Suffern Middle School Summer Reading
Students entering SIXTH and SEVENTH are asked to read any two books of their choosing. This list highlights some of the favorite books read by students in the Suffern Middle School, however, students are not required to read books from this list. Please check the "Incoming 6th Grade Resources" or "Incoming 7th Grade Resources" for more detailed information about what is expected.
Students entering EIGHTH grade are being asked to read two books, but should reference the "Incoming 8th Grade Resources" for specific book selections and activity requirements.
PARENTS, please note: Because this list serves our entire building, please use your discretion as to which books best fit your child's development and maturity level.
Action and Adventure
Stormbreaker (or any in the Alex Rider series) by Anthony Horowitz Lexile: 670
Alex Rider is a fourteen year old secret agent with serious crimes to solve around the world.
The Angel Experiment (or any in the Maximum Ride series) by James Patterson Lexile: 700
A group of genetically enhanced kids who can fly and have other unique talents are on the run from part-human, part-wolf predators called Erasers.
Other books in this series include: School's Out Forever, Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, The Final Warning, Max: A Maximum Ride Novel, Fang: A Maximum Ride Novel, Angel: A Maximum Ride Novel, and Nevermore: The Final Maximum Ride Adventure.
Fantasy and Science Fiction
The Wayside School Is Falling Down (or others in the Wayside School series) by Louis Sachar Lexile: 440
The Wayside School is thirty stories high, and full of odd people and weird occurrences.
Other books in this series include: Sideways Stories from the Wayside School, Sideways Arithmetic from the Wayside School, Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger and More Sideways Arithmetic from the Wayside School.
The Fire Within (or others in the Last Dragon Chronicles) by Chris D’Lacey Lexile: 630
When college student David Rain begins rooming at the home of Liz and her 11-year-old daughter, Lucy, he becomes aware of a variety of unusual happenings connected to the clay dragons that Liz creates and sells.
The Red Pyramid (or others in the Kane Chronicles series) by Rick Riordan Lexile: 650
Fourteen year old Carter and his sister, Sadie, are kidnapped and an angry Egyptian god is unleashed.
Artemis Fowl (or any in the series) by Eoin Colfer Lexile: 760
Artemis is a twelve year old criminal mastermind who has run-ins with fairies and other magical folk.
Life As We Knew It (or others in the Last Survivors series) by Susan Beth Pfeffer Lexile: 770
Miranda takes her typical life for granted, until a meteor hits, pushing the moon off its axis and causing worldwide earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.
Eighth Grade Bites (or others in the Chronicles of Vladmir Tod series) by Heather Brewer Lexile: 780
Thirteen year old Vladmir Tod has to keep his vampire urges under control while dealing with the pressures of middle school and trying to solve the mystery of his parents’ death.
The Shadow Children Series: Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix Lexile: 800
In a future where the Population Police consider having too many children a crime, Luke is an illegal third child living a life of isolation in fear of being discovered.
The Name of This Book is Secret (or others in the Secret series) by Pseudonymous Bosch Lexile: 810
Cass and Max-Ernest two intrepid kids who uncover a mysterious society bent on immortality, which gets them in and out of all manner of trouble.
Dodger and Me by Jordan Sonnenblick Lexile: 810
What would you do if your best friend was: 1. Imaginary? 2. An oversize blue chimp in surfer shorts? 3. Proposing a plan to help you improve your life? 4. Did we say imaginary? 5. Driving you crazy?!?!
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman Lexile: 820
Somewhere in Britain, "the man Jack" uses his razor-sharp knife to murder a family, but the youngest boy, a toddler, slips away to the cemetery where he is named Bod and is raised by the ghosts who live there.
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs Lexile: 890
A strange "accidental death" in the family and a strange message from his dead grandfather lead the 16-year-old Jacob to a mysterious island off the coast of Wales, which, during the war, housed Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Other books in this series include: Hollow City and Library of Souls Graphic novel versions of this series are available. This title is also available in Spanish.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (or others in the series) by C.S. Lewis Lexile: 940
While hiding in a closet during a game of hide and seek, Lucy finds a mystical world called Narnia.
The Hobbit (or any in the Lord of the Rings series) by J.R.R. Tolkien Lexile: 1000
Bilbo Baggins, a simple Hobbit, is swept into adventure by the wizard Gandalf the Grey.
A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning (or any in the series) by Lemony Snicket Lexile: 1010
The Baudelaire children are left orphaned and at the mercy of the evil Count Olaf.
Other books in this series include: The Reptile Room, The Wide Window, The Miserable Mill, The Austere Academy, The Ersatz Elevator, The Vile Village, The Hostile Hospital, The Carnivorous Carnival, The Slippery Slope, The Grim Grotto, The Penultimate Peril and The End.
A Wizard of Earthsea (or others in the series) by Ursula K. LeGuin Lexile: 1150
Sparrowhawk becomes a wizard's apprentice and realizes his fate is more important than he ever thought possible.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline The year is 2044, and like most people, Wade Watts escapes reality through playing a virtual reality game, OASIS. However, playing this particular game and solving its puzzles may have real life rewards for Wade...as well as real life consequences.
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys Lexile: 490
Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known.
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay Lexile: 610
Julia is a 45 year old woman who researches the past of her new home—a past that includes the tragic story of the Starzynski family’s plight during the Holocaust and their only surviving member, their daughter, Sarah.
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry Lexile: 670
During World War II, Annemarie Johansen learns about the power of evil, the strength of family, and the unbreakable bonds of friendship, as she attempts to save the life of her Jewish friend, Ellen.
Anne of Green Gables (or others in the series) by Lucy Maude Montgomery Lexile: 970
When Anne Shirley is adopted by Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, their adventures begin, and their lives change forever.
Mystery and Suspense
The Secret of the Old Clock (or any book in the Nancy Drew series) by Franklin Dixon Lexile: 760
In the first of Nancy's adventures, she searches for a will, which then leads to intrigue and suspense.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (or any in the series) by Ann Brashares Lexile: 600
Four girls share adventure, friendship, and a pair of jeans.
Other books in this series include: The Second Summer of the Sisterhood, Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood, Forever in Blue:The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood, Three Willows: The Sisterhood Grows, and Sisterhood Everlasting: A Novel.
The Report Card by Andrew Clements Lexile: 700
Fifth grader Nora Rowley is a genius in hiding, and hopes to prove that grades and standardized testing are not true reflections of a person's intelligence or abilities.
Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson Lexile: 700
It's Rafe Khatchadorian's first day at Hills Village Middle School, and it's shaping up to be the worst year ever. Luckily, Rafe has a plan to break every rule in his school, and make himself and his school year the stuff of legends!
Others in this series include: Middle School: Get Me Out of Here! , Middle School: My Brother is a Big Fat Liar and Middle School: How I Survived Bullies, Broccoli, and Snake Hill
Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick Lexile: 800L
Meet Peter Friedman, high school freshman. talented photographer. and former baseball star. When a freakish injury ends his pitching career, Peter has some major things to figure out. Is there life after sports?
Famous by Todd Strasser Lexile: 800
At 14, Jamie Gordon took some photos of a famous model’s embarrassing moment and sold them to a tabloid, which led to her own first taste of fame. Now 16 and a professional paparazzo, she’s in LA to document a week in the life of starlet Willow Twine. A mystery and moral dilemma ensues when Jamie discovers six photos on her camera that could ruin Willow’s career.
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen Lexile: 810
Annabel Greene seemingly had everything: cool friends, close family, good grades, and a part-time modeling career in town.
When it all comes crashing down, Annabel spends the summer in shaky, self-imposed exile.
Are You Experienced by Jordan Sonnenblick Lexile: 840L
Rich is fifteen and plays guitar. When he gets in trouble he steals his dad’s prized possession: an electric guitar signed by Jimi Hendrix. Before he knows it, Rich is transported back in time to Woodstock in 1969.
Zen and the Art of Faking It by Jordan Sonnenblick Lexile: 840L
When eighth-grader San Lee moves to a new town and a new school for the umpteenth time, he doesn't try to make new friends or be a loner or play cool. Instead he sits back and devises a plan to be totally different.
Notes From the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick Lexile: 930 L
16-year-old Alex decides to get even. His parents are separated, his father is dating his former third-grade teacher, and being 16 isn't easy. Instead of revenge though, Alex ends up in trouble with the law and is ordered to do community service at a senior center where he is assigned to Solomon Lewis, a "difficult" senior with a lot of gusto.
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid (or others in the Wimpy Kid series) by Jeff Kinney Lexile: 950
Greg Heffley’s mother forces him to keep a diary, in which he shares the daily drama of trying to survive middle school.
Stories of Self Discovery
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer Lexile: 750
Twelve-year-old Joel unwillingly agrees to bike out to the state park with his daredevil friend Tony, who ends up dying, leaving Joel with a guilty conscience.
The Team That Couldn't Lose (or others in the Matt Christopher Sports Series) by Matt ChristopherLexile: 550
Mysterious plays are left weekly for Chip's team, and they suddenly seem to be on a winning streak.
The Roar of the Crowd (or others in the Winning Season series) by Rich Wallace Lexile: 680
Manny tries to prove his worth as one of the smallest players on the football team at Hudson City Middle School.
Miracle on 49th Street by Mike Lupica Lexile: 790
When 12-year-old Molly Parker returns to America from England following her mother's death from cancer, she harbors a secret: her father is the star point guard of the Boston Celtics, Josh Cameron.
Hot Hand (or any of the Comeback Kids series) by Mike Lupica Lexile: 930
Billy’s home life and basketball team collide when his parents get separated, and Billy’s dad becomes overly critical of him as his basketball coach.
Amazing True Tales
Facing the Lion: Growing Up Maasai on the African Savanna by Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton with Herman Viola Lexile: 720
Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton gives the reader a firsthand look at growing up in Kenya as a young Maasai cattle herder, who faces a lion, participates in boarding school escapades, enjoys soccer success, and journeys to America for college.
The Wicked History- Henry VIII: Royal Beheader by Sean Stewart Price Lexile: 770
King Henry was many things-- an heir to the Tudor dynasty, a father, a husband, and a ruthless murderer of many of his wives. This true tale of his wicked past is fascinating and disturbing.
Other books in this series include: Napoleon: Emperor and Conqueror, King George III: America’s Enemy, Julius Caesar: Dictator for Life, Catherine the Great: Empress of Russia, and Vlad the Impaler: The Real Count Dracula
I Am a Seal Team Six Warrior by Howard Wasdin and Stephen Templin Lexile: 930
When the Navy sends their elite, they send the SEALs. When the SEALs send their elite, they send SEAL Team Six—a secret unit made up of the finest soldiers in the country, if not the world. This is Howard Wasdin’s tale of being a part of this elite group.
Lincoln’s Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin Lexile: 930
What do counterfeiters, body snatching, and Abraham Lincoln have in common? Read this compelling true crime story to discover the dangerous underground criminal networks which were a part of our nation’s past.
Knots in My Yo-Yo String by Jerry Spinelli Lexile: 980 Newbery medal award winner Jerry Spinelli’s early autobiography has all of the warmth, humor, and drama of his best-selling fiction. From first memories through high school, including first kiss, first punch, first trip to the principal's office, and first humiliating sports experience, this book is an account of Spinelli’s interesting and unusual life
Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson Lexile: 980
Based on rare archival material, obscure trial manuscripts, and interviews with relatives of the conspirators and the man-hunters, this book is a fast-paced thriller about the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth: a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia.
The sequel to this book is called Bloody Times: The Funeral of Abraham Lincoln and the Manhunt for Jefferson Davis.
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand Lexile: 1010
This is the true story of Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he'd been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.
Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun by Geoffrey Canada Lexile: 1020
This true and unsettling story, Geoffrey Canada shares the stories of his childhood in the South Bronx, growing up under the violent codes of fist, stick, knife and gun.
Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog by John Grogan Lexile: 1050
John and Jenny were just beginning their life together, but when they brought home Marley, a wiggly yellow furball of a puppy, they discovered life would never be the same.
If Stones Could Speak: Unlocking the Secrets of Stonehenge by Mike Parker-Pearson and Marc Aronson Lexile: 1070
What are the secrets of the ancient stone circle? Were the carefully placed stones a burial site, an ancient calendar, a place of Druid worship...or even a site of sacrifice? World-renowned archaeologist Mike Parker-Pearson has spent the last seven years on a quest to answer these and many other questions.
Trapped: How the World Rescued 33 Minersfrom 2,000 Feet Below the Chilean Desert by Marc Aronson Lexile Level: 1070
In early August 2010, the unthinkable happened when a mine collapsed in Copiano, Chile, trapping 33 miners 2,000 feet below the surface. For sixty-nine days they lived on meager resources with increasingly poor air quality, while the world watched and waited.
Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun by Rhoda Blumberg Lexile: 1070
The true story of how Japan moved from a policy of total isolationism to discovering a new way of life in the 1850’s with their introduction to the West by Commodore Perry.
The President Has Been Shot by James L. Swanson Lexile: 1080
This chilling, edge of your seat story recounts the events leading up to and after one of our nation’s most profound tragedies, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Guinea Pig Scientists: Bold Self-Experimenters in Science and Medicine by Mel Boring, Leslie Dendy and C.B. Mordan (illustrator) Lexile: 1100
For hundreds of years, scientists have experimented on themselves, curious about how the human body works and what it can stand. The ten biographies in this intriguing collection portray men and women who swallowed inedible substances, exposed themselves to diseases, and traded their own safety for the advancement of science.
Black Diamond: The Story of the Negro Baseball League by Patricia C. McKissack and Frederick McKissack Jr.
Before Jackie Robinson entered the major league, the Negro Leagues offered black baseball players the opportunity to compete professionally. This chronicles the stories and struggles of talented players whose achievements went unnoticed for many years.
Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom, and Science by Marc Aronson and Marina Tamar Budhos
This book follows the trail of heartbreak left by humankind’s sweet-tooth, from the Age of Honey, through slavery in the United States.
I’ll Pass for Your Comrade: Women Soldiers in the Civil War by Anita Silvey Lexile: 1130
Sarah Emma Edmonds, Rosetta Wakeman, or Mary Galloway were among the hundreds of women who assumed male identities, put on uniforms, enlisted in the Union or Confederate Army, and went into battle alongside their male comrades. In this compelling book, Anita Silvey explores the fascinating secret world of women soldiers: who they were, why they went to war, how they managed their masquerade.
The Skull in the Rock: How a Scientist, a Boy, and Google Earth Opened a New Window on Human Origins by Lee R. Berger Lexile: 1140
In 2008, Professor Lee Berger—with the help of his curious 9-year-old son—discovered two remarkably well preserved, two-million-year-old fossils of an adult female and young male. Even more fascinating is the fact that this previously unknown species of ape-like creatures is the direct ancestor of all modern humans. This book takes you through their amazing discovery, and what scientists can learn about the origins of all humankind.
Navy Seal Dogs: My Tale of Training Canines for Combat by Mike Ritland Lexile: 1140
This book explores the incomparable relationship between a trainer and the dogs he works with. It is an inside look at the SEAL teams' elite K9 warriors-- who they are, how they are trained, and the extreme missions they undertake in order to save lives.
The Cat Who Came for Christmas by Cleveland Amory Lexile: 1230
Cleveland Amory, self-confessed curmudgeon and dog owner, tells the true enchanting story of his encounter with a stray cat in a debris-filled alley one Christmas Eve -- and their subsequent life together (available in October, 2013).
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser Lexile: 1240
Eric Schlosser charts the fast food industry's enormous impact on our health, landscape, economy, politics and culture, as he transforms the way we think about what we eat.
T. Rex and the Crater of Doom by Walter Alvarez Lexile: 1380
At first widely doubted, the idea is now widely accepted: Sixty-five million years ago, a comet or asteroid about the size of Mt. Everest slammed into the Yucatán, not far from present-day Cancún, Mexico, wiping out at least half of the species on earth. Alvarez was part of the team that discovered the first evidence of this impact, which caused an unimaginably immense explosion.
My Dog Skip by Willie Morris Lexile: 1380
In 1943 in a sleepy town on the banks of the Yazoo River, a boy fell in love with a puppy with a lively gait and an intelligent way of listening. The two grew up together having the most wonderful adventures. This is their story.
Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution by James M. McPherson Lexile: 1430
McPherson examines the causes and results of the Civil War, including a complete redefinition of what it means to embrace liberty in America.
The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon
The Energy Bus, an international best-seller by Jon Gordon, takes readers on an enlightening and inspiring ride that reveals 10 secrets for approaching life and work with the kind of positive, forward thinking that leads to true accomplishment.
Titles by Visiting Author Nora Raleigh Baskin
Author Nora Raleigh Baskin visits SMS in October of 2019 !
Ruby on the Outside 720 Lexile
Ruby Danes is an eleven year old girl with a big secret. Ruby lives with her aunt because her mother is in prison. In order to build a new friendship, how much does Ruby have to share about this secret?
Runt 740 Lexile
Elizabeth Moon grew up around dogs. Her mom runs a boarding kennel out of their home, so she’s seen how dogs behave to determine pack order. Her experience in middle school is uncomfortably similar.
Anything But Typical 640 Lexile
Jason Blake is an autistic 12-year-old living in a neurotypical world. Most days it’s just a matter of time before something goes wrong. But Jason finds a glimmer of understanding when he comes across PhoenixBird, who posts stories to the same online site as he does.
The Truth About My Bat Mitzvah
Caroline, who has been raised in a nonreligious household by her Jewish mom and non-Jewish dad, inherits a Star of David necklace when her beloved Nana dies. At the same time, her best friend, Rachel, is preparing for her bat mitzvah, which makes Caroline to wonder about her own religious identity.
Basketball (Or Something Like It) 570 Lexile
Sports is at the center of four 6th graders’ lives. Hank is made miserable by the pressure and expectations placed on him by his parents. Nathan desperately wants to play and lies in order to try out for the team because his father's agenda doesn't include sports. Annabel is brushed aside by her father, whose focus is on her brother and his playing time. Jeremy, the best player on the team, has been dumped at his grandmother's by his father's girlfriend. When these characters cross paths they become unlikely friends who are bonded by the game.
In the Company of Crazies
When things take a turn for the worst after the death of a classmate, shoplifting Mia Singer is sent away by her parents to an alternative school where, with the space and distance from friends and family, she actually gets to evaluate past events and honestly meet herself for the very first time in her life.