Why read?

The more you read, the more you learn, the better you write, the more knowledge you have to share, and the more interesting you become.

We feel strongly that it is important for students to continue to read over the summer months. Research demonstrates that students who read continuously make gains, while those who stop reading for an extended period of time lose some of their skills. Simply stated, use it or lose it.

All students entering the seventh and eighth grades will be required to read at least two books over the course of the ten-week summer vacation. A list of suggested books is provided, but students may choose any book with parental approval.  Upon completing each book, the student must write a five to ten sentence summary of the book and have his or her parent sign the summary. Signed summaries will be turned in to the English teacher on the first day of school in September.

Students will be able to check books out of the Martha Brown Library before the end of the school year.  The books on the list are also available at the Fairport Public Library and local bookstores.

If you have any questions about the summer reading program, please email English Department Lead Teacher Erik Zimmerman at erik_zimmerman@fairport.monroe.edu.

Thank you and happy summer reading!
– The Martha Brown English Department


The Boggart
Susan Cooper

After visiting the castle in Scotland which her family has inherited and returning home to Canada, twelve-year-old Emily finds that she has accidentally brought back with her a boggart, an invisible and mischievous spirit.

The Book Without Words

Having tried for years to unlock the secrets of the magical Book Without Words, old man Thorston dies in failure and the book is passed on to his servant, Sybil, and her magical raven who eagerly begin the process of breaking the code.

Heaven Looks a Lot Like a Mall
Wendy Mass

When high school junior Tessa Reynolds falls into a coma after an accident, she experiences heaven as the mall where her parents work, and she revisits key events from her life, causing her to reevaluate herself and how she wants to live.

Heir Apparent
Vivian Vande Velde

While playing a total immersion virtual reality game of kings and intrigue, Giannine learns that demonstrators have damaged the equipment to which she is connected, and she must win the game quickly or be damaged herself.

Jade Green
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

While living with her uncle in a house haunted by the ghost of a young woman, recently orphaned Judith Sparrow wonders if her one small transgression causes mysterious happenings.    

William Sleator

Not long after learning that he was adopted, eleven-year-old Peter is hit by a car and then given several chances to alter the events that could lead to his death.

The Secret of Platform 13
Eva Ibbotson

The tunnel to a magical island opens every nine years. Is there enough time for an ogre, a hag, and a wizard to rescue the young prince kidnapped nine years earlier?

The Thief Lord
Cornelia Funke

Prosper and Bo, orphans on the run from their cruel aunt and uncle, hide in Venice with a ring of street children led by the mysterious Thief Lord.

Things Not Seen
Andrew Clements

When fifteen-year-old Bobby wakes up and finds himself invisible, he, his parents, and his friend Alicia, try to find out what caused this condition.

The Third Eye
Lois Duncan

For the first time in her life, Karen is part of the popular crowd at school.  Then when one of the neighborhood children disappears, Karen discovers that she can somehow “see” the missing child.

Historical Fiction

Al Capone Does My Shirts
Gennifer Choldenko

A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards’ families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment and life with his autistic sister.

Lily’s Crossing
Patricia Reilly Giff

During a summer spent at Rockaway Beach in 1944, Lily’s friendship with a young Hungarian refugee causes her to see the war and her own world.

Katherine Paterson

Impoverished Vermont farm girl Lyddie Worthen is determined to gain her independence by becoming a factory worker in Lowell, Mass., in the 1840’s

Gary Paulsen

Twelve-year-old Sarny’s brutal life as a slave becomes even more dangerous when a newly arrived slave offers to teach her how to read.

The River Between Us
Richard Peck

During the early days of the Civil War, the Pruitt family takes in two mysterious young ladies who have fled New Orleans to come north to Illinois.

Karen Cushman

Rodzina, a Polish orphan, is sent westward on a 19th century orphan train ride and fears she will live a life of unpaid slavery.    

The True Confessionsof Charlotte Doyle

As the lone young lady on a transatlantic voyage in 1832, Charlotte learns that the captain is murderous, and the crew rebels.

Water Street
Patricia Reilly Giff

In the shadow of the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, eighth-graders and new neighbors Bird Mallon and Thomas Neary make some decisions about what they want to do with their lives.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham
1963, Christopher Paul Curtis

In a book that is often hilarious and sometimes sad, ten-year-old Kenny and his family, the Watsons of Flint, Michigan, are heading for Birmingham, Alabama. Kenny’s older brother has gotten into trouble one too many times and now the family is taking him “back home” for some straightening out.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Elizabeth George Speare

Puritan neighbors regard Kit Tyler with suspicion, fear, and anger, when she befriends an old woman accused of witchcraft.


The Boy Who Saved Baseball
John Ritter

The fate of a small California town rests on the outcome of one baseball game, and Tom Gallagher hopes to lead his team to victory  with the secrets of the now disgraced player, Dante Del Gato.

Gary Paulsen

Finding a skull on a camping trip in the canyons outside El Paso, Texas, Brennan becomes involved with the fate of a young Apache Indian who lived in the 1800s.

Climb or Die
Edward Myers

After a car accident in a snowy Colorado pass seriously injures their parents, athletic fourteen-year-old Danielle and her brainy younger brother, Jake, must scale a mountain to find help.

Robb White

A cutthroat Los Angeles corporation executive hunting bighorn sheep turns his teenage guide, Ben, out in the California desert without water, food, weapons, or clothes.

Football Genius
Tim Green

Troy, a sixth-grader with an unusual gift for predicting football plays before they occur, attempts to use his ability to help his favorite team, the Atlanta Falcons, but he must first prove himself to the coach and players.

Honus & Me
Dan Gutman

Joey, who loves baseball but is not very good at it, finds a valuable 1909 Honus Wagner card and travels back in time to meet Honus.

Jackie’s Wild Seattle
Will Hobbs

Fourteen-year-old Shannon and her little brother, Cody, spend the summer with their uncle, helping at a wildlife rescue center named Jackie’s Wild Seattle.

There’s a Girl in My Hammerlock
Jerry Spinelli

To catch the attention of gorgeous Eric, who is going out for the junior-high wresting team, Maisie decides to try out as well, only to find herself struggling to cope with hostile teammates, negative publicity, and disapproval from the public.

Travel Team
Mike Lupica

After he is cut from his travel basketball team – the very same team that his father once led to national prominence – twelve-year-old Danny Walker forms his own team of cast-offs that might have a shot at victory.

The Wanderer
Sharon Creech

Thirteen-year-old Sophie and her cousin Cody record their transatlantic crossing aboard the Wanderer, a forty-five foot sailboat, which along with uncles and another cousin, is enroute to visit their grandfather in England.


Bailey’s Book
Fairport Community

A collection of essays, poems, and artwork to honor Bailey Goodman.

Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America,
Steve Almond

After confessing to being a lifelong chocoholic, the aptly named Almond traces the history and bittersweet business practices of the companies producing those addictive candy bars.

Good Brother, Bad Brother
James Giblin

Tells the life stories of nineteenth-century actor Edwin Booth and his actor brother John Wilkes Booth, describing the differences between the two men, chronicling John’s assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and examining the impact of John’s crime on the Booth family for decades afterward.

It’s Not About the Bike
Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong’s autobiography details his life growing up in Texas with a single mom, a bike, and a passion for riding. He overcomes many hardships to become a famous world-class athlete only to face the possible loss of it all to cancer. Only through his will to live and fierce determination to race again does he overcome cancer and the psychological ravages of the disease.

Phineas Gage
John Fleischman

The true story of a man who had a thirteen-pound iron rod shot through his brain and lived to tell about it.    

Serving from the Hip: 10 Rules for Living, Loving, and Winning
Venus & Serena Williams

Venus and Serena Williams, sisters and tennis players extraordinaire, give teens advice on everyday living, showing them how to aim high and reach their goals.

Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World: The Extraordinary True Story of Shackleton and the Endurance
Jennifer Armstrong

Describes the events of the 1914 Shackleton Antarctic expedition when, after being trapped in a frozen sea for nine months, their ship, Endurance, was finally crushed, forcing Shackleton and his men to make a very long and perilous journey across ice and stormy seas to reach inhabited land.

Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon
Catherine Thimmesh

Chronicles the Apollo 11 mission, the spaceflight that landed the first man on Earth’s moon on July 20, 1969, emphasizing the contributions and reactions of the thousands of people who made the mission successful.

When Objects Talk: Solving a Crime With Science
Mark P. Friedlander

Explains the tests and procedures forensic specialists use to help solve crimes.

Witch Hunt: Mysteries of the Salem Witch Trials
Marc Aronson

What happened in Salem? Sifting through the facts, myths, half-truths, misinterpretations, and theories the book presents a vivid narrative of one of the mysteries of American history.


Sharon Creech

When her aunt and uncle take her to Switzerland to attend an international school, thirteen-year-old Dinnie discovers an expanding world and her place within it.

The Higher Power of Lucky
Susan Patron

Fearing that her legal guardian plans to abandon her to return to France, ten-year-old aspiring scientist Lucky Trimble determines to run away while also continuing to seek the Higher Power that will bring stability to her life.

Hope Was Here
Joan Bauer

When sixteen-year-old Hope and her aunt, who has raised her, move from Brooklyn to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, to work as a waitress and cook in the Welcome Stairways diner, they become involved with the diner owner’s political campaign to oust the town’s corrupt mayor.

No More Dead Dogs
Gordon Korman

Football hero Wallace Wallace is sentenced to detention and, in spite of himself, becomes involved in the school play and finds romance.

Nothing but the Truth

A 9th grader’s suspension for singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” during homeroom becomes a national news story.

Pictures of Hollis Woods
Patricia Reilly Giff

A troublesome twelve-year-old orphan remembers the only other time she was happy in a foster home, with a family that truly seemed to care about her.

Pieces of Georgia
Jennifer Bryant

In journal entries to her mother, a gifted artist who died suddenly, thirteen-year-old Georgia McCoy reveals how  her life changes after she receives an anonymous gift membership to a nearby art museum.

Edward Bloor

Twelve-year-old Paul, who lives in the shadow of his football hero brother Erik, fights for the right to play soccer despite his near blindness and slowly begins to remember the incident that damaged his eyesight.

Waiting for Normal
Leslie Connor

Twelve-year-old Addie tries to cope with her mother’s erratic behavior and being separated from her beloved stepfather and half-sisters when she and her mother go to live in a small trailer by the railroad tracks on the outskirts of Schenectady, New York.

When Zachary Beaver Came to Town
Kimberly Willis Holt

During the summer, in a small Texas town, 13-year-old Toby and his best friend, Cal, meet the star of a sideshow act, 600-pound Zachary, the fattest boy in the world.