Ms. Chu's Summer Reading Recommendations

For rising sixth graders:

Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Middle School by Robin Epstein (nonfiction): Necessary tips and advice for surviving middle school. Recommended for all incoming sixth graders who want a "cheat sheet" on how to make new friends, deal with haters, and communicate with teachers.

Secret Coders by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes (fantasy graphic novel): Twelve-year old Hopper hates her new school. She and her new friend Eni are determined to solve a big mystery at their school by learning coding skills. Recommended for readers who love graphic novels and want to learn about coding.

For rising sixth and seventh graders:

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen (realistic fiction): Sixteen-year-old Jessica is a runner. So when a tragic school bus accident causes her to lose one of her legs, she faces a long road to recovery, which includes struggling with a prosthetic limb and having a wonderful track team help rekindle her dream to run again. Recommended for readers who love reading heart-warming stories.

Ghost by Jason Reynolds (realistic fiction): When Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) impulsively challenges an elite sprinter to a race--and wins--the track coach sees he has something: crazy natural talent. But Ghost also has a lot of hidden anger, and a past that he tries to outrun. Recommended for readers who appreciate a narrator who sounds like your classmate or friend is telling you a story.

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi (fantasy): Alice Alexis Queensmeadow was born without color in a world where color is everything. She embarks on a journey to find her missing father, the one person who believes in her, and discovers the magical land of Furthermore. Recommended for readers who pay attention to writing style and want to get lost in a fantasy world.

For rising eighth graders (and advanced readers, PG-13):

1984 by George Orwell (fiction): A great modern classic of a dystopian society where critical thought is suppressed under a totalitarian regime. "Newspeak," "Doublethink" and "Big Brother" are vocabulary words in this imaginary world, but the story feels all too real. Recommended for readers who enjoy books that make you think and reflect on our own community and world.

Unbroken: Adapted for Young Readers by Laura Hillenbrand (historical nonfiction): A young adult adaptation of the acclaimed biography of Olympic Runner turned Prisoner-Of-War Louie Zamperini. A warning that his story includes intense violence, brutality, and torture. Recommended for readers who love learning about WWII and history.

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiel (realistic fiction): A haunting tale of a brutal assault by a police officer on a young black man. Readers get an inside perspective from the two narrators - one white and one black (each account written by a different author). Recommended for readers who appreciate positive activism in the face of brutality. Strong language and violence at times but overall positive message.

For reading with the supervision of parents and family members:

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (nonfiction): A must-read essay that starts a dialogue about feminism, gender expectations, culture, beliefs and values. An enriching short read that started from this TED Talk. Some content is for mature readers, but the overall message and worldview is enriching.

What Ms. Chu is Reading This Summer: