PCMS Summer Reading Book List
The goal of summer reading is to develop lifelong reading habits while limiting the effects of the summer slide—the tendency to lose some of the achievement gains students make during the school year—particularly in literacy skills.
Below is an illustrated, reviewed, and coded list of suggested summer reading titles. These novels are listed by grade level, as their content aligns with the concepts and/or content covered in the Grade 7 or Grade 8 ELA curriculum. Included for those students who prefer to read historically accurate stories of adventure and survival, a list of nonfiction recommendations follows the Grade 8 novel choices. All students are expected to complete the following 2019 PCMS summer reading assignment.
Incoming 7th & 8th graders at PCMS are required to choose and read at least one book from their grade-level list. Then, they are expected to answer at least one question from each of the six categories in the list labeled “Questions for Any Book,” for a total of SIX questions. We recommend that you read your book with the questions in your mind. Many of the questions have two or three parts, so make sure to fully answer ALL of the questions with specific details and relevant information from the text. Enjoy and have a great summer!
Questions for Any Book
Category 1: Characters (Choose one of these questions to answer about your book!)
- Was there one character who was similar to you? How would the story have been different if you were the main character, and how?
- Which character could you relate to best, and why?
- Explain an experience of your own that was similar to someone in the book?
- Compare a character, the story, or a main event to another book.
- List and explain of all the ways one of the characters changed in the book.
- Explain what did the main character learned in this book?
- Choose two or three characters from the book and write what you think happens to them after the end. Be sure to include your reasoning.
Category 2: Plot and Conflict (Choose one of these questions to answer about your book!)
- What was more important, the characters or the plot? Was this book more about what people were doing or what people were thinking? Explain your reasons.
- Choose three events in the story and explain why these events stand out for you as memorable.
- Was there foreshadowing and suspense? Or, did the author gives things away at the beginning of the book? Was this effective? Explain how the use of suspense and/or foreshadowing affected your enjoyment of the book.
- Explain how would you have resolved the conflict (problem) in the book?
Category 3: Point of View (Choose one of these questions to answer about your book!)
- Did the author use multiple voices in telling the story? How did this affect the story and your appreciation of the book? Explain!
- Whose voice was the story told in (from whose point of view is the story told)? Explain how you think it might have been different if another character was telling the story.
- Did you feel like the narrator was being honest in telling the story? Did you feel manipulated? Include your reasoning.
- Was the narrator involved in the story while it was happening, or were they looking back on the events from a distance? Why do you think the author structured it this way? Include your reasoning.
Category 4: Setting (Choose one of these questions to answer about your book!)
- Did the setting (the time and place) of the story make a difference? Could it have taken place anywhere? Why do you think the author wrote the book with this setting? Include your reasoning.
- Was the author’s description of the landscape/community well done? Could you visualize the landscape, rooms, town, etc.? Record a descriptive passage and draw a picture based on the author’s language.
- Was the time period important to the story? Why or why not? Explain!
- Explain how the author conveyed the era (time period). Include details.
- Did the story involve a road trip? Explain how the journey advanced the plot of the story?
Category 5: Theme (Choose one of these questions to answer about your book!)
- Explain a major theme in the book and how it was developed. Be sure to use details and include your reasoning.
- Are the major themes of the book relevant in your life? Why or why not? Explain!
- Did you think the story was funny, sad, touching, disturbing, and/or moving? Provide details and reasoning as to why or why not.
- Was the story realistic? Did it matter to the storyline? Provide details and reasoning as to why you think the author wrote it this way.
- Think about the book’s title. Provide details and your reasoning to explain why you think the author chose the words in this title.
Category 6: Your Thoughts! (Choose one of these questions to answer about your book!)
- Compare this book to others you have read. Is it similar to any of them? Did you like it more or less than other books you have read? Why or why not? Provide details and your reasoning.
- What do you think will be your lasting impression of the book? What will be your most vivid memories of it a year from now? Provide details and your reasoning.
- What “touched” you most about this book? Did you feel any emotions while you read this? Why or why not? Provide details and your reasoning.
- If you could jump in at any point in this book, and become a part of the storyline, where would it be? Provide details and your reasoning.
- Were you sorry the book ended? Why or why not? Provide details and your reasoning.
- Sometimes authors have notes at the end of the book explaining why they wrote the story. Is there information explaining why the author wrote this story or where they got their idea? What do you think? Provide details and your reasoning.
- What do you think the author was trying to accomplish with this novel? Why? Provide details and your reasoning.
- Are any of the events in the book relevant to your own life? Why or why not? Provide details and your reasoning.
Ratings Advice—PLEASE READ
Summaries provided by Amazon.com.
The grade level code and Clean Read designation are provided by Shauna Yusko, an award-winning librarian and national presenter with the Bureau of Education & Research. The Clean Read designation is used by Shauna Yusko to refer to books that include no excessive or graphic language, no extreme or graphic violence, and no sexual content, but may include kissing and discussion of sex. Ms. Yusko finds the following helpful when deciding if a book is appropriate for a child:
Common Sense Media reviews and guidelines: http://www.commonsensemedia.org
Compass Book Ratings http://www.compassbookratings.com
Parents’ Choice Awards
Thrifty and Thriving: clean reads for girls/teens
Summer Reading Level Codes
Grade Level Code
E (K-5); M (5-8); J (7-9); S (9-12)
CR= Clean read
- No excessive or harsh language, no graphic or extreme violence, no sexual content; may include kissing and discussion of sex.
Book synopses have been copied from Amazon.com. The grade level codes (M,J,S) and Clean Read (CR) designation are provided by Shauna Yusko, an award-winning librarian and national presenter with Bureau of Education & Research. The CR designation is used by Shauna Yusko to refer to books that include no excessive or harsh language, no graphic or extreme violence, and no sexual content, but may include kissing and discussion of sex. Ms. Yusko finds the following helpful when deciding if a book is appropriate for a child:
Common Sense Media reviews and guidelines: http://www.commonsensemedia.org;
Compass Book Ratings: http://www.compassbookratings.com;
Parents’ Choice Awards: http://www.parents-choice.org/allawards.cfm
Thrifty and Thriving: clean reads for girls: http://www.thriftyandthriving.com/clean-books-for-teens-girls/
Of course, we hope you read abundantly this summer and highly recommend a visit to the Pembroke Public Library. Their Teen Summer Reading page, designed for students entering grades 6-12, contains information about the public library’s Summer Reading Program, this year's Teen Team Read, and links for summer reading suggestions.
Avoid the summer slide and have fun reading.