice and almost destroyed the human species. Student Ender Wiggen shows promise in the “art of war” training games at the Battle School, which has been established to train a military genius who can defeat the alien hoards. The series continues with Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind.

The Misfits – James Howe
Four students who do not fit in at their small-town middle school decide to create a third party for the student council elections to represent all students who have ever been called names.

The Contender – Robert Lipsyte
Alfred Brooks is a high school dropout, living in a world of gangs, drugs and violence. Feeling powerless and afraid, Alfred gathers the courage to visit Donatelli’s Gym, the neighborhood boxing club, where he hopes to learn to be a champion on the streets and in his own life.

Night Hoops – Carl Deuker
While trying to prove that he is good enough to be on his high school’s varsity basketball team, Nick must deal with his parents’ divorce and the erratic behavior of a troubled classmate.

Double Helix – Nancy Werlin
Eighteen-year-old Eli discovers a shocking secret about his life and his family while working for a Nobel Prize-winning scientist whose specialty is genetic engineering.

Bucking The Sarge – Christopher Paul Curtis
Deeply involved in his cold and manipulative mother’s shady business dealings in Flint, Michigan, fourteen-year-old Luther keeps a sense of humor while running the Happy Neighbor Group Home For Men, all the while dreaming of going to college and becoming a philosopher.

Dunk – David Lubar
Chad, hoping to work out his frustrations and his anger by taking a summer job as a dunk tank Bozo on the boardwalk at the New Jersey shore, comes to a better understanding of himself and the uses of humor as he undergoes training in the fine art of insults

Hope Was Here – Joan Bauer
When 16-year-old Hope, waitress extraordinaire, moves cross-country to Wisconsin with her aunt Addie to run the Welcome Stairways Diner, Hope isn’t sure she’ll fit in. But she quickly finds herself involved in the small town’s mayoral race.

* indicates new addition to the list prepared by:
H. Enis School Library Media Specialist – Cosgrove Middle School,Spencerport NY