Galvin Middle School
Summer Reading List 2012
For Students Entering Grades 5 and 6
Students entering grade 5 MUST read Bystander by James Preller.
Students entering grade 6 MUST read Loser by Jerry Spinelli.
All students must choose one additional book from this list.
Books available in an audio format will have an A after the author’s name.
Books available in ebook format will have an E after the author’s name.
Never Mind: a Twin Novel by Avi.
Twelve-year-old twins Meg and Edward have nothing in common, so they are shocked when Meg’s hopes for popularity and Edward’s mischievous schemes coincidentally collide.
Basketball (or Something Like It) by Nora Raleigh Baskin.
Basketball clinics, a revolving door of coaches, outraged parents, and the importance of the right sneakers—is that what the game is about?
The School Story by Andrew Clements. A
After twelve-year-old Natalie writes a wonderful novel, her friend Zoë helps her devise a scheme to get it published. But Natalie’s mother is her editor.
Replay by Sharon Creech. A
While preparing for a role in the school play, twelve-year-old Leo finds an autobiography that his father wrote as a teenager and learns about the ways people change as they grow up.
Eleven by Patricia Reilly Giff. A, E
Sam is almost 11 when he discovers a locked box in the attic, and a piece of paper that says he was kidnapped.
*Bystander by James Preller. Incoming Fifth graders MUST read this.
When Eric is befriended by the bully at his new school, he must choose between being a bystander to Griff’s bullying, or become the target himself.
The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman. A
A Brooklyn eighth-grader nicknamed Antsy befriends the Schwa, an “invisible-ish” boy who is tired of blending into his surroundings and going unnoticed by nearly everyone.
The Noonday Friends by Mary Stolz.
Two friends stop speaking to each other, but can’t remember why they argued in the first place. Their fight is harder because of problems each girl has with her family.
Secret Identity by Wendelin Van Draanen. E
Fifth-grader Nolan Byrd, tired of dealing with the class bully, has a secret identity. The website he builds showing the evidence of bullying has results, but not always what Nolan expects.
Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson. E
Through letters to his sister in a different foster home, Lonnie records their lives while they are apart, describing his foster family and foster brother who has lost a leg in the Iraq War.
Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos. A
To the constant disappointment of his mother and his teachers, Joey has trouble paying attention and controlling his mood swings when his prescription meds wear off.
Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes. A
On a summer visit to her grandmother’s cottage, Martha learns to deal with the death of a classmate, her relationship with her family, her feelings for a boy, and her plans to be a writer.
Jackie’s Wild Seattle by Will Hobbs.
How do you rescue a wild and injured animals stuck in weird places in downtown Seattle? Fourteen-year-old Shannon Young, visiting from New Jersey, is about to find out.
The Misfits by James Howe. A
Four students who do not fit in at their small-town middle school decide to create a third party for the student council elections to represent all students who have ever been called names.
The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron. A
Lucky knows about the uncertainty of life because she lost her mother two years ago. When she thinks that her guardian plans to leave, Lucky knows she has hit rock bottom and must run away.
Brian’s Winter by Gary Paulsen. A, E
In Hatchet, Brian was rescued. This story portrays what would have happened to Brian had he been forced to survive a winter in the wilderness with only his survival pack and hatchet.
*Loser by Jerry Spinelli. Incoming Sixth graders MUST read this book. A
Even though his classmates have always considered him strange and a loser, Daniel Zinkoff’s optimism keeps him from feeling badly about himself.
The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick.
When the mothers of four sixth-grade girls with very different personalities pressure them into forming a book club, they find, as they read and discuss “Little Women,” that they have much more in common than they could have imagined.
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko. A
Twelve-year-old Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards’ families were housed there, and has to adjust to this in addition to life with his autistic sister.
Lily’s Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff. A, E
During a summer spent at Rockaway Beach in 1944, Lily’s friendship with a young Hungarian refugee causes her to see the war and her own world differently.
Mickey and Me: a Baseball Card Adventure by Dan Gutman.
When Joe travels back in time to 1944, he meets the Milwaukee Chicks, one of the only all-female professional baseball teams in the history of the game.
On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck.
A boy in Illinois remembers the homefront years of World War II, especially his two heroes–his brother in the Air Force and his father, who fought in World War I.
A Year Down Yonder by Robert Peck. A, E
During the recession of 1937, 15-year-old Mary Alice is sent to live with her feisty grandmother in rural Illinois and grows to understand this fearsome woman.
Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan. A
Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.
Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson. A
In 1793 Philadelphia, sixteen-year-old Matilda Cook, separated from her sick mother, learns about perseverance and self-reliance when she is forced to cope with the horrors of a yellow fever epidemic.
SOS Titanic by Eve Bunting.
15-year-old Barry O’Neill, traveling from Ireland to America on the maiden voyage of the Titanic, finds his life endangered when the ship hits an iceberg and begins to sink.
Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. A, E
Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father–the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.
Kira-Kiraby Cynthia Kadohata. A
Chronicles the close friendship between two Japanese-American sisters growing up in rural Georgia during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and the despair when one sister becomes terminally ill.
Stop the Train! By Geraldine McCaughrean. A
In 1893 the new settlers of Florence, Oklahoma are determined to build a real town, despite the opposition of the owner of the Red Rock Runner railroad.
The Teacher’s Funeral by Richard Peck. A, E
Fifteen-year-old Russell’s dreams of quitting school to go to work are disrupted when his older sister takes over the teaching at his one-room schoolhouse after mean old Myrt Arbuckle “hauls off and dies.”
The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan.
Eleven-year-old Jack faces local bullies, crippling dust storms, his sick sister, and despairing townspeople in a small Oklahoma town in this graphic novel.
Under the Blood Red Sun by Graham Salisbury. E
Pearl Harbor is attacked by the Japanese and the United States declares war on Japan. Japanese men are rounded up and Tomi’s father and grandfather are arrested. It’s a terrifying time to be Japanese in America. But one thing doesn’t change: the loyalty of Tomi’s buddies, the Rats.
Letters from Wolfie by Patti Sherlock. E
Certain that he is doing the right thing by donating his dog, Wolfie, to the Army’s scout program in Vietnam, thirteen-year-old Mark has second thoughts when the Army refuses to say when or if Wolfie will ever return.
Elephant Run by Roland Smith.
When Nick is stranded with his friend Mya they plan a daring escape on elephants, risking their lives to save Nick’s father and Mya’s brother from a Japanese prisoner of war camp.
Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins. A
When 11-year-old Gregor and his 2-year-old sister are pulled into an underground world, they trigger an epic battle involving men, bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders while on a quest foretold by ancient prophecy.
Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. A, E
Desperaux Tilling, a small mouse of unusual talents, shares adventure with the princess that he loves, the servant girl who longs to be a princess, and a devious rat determined to bring them all to ruin.
The Ruins of Gorlan (The Ranger’s Apprentice Series, Bk.1) by John Flanagan. E
When fifteen-year-old Will is rejected by battleschool, he becomes the reluctant apprentice to the mysterious Ranger Halt and protects the kingdom from danger.
The Capture (Book 1 of the Guardians of Ga’hoole) by Kathryn Lasky. A
After Soren, a young Barn Owl, falls from his nest, his idyllic world transforms into one of confusion and danger, as he is captured by evil chick-snatching owls and taken to the St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls.
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. A, E
After learning that he is the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, god of the sea, 12-year-old Percy is sent to a summer camp for demigods and joins his new friends on a quest to prevent a war between the gods.
Magyk by Angie Sage.
After learning that she is a princess Jenna is whisked from her home and carried toward safety by the Extraordinary Wizard and a young guard.
Bella at Midnight by Diane Stanley.
Raised by peasants, Bella discovers that she is actually the daughter of a knight. Now he wants her back and Bella is torn from her beloved foster family and sent to live with her deranged father and his resentful new wife. Soon Bella is caught up in a terrible plot that will change her life — and the kingdom — forever.
The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper. A
On his eleventh birthday Will Stanton discovers that he is the last of the Old Ones, destined to seek the six magical signs that will enable them to triumph over the evil forces of the Dark.
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. A
Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can “read” fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman. A
Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar, yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents and the souls of three others.
Birdwings by Rafe Martin.
A boy marked by physical difference–one arm is an enchanted wing–finds his strength and purpose in this stirring fantasy.
Mister Monday by Garth Nix. A
Seven days. Seven keys. Seven virtues. Seven sins. One mysterious house is the doorway to a very mysterious world– where one boy is about to venture and unlock fantastical secrets.
Holes by Louis Sachar. A, E
Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.
Chasing the Falconers by Gordon Korman.
Aidan and Meg Falconer are the only hope of their parents who are facing life in prison. Can the kids follow clues to prove their innocence while they’re trapped in a juvenile detention center?
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. E
As Samuel G. Westing’s 16 heirs gather for the reading of his will, they are elated to find that one of them stands to inherit a cool $200 million. In order to collect it, all he or she has to do is expose Mr. Westing’s murderer, who also happens to be one of the heirs.
Any book in the P.C. Hawke Mysteries series by Paul Zindel.
P.C. Hawke, a Sherlock Holmes for the twenty-first century, and his fashionable and fabulous sidekick, Mackenzie, solve crimes and have adventures in this wild series.
Among the Betrayed by Margaret Peterson Haddix.
Thirteen-year-old Nina is imprisoned by the Population Police who give her the option of helping them identify illegal “third-born” children, or facing death.
Only You Can Save Mankind! by Terry Pratchett. A
Johnny Maxwell takes on aliens, girls, video games, and the nature of war itself.
City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau. A, E
When Lina finds part of an ancient message she and her friend Doon are sure it holds a secret that will save the underground city of Ember.
Haunted Sister by Lael Littke.
A sixteen-year-old girl suffers a near-death experience in which her twin sister, who died in an accident twelve years before, returns to forcibly share her body.
Now You See It by Vivian Vande Velde. E
With Wendy’s new glasses, she sees cheerful corpses, old crones disguised as teeny-boppers, and portals to another world–a place where everyone knows of the glasses’ powers and will do anything they can to get them.
Nonfiction, Biography & Autobiography
Shark Life: True Stories about Sharks and the Sea by Peter Benchley. E
Benchley shares many anecdotes of his personal encounters with sharks, including the Great White, in stories that are exciting and sometimes terrifying.
The Journey that Saved Curious George by Louise Borden. E
Tells the story of Margret and H. A. Rey, who were carrying several illustrated manuscripts, including The Adventures of FiFi, later retitled Curious George.
Bodies from the Ash: Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii by James M. Deem.
On the morning of August 24, A.D. 79, Vesuvius began to erupt. Within twenty-four hours, the entire city of Pompeii—and many of its citizens—had been utterly annihilated. Hundreds of years later Pompeii saw daylight again, as archaeological excavations began to unearth what had been buried under layers of volcanic rubble.
5,000 Miles to Freedom: Ellen and William Craft’s Flight from Slavery by Judith Bloom Fradin.
Ellen and William Craft were two of the few slaves to escape. Their escape took them to Philadelphia, then on to Boston pursued by slave hunters, and 5,000 miles across the ocean to England.
You Wouldn’t Want to Be in the First Submarine! By Ian Graham.
Get ready- as a young man in Civil War America, you are about to become involved in a highly dangerous underwater arms race. You could get into very deep water in the first submarine!
Tutankhamun: the Mystery of the Boy King by Zahi Hawass.
An account of the life, death and burial of King Tut and the unearthing of his tomb. The author sheds new light on the biggest question about Tut—was he murdered?
Extreme Scientists by Donna M. Jackson.
Hurricane hunters, cave women, and other people in extreme careers share their experiences on the job and how they got there.
Diving to a Deep-Sea Volcano by Kenneth Mallory.
Changing undersea technology allows people to learn more about the sea as an ecosystem, and about the life forms that live there.
Why is Snot Green? by Glenn Murphy.
A science museum scientist answers weird and funny questions that he has received from kids over the years, including what happens if you fart in a spacesuit.
Woodsong by Gary Paulsen.
For a rugged outdoor man and his family, life in northern Minnesota is a wild experience involving wolves, deer, and the sled dogs that make their way of life possible.
My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen. E
The author describes some of the dogs that have had special places in his life, including his first dog, Snowball, in the Philippines; Dirk, who protected him from bullies; and Cookie, who saved his life.
The Goal by Andrew Podnieks.
The Boston Bruins Stanley Cup win in 1970 concluded with Bobby Orr’s dramatic overtime goal.
Venom by Marilyn Singer.
Learn about venom and the animals that produce it and use it to survive, including spiders, insects, snakes and other reptiles, frogs and toads, fish, and ocean invertebrates.
Almost Astronauts by Margaret Weitekamp.
The true story of the women who crewed Mercury 13.
Killer at Large by D.B. Beres.
Profilers provide law enforcement with scientific and psychological evidence that helps narrow the search for criminals.
The Word Snoop by Ursula Dubosarsky. E
The best-kept secrets in the English language are revealed to your unsuspecting eyes and ears!
The Power of One: Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine by Judith Fradin.
Daisy Bates was a journalist and activist who became one of the foremost civil rights leaders in America. In 1957 she mentored the nine black students who were integrated into Central High School in Little Rock.
The Forbidden Schoolhouse: The True and Dramatic Story of Prudence Crandall and Her Students by Suzanne Jurmain.
They threw rocks and rotten eggs at the school windows; refused to sell Miss Crandall groceries; her schoolhouse was set on fire; the town authorities dragged her to jail. Her crime? Trying to open and maintain one of the first African American schools in America.
Trial by Ice: A Photobiography of Ernest Shackleton by K.M Kostyal.
Traces the adventurous life of the South Pole explorer whose ship, the Endurance, was frozen in ice and crushed, leaving captain and crew to fight for survival.
Secrets of a Civil War Submarine by Sally M. Walker.
Although divers searched for more than 130 years, the sub was not found until 1995. Over the last 14 years archeologists have raised the sub and sifted through sediment for artifacts and human remains and clues to why, when and how she sank.
Hana’s Suitcase by Karen Levine
In March 2000, a suitcase arrived at a children’s Holocaust education center in Tokyo, Japan. Hana Brady was written on the outside. Children who saw the suitcase on display were full of questions and the director decided to find the answers.