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Summer Reading List


Summer Reading List 2017-2018


Instructions-This assignment is for ALL students who will be enrolled in grades 9 and 10.

You are to select ONE book from this list. Read this book and keep a journal of characters, plot, conflicts, themes, and your reactions. You will complete a writing activity for a grade in your English class during the first month of that class. You may NOT use your notes during this writing response, so you must know the title, author, basic plot, characters, themes, and conflicts.



Please note: The books on this list were selected from the following recommended reading lists: Florida Media Specialists Association’s “Florida Teens Read Award Nominees”; American Library Association’s “Teens’ Top Ten Nominees,” “Alex Award Winners,” “Outstanding Books for the College Bound,” “Morris Award Winners,” “Printz Award Winners,” “Odyssey Award Winners,” and “Nonfiction Award Winners.”



Arnold, David. Kids of Appetite.

When Victor Benucci’s father dies, Victor receives an urn with his father’s ashes and a list in it. He meets a group of kids who become the Kids of Appetite (KoA) and help Vic go to all the places on his father’s list and spread the ashes. One of the KoA, Madeline (Mad) has a troubled past. Mad’s uncle is murdered and she and Vic are picked up by the police. Kids of Appetite is the story that takes place between the death of Vic’s father and the murder of Mad’s uncle. Read KoA and meet all of the Kids of Appetite.


Black, Jenna. Nightstruck.

Becket, an ambitious but ordinary teenager, was walking her dog one night when she heard a baby cry. Going to help, Becket is tricked into opening a door between worlds, allowing a dark magic into the mortal world. As the magic trickles in, you better be inside or you'll face the changes in the night. Innocent everyday items and buildings grow fangs, tails, and eyes. People become the Nightstruck.


Blake, Kendare. Three Dark Crowns.

On the island of Fennbirn, every generation brings with it a set of female triplets, all equal heirs to the throne, and each with her own magical abilities. Mirabella can spark flames or conjure up storms. Katherine can ingest poison without fear of death. Arsinoe has control over all natural elements like plants and animals. The three sisters must fight to prove who is most worthy of being crowned queen, so who is the strongest and who will perish and at the hands of her own sister?


Bosworth, Jennifer. The Killing Jar.

"I try not to think about it, what I did to that boy." Kenna Marsden has a secret. She's haunted with the burden of knowing she killed a boy and she can't explain how. Now, the boy's dad seeks revenge.


Bracken, Alexandra. Passenger.

Etta's life has suddenly become very confusing. In a whirlwind of events, she finds herself in the 19th century on a boat filled with (legal) pirates, discovers that she had the power to time travel, and finds out that a family called the Ironwoods has her mother and wants her to find an object called the astrolabe. Nicholas, a pirate from the ship she sailed on, comes with her, and together they begin a journey to save Etta's mother.


Braswell, Liz. Once Upon a Dream.

In a battle of past, present, and future, Princess Aurora must face her true past, face her fears, and fight for the future. If she doesn't, she will lose everything at a time when she only just found something to live for—true love. In a journey of self-discovery and a quest for confidence, Liz Braswell once again succeeds in writing an excellent twist to one of the classics—Sleeping Beauty.


Buxbaum, Julie. Tell Me Three Things.

 Jessie’s mom died two years ago, and now her father has eloped with a woman he met online. He is moving Jessie across the country to LA where the new stepmom lives. She also gets a new stuck-up stepbrother who has zero interest in helping Jessie adjust to life in her new rich-kid school. Yay. Things seem to be falling in place for Jessie’s worst year yet when she gets an email from “Somebody/Nobody” offering to help her navigate life in LA/her new school. Is this a joke, or an actual offer of help? S/N seems to be helpful, and Jessie starts to wonder what it would be like to meet this mystery person.


Clare, Cassandra. Lady Midnight.

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman who just wants to *Annotations provided by the Teens’ Top Ten book groups. prove that her parents weren't killed by Sebastian in the Dark War. Now she has the chance to do just that, and get Mark back from the wild hunt.


Dennard, Susan. Truthwitch.

The Witchlands and its three respective Empires are home to many different types of witches. Safi and Iseult, best friends, both have incredible powers. Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible threads of the world that bind people together. Her dark past, however, threatens her new found life as secrets and burdens long since forgotten come back to haunt her. Safi, a Truthwitch, is able to tell a man's truth from his lies. The rarity of her magic has forced her to keep it hidden from the world, but the wrong people have unearthed her secrets and both she and Iseult must use any means, or magic necessary to protect themselves and each other.


Devlin, Call. Tell Me Something Real.

There are three beautiful blond Babcock sisters: gorgeous and foul-mouthed Adrienne, observant and shy Vanessa, and the youngest and best-loved, Marie. Their mother is ill with leukemia and the girls spend a lot of time with her at a Mexican clinic across the border from their San Diego home so she can receive alternative treatments. Vanessa is the middle child, a talented pianist who is trying to hold her family together despite the painful loss that they all know is inevitable. As she and her sisters navigate first loves and college dreams, they are completely unaware that an illness far more insidious than cancer poisons their home. Their world is about to shatter under the weight of an incomprehensible betrayal.


Dinan, Kurt. Don’t Get Caught.

Think of all the pranks you have ever wanted to pull. The pranks in this story will top your wildest dreams. Don't Get Caught is story of a competition between two teams of pranksters. The new kids on the block vs. the anonymous Chaos Club. In this war, cunningness and lots of luck will be the way to victory. Let the pranks begin!


Federle, Tim. The Great American Whatever.

This novel shows us inside the mind of Quinn Roberts, a 17-year-old boy who lost his sister to a car crash six months prior and who strives to write screenplays for real movies. We follow Quinn through his challenges with his grief, his new-found love, his discovery of secrets about his friend and sister, and his reluctance to let go, to stop living in the past and follow his dreams in the future.


Gavriel, Savit. Anna and the Swallow Man.

When her university professor father is sent by the Gestapo to a concentration camp, seven-year-old Anna travels the Polish countryside with the mysterious Swallow Man during World War II. He is a mystery, strange and tall, a skilled deceiver with more than a little magic up his sleeve. And when the soldiers in the streets look at him, they see what he wants them to see. Over the course of their travels together, Anna and the Swallow Man will dodge bombs, tame soldiers, and even, despite their better judgment, make a friend. But in a world gone mad, everything can prove dangerous. Even the Swallow Man.


Glasgow, Kathleen. Girl in Pieces.

Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Davis was a girl who used to cut herself with glass, until one day she tried to kill herself. We follow Charlie on her journey through rehab and beyond. Her story is one of love, heartbreak, and coming of age, about a normal girl and the painstakingly horrible truth of her pain and sorrows.


Gout, Leopoldo. Genius: The Game.

Dive into a new type of teen-genius novel as Gout pulls you into a rollercoaster of a plot. Hilarious and smart, Cai, Tunde, and Rex show readers what the next generation of innovation looks like.


Hamilton, Alwyn. Rebel of the Sands.

Amani Al’Hiza is an expert gunslinger willing to risk everything to escape her desert nation of Miraji. With an uncanny ability to weasel out of trouble, she finds her strength with the aid of a mythical horse and a foreign fugitive. Nonstop action, homage to the Wild West, Hindu lore, Arabian Nights, Navajo mythology, and steampunk combine for a wild ride into the heart of the rebellion of the reigning Sultan.


Hand, Cynthia, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. My Lady Jane.

If you want to read the true story of Lady Jane Grey, cousin to the king in 16th century England, check a history book or Wikipedia. But if you want to read a hilarious, ridiculous, and delightful story of a reluctant bride who becomes a reluctant queen in a world where some people may or may not have the ability to shapeshift into animals, then give this book a try. My Lady Jane is a lighthearted historical comedy, perfect for Anglophiles who don’t take themselves too seriously or fans of The Princess Bride or Monty Python. Caution: contains puns, ferrets, and alternate history.


Kennedy, Katie. Learning to Swear in America.

An asteroid is hurtling toward California. Yuri, a Russian physics genius, has been called to NASA because he is working on a project with antimatter that could win him the Nobel Prize. But Yuri is 17 and can’t make older scientists understand how to save the world. Then he meets Dovie, an edgy teen who takes him on an adventure and shows him the world is worth saving.


Kincaid, S. J. The Diabolic.

Diabolics are human-like creatures genetically engineered to spend their entire life doing whatever it takes to serve the person they are bonded to. They love their masters with every fiber of their being, and are willing to kill and die for them. Nemesis is a Diabolic. And when her master, Sidonia, heir to the galactic senate, is summoned to court by the Emperor to answer for her father’s misdeeds, Nemesis must protect her at all costs. But how far will she have to go in order to protect Sidonia and the empire from crumbling in the hands of the Emperor?


Landers, Melissa. Starflight.

Solara needs to get to the outer realms, and it seems becoming an indentured servant to Doran is the only way for her to get there. When Doran discovers the secret she carefully kept from him, it seems that she won't reach her destination after all. In a bizarre turn of events, Solara becomes the master, and Doran the slave. This adventure may end up being a lot more hectic than it seemed it would be.


Latham, Jennifer. Dreamland Burning.

When seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family's property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal century-old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the past... and the present. Nearly one hundred years earlier, a misguided violent encounter propels seventeen-year-old Will Tillman into a racial firestorm. In a country rife with violence against blacks and a hometown segregated by Jim Crow, Will must make hard choices on a painful journey towards self-discovery and face his inner demons in order to do what's right the night Tulsa burns. Through intricately interwoven alternating perspectives, Jennifer Latham's lightning-paced page-turner brings the Tulsa race riot of 1921 to blazing life and raises important questions about the complex state of US race relations - both yesterday and today.


Martin, Emily. The Year We Fell Apart.

Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan. Now Declan is back from boarding school and has changed quite a bit. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis. And while she wants to make things right with Declan, he wants nothing to do with her. The Year We Fell Apart is an amazing story of love and second, maybe even third, chances.


McIntosh, Will. Burning Midnight.

In a futuristic world, millions of spheres have appeared, and burning them makes people a little better: an inch taller, skilled at math, better-looking. However, there are some spheres that people will do anything to get their hands on. When a sphere is found that no one has ever seen before, Sully and Hunter have to decide what to do with it.


Meyer, Marissa. Heartless.

The infamous line "Off with his head!" made her a terror in Wonderland. But before that she was just a girl with a dream, who fell in love. In this curious prequel inspired by Lewis Carroll's famous Alice in Wonderland, Meyer’s tale of eccentricity, phenomenon, and, ultimately, ruination will keep you on the edge of your seat as you realize how Cath led her life to become the Queen of Hearts.


Mills, Wendy. All We Have Left.

Sixteen-year-old Jesse's brother died on 9/11 in the Towers. She was only two and it seems as though all of the memories of Travis died when he did. Surely, dying isn't the most important thing about his life. Sixteen-year-old Alia is Muslim and her parents just grounded her. She is headed to her dad's office on September 11, 2001 to discuss the situation, even if it means she'll be late to school. The background story is on the news. The real story is Jesse finally learning what happened there and how that impacts her life now.


Nijkamp, Marieke. This is Where It Ends.

Four students, all connected in one way or another, speak from their perspective over a terrifying 54 minutes when, after a school-wide assembly, the auditorium doors won’t open and someone begins shooting.


Niven, Jennifer. Holding Up the Universe.

Libby Strout lost her mother unexpectedly when she was ten years old. She ate her grief away, becoming morbidly obese and a social media spectacle. Jack Masselin is a popular guy, with lots of cool friends, but he’s working hard to hide a secret: he can’t recognize any of them from day to day as the result of a neurological condition that causes facial blindness. Jack and Libby’s worlds intersect after a bullying incident, and their resulting relationship ultimately enriches both their lives in surprising and wonderful ways.


Perez, Ashley Hope. Out of Darkness.

Loosely based on a school explosion that took place in New London, Texas, in 1937, this is the story of two teenagers: Naomi, who is Mexican, and Wash, who is black, and their dealings with race, segregation, love, and the forces that destroy people.


Russo, Meredith. If I Was Your Girl.

When Amanda moves to Lambertville, Kentucky after a string of bullying incidents led her to attempt suicide all she wants is to lead a normal life, make friends, and generally be happy for once. All of this seems possible until she meets Grant, who causes her to let down the walls around her heart. But the problem is that Amanda's past is haunting her. And in her past, she wasn't Amanda, she was Andrew.


See, Lisa. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane.

This thrilling new novel from Lisa See explores the lives of a Chinese woman and the out-of-wedlock child she abandoned who was adopted by an American couple. A powerful story about a family separated by circumstances, culture, and distance, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region of China and its people, and celebrates the bond that connects mothers and daughters.


Shusterman, Neal. Scythe.

Scythe is a science fiction book set in the future where the human population is immortal. The only way to die is to be randomly killed or gleaned by professional reapers known as “scythes.” Citra and Rowan are two teenagers who have been selected to apprentice as scythes. They must learn the art of killing and understand the need. But, in a twist of fate, only one will be chosen to become a scythe and the winner will have to glean the loser.


Tash, Sarvenaz. Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love.

Graham and his best friend, Roxy, are uber geeks. They’ve been best friends since they were eight, bonding over Harry Potter. They’ve joined a lot more fandoms since then, but their true love is for The Chronicles of Althena, The Greatest Comic Ever- the one that inspired them to make their own comics. They’ve never gotten to meet the creator, because he’s a J.D. Salinger-level recluse. But they get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to score tickets, and it will provide the most perfectly epic setting for Graham to confess his true feelings to Roxy…if he can pull it off. If you’ve ever slaved for hours on the perfect cosplay or cried way too much over fictional characters, this book is for you!


Thomas, Kara. The Darkest Corners.

One lie told by two little girls who were almost certain that their neighbor had to be the Ohio River Monster. That’s all it took to convict Wyatt Stokes. Tessa and Callie have gone their separate ways and never talked about the trial. Now Tessa has to return to her hometown and another body is found that bears the mark of the serial killer they thought was behind bars. What if they were wrong? What if the killer is still at large? What if things aren’t always what they seem? Don’t read this one before bed.


Welch, Jenna Evans. Love & Gelato.

After the death of her mother, Lina goes to visit Italy at her mother’s wish, as she’d lived in Italy for part of her life and loved it immensely. While in Italy, Lina discovers some well-kept secrets about her mother's life there and Lina's mysteriously absent father.


West, Kasie. P.S. I Like You.

Music has the power to bring people together. When Lily writes a lyric of her favorite indie band on her desk, someone else responds. Lily and her mysterious friend seem to get closer and closer through their anonymous notes. What happens when she finds the true author of the notes?


Whaley, John Corey. Highly Illogical Behavior.

Do you sometimes wish that you could stay at home and never, ever, go out? For Solomon, the only way to control his agoraphobia is to stay inside and avoid any contact with “the outside.” But what happens if the outside comes in? Solomon’s carefully developed rational behavior will be put to a test when a very determined “outsider” enters his world and brings a friend and a hidden agenda. This book portrays both the difficulties and the life-changing effects of fighting for relationships that are worthy.


Whitehead, Colson. The Underground Railroad: a Novel.

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood--where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned--Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. In Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor--engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil.


Williamson, Lisa. The Art of Being Normal.

Since birth, David has felt different, and only his two best friends know the real truth: he wants to be a girl. After meeting and befriending Leo, a fellow member of the trans community, David prepares to come out to his family and transition into life as a girl, while Leo wrestles with figuring out how to deal with people who try to define him through his history.


Yoon, Nicola. The Sun is Also a Star.

Natasha and Daniel are polar opposites - Tasha believes in reason, science, and things that can be proven. Daniel is a poet at heart and believes in Fate, the "meant to be," and true love. When circumstances beyond their control force them together, they have exactly one day - one day to stop Tasha's family from being deported, one day for Daniel to realize that doing what's expected of you doesn't mean you should do it. And above all else, one day to fall in love.


Zentner, Jeff. The Serpent King.

For fans of John Green and Stephen Chbosky, Jeff Zentner’s debut novel, The Serpent King, provides a close look at the life of three friends in rural Tennessee. Dill, Travis, and Lydia are all very different, but bound together by the strength of their friendship. Dill’s family scandal is on display for the entire town when his father ends up in jail. His friends are his lifeline, but graduation is coming; will it set them free from the constricts of small-town life or cause their close-knit friendship to splinter? This beautiful, funny, yet sometimes heartbreaking book endears the characters to the heart of every reader and provides a realistic glimpse into what it truly means to be a friend.




Bhattacharjee, Yudhijit. The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell: A Dyslexic Traitor, an Unbreakable Code, and FBI’s Hunt for America’s Stolen Secrets.

The thrilling, true-life account of the FBI's hunt for the ingenious traitor Brian Regan--known as the Spy Who Couldn't Spell. Before Edward Snowden's infamous data breach, the largest theft of government secrets was committed by an ingenious traitor whose intricate espionage scheme and complex system of coded messages were made even more baffling by his dyslexia.


Blumenthal, Karen. Hillary Rodham Clinton : a woman living history. 

Blumenthal’s highly readable biography is an in-depth portrait that gives teens a real feel for the woman behind the politics. Though touching on familiar milestones and repeating oft-told anecdotes (Mrs. Rodham gives young Hillary permission to sock a bully; Hillary introducing herself to Bill after exchanging many glances), the smooth narrative produces an understanding of the influences that shaped Clinton and the reasons for the decisions she has made. 


Conkling, Winifred. Radioactive! How Irene Curie & Lise Meitner Revolutionized Science and Changed the World.

Describes how the scientists used their knowledge to make a difference in the world. Describes specifically how Marie Curie used her influence to help make x-rays available to soldiers, and how Irene contributed to this effort.


Davis, Kenneth. In the shadow of liberty : the hidden history of slavery, four presidents, and five black lives.

Through the powerful stories of five enslaved people who were "owned" by four of our greatest presidents, this book helps set the record straight about the role slavery played in the founding of America. From Billy Lee, valet to George Washington, to Alfred Jackson, faithful servant of Andrew Jackson, these dramatic narratives explore our country's great tragedy—that a nation "conceived in liberty" was also born in shackles. These stories help us know the real people who were essential to the birth of this nation but traditionally have been left out of the history books. Their stories are true—and they should be heard.


Freedman, Russell. We Will Not Be Silent.

An inspiring recounting of the brief and tragic lives of the Scholl children and their influence on the world's perception of Nazi Germany. This true story highlights everything from their early lives as members of Hitler youth programs, to their adulthood careers as Anti-Hitler activists.


Friedman, Matti. Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story.

It was just one small hilltop in a small, unnamed war in the late 1990s, but it would send out ripples that are still felt worldwide today. The hill, in Lebanon, was called the Pumpkin; flowers was the military code word for "casualties." Award-winning writer Matti Friedman re-creates the harrowing experience of a band of young Israeli soldiers charged with holding this remote outpost, a task that would change them forever, wound the country in ways large and small, and foreshadow the unwinnable conflicts the United States would soon confront in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere.


Grann, David. Killers of the Flower Moon: the Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI.

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. As the death toll climbed to more than twenty-four, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations and the bureau badly bungled the case. In desperation, the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. 


Guerrero, Diane. In the Country We Love: My Family Divided.

Diane Guerrero, television actress from the hits "Orange is the New Black" and "Jane the Virgin," recalls the day her parents were detained and deported when she was 14, and how she was able to remain in the country, finish her education, and build a successful acting career.


Khalaf, Farida and Andrea C. Hoffmann. The Girl Who Escaped Isis.

In unprecedented detail, Farida describes her world as it was—at nineteen, she was living at home with her brothers and parents, finishing her schooling and looking forward to becoming a math teacher—and the hell it became. Held in a slave market in Syria and sold into the homes of several ISIS soldiers, she stubbornly attempts resistance at every turn. Farida is ultimately brought to an ISIS training camp in the middle of the desert, where she plots an against-all-odds escape for herself and five other girls. A riveting firsthand account of life in captivity and a courageous flight to freedom, this astonishing memoir is also Farida's way of bearing witness, and of ensuring that ISIS does not succeed in crushing her spirit. Her bravery, resilience, and hope in the face of unimaginable violence will fascinate and inspire.


Lewis, John and Nate Powell. March, Book One.

Presents in graphic novel format events from the life of Georgia congressman John Lewis, focusing on his youth in rural Alabama, his meeting with Martin Luther King Jr., and the birth of the Nashville Student Movement.


Osborne, Linda Barrett. This Land is Our Land: A History of American Immigration.

This book explores the way government policy and popular responses to immigrant groups evolved throughout U.S. history, particularly between 1800 and 1965. The book concludes with a summary of events up to contemporary times, as immigration again becomes a hot-button issue.


Roach, Mary. Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War.

Roach avidly and impishly infiltrates the world of military science to discover what measures are taken to protect combatants against perils ranging from bomb blasts to food poisoning to sleep deprivation. Roach’s unerring instinct for astounding stories and her delight in sketching quick and vivid portraits enliven every page as she delves into military history, presents eye-popping facts, conducts interviews under chaotic circumstances, and offers herself up as a participant in medical studies involving the military’s attempts to minimize the threats of noise, heat, germs, and panic.


Turner, Pamela S. Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yishune.

Minamoto Yishune, born into a powerful samurai family, barely survives his violent childhood when his family is torn apart by a war of his father’s making. The new ruling family sends him away to a monastery to reduce Minamoto as a possible threat to their power. Instead, Minamoto becomes one of the most daring and heroic samurais in Japanese history, executing unbelievable feats of bravery. This is the stuff of legends.


Ward, Jesmyn. The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race.

Envisioned as a response to The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin's groundbreaking 1963 essay collection, these contemporary writers reflect on the past, present, and future of race in America. We've made significant progress in the fifty-odd years since Baldwin's essays were published, but America is a long and painful distance away from a "post-racial society"—a truth we must confront if we are to continue to work towards change. Baldwin's "fire next time" is now upon us, and it needs to be talked about; The Fire This Time "seeks to place the shock of our own times into historical context and, most importantly, to move these times forward.