2018 Summer Reading List, Assignments and Rubrics

In the interest of offering choice as well as accounting for differences in interest, reading comprehension levels, and engagement, we are offering a list of books selected with suggested grade appropriateness/comprehension levels but not assigned to each grade. It is the committee's hope that by offering choice, we better fulfill the mission and goal of summer reading - to engage students in reading.

High school students are required to read TWO books, and Middle School ONE book.

Students will complete assignments based on their choice of books that should lead to close reading and analysis, as well as reflection and supporting of their analysis through the use of evidence. We hope that these readings and assignments will also foster an approach for literature throughout the year.

The Summer Reading Committee

High School Reading List

Book 1: Choose 1 of the following. Complete the dialogue journal based on your choice of book.

How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana with Abigail Pesta

Memoir: It tells the story of a girl from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who witnessed a massacre in the Gatumba refugee camp in Burundi and how after moving to America in 2007 as part of a UN program, faced new burdens in New York. Ms. Uwiringiyimana has since gone onto college and has spoken before the United Nations Security Council on Children and Armed Conflict.

Warcross by Marie Lu

Novel: A cyber-thriller where Em Chen, a bounty hunter, finds herself broke and about to get kicked out of her apartment. She decides to hack into a massively popular video game competition and in doing so she becomes an instant success at the very game itself. The game's creator takes a personal interest in her which will most likely place her and the game he created in danger.

Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson

Novel: Jade, a high school student in Portland, Oregon, receives a scholarship to St. Francis, a school with a mostly white population. Although she meets friends there, she feels like everyone is out to help or save her. Jade is given a mentor in a program called Woman to Woman. She's left to wonder, does she even need saving and how can this mentor help me when she can barely help herself?

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin

Narrative nonfiction: This is an account of Daniel Ellsberg, the government analyst turned whistleblower, who risked everything to expose the Pentagon Papers, a collection of documents containing actions the government had taken in relation to the Vietnam War.

High School Reading List

Book 2: Choose 1 of the following. Complete the one-pager based on your choice of book.

Choices for Book 2:

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • House of Furies by Madeleine Roux
  • Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
  • Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson
  • The Apothecary by Maile Meloy
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Middle School Reading List - Complete the assessment based on the following book.

Bomb by Steve Sheinkin

Narrative nonfiction: The story of the atomic bomb: the initial discovery of the splitting of Uranium atoms in a German lab, the race to build a weapon across three countries, and the spies, espionage, and deceit that came along with it all.

Assignments (High School will do both assignments. Middle School will do Assignment #1 only.)

Double Entry Journal and One-Pager (handwritten and hand-drawn in a notebook):

Assignment #1 (for 1st choice of book)Double Entry Journal

Create a double-entry journal, constructed by dividing pages in a notebook in half, whether by folding the page or drawing a neat line lengthwise through the middle of the page. Label the top of each column: left TEXT and right RESPONSE.

In the TEXT column cite passages verbatim from the novel, including quotation marks and page numbers. Here is some help on deciding what text/passages to place in your journal:

  • Details that seem important
  • An epiphany or when you learn something significant about a character
  • A pattern emerges (overlapping images, repetitions of idea, details, etc.)
  • A character says or does You agree or disagree with
  • A seemingly significant quotation
  • Something important or relevant about the writer’s style

In the RESPONSE column reflect upon the passages analyzing them for:

  • Development of theme (What lessons are learned here?)
  • Development of character (How does the character change?)
  • Development of narrative (How does the book develop as a story?)
  • Author’s craft (What beauty is in the language? Must be a specific literary device.)

Each response should be a minimum of 3 sentences long. Number of entries should be a minimum of 25 (20 for middle school).

Assignment #2 (for 2nd choice of book) One-Pager

A One Pager is a single-page response/'poster' that shows your understanding of a text that you have read. This will serve as visual evidence of your unique experience reading your choice of book and individuality in how you present your understanding of it in a visual manner. A one-pager should serve as a way to respond to your reading purposely, imaginatively and honestly. You should use color, do more than summarize the plot of the book and fill up the page with the criteria below.

Your one-pager should include:

  • The title of your choice of book and its author
  • At least one “notable quote” or phrase that jumps out at you, makes you think or wonder.
  • Use different colors and/or writing styles to individualize each “quote” or phrase.
  • Use a visual hand-drawn image,that serves as a visual focus, to illustrate what you have in your mind from reading.
  • Make a personal statement about what you have read--what did it mean to you personally? What is your opinion, final thought, big question or personal connection?
  • Ask a two questions and answer them. Demonstrate a critical approach to your question(s). Questions and answers should evoke your unique reading of your choice of book.
  • A short poem or word cloud of keywords that demonstrates your understanding of the key themes of your choice of book


Assignment #1 Criteria (Graded on a 5 point scale, where 1 is needs improvement, and 5 is exceeds expectations)

  • Each entry is analysis of the quotation (NOT SUMMARY) 20 points
  • Each entry is at least 3 full sentences in length 10 points
  • Quotations are cited correctly 10 points
  • No spelling or grammatical errors (-1 per error) 10 points

Points will be deducted on the TEXT side for failure to document accurately and completely according the model provided. Points will be deducted on the RESPONSE side for superficial and / or incomplete responses.

Assignment #2 Criteria (Graded on a 5 point scale, where 1 is needs improvement, and 5 is exceeds expectations)

    • Title of the book - 5 points
    • Visual -use of color and visual imagery, hand-drawn illustration - 5 points
    • Notable quote and personal statement - 10 points
    • Questions and Answers - 20 points
    • Short poem or word cloud - 10 points