Johanna Perrin & Martha Brown Summer Reading List For Students Entering 8th Grade

The Summer Reading Program
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


Death on the Nile, Agatha Christie
Brilliant detective Hercule Poirot has a vague, uneasy feeling that something is dangerously amiss as he takes a cruise on the Nile.

Don’t Look Behind You, Lois Duncan
Seventeen-year-old April finds her comfortable life changed forever when death threats to her father, a witness in a federal case, force her family to go into hiding under assumed names and flee the pursuit of a hired killer.

Elsewhere, Gabrielle Zevin
After fifteen-year-old Liz Hall is hit by a taxi and killed, she finds herself in a place that is both like and unlike Earth, where she must adjust to her new status and figure out how to “live.”

Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
Aliens have attacked Earth twice and almost destroyed the human species. To make sure humans win the next encounter, the world government has taken to breeding military geniuses and training them in the arts of war.

The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman
Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North.

Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss’s skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister’s place.

Inkheart, Cornelia Caroline Funke
Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can “read” fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service.

The Last Book in the Universe, Rodman Philbrick
In a world where most people are plugged into brain-drain entertainment systems, epileptic teenager Spaz is a rare human being who can see life for what it really is. When he meets an old man called Ryter, he begins to learn about Earth and its past.

The Last Treasure, Janet Anderson
Thirteen-year-old Elllsworth leaves his father to visit the relatives he has never met and eventually joins forces with Jess, his distant cousin, to uncover family secrets and search for their ancestor’s hidden treasure.

Silent Night, Mary Higgins Clark
A tale of a child’s courage in the face of danger on the most harrowing Christmas Eve any mother could imagine.

Historical Fiction

Ashes of Roses, Mary Jane Auch
Sixteen-year-old Margaret Rose Nolan, newly arrived from Ireland, finds work at New York City’s Triangle Shirtwaist Factory shortly before the 1911 fire in which 146 employees died.

The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel—a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.

Bud, Not Buddy, Christopher Paul Curtis
Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father – the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.

Fallen Angels, Walter Dean Myers
Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam.

Fever 1793, Laurie Halse Anderson
In 1793 Philadelphia, sixteen-year-old Matilda Cook, separated from her sick mother, learns about perseverance and self-reliance when she is forced to cope with the horrors of a yellow fever epidemic.

Sacajawea, Joseph Bruchac
Sacajawea, a Shoshoni Indian interpreter, peace-maker, and guide, and William Clark alternate in describing their experiences on the Lewis and Clark Expedition to the Northwest.

The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd
14-year-old Lily Owen, neglected by her father and isolated on their Georgia peach farm, spends hours imagining a blissful infancy when she was loved and nurtured by her mother.

A Single Shard, Linda Sue Park
Tree-ear, a thirteen-year-old orphan in medieval Korea, lives under a bridge in a potter’s village, and longs to learn how to throw the delicate celadon ceramics himself.

The Things a Brother Knows, Dana Reinhardt
Although they have never gotten along well, seventeen-year-old Levi follows his older broher Boaz, an ex-Marine, on a walking trip from Boston to Washington, D.C. in hopes of learning why Boaz is completely withdrawn.

Walking to the Bus-Rider Blues, Harriette Robinet
Twelve-year-old Alfa Merryfield, his older sister, and their grandmother struggle for rent money, food, and their dignity as they participate in the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott in the summer of 1956.


Backwater, Joan Bauer
While compiling a genealogy of her family of successful attorneys, sixteen-year-old history buff Ivy Breedlove treks into the mountain wilderness to interview a reclusive aunt with whom she identifies and who in turn helps her to truly know herself.

Brooklyn Nine, Alan Gratz
Follows the fortunes of a German immigrant family through nine generations, beginning in 1845, as they experience American life and play baseball.

Far North, Will Hobbs
After the destruction of their floatplane, sixteen-year-old Gabe and his Dene friend, Raymond, struggle to survive a winter in the wilderness of the Northwest Territiories.

Girls Got Game, Sue Macy, Ed.
A collection of short stories and poems by and about young women in sports.

Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer
A personal account of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster. A harrowing tale of the perils of high-altitude climbing, a story of bad luck and worse judgment and of heartbreaking heroism.

Ironman, Chris Crutcher
While training for a triathlon, seventeen-year-old Bo attends an anger management group at school, which leads him to examine his relationship with his father.

The Last Mission, Harry Mazer
In 1944, a 15-year-old Jewish boy tells his family he will travel in the West but instead enlists in the United States Air Corps and is subsequently taken prisoner by the Germans.

Last Shot, John Feinstein
After winning a basketball reporting contest, Stevie and Susan are sent to cover the Final Four tournament, where they discover that a talented player is being blackmailed into throwing the final game.

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 also deal with his parents’ divorce and erratic behavior of a troubled classmate who lives across the street.

Touching Spirit Bear, Ben Mikaelsen
After his anger erupts into violence, Cole, in order to avoid prison, agrees to participate in a sentencing alternative based on the Native American Circle Justice, and he is sent to an Alaskan island where an encounter with a huge Spirit Bear changes his life.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, Stephen Covey
The ultimate teenage success guide. If this book doesn’t help you, then you must have a perfect life already.

A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson
Escape into nature with the hilarious Bill Bryson as he hikes the 21,00 mile Appalachian Trail.

Bailey’s Book, Fairport Community
A collection of essays, poems, and artwork to honor Bailey Goodman.

Chew on This: Everything You Don’t Want to Know About Fast Food, Eric Schlosser
If you eat fast food, you should read this! Find out what goes on at your favorite restaurants – and what really lurks between those sesame seed buns.

Eva’s Story, Eva Schloss
A survivor’s story of World War II written by the stepsister of Anne Frank.

Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case, Chris Crowe
The Emmett Till case was not the sole cause of the civil rights movement, but it was the final indignity that caused the flood of outrage to overflow the dam of racial injustice.

The Life and Death of Crazy Horse, Russell Freedman
A biography of the Oglala leader who relentlessly resisted the white man’s attempt to take over Indian lands.

Never Cry Wolf, Farley Mowat
The incredible true story of life among arctic wolves.

The Greatest: Muhammad Ali, Walter Dean Myers
This portrait of one of the world’s greatest boxers chronicles his childhood, his rise as champion, his politics, and his battle against Parkinson’s disease.

Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow, Susan Campbell Bartoletti
A photo-illustrated look at the youth organizations Adolf Hitler founded and used to meet his sociopolitical and military ends; includes profiles of individual Hitler Youth members as well as young people who opposed the Nazis, such as Hans and Sophie Scholl.


Big Mouth & Ugly Girl, Joyce Carol Oates
When sixteen-year-old Matt is falsely accused of threatening to blow up his high school and his friends turn against him, an unlikely classmate comes to his aid.

Black-eyed Suzie, Susan Shaw
Suzie’s stay in a mental hospital helps her tear down the walls of a devastating psychological prison she calls “the box.”

Buddha Boy, Kathe Koja
Justin spends time with Jinsen, the unusual and artistic new student whom the school bullies torment and call Buddha Boy, and ends up making choices that impact Jinsen, himself, and the entire school.

Freak the Mighty, Rodman Philbrick
At the beginning of eighth grade, learning disabled Max and his new friend Freak, whose birth defect has affected his body but not his brilliant mind find that when they combine forces they make a powerful team.

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.

Once Was Lost, Sara Zarr
As the tragedy of a missing girl unfolds in her small town, fifteen-year-old Samara, who feels emotionally abandoned by her parents, begins to question her faith.

Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson
A traumatic event near the end of the summer has a devastating effect on Melinda’s freshman year in high school.

Stargirl, Jerry Spinelli
In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever.

Stuck in Neutral, Terry Trueman
Fourteen-year-old Shawn McDaniel, who suffers from severe cerebral palsy and cannot function, relates his perceptions of his life, his family, and his condition, especially as he believes his father is planning to kill him.

Whirligig, Paul Fleischman
While traveling to each corner of the country to build a whirligig in memory of the girl whose death he caused, sixteen-year-old Brian finds forgiveness and atonement.